A busy few writing days

It’s been a busy few days for me on the writing front. Along with yesterday’s Society of Editors thing (see previous post) I’ve had a couple of other things cooking as well.

Yesterday I found out I had a deadline of Friday to write a whole new short story up to 1,500 words. So I did that. I was pretty pleased with the story and the writing equivalent of a military strike that I responded to. It’s something that I set in motion ages ago – months and months back. I had a story accepted for publication at House Of Horror, a UK based horror e-zine. At the time I noticed they do this writing duel thing, where two people are given a story theme or prompt and they each write something which is then judged, as far as I understand, by the reading public. If you win you go through to another round.

It sounded like a bit of a laugh and I wasn’t especially busy at the time, so I signed up. Then heard nothing. I forgot all about it. Yesterday I got an email telling me that I had until Friday to send in my story of up to 1,500 words. The theme was “something written on a tombstone”. So, no pressure.

I decided to just start something right there and then, or I might never get under way. The theme fired off a little idea in my head right off the bat, so I thought I’d get a skeleton of the story written. A couple of hours later and I had a whole story, just under 1,500 words and I think it’s really quite good. I’m rather pleased with it. It needs polishing and tightening, but I’ve got a couple of days now before I have to sub it on Friday. I’ll let you know when it’s up for reading/voting or whatever.

I’ve also just resubmitted a story that an editor asked for a redraft on. It’s awesome when you submit to any market and get some feedback with your rejection. It’s even better when you get an email back expressing interest in the piece and asking for a redraft taking certain editorial suggestions into account. Obviously, that’s far better than a rejection, however nice the rejection is, and second only to an actual sale.

So I sat on the editor’s comments for a while. Ruminated, planned, made some notes. Then I redrafted the whole story. Then I let it sit there again for a while. Then I went through it again and gave it another spit and polish. Then I sent it off to the crit group that I’m a part of and asked for their help and suggestions. They came back with several pointers and I redrafted again with that in mind. It’s a really satisfying process, as the story is way better now than when I originally submitted it. And I’d really like to get into this particular antho, so I hope the editor is a fan of the redraft.

Fingers crossed on both counts.

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7 thoughts on “A busy few writing days

  1. That’s the beauty of being a seat-of-the-pants writer, Alan, you don’t need to plan and plan and plan…like me.

    Good luck with the House of Horror mag and the other project you mentioned. Hope you go far with both.

  2. Thanks Karen. I tend to oscillate between seat of the pants stuff and planning. But I always plan long fiction. Short stories, especially with a word count this low, will often involve diving right in and seeing what happens!

  3. Jen – will do.

    ganymeder – Thanks. Those badges are cool, but not sure I want to be known as a pantser!

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