I've been working on a short story the last few days. Trying to write a more or less traditional sword & sorcery yarn, but as I talked about in my last writing related post, I wanted to put some twist on it. The twist turned out to be an interesting monster based on Malaysian mythology. I won't tell what that is since a major plot point turns on the creature. Anyway, I wrote about three pages using one of my Conan stand-ins, the barbarian Kharn. It didn't go quite the way I wanted and I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong, so I decided maybe it was the protagonist. I've mentioned before that I like using contemporary protagonists so I decided to try again using Alexander Gordon, the hero of 'The Dead Remember', who is basically a contemporary earth man trapped on the bronze age world of Kalindor. Wrote another three pages, but the tone still wasn't right.
I basically agree with Edgar Allan Poe's theory of short story writing, being that you should pick one overriding tone and stick with it. In this instance I wanted something akin to a horror story, and Gordon's presence always seems to cant things in a more science fiction direction. He's also a bit of a wisenheimer, which makes keeping the tension level up difficult. Don't really need wisecracking in this sort of story. So now I'm thinking that my beginning may be the problem and I need to get into the meat of the story more quickly. I'm going to try that later on and see how that works. May switch back to Kharn as protagonist or may try some other character. We'll see. The plot kernel is a good one, if I can just coax something from it.