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