Wednesday, November 2, 2011


After last week's Flash Bang quickie story, I felt sufficiently distanced from the original WIP to go back to it and do a read-through. So I read through it Wednesday evening, found a few things to polish, and then I sent it off to my two faithful beta readers.

Lynn shredded it. I mean, it was bleeding by the time I got it back. But most of her shredding was minor and easy to fix -- spots where I'd gotten a little too fond of a word and overused it; places where I started actions instead of just doing them (a bad habit of mine -- you should not say your character "began" or "started" anything unless they're about to have that action interrupted); places where I spent too much time describing where people were looking instead of what they were seeing (another bad habit of mine)... Like that. Cosmetic stuff and habit-breaking, the editor's equivalent of slapping my hands down before I can chew on my nails. Nothing big, like, "this character is completely unlikeable" (which was a risk, because the POV character is a bit of an ass, especially at the beginning) or "cute scene, but does this story have any plot at all?" or "this scene is completely unbelievable; need to reconsider the character's motivation and try again." (And the reason Lynn is my favorite beta reader is that I trust that she would tell me those things.) So it was a good shredding, it felt like putting a good polish on a solid story.

(My other beta reader, lacking Lynn's motivation of needing to work off some stress, was much less critical, though no less appreciated.)

So I spent some time Saturday cleaning and polishing, and then I tossed it over the fence to Torquere. Sunday morning, I got the standard "thank you for your submission" email that they send out just to verify that it was received, and then Sunday night I got an acceptance email.  (Apparently, Sunday is when they read through new manuscripts. So my Saturday submission was well-timed.)

Yesterday morning I signed the e-contract, and I got the completed contract in my email last night, so now it's official! I don't have a publication date yet, but I'll be sure to tell you when I do. It's a contemporary novelette (about half the length of One Mind or Safe Harbor) called "Assumption of Desire" and features the doppelganger of a young man I met at the Roanoke Pride festival.

Now I need to figure out what to do next! The foremost candidates are "Foxfur," a 2/3-finished fantasy novella that needs a lot of polishing; "Next Thursday Night", a barely-started contemporary that's probably a short; and "State of Mind," a plotted but not-yet-started novella in the same world as Of One Mind. Which one would you be most interested in? Let me know in the comments -- and leave me some flash fiction prompts!

1 comment:

  1. Oh believe me, I won't not tell you if you ever write something I don't like. But you already knew that. I think it's funny, sometimes, how as writers we spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not a beta reader is trying to be "nice." And sometimes I worry about NOT being nice, in my comments. My sarcasm comes through pretty hard in places, especially when I'm getting frustrated with seeing the same mistake. (Even not necessarily in YOUR work. I see something that annoys me in your writing and realize that I do it TOO and I need to go back and take it all out, like my love affair with ellipses.)