I quite enjoy writing drabbles, short stories of exactly 100 words, and a month ago I walked through my creative process in writing a Merlin drabble.
This morning, for no particular reason except that I had a computer microphone handy, I decided to do an audio recording of a different Merlin drabble.
It’s a story that some of you may not have seen. It’s called “The Twain in Camelot,” and it’s the (very short) tale of a visit by Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (of Fritz Leiber’s heroic fantasy fiction) making a visit to Uther Pendragon’s Camelot. It’s really a misnomer to say that it’s a Merlin drabble, as the tale isn’t about the world of Merlin; it only happens to be set there.
The idea came to me, as many ideas do, on the morning train — Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser travel the world (and to other worlds) and have all sorts of adventures, and what if one of their adventures brought them to Camelot? I wrote it out longhand, letting the sentences grow, letting the words determine the direction very much as you see it above. I truly didn’t know where it was going until it was done; I was more interested in the words themselves than with any sort of sensible narrative.
I’ve long been a fan of Leiber’s work — “Lean Times in Lankhmar” is my all-time favorite short story — and I especially love his style where entire books could be written just from a throwaway line in some of the stories. That was the kind of feel that I wanted with this little tale; it may not work on its own, as it’s a little removed from the characters and the situation, but if you know the source material it makes sense and I think it works. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed writing this little tale.
This morning, after listening to Weekend Edition on NPR, I decided to record an audiobook of this two sentence drabble. After denoising the track, I then tracked it to “Traveling to Rivendell,” a track from Vivendi’s score for The Hobbit video game of about seven years ago. The final result worked out nicely, I think.
Even if it is only one minute long. 😉
Without further ado, for those who want to hear my melodious voice…
And you can read “The Twain in Camelot” and other Merlin drabbles that I’ve written here.