Every year since 2016, I’ve written a small piece for the Journal of Imaginary Research: a mock-science abstract plus a fake author biography and an illustration. In the latest edition, I wrote a small horror piece:
It is just a bit of fun writing, pieced together in a few hours, and I really enjoyed it compared to previous editions.
The first year I wrote a sort-of funny piece based on a picture of someone else’s research (which remains a mystery to me to this day). It was an interesting exercise in that it made me try to be creative about an image that did not speak to me in any way. As it happens, it is easier to write what I want to write rather what I’m being told to write.
The second year, I could choose a picture of my own (a shot of the 2015 eclipse), and wrote, based on that, a somewhat weird Uncle Vanya-esque creation. That was intended as a challenge for myself – I wanted to try a different style of prose. Turns out, I should probably stick to my own style.
The latest edition, I decided to start with the story and chose the picture last, and I decided to write what I like best – horror/sci-fi – and I wrote it as I wanted to. The only constraint was the word count. I am not sure the end result is better (or worse), but I am quite certain I enjoyed this last one much more than previous efforts. There is a lesson there, I believe.