Originally, I was going to post when I accomplished something BIG in terms of my writing. Well, there’s not always going to be something BIG every month, and since I want to at least do monthly writing updates, I need to post whether I’ve got something big or not.
When last we left off, I’d sent off Magic Elves [codename] to my beta reader and was waiting on feedback. I’d also sent off my short story to the C.C. Finlay edited edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and I getting ready to work on a short story for the Women Destroy Science Fiction! edition of Lightspeed.
So let’s start there:
1) Got my feedback on Magic Elves and did a brainstorming session with my beta reader about revising. Got some great stuff, and I’m trying to work this into a synopsis/brainstorming guide for revisions. This is something I’m working on for my upcoming workshop, and it’s due March 5th. I started out writing a long, detailed synopsis, and that was just sucking any sort of energy or joy I might’ve had for it, so it’s time to go back to the drawing board. I keep thinking I have enough time, but I don’t: like I said, it’s due March 5th. Between that and taxes, there’s plenty to keep me busy.
2) My short story for F&SF was rejected, and that’s okay. Sure, I was bummed out, but honestly, that’s the best rejection I’ve ever gotten, particularly for that story. It’s a strange piece that straddles the line between fantasy and literary fiction, and I’ve submitted it to both markets. The irony, or funny thing, or whatever, is that both markets always say it isn’t for them and to try the OTHER market. It’s a piece I still love, and I suspect that if I can’t find a home for it, I may end up self-publishing it on my site. That’s a long way off into the future, but it’s something I’m keeping in my back pocket.
Also fascinating was Finlay’s blog post talking about what the submission process was like and what he learned from it. Very interesting: if you’re a writer, you should read this, whether not or you submitted to the Finlay issue of F&SF.
3) I ended up deciding not to submit to Lightspeed magazine. There were lots of reasons: A) the story I ended up deciding on had the serious potential to spiral into a novel, and I knew if I didn’t write it and let it be what it wanted, if I tried to force it into a certain word count, it’d be a crappy story. B) I also didn’t have enough time to get it written, get it out to critiquers, give them enough time to read and respond, and get it back in time to make proper revisions and get it back out. C) The issue was highly competitive. Very few slots were given to previously unpublished stories, and I knew that established authors had a far better chance at those slots than I would, someone who’s not been published, which led me to D) my submission wouldn’t just be considered for the Women Destroy Science Fiction! Issue, but also any issues thereafter. Which meant, really, there was no hurry. I wanted to focus on getting Magic Elves ready to start before I turn to a project that might or might not be a novel. Also, it’ll give me time to E) really get to know Lightspeed as a market. I submitted to the Kickstarter, and for my efforts I’ve got a yearlong subscription to the mag. This will give me plenty of fiction to chew on and figure out whether or not it’s really the right market for my work. And that’s a good thing.
So now that we’ve caught up there, what have I been doing? Well, if you saw yesterday’s post, you know my focus has been shot. I’ve spent part of my time reading Karl Iglesias’ Writing for Emotional Impact. This was homework from my beta reader, so I did that before attempting any work on my synopsis for the revised book. And, as I mentioned before, I’ve made a few stabs, but in truth, I’ve not accomplished much since January 13th. It is what it is: I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’ve got lots to do between now and the end of March, some of it writing-related, some of it not, and the way I figure, I’m just going to go with the flow.