NoSleep In July

Welcome to NoSleep

Over at Reddit, there is an interesting sub-community known as NoSleep. It’s (nearly) 80,000 subscriber base makes it a great place to share an original horrific tale. The purpose  is to scare the crap out of each other. The best part, everything is true on NoSleep. By “true” I mean, you are supposed to suspend your disbelief while you are there. The stories need to be scary as hell but also as believable as possible. Basically it’s perfect for the first person flash fiction I enjoy writing.

The Bar is Set

There’s been several dozen stories which have really made a huge impact so far. The first was from a user known as 1000vultures. He released a 6 part series entitled “Penpal” that set the bar very high. To date no one has been able to match the level of attention or praise that those stories achieved. Penpal was so well received that Vultures launched a Kickstarter Campain to expand penpal to a full novel. Due, in part, to the popularity on NoSleep, the project raised over $15,000! In fact, the project is nearly completed and I’m looking forward to reading Dathan Auerbach’s novel. To check out some of the best story’s sort by top rated of all time (or month) and you’ll find penpal and other great tales that will give you an idea of the great things happening over there.

 July NoSleep Self Challenge

While browsing reddit in late June, I decided to pop over to NoSleep and see what was new. I checked out a few stories and thought that I should take a crack at posting something. It’s been awhile since I’ve had any time to write due to school and life in general, or so I tell myself… Truthfully it’s all about motivation. (Hell, I can’t even remember the last time that I’ve updated this blog!)

To make sure I didn’t lose focus, I decided that I would write and post one short story a week. Typically this would be a day of ideas coming and going, 4 days of procrastination, then a “Shit! I need to actually write something and post it TODAY” moment.

WEEK 1: 

Road Trip Down A Dark Memory Lane

The first posting was just an idea of man writing a letter to his wife about being kidnapped as a child. I wrote what I had and posted it. The ending was a major cliff hanger that seemed like a good ending point for a flash story.

The response: Wow. The story quickly gained traction and raced to the top of the daily charts. I was absolutely stunned, excited, proud,… and worried. Everyone was calling for a follow up. I didn’t have anything else. No idea what was going to happen next. Well, lets see how much I can tell in a week. I begun to write updates in real time as this character went on a journey to unlock his past. There were interactions with the commenters and ideas were coming up and quickly tossed because the readers predicted them.. The deadline was set for a week. Whatever happened I needed to have some kind of resolution. The ending turned off a lot of people unfortunately but endings always do that. It was left up for interpretation but unfortunately the main interoperation was supernatural which means I failed to provide enough evidence to support the alternatives. Even so, for me it ended up being about the ride,  and I think all in all it was a great roller coaster for everyone.

I had the chance to meet  awesome people, some of which were very encouraging, others asked permission to use it in various ways. I’d like to thank them all individually but that would take way to long! I can say that I’m most excited about  NKE Produtions wanting to make it into a film. Additionally it’s up for the July contest, which at the time of writing, is in a dead-heat race with the story budget cinema.  Based on RES I’m getting a lot of down votes but I’m still in the lead, though without RES budget cinema has overcome a 20 vote lead to be ahead. Winning would be wonderful but the goal was to tell a great story and I think both of us has done that!Votes will probably be closed by the time anyone sees this but you can view (or vote for) the july contest here.

I feel like there is a whole lot more to this story than I was able to squeeze into the weeks worth of writing. Each night these characters pop into my head and I’m compelled to expand the story. It would be great to actually come up with a novel. I’m going to continue to dream big but I’m not going to try and force anything. As it stands Dark Memory Lane was a blast to do. Being the character was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had writing a story. A big thanks to all who followed along, and to anyone who is disappointed by the fact that it’s purely fiction, I’m sorry.


The Scarecrow Corpse

After falling into the unexpected Road Trip project, I was beat, but the deadline still stood. It was that Wednesday, still no ideas, then while on the subway I got an idea to do something ABOUT the subway. This way my thought process: But what? A body! Sure, but what is scary about the body? Hmm… what if it was dead but sort of not really? Okay. Strange, but not a zombie. Got to make it unique though..Who deals with bodies? Coroners. Sweet. I wrote it friday and posted it after it was reviewed by Autumn, whom is one of the very few people that doesn’t seem to mind when I bother them with things like this. (Thanks Autumn)

The response: Excellent. Like Road Trip it quickly went up the charts, and thanks to Emazon7790 whom provided an analysis which provided a level of plausibility to the story that really brought it to life. I’d say his contribution deserves 50% credit! Thanks again.

On top of that I was surprised to be contacted by the Podcast guys. Mike asked permission to record the story as an audio podcast. It’s an honor to be considered.

Week 3:

I Know What They Are

Same problem as before, no ideas until late in the week. Then while walking by a homeless man in D.C. I was hit with De ja vu. That would end up being the basis of this weeks story but I needed a character, CERN was in the news about the HIGGS discovery so what about a CERN scientist that is now unexplainably a homeless person. I can work with that.

The response: Overly positive. While not nearly popular as the previous two, people genuinely seemed to enjoy the story. I hope the ending creeped people out as much as I was when it came to me.


A Gift of Bone

There were still a few threads open from the first. The basic idea was the tale being posted led to someone familiar with the case to start killing people once again after more than 30-something years. Back then, strange packages containing a bone wrapped in a pink ribbon have been sent to hundreds of people around the world. The secondary idea was I wanted it to be sort of an easter egg for those that read the first tale at the beginning of the month. A few people made the connections which was awesome.

This story I wasn’t completely happy with. Overly long, not enough happened, the twists durring the story were weak. I don’t regret posting it since the revelation was shocking to me. I ran out of time, rules were rules, I would share it.

The response: Average. It was rightfully overshadowed by several better and shorter stories. I’m glad most people who did comment of vote seemed to like it though. Ironically the story which was the least popular in terms of comments and voters, received a higher percentage of favorable votes: 87% approval compared to the average of 79% for the other three.

Again, wasn’t fully happy, but I do like the idea of the story so I think it could be be a good candidate for revision. It could go either way though, expanding and adding an actual plot, or shortening to just the facts and conclusions. /shug.

And Done

July has been a hell of a month. I’m glad that I was able to spend some time being creative but I’m relieved it’s over. Eventually I’ll probably post some version of the stories here but for now they are NoSleep exclusives. If you are a fan of this type of fiction, head on over there and read some of the stories.

Thanks for reading!


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