Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fading Light

Fading Light, the sad fantasy story is finally done. It's the shortest one I've ever written (first draft at 1700 words) and the saddest. It seems like it's a good one, or it will be after I clean it up a bit. The subject was difficult, as I like to fix everything and the theme of the story was that not everything can be fixed.

Enjoy what you have while you have it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Life Of A Short Story

I shipped For I Have Sinned off again. My worry over the length of the story is premature. While it does eliminate many proffessional markets, there are still several left that accept as much at 10,000 or 17,000 words. I get a kick out of the list I made though. When I edit a short story for the first time, I look at the genre and make a submission list a page long of all the professional markets I'd like to submit it to. (Professional means paying; markets whose publication will give me a respectable publishing resume.) In this particular instance, the next three on the list accept the longer stories. Funny how that played out.

Since this is the first time I've mentioned submission, it seems like a good time to explain my strategy (that I learned from my friend Margaret.) Though it seems like a long shot, I have to aim for the magazines ("professional markets") where I'd like to see the story most. That means I'm up against professional writers whose books already span the shelves in bookstores. So, what's a little competition? It usually results in the dreaded rejection arriving in my mailbox month after month. I'm not far into the process with this one. I've only gotten three rejections and my submission list is twenty-four markets long. Of course, I may not be able to send it to all of them. The idea is that I send it to one, I receive a rejection, polish the story again, and send it back out. This is a young story though. I wrote it last May and have been editing and submitting it since last July. It's my favorite short story, but I really need to put the time and effort this one has seen into my other stories so I can send more out the door.

I'm optimistic this round. I fixed a flaw in the story I didn't realize existed until it just hit me on the head one day (thanks, Mr. Newton.)

Now I can focus on my next story. It's kind of sad though, it's a fantasy story about a healer and a patient with a terminal illness. The hardest part about writing it, is that this a happy week for me and the main character is so down-hearted. It might take a while to write. Hopefully it'll come off the way I'm picturing it in my mind.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Perranti Deception

New science fiction short story, done! I really like this character, she's young and alien and learning new skills. Finished it this evening at 3900 words. It's long for a first draft, but it's high on my list of my stories. Yes, I don't always like the stories I write. Those end up in the "shelved" folder on my computer. I never delete, never throw away. But this one won't end up there.

Denalla, the main character, may even end up with a novel of her own.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Short Stories: Length Not My Strength

I like complicated stories; plots and characters that have depth. Sure, there are people who can write short stories of less than a thousand words that have depth, but I can't write those. Nor do I want to.

For I Have Sinned came in at 7700 words on this last edit. That takes it out of Short Story Land. I've never considered marketing it as a novellette/novella, but I may have to. I'll decide after this next edit pass. I'll see if there's anything that is unneccessary to the story and cut that. I've never had to cut before. Wish me luck.

Current Projects
The Perranti Deception, science fiction short story (first draft)
Shadow of Blood, fantasy novel (first draft)

Thursday, May 5, 2005

May Writing

Writing has picked up this week, I'm glad to say. I wrote one short story Sunday/Monday, a fantasy adventure I'm calling Lambs To The Slaughter. My current project is a science fiction short story, The Perranti Deception. If you couldn't tell, it's short story month, specifically Story-A-Day Challenge on FMWriters. It's a fun challenge and it's testing my short story telling skills. Last year I completed three stories for the challenge. This year, I'd like to do a few more. With the novel in progress and the edit on For I Have Sinned, we'll see what I can swing.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

May Reading Recommendation

I've decided to start sharing reading recommendations. As a writer myself, I want to support the writers whose work I love and believe in.

My May selection is Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle. Yes, I've mentioned Holly before. I've read two of her fantasy trilogies and was not disapointed. I am eagerly awaiting the release of her newest novel Last Girl Dancing. No, this isn't fantasy, this is a mystery/thriller. I've read part of the first chapter on Holly's website and I believe that this book will be as phenomenal as her others.

I've already pre-ordered mine.

Happy Reading.