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Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

Without going into dreary details, I was suddenly presented (about 10 minutes ago) with an opportunity: did I have a space-based SF short story, size in the 2-3k range, that I was willing to submit?

I turned to my Writing Portfolio spreadsheet (uh, you catalog your stories, don’t you?) set the words column to look for under 3500, and shazaam!  Three good candidates.

I relate this because between now and the end of July, there is no possible way I could write at 2-3000 word story.  As it is, I will have trouble making my Riddled Space deadline of 31 July.  But because, back in July of 2015, I wrote “Command Decision” for a market called The “Gernsback Writing Contest”, got rejected, but never deleted it, I have something to get to the editor tomorrow.

In the writing business, you have to be able to strike when the iron is hot.  It helps if you have a backpack full of ammo, ready to rock and roll, instead of pouring your minie-balls there on the battlefield.

Write.  Write often.  Submit to markets.  Save ALL stories.

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Well, Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, and with it, another 3 Day Novel effort. This year, well, it wasn’t nearly as much satisfying as previous years. I’m not entirely sure why, though.

Maybe it was the length. At 21k, it was my ‘lightest’ effort yet. I don’t quite see how they could ever sell this as a ‘book’–it’s barely 100 pages long. My previous low mark for a 3DN was 25.5k. The story is only going to be as long as the story takes, though. I wasn’t about to fluff it up just so there’s more to read.

Maybe it was my writing speed. My first 3DN, I was running about 1250 WPH, whereas back then, my ‘normal’ pace was 1500. This one was just as slow, but my ‘normal’ speed is really up around 1800 wph. So, instead of going at 80% speed, I was going at 67%. It felt slower, and thus, more painful. I remember thinking I had lost my mojo…I was faster than this!

Finally, there was the subject matter. It was interesting to me, but it lacked something. Maybe because it was the written recasting of a long con that a TV series had explored, based on a movie, itself based on a book. Sure, the setting was novel, but the essential elements were not.

Well, it’s done and submitted, and all I have to do is wait. But I have no illusions–if it was this painful to write, I know it’s going to be painful to read. Well, we’ll know by 1 March.

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Well, the flensing and such stopped dead on the 9th, when I went into Short Story Mode. That happens, and it’s nearly always disasterous to my novel-writing asperations.

It’s OK, though, I’ve got the story done. Now it’s off to my favorite writing group to submit it for critique, and then I’ll be back on the novel by the end of the weekend.

Gotta keep the eye on the prize…

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Well, National Novel Writing Month is over (except for the TGIO party in 11 hours), and I will have a bit more time to devote to writing.  Some status updates are in order:

National Novel Writing Month I am the Municipal Liaison for the Central NJ Region of NaNo.  This involves plenty of things, thus taking time away from writing and other writerly chores.   I also, as the ML, also have to write a 50k novel.  For that, I have chosen to work on expanding my 3DN Riddled Space entry from 2010 to a full-blown novel.  Instead of rewriting it, I chose the strategy of writing bachstory and redoing some scenes, with the intent of redrafting the novel from scratch, pasting it up from those two source documents.  I’ll document how it’s working here.

DOV Test Flight: It was submitted to an agent I met through Pitchaplaooza.  Although they didn’t work in the book’s genre, the pitch appealled to them, and they offered to read it and pass it on.  I got the feedback Thursday, and it was, on the whole, very positive.  Although they and their agency did not deal in SF/Fantasy, I received not only two further references, but permission to use their name when pitching to one of the references.  That is huge.  DOV may still fail to get representation even with that boost up the ladder, but the best part came with the closing line: “You’re a terrific writer and I’m sure you’ll find a good home for this.”  That is the next major task: researching the agents and sending DOV out.

Submissions:  I’ve been exceptionally lax in this area, what with getting DOV flight-ready and doing the whole NaNo ML gig.  But I did generate a Ray Bradbury pastiche that I am moderately fond of, and sent it off with six hours to spare.  I have not been as assiduous with getting my previously rejected works back out on the street, with the exception of my Poe story.  I sent it off to a market with a rather quick turn-around time, but they kept it for about three weeks.  That either meant that they were thiiiiis close to accepting it, or it was stuck behind the electronic filing cabinet and they found it, like a 1943 postcard lost in the post office.  Well, Poe is back, and I’m thinking of where to send it next.

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First Test Flight

DOV has launched on its first test flight!!

OK, what does that mean, in English, please!

In 2007, the plot for DOV fell into my head while I was registering for the National Novel Writing Month.  Not every detail, of course.  Just the major features.  That is what hooked me on writing.

Well, at the end of Nov 2007, I had 50k+ of a pretty interesting work.  But I had other things I had put off during my month of madness.  So, DOV sat.  And sat.  Until 2011.  That’s when the NaNo folks put together their “Camp NaNoWriMo”  I decided to go hardcore, and write for July AND August until I finished the work.  Which I did, weighing in at 160k+  It was filled with duplications, as I rewrote passages from the 2007 work, as well as stuff in July.

Then came the flensing.  The editting.  The tightening.  The passes mentioned in this blog.  All in all, it took nearly a year from August 2011 to have the novel ready to submit.

And now I have.  I am excited, I am terrified.  I have put a lot of time and effort into this work–I just hope it catches the eye of an agent, and from there a publisher.

But DOV has taken wing on its First Test Flight.  I will keep you updated.

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I could list the number of things that got in the way of writing: three birthdays, two rejections, or the post-partum depression that comes from finishing the 3 Day Novel contest.

But they are nothing but excuses.  So, here’s what’s in the offing from the keyboard now through December.:

  • The Book Proposal for the dark comedy Demons on Vacation heads to the agent this week
  • My Poe story heads for one of the quick-turnaround pro markets…gotta get it out for October!
  • My Riddled Space novella will be completely rewritten for National Novel Writing Month this year.  Riddled Space was my 3Day 2010 submission.
  • I have a fantastic pastiche for a contest, deadline is end of November.
  • Although there are five total contests I am interested in, realistically, I’ll probably only hit two of them
  • And, like last year, I am Municipal Liaison for New Jersey’s top region for NaNoWriMo.

Think that’s enough?  Am I slacking?

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Well, here we are.  I’ve been cranking out works and entering competitions for about a year now.  I have a total of two credits.   I had a birthday recently, and got a rejection email at 1am.  I have a total of two in the queue–one to a market that is not responding at all (they might be dead) and the other one is Three Day Novel.  Kinda disheartening, you know?

Then it occurred to me: I have an large stable of work, written and rejected to various contests.  It is easy to consider them as write-offs.  After all, if the theme is orange rabbits, and you write something specifically to that theme, who else would publish it?  Well, I am starting to think that some of these stories would not necessarily be dead losses after all.

I should actually go back and rework those stories, especially since I went to all the trouble of garnering feedback on the stories (as detailled under the tag ‘feedback’)  The editors were kind (and brave) enough to give me feedback, I owe it to them to employ that feedback, rework the story, and submit it elsewhere.

There exist markets with continuously open calls for submissions.  By concentrating only on themed contests, I have missing a significant percentage of the available markets for my work.

I’ve got some work ahead of me….

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