Friday, April 23, 2021

 Finally sat down to finish my werewolf story, "Unidentified." I mean, actually, rewrite the entire second half. 

The editor accepted the story earlier with a caveat that I would have to rewrite it. So I kept spinning out scenarios to her, of which the fourth one was the winner. 

Then I procrastinated. And yet...and yet...I do believe that the space gave me some new energy. I just knew last night that today was the day. I made some last minute decisions this morning, which I think really helped the story, and slammed it out in three hours. About 1500 new words, and cutting about 500 words. 4300 words altogether.

The last minute decisions were 1.) to make it dark, horror rather than SF. and 2.) to restrict dialogue to a bare minimum. Both worked out much better.

I was really feeling the creative high at the end of it. It seems like the best thing ever!

Of course, tomorrow I'll probably hate it. The truth is probably that it's something between the "best thing ever!" and it sucks.

I'm very demanding of Linda. I was excited to get her to sit down and listen. Buddy Jasper came meowing in at the middle of my reading, and annoyed, I lifted him up and took him outside. Then finished reading the story. Linda liked it. She likes all my stories--or at least, she says so. Heh.

Meanwhile, I think Buddy was traumatized. I don't think I've ever done that to him before. He's sleeping at the foot of my bed right now, as close as he can get while I write. 

I don't know. Short stories are fun to write. I seem to do well if I have some prompts--something that I don't do writing novels. Perimeters seem to help me focus. 

But I'm not sure what it gets me. Maybe some people will give me a try rather than read an entire novel. I'm not sure where the markets are. It's not a way to make money, I don't think. It's a way to get your name out there, hopefully associated with writers who are better known. 

It's the route that many professional writers took--maybe most of them. But the few markets that existed in the 80s when I started my first stint as a writer were nearly impossible to break into. Literally, it was easier to get a novel published.

Now there are lots of small indie presses and fanzines. They may not pay much if anything, but they are a way to get noticed. Besides, I really like maintaining the emotional momentum for 2000 or 3000 or 4000 words, instead of the more complicated arc of a story 80,000 words. 

Rewriting isn't quite as daunting either. And rewriting is the dealbreaker for me.

I'll just keep my eyes open for opportunities and write specifically for publications rather than generalized stories at spec. So far, I've found two opportunities--of which one is a partial acceptance and the other is in limbo though the editor has said he's sent rejections. (I sent an email 5 days ago and haven't heard back.)

That story I also liked a great deal. I thought it was very good too. 

Maybe, just maybe, short stories are what I should be doing.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

Found out my other story has been "long-listed." A new term for me. Means it hasn't been rejected "yet, though the vast majority have been." Heh.