Short Stories and Novels

The completion of a novel is just down the road. (Monte Dutton photo)
The completion of a novel is just down the road. (Monte Dutton photo)


I’ve been working on the novel this morning. I’m taking a break to write this blog. Then I’ll go back to the novel. It’s supposed to rain. I mowed grass yesterday. I need to go to the trash dump, and pay some bills, but, basically, my excuses have expired.

It’s been useful to alternate between the crime novel and short stories. I’ve grown to love writing them because it’s exciting. A novel is structured, its direction preconceived in general. My short stories might be better if the same were true, but it’s fun to start out, typically with only the wispy framework of one of the songs I’ve written, and run with it.

I also think the novel and short stories feed off each other, but, then again, I would think that because it’s what I’ve been doing, and there’s a certain internal need to rationalize the method.

If I think it works, it does. Next up: begin a paragraph in this blog with something other than the letter “I.” It’s a nice blend – I’ve, It’s, I, If – but I should branch out a bit from the protective security of “I’s.”

Writing is lonely, but it’s also deeply fulfilling.

At this point on Friday, I heard a pop outside, and my electricity went out. Now, I resume.

It’s probably going to take three or four more chapters to wrap up this first draft of what will, I hope, be my fourth novel. It doesn’t have a title, and I guess it can wait until I go through it one more time. Something will pop up. Thirty-six chapters have popped up. A title will, too.

Deadly Arrogance?

The Solicitor?

Crooked to a Fault?

Denny Frawley is a solicitor – the title is district attorney in most states – who lives in a South Carolina town, Latimohr. His uneasy nemesis is a lifelong acquaintance, Hal Kinley, who goes to work for Frawley once he loses his job as a police officer and learns that his high school classmate has built an empire of patronage and deceit. Interwoven in all this are Frawley’s dysfunctional family, his cunning mistress, a bloodthirsty detective, Kinley’s relationship with his estranged wife and son, and Frawley’s campaign for governor.

            My first two novels, The Audacity of Dope and The Intangibles, are available at, (Kindle versions, too), and in several independent bookstores.


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