I waited a couple of days before posting about this, but I just sold another story! While searching for markets one day several months ago I happened across Triangulation: Taking Flight and the theme instantly caught my attention. Five minutes later I was putting aside my current project to open a new file and write the first draft of what would become the 350-word humorous sf flash fiction story “The Reap Assessors”.
As with my first sale, this editor requested minor edits before accepting the story. What I seem to be learning in beginning this seeking-publication process is you have to be willing to chop up your “babies” in order to be paid for getting them out of the nest and flying in the world. Even bits you really like. Which matters more to you–keeping the integrity of your deathless prose as you bled them onto the page, or having 95% of those words reach a wider audience? The answer will mostly likely decide how far your story soars. (And remember, writing for yourself and keeping the deathless prose in the nest is just as valid and potentially satisfying an option, depending on your need.)
While flash fiction doesn’t count toward pro sale status for organizations like SFWA, I had a blastload of fun writing the story and really pleasant correspondence with the editor and am very pleased that it will see print. I’ll post more details here when I have them as to how you, my interested readers, can enjoy the story too.
I’m several pages into Chapter 7 on the novel; the chapters are getting more layered and detailed as I figure this novel-writing process out for myself. The first revision pass will be extremely fun, finding with my first readers all the places to stick more cool bits or fold in more layers or explore the world (and laughing about how bad the first few chapters will look by the end). I am still so far away from being done that it seems forever to the finished draft, so I try not to think about that part too much and just keep writing my scenes.
I really, really love this cast. Like, a lot a lot.
Last night, talking with Steve, he was orating about one of his literary heroes, Roger Zelazny, who (paraphrased) said at one point that he wanted to be half artist, half hack in his writing: able to create great works, but also have someone ask him for an x,xxx-word story about yyy topic and be able to sit down and turn one out. With my usual far-reaching confidence, I casually replied, “Oh, I can do that.”
“All right then. Give me a 5,000 word short story…”
“Is there a time limit? I’m not committing to anything until after I finish this novel.”
“Novel comes first.”
He gave me the topic and left the room. When he returned two minutes later, I had the story premise, idea, main characters, and basic outline ready, and total confidence I could write about it for 5,000 words.
“That was too easy. You’ll have to try harder than that to stump me.”