Dawn and the Fetchling

Mike Grist Dawn Rising, Featured Story, Jabbler's Mons, Stories, Story Art, Writing 1 Comment

I commissioned this sketch of Dawn from an artist I found online. Dawn is the lead character in the book I’m working on now- Dawn Rising, set in my Jabbler’s Mons fantasy universe. The artist took a few passes at rendering Dawn and his scars, but in the end unfortunately gave up before finishing, so the image at right is what I’m left with. His scars look a little too much like war paint, but otherwise I think this is close to what Dawn (he is a boy, yes) looks like. I’m talking to a few other artists now about …

story craft #8 Tapestry Narratives

Mike Grist Stories, Story Craft 4 Comments

I`m a fan of convoluted narrative styles. I like stories that are chopped up and remixed, especially those chopped and remixed on the basis of character. LOST did this over 6 seasons, Magnolia did it in a 3-hour movie, Orson Scott Card did it between Ender`s Game and Ender`s shadow, David Gemmell did it across fantasy eras. The effect is always epic. We begin to see the threads that make up not just one person`s life, but the whole tapestry. We glimpse the arc of the world of these characters, and while we`re with them we get to see the …

story craft #4 Flashbang

Mike Grist Stories, Story Craft 7 Comments

I’ve been told I sometimes write in a flashbang style. This has manifested itself in several kinds of feedback- – I can’t read for more than 10 minutes at a time. It’s exhausting. – Some of the sequences left me really feeling the pain the main character felt. – Stop hurting him and give him some happy times. So what is flashbang? I can think of two corollaries. One- Michael Bay. *shudders*. Two- an overexcited American teenage girl delivering just a little content with a lot of verby enthusiasm- ‘so like, there was us two guys, and oh my gosh, …

story craft #3 Bad Guy Motives

Mike Grist Stories, Story Craft Leave a Comment

Last week I talked about character motivation– filling in the gaps between what characters want and why. It`s a fundamental part of story architecture- that the good guy wants something and will fight to get it. But probably more important than what the good guy wants is what the bad guy wants. That`s what I was thinking about when I started this latest round of Dawn redrafts *. What do bad guys want? It`s the keystone of story architecture, because the bad guy- – drives the story – creates the conflict – causes the wrongs the good guy has to …

Jethro’s Fall

Mike Grist Science Fiction, Writing Leave a Comment

JETHRO’S FALL is a novel, the story of two polar opposite brothers in a post-apocalyptic city, striving to hang onto what humanity they have left while fighting Biotic racism, corporate lies, and the fallacy at the heart of it all. Jethro lives in a dystopic future city where the only choice for happiness and a baby mansion is to follow the corporate ladder to the top. After 5 years in the Tower he realizes the ladder is a lie, and decides to get out while he still can, but his Biotic brother, his racist friends, and a mysterious woman named …

The Dawn Cycle 1. The Rise of the Truth

Mike Grist Jabbler's Mons, Stories 2 Comments

I`ve written a book. The working title is The Rise of The Truth, and it`s the first book of The Dawn Cycle, a saga of 5 fantasy books following Dawn on his quest to take care of business. In the last couple of days I put together submission packets for literary agencies, including query letters and book-jacket `blurbs`. I sent the book out to a selection of agents by email and post. Because I`m in Japan, sending to the US and UK, the few by post cost me $100 in postage. A small price to pay for hope, SY says. …

5 More Stories in Ruin

Mike Grist Stories Leave a Comment

Universal Time Rav works the Deep 7 as a Tempus man, ferrying light-speed adjusted time in his cargo-hold full of clocks. But the empire has been split by a gigantic schism, the worlds are seceding, so what is the value of universal time any more? This is probably the first short story I wrote. Rav works for a dying empire and spends his free time living out the life he could`ve had in virtual reality, until the end really hits home.

By the Grammaton

Mike Grist Jabbler's Mons, Writing Leave a Comment

BY THE GRAMMATON is an (as yet unpublished) collection of short stories set in the brutal city of Jabbler’s Mons. Life is harsh under the King’s savage rule, with the threat of Evincement on the Spike ever-present, so the city’s denizens have become harsh; surviving floods and famine, endless nights, genocide, volcanic eruptions and the wrath of dark gods. FREEMANTLE MONS Freemantle Mons the Leviathan Smile watches as the moon and stars freeze in the sky and perpetual night descends over the city, spurring a race against the rioting populace as he struggles to kick-start the Grammaton clock-tower and get …

5 Stories in Ruins

Mike Grist Stories 2 Comments

Ruins feature prominently in my fiction, and continue to do so even though I haven`t posted any short stories here for a long time. I`m currently working on a trilogy set in my fantasy universe of Jabbler`s Mons, about halfway through the second book and revising the first. Since I`ve posted no fiction for a long time, I thought I`d reintroduce a few pieces through the lens of ruins. Here are 5 of my short stories, all about ruins. Click through on any of them to read the full thing. Sir Clowdishley and the Sea Sir Clowdishley once explored the …


Mike Grist Stories, Surreal 6 Comments

gutterman 1601by Michael John Grist.
I found him one mad marsh-walking night. I was out in the bogs, I don’t know why, crossing wet rivers and wading through peat mulberry patches, dashings of filth worming their way into the cuffs of my suit turn-ups, smidgeons of muck smudging up and under my fingernails.