The last couple of weeks I have been writing on and off, working my way through some short stories. I have two pieces out for submission right now that I am excited about and hope to get back this week. Most importantly my writing and my outlook on short fiction are revitalized. I am 100% into the pulp revolution and digging deep into old Fantasy fiction. The community inspired by Jeffro’s Appendix N, the discussions, the debates, and the reading recommendations, is hands down some of the best writing inspiration I have ever come across. I’m excited to take all this inspiration and put it down on paper, bringing my own ideas and concepts to the table.
My spirit animal.
Right now I’m aiming for some fast and heavy writing. My short term goal is to submit to Writers of the Future and The Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. Both contests have an April 1st deadline. That means I need to sit down and knock out up to 25,000 words in the next two weeks. An achievable goal, but one that will be tough with my work schedule.
My mid-term goal, one that I want to accomplish by the end of the year is the indy release of a short story collection. I want to put out a 40,000 to 60,000-word collection, of my pulpiest fantasy stories. I want to do it indy and punk rock garage band style. I’m already putting together some outlines, picking my favorite topics, and coming up with some crazy crap. The pulp rev guys have inspired me, especially reading Hernstrom’s Thune’s Vison. A badass, indy published collection of fantastic stories.
I plan on having a productive spring and summer.
The first thing I noticed when I woke up on Saturday was the blinking light on my phone. A message! I rolled over, picked it up, and went straight to my Gmail app.
Thank you for the opportunity to read “The Birthday Party.” Unfortunately, your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now.
I am now officially an aspiring wannabe writer.
Of course, I was a bit bummed that my dream of having the first story submitted being hailed as a masterpiece is now a bittersweet memory.
I spent the rest of the weekend on the couch watching True Detective and drinking canned Highballs. This week I’m editing my next story for submission and also re-sending the last one.
One of the pieces will go to Writers of the Future. I enjoy the anthology every year and the type of stories favored tend to align with my taste a lot more than most SFF magazines.
The Challenge so far:
- The Birthday Party – SciFi 3,000 words – hanging out
Accepted: 0 Rejected: 1 Total Submissions: 1
Last year, August 16th, 2015 to be precise, I made the following post The Magnificent Seven Challenge. The idea was simple. Write seven short stories, submit them, and track the whole process.
I failed miserably. My writing output has been hovering between zero and nothing. Depressing situation. Quite miserable. Demotivating. Deplorable. Dastardly. Unexcusable!
But things are different now! Yes. I decided that I can no longer afford to stall. I buckled down, took a deep breath, and put thought to paper. I finished, edited, and submitted my first(I’m not counting my WotF submission) short story.
Tomorrow I will start on the next piece and eagerly await my first rejection.
The Challenge so far:
- The Birthday Party – SciFi 3,000 words – submitted
Accepted: 0 Rejected: 0 Total Submissions: 1
I hope one of them lives to ride off into the sunset.
Challenges, I love challenges! I find it fun and motivating to set a goal and hold myself to it as much as possible. Weightlifting challenges, fitness challenges, reading challenges, hiking challenges, the whole idea of setting a bar and trying to get over it is a great way to accomplish goals. Many years ago I came across the NaNoWriMo month challenge and thought it was a great idea to get motivated. Unfortunately, the month-long format does not work for my lifestyle and November has been a really busy month for me throughout the years.
So in order to motivate myself to write more, finish more, and send out completed works I decided to invent my own personal challenge. The Magnificent Seven Challenge!
- Write Seven completely edited short stories.
- Send them out for publication.
- Track the whole process on this blog keeping track of word count and submitting status.
Why short stories? Well, I have so many ideas floating around in my head waiting to be put down on paper and I feel that giving a voice to some of them will allow me to grow as a writer. While I am currently putting together research and outlines for my larger project I really want to branch out and explore different genres, styles, and try to shape my voice as a writer. Also, the idea of tracking each story and writing about the process here sounds like a lot of fun to me and hopefully will keep me motivated.
The main goal of this project is to motivate myself to finish all the different writing pieces I start instead of bouncing around from half-finished draft to half finished draft. When the seven stories are complete I should have about 40,000 words written matching the NaNo goal. That alone will be a good amount of practice and should let me explore my writing style. The dream goal, of course, is that one or two of them will ride off into the sunset and get picked up by somebody.
Well, partners, I’m off to write my first story.