A short story of my own

May 27th, 2008
Category: Writing

A couple weeks ago I discovered that Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress 23 was open for submissions via e-mail . . . for four more days. I’ve been thinking lately that one of my big regrets from the past few years is that with all of the time and energy I’ve put into Fantasist Enterprises, I have done very little writing of my own. Besides that small burst of creativity roughly this time last year, and a short story I wrote in December, I’ve written nothing more than letters, e-mails, marketing materials, and the occasional blog.

I slid into the publishing business thanks to my love of reading and writing. Story is my passion, and I decided that I wanted to spend my time working with it. I knew I had a lot to learn about writing, and was planning on going to Seton Hill’s writing popular fiction program so I decide to focus on learning about publishing by doing it, and allowing my own writing to simmer on the back burner while I worked. I reasoned that after graduating from Seton Hill, I’d been more accomplished at writing, and could then turn my attention more towards getting published.

Even though I completed a draft of a novel in order to graduate, and I wrote a handful of short stories during school, after graduation, writing just faded away. The bug bit every once in awhile, but never so hard that I really accomplished anything. Seeing that call for submissions really made something click. It’s time that I actually make the time to do some writing of my own.

So I gave myself a challenge. I would write a story to submit to the book, which meant coming up with an idea, writing it, getting someone to proof it, make any final edits, and e-mail it . . . in four days, knowing that I would be working on three of those days.

I placed a link to the webpage about the call for submissions in my Firefox toolbar as a subtle reminder, told a few folks that I would not be as responsive as usual over the next few days, and then did my thing. On the days I worked at my part time job, I ran through scenes in my head and then I would jot down notes and rough blocks of prose during my breaks. I only had Thursday all to myself since there was a lot of work to be done for VEINS on Tuesday. So that meant a few very late nights and early mornings.

I managed to do it. I wrote 37 pages, had Meesh proofread it, did some fine-tuning of my own, and sent it out. I did not have high hopes, and I am sure the story is still rough, but the point is, I gave myself a challenge and I pulled it off.

And yes I got a rejection less than 24 hours later, but I saw that I can write and actually finish stories, and rather quickly. If I could survive on three to four hours of sleep a night indefinitely, I’d be able to churn out a novel every month at that rate.

So my next writing challenge is to finish a novella that I started months ago, and actually send it out to Writers of the Future. From there, I’ll just have to watch out for more interesting anthologies to try and write for.

  1. This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 8:41 pm and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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