Monday, June 24, 2013

Busy weekend

    Editors have been busy the last four days. On Friday one of the beta readers sent me back a huge editing pass of Fire & Frost. Fresh eyes found a few weak points in the story & characters. Revisions are underway. Most of the weakness comes at the front of the story & that has the lion's share of my attention at the moment. Prose snipped [and saved], scenes rewritten, and characters altered. I got the dreaded, this is boring [paraphrasing], on one of the pivotal scenes about halfway through the book. That's been marked for special attention.

    I signed a contract for story #4 [details soon], a story got bumped to the next round, and got a rejection on another submission. The last one wasn't 100% surprising. Not my best prose to date. It's getting filed away & reviewed at a later date to be rewritten or incorporated into another story.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Naming the Story

...or how a simple bumper sticker will drive you crazy.

    Back in November of last year, a writing friend of mine suggested that I write a short story with a very specific theme. I hemmed and hawed, not really committing to anything for various reasons. On the way home from a hockey game, we passed a car chugging up the hill. On the rear window was a bumper sticker that read "Truckstop Darlin". My brain latched on to it and went off the rails. Holy crap did it go into undiscovered country. I had to write it. Had to. After two false starts, I finally nailed the story which turned out very different from the initial concept. A much better story given the feedback I got after sending it off to  people to read.

    But there was a problem. The story didn't fit the name any more, the characters no longer matched the concept. I've since renamed the story and sent it off to a call, but that still leaves me with the name "Truckstop Darlin" and it wants to be used.

    Ever helpful, the writing friend pointed out a horror call about dining establishments. Time to saddle up and see how terrifying I can get.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Busy Times & Catch Up

I've been bad and neglected the blog, so time to change that.

March was a busy month in terms of writing. Three new short stories, a revision of Dead Truth [old short story], and finished the third revision of my Fire & Frost. All for calls due by the end of the month or mid-April. The revisions were rejected to my disappointment. Fire and Frost is sort of my baby, getting refined and expanded upon each time I've gone back to it. One of the short stories was also turned down, as it didn't quite fit the need of the call. The two short stories are ones that stretched me in terms of writing. Both covered subject matter that's both touchy and in one case, the protagonist was not a nice person by anyone's definition.

The good news out of effort came as acceptance for the other two short stories. Both came with a request with minor revisions and suggestions on expansion. The first one got a conditional acceptance pending revisions. Sadly, I can't say which story or call yet, as contracts have not been signed, but damn, it's a good one. Story two is Broken Horn and will be published in November by Alchemy Press in the the anthology "Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac". I wrote about Capricorn, not a sign I was familiar. That was a crash course of reading about the sign and coming up with an interesting twist on the sign. Quite proud of it and the fact that I got an "urban fantasy" story in print sometime in November.

May saw a couple of new stories and quite a few false starts. It also entailed a forth revision of Fire & Frost, adding in 6k words, a new subplot, and expanding existing scenes. I've got a publisher targeted for this version and think [cross fingers] that it fits. If not, I'm turning it into a full length novel. That would mean tripling the word count.

Looking at my list, in the past year of writing I've revised Fire & Frost three times, written over a dozen short stories, sold three, and got a forth pending. Not making me rich, but it's a start.