04 December 2007 by Published in: writing No comments yet

I owe a state of the writing entry at some point, but this is not that. This is notekeeping about short pieces.

Things subbed to markets:

  • Another Boot (flash)
  • Stranger’s Child
  • Three Second Memory
  • Peeling Off The Pale

That’s the most things I’ve ever had out at one time, though I’ve had four things out at various points during 2007, but this time around none of those four things is “Hindsight”, which after more than two years of being almost the only thing I sent out and ten markets has officially been retired. I’m getting better at sending things out. Tea-leaf market reading at Duotrope says both “Stranger’s Child” and “Three Second Memory” have been at their markets longer than the average time for a rejection but ehhh, that doesn’t mean much, does it? I’m probably in for a couple of those “almost bought this” rejections that my stuff seems to be accruing lately.

Things that need to be polished and sent out:

  • Easier Next Time
  • Would Be Super (flash)
  • Lie Down With Dogs
  • How I Lost My Nissan 350Z

I pulled out “Easier Next Time” yesterday and realized with dismay it isn’t flash, as I believed, and also guh, it’s not speculative but is somewhat fluffy (as opposed to serious and significant) and I have no idea where to send it. Still, fixes first, markets second. It would be awesome if I got these four things out before the end of 2007. If I do all four of these, I can potentially double the items I am, as a friend says, “sending away for rejection letters.”

Things that are setting a while before edits which I believe I’m capable of:

  • Adding to Naught
  • El Vientre
  • The Genocide Hotel (temp title)

Things that are broken and I’d like to fix, but I’m not sure how:

  • Far From The Tree
  • Nine-Tenths
  • Found Objects
  • Loyal Companion

Things that are unfinished, but I mean to complete, soon as I figure out what goes next:

  • the bleak angel story
  • both failed slushbombs, the first one and the cooperative one
  • the one about the messages in the margins, so long as it isn’t “Found Objects” again (and I can’t tell yet)
  • the one about the camp kid building the voodoo doll
  • the one in the file called tattoocode.txt
  • the Chelia backstory one
  • a testing waters story in the new world I’m harboring, probably about carnaval
  • the post-apocalyptic segregated gender story
  • the one about the kid who reads the dying stars

There’s a lot left to write, even without digging into the idea file, which is itself voluminous. I suppose I can stop thinking of myself as someone who doesn’t have a lot of ideas. None of these sort of started stories are entered into the database. Key them in with “Started”, willya? Also, this is not exhaustive of the drabbles on the hard drive (or in paper! Ignore the paper!). I just mentally checked whether I was engaged with the idea represented in the file right this second, and left the others unlisted.

Things I mean to write but have not actually started:

  • the story about the ponies for Sophia (needs to be about 300 words, full plot and girl arc)
  • linked 55 word stories, a half a dozen or so (for Sophia)
  • standalone 55 word stories, another half dozen, YA slant
  • the VP Evil Overlord story, because really, it was an assignment, wasn’t it?

Things that are broken and shelved for now:

  • Egghead Kingdom
  • Ennui (suitable for mining, I think, together with Hindsight into some new monstrous whole)

Things that are shelved:

  • How Does Your Garden Grow (it’s not a strong enough story…I’m not happy enough with it)
  • Hindsight (also not a strong enough story, plus it’s been to ten markets! I will dismantle it and steal the good bits)
  • Olympus (aka the speculative version of Adding to Naught. I’m going to mine this at some point but it will never see light as it is)
  • My Viable Paradise Titanic story (it’s not very good, and that’s being kind)

Things that have sold:

  • The Way Before (flash)

Stories on the various lists which I wrote this year: Stranger’s Child, Three Second Memory, Would Be Super, Adding to Naught, El Vientre, The Genocide Hotel, The Way Before. There are no stories I wrote this year that are not represented. This inventory tells me that my stories are coming out less broken than they used to…so I must have internalized some author toolbox stuff, though I wouldn’t have known that from the writing itself. I’ve felt much less productive this year than last, and though I made less novelistic progress, I do appear to be regularly writing short stories so maybe I shall be less hard on myself about wordcount. Fewer words but the right words has greater value than the raw number of words, at least to me. I long to write brief anyway, so why tell myself I need to put in more words? (Amusing aside, I was given a very stern crit on “The Genocide Hotel” about not being afraid to add in more words. I always prefer winnowing to fattening. I wrote the recommendation down, so I would take it seriously). Examining the list(s) also tells me that I need stories to sit about six to nine months between writing and polishing. That’s a huge lag time and I’m going to have to figure out a way to shorten it (“Stranger’s Child” and “Three Second Memory” did not seem to need that long to steep, but “Three Second Memory” had been in my head a long time, and I cribbed plot for “Stranger’s Child” – uh, I mean it’s an homage). I think I will use wordcount tracking for novel progress and completion tracking for short pieces. Thus, I started and finished seven things this year. That’s fewer than I would like (but more than I expected). Also, if this exercise has been reliable, less of what I write needs to be discarded than I thought, and most of what does need to be discarded is stuff from my first year writing. Note to self, it’s easier to see progress when you make a list (or series of lists).


Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress