Fishermen’s Tales

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Fishermen's Tales had a somewhat tortuous upbringing. The first version, entitled Bait and 348 words long, was written for Café Doom Flash Challenge number 84, in November 2007, in response to the prompt word bait. It came third equal out of seven entries, with one vote out of eight. The second version, now entitled I Caught an Amazing Fish and 356 words long, was written for the practice night for Children in Need later in November 2007, in response to the prompt I caught an amazing fish. It didn't attract a particularly high score there either.


A heavily revamped and extended version of the story, now with the title Catch of the Day and 1133 words long, was Highly Commended in the Summer 2008 JBWB Short Story Competition. It was nominally in response to a picture prompt of some goggles.

The final version, now with the name Fishermen's Tales and 1305 words long, won the second prize in the 2008 Milton Keynes Speakeasy competition.


With most of my stories, the final draft isn't that much different from the original. Sure, there are always tweaks along the way, but the evolutionary path is simple and easy to trace. However, some of them seem to take a horrendous amount of effort to translate the original idea into a worthwhile story. This is one of them. In many ways the first two versions were just preliminary sketches. The third version is closer to the final one, except that it's in the first person rather than the third, and there isn't much of a background or motivation for the main character.