The Order of Play, Version 2

Earlier Orders of Play can be found here (version 0) and here (version 1)

Following the recent announcement (I’ll say it again: 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf has been accepted by Fox Spirit [External Link]) a few things have been cleaned up and renamed, so here’s another note for myself that I’m sharing with the world.

First of all, I’ve renamed the world to “Fur-Skins” after the thing that makes my werewolves different: the needing a skin in order to change from human to… not. (That was a TV Tropes reference, in case you missed it, to “Our Werewolves Are Different” [External Link]) And I’ve also created a static page called Fur-Skins so that the basic, internal chronology of published stories can be looked up at any time without trawling through my notes. What happens on this post is more speculative, drawing together some notes so that you guys can see more of the thought process.

There are currently two cycles or groups of stories. I’m still trying to make each story independent enough that it can be read without the whole arc and shouldn’t confuse new readers but, by the nature of building on what comes before, there are long term arcs and plots.

Alex & Conn

These are all stories told from the point of view of Alex Jones and / or Conn (no surname at the moment). The over-arcing story point for the cycle is the relationship between the two of them but the short stories also serve as a tool for exploring the world. Part of the exploring is looking at particular issues – what other werewolves and humans want out of the world. I’ve worked out a few basic ideas and I have some prompts / working titles in mind for stories that haven’t really crystallised yet.

Published Works

So far, I’ve only written short stories for Alex and Conn. It’s unlikely to change given my approach to writing about these two – or, at least, I have no intention of writing anything novel length.

  1. Half-Breed (Short)
    Published: Twisted Tongue, Issue 11, 29/08/2008
    Podcast: Cossmass Infinities, Episode 5, 01/05/2010
  2. Heart’s Desire (Short)
    Published: Drops of Crimson, Volume 2, Issue 1, 01/11/2009
  3. Second Date (Short)
  4. Dog Handler (Short)
    Published: Title Goes Here, Issue 1.9, 02/09/2011

Works in Draft or Note Form

I currently have two stories I’m working on – at this stage both are a collection of notes under a working title.

  • Another Me (Short)
    So far, this comes after Dog Handler.
  • The Last Kiss (Short)
    With that title, how could it not be the end of Alex and Conn’s relationship – and the end of the arc?

Potential Working Titles / Idea Prompts

  • Alpha Male
    At this stage, I’m treating this as a working title for an idea that hasn’t crystalised. I want to look more at the reasons men might chose to become werewolves and I think there’s going to be at least one proper look at dominance and possibly finding the first of a “line” of werewolves.
  • Values Dissonance
    This got taken off the list of working titles in the last version of this post but remains a writing prompt for me, especially when dealing with Alex and Conn’s relationship. It’s an idea based on the TV Trope [Values Dissonance: External Link] but is basically about the differences between canines, humans and the things that want to be in-between.

Sub-categories and Tags

This now has its own site sub-category – “Alex & Conn” – which I shall make use of from now on for any posts related to this cycle only.

I’ve also renamed the old “Alex Jones” tag to match (so “Alex & Conn”). As all of these are intended to be short stories, I’ll use the “Alex & Conn” tag to cover any reference to this cycle.

More Renaming

Following a Twitter conversation with Aliette de Bodard [External Link], I’ve had a realisation that “Half-Breed” is a somewhat unfortunate choice of name for a story. I had originally written it under the working title “Hybrid”, which was generally rejected as being to science-y for the content but is actually no less unfortunate. Should I ever re-home this story again, it’ll be under a new title – yet to be decided and suggestions are welcome.


Elkie Bernstein (I wanted a name that would sound unusual in a rural British community) is the lead character of the “25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf” story. Timing-wise, I put the start of “25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf” about fifteen years (roughly) after “Half-Breed”. Of course, I’m not prepared to tie them down to specific years.

I have some ideas I’d like to play with and I have a few notes and working titles to base it on. How this works out all depends on finding a combination of my publisher’s and editor’s wishes and time constraints but summarising my notes looks something like this:

  1. 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf (Novel)
    Just so you know, characters from the Alex & Conn cycle turn up in this – consider it an Easter Egg for people in the know, but the plots lines are otherwise independent.
  2. A Pack of Lies (Novel idea)
  3. Brothers Under The Skin (Novel idea)

Sub-categories and Tags

This also now has its own site sub-category – “Elkie Bernstein” – which I shall make use of from now on for posts related solely to this cycle.

The old “25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf” tag remains for anything covering the extent story / novel length work. Should I do any work on the other ideas, references to these will have their own tag.

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