Writer's Block

“Space-faring monkies with a mirror fetish?”

“Yup. In The Day Ambrosia Paled by Kinstev Ramod, chapter six.”

“Damn. Okay, uhh… how about ice cream that turns your teeth green and carries a rare strand of the bubonic plague? Unleashed on a modern colony?”

“As a government experiment: Fire Warden by Jack Strapley. As a mad scientist’s coup de grace: On Being Trembleton by Emilia d’Oernga. With a time travel sub-plot: Terra Infirma by Marguerite Bloc. Sorry, Glenn. It’s all been done.”

Glenn groaned and leaned back in his chair, running his hand through the long part of his hair and pulling it out over his eyes, staring at the brown strands in frustration. “Damn it all! How am I supposed to write if there aren’t any original ideas?”

“Hey, come on, Glenn.” Neil grimaced at his friend in sympathy. “You’re just not thinking outside the box. Look, I know it’s tough, but there’s got to be something you can do that’s not already in here.” He gestured at the Central Database terminal he’d been using, the letters on the keyboard nearly worn off from the fruitless searches he’d made.

Neil’s words were encouraging, but his tone was not—it’d been months since Glenn had come up with his last viable story idea, and he still remembered the celebration they’d had. Now their fridge was bare, and there wasn’t a drop of alcohol in the house. Neil let out a long sigh. “Look… maybe you need a rest, yeah? Let’s go out for a while. We’ll go to the club, see Jeannie and the guys, and just relax. I bet it’d help. What do you say?”

Glenn made a noise of frustration and sat up straight again. “No. No! We’re almost out of cash. What good is going out going to do? That’ll just make things worse. I have to think of something, and fast!”

Neil sighed and turned back to the terminal. “Glenn, we’ve been at this for hours. You’re gonna make yourself sick.”

“No. No, I’ve got one.” Glenn turned sharply, his face lighting up as his eyes latched onto Neil. He paused dramatically. “How about… a guy with writer’s block trying to figure out what to put in a story?”

Neil groaned loudly and threw a stylus at Glenn. “Do I even have to answer? I think it’d break the database if I tried a search on that. Billions of billions of hits.”

Glenn chuckled. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Geez. I just wish that for once I could write something without caring that someone else already did it.”

“Wouldn’t sell.”

“Yeah, I know. I know.”

The two men stared in silence for a moment, Glenn at the ceiling, Neil at the screen that was nothing more than one massive search field.

“Neil?”

“Yeah?”

“How about a story about a writer who hacks into the Central Database and erases the old records so that editors will think his story is original?”

“You know,” Neil said with a slow grin, “I don’t think that one’s been done yet.”

Random Story :

  • Librarian

    Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Unauthorised access to archives. …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member

Submissions

We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com