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Friday, September 23, 2011

Short and Sassy

I'm shifting through ideas for the next short story I want to write. There are two front runners. The first involves a government plot, memory sharing/storage, and a bit o' romance. The other involves for sure a guy named Spider (not sure why but he keeps coming to mind so I guess I will include him), mythological beasts, and eclipses. Neither story is mapped out and both are fuzzy on details so I have to decide where I want to put my energy.

When I first began finishing stories (notice I didn't say writing them as I have done that since I could first scribble out lines on paper and "read" them to others), my goal was to be a finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Now, it is five or so years later and I am not even submitting any more to them. While I can't guarantee I will every see that winner email, I can guarantee that I won't if I don't start writing and submitting some sci-fi or fantasy. One of my favorite lines in the movie Facing the Giants is when the dad says to his son, "You can't be any more not on the football team than you are right now." I figure I can't be any more not winning that contest than I am right now so I am going to recommit some energy to it.

According to the book I've been reading, you have to analyze the competition. He suggests taking stock of what are the averages in whatever publication you are shooting for. For instance, average length, point of view, setting, etc. I've also subscribed to a daily dose of sci-fi that comes right to my inbox from Daily Science Fiction. It's free! I also figure the best way to get back to the sci-fi is to read it. So far, I haven't found much that is consistent in every story, or even most, from the anthologies but I haven't read them all either.  If either story idea tweaks anyone's interest and they want to vote, I'd love to hear about it.


  1. I've thought about writing something specifically for a market a few times. But it always feels like work, so I write what I want and... well, except for the novelette I self published this summer, I usually just throw stuff in a drawer and move on.

    Anyway, I've got an idea for a fantasy novel, which I'll be trying to plot out next month. I'm pretty excited about it. I've never done pure fantasy before and it's like this great, undiscovered country for me to explore.

    Your first story idea sounds like it might be a sci fi thriller, I think those are a much larger potential audience, but I can't guarantee that is the case. How long are you thinking these short stories might be? I've read WOTF likes them pretty long.

  2. Rusty, thanks for commenting. I laugh at the term "short story" because I don't seem to be able to write much that falls into that category. Even when I do finish something that would qualify, there is always the rest of the story in my head. I am going to write both of them and submit in different quarters. Are you thinking your fantasy novel for nano?

  3. Yep, I'm going to plot it out in detail and hit the ground running for Nano this year. I hope.