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Fast Fiction: Four Days

Richard Mallionson’s short tale conveys the agonies and ecstasies of writing fiction.

Vic Pashender has just published his twenty-seventh novel. It is called Too Much and is about a novelist who keeps a diary while writing a novel about a novelist who keeps a diary while writing a novel. Extracts from the diary he kept while writing the novel...

June 14
There's an excess of tension between two of the characters. It must be reduced, otherwise there's going to be a murder in the first ten pages, which would break one of my rules. It simply can't be allowed.

June 15
Far from being reduced, the tension has grown. Val, the doctor's wife, now hates her former lover, Ralph, who seems to be on the verge of blackmailing her. She has agreed to meet him on the downs.

June 16
Somehow chapter two has been reached without any fatalities. Far from wanting to blackmail Val, Ralph is now hoping to persuade her to renew their affair. Val's husband, the doctor, has just seduced a patient.

June 17
The patient seduced by Val's husband is a teacher at the local school. Is she the type to sell her story if ditched? Is the doctor going to confess to Val? Ralph decides to strangle the doctor. Game on!


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