Sometimes a story comes out wrong, no matter how many drafts you write, or how many sacrifices you make to the gods.
When that happens there are various tricks you can try. Put your story in a drawer for a week, a month, a year. Write it from someone else’s perspective. Turn your idea back-to-front. Start from scratch, and ask whether you really know what you’re writing about. And sometimes what works is to strike two different stories together, and make some interesting sparks. That’s what happened with ‘In Yon Green Hill To Dwell’, which took three years to write, from first notes to final draft, and eventually won the 2014 Fiction Desk Ghost Story competition. You can read the story behind the story now on the Fiction Desk website.
New Ghost Stories II is just out on Kindle, and also available in paperback. One of the nicest features of the Fiction Desk anthologies (aside from the meticulous editing and elegant typesetting) is their writer’s award, where all the featured authors are invited to vote for their favourite story and the winner is awarded a £250 prize. I think it’s a recommendation for the anthology that I struggled to cast my vote… So if you enjoy a good haunting – whether literal or psychological – and would like to support a great independent publisher, you can buy your copy here.