Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Lynn and I were chatting the other day...

(An aside: Lynn is not her real name; it's a pen name. That's hardly news. I first met her more than 20 years ago, when we were both in college, and we've been best friends for most of those 20+ years. You would think, with that kind of history, that I would have trouble remembering to use her pen name when I'm talking about her as a writer, but I really don't. I never freeze, fingers poised over the wrong keys, and then correct myself; I never even think her real name when I'm talking about her on this blog or on my Facebook page. She's just Lynn, as if the writer-friend is a completely different person from the best-friend. Sometimes I find it weird, and sometimes I think maybe Lynn is just the name she was always meant to have.)

As I was saying, Lynn and I were chatting the other day and somehow we came to the conclusion that the first phase of our prompt-fic project is done. That is, we've written about all the little ultrashort fiction pieces that we need to write. (Which is good, because I think both of us were starting to run into a bit of a wall on them.)

Phase two is for us to both read through everything and sort it all out. There may be some pieces that, in retrospect, we don't think are good enough to keep. There are a couple that we might decide would be better if we pulled them out and expanded them into standalone works. There's at least one that I left unfinished, that I should complete; and there's an intended series of three that Lynn's only written two of that she should finish up.

While we're at it, we need to decide on a rough order and presentation: the stories range from sweet and simple to edgy and kinky; from contemporary to urban fantasy to science fiction; and we've covered a pretty broad range of sexual identities and orientations. So we need to figure out whether we want to start off slow and sweet and progress to the weirdest and hardest stuff, or just mix it up entirely. Should we segregate sections by sexual pairings, or just assume that, like us, our readers are into a little of everything? Do we put some descriptive keywords (e.g., genders, genre, kink level, explicitness rating) at the top of each to help the reader know what they're getting into? About half of the stories were generated from prompt words -- would it help the reader to know what those words were, or would it just be a distraction?

Lots of things to decide; this phase may actually turn out to be more work than the first one.

Phase three will be much easier -- we'll ship the collection off to the amazing and talented V. L. Locey, who has agreed to do an introduction for us, and we'll edit everything to within an inch of its life.

And then we'll submit it. Phase three is going to take maybe a month. I have no idea how long phase two is going to take, though, because it's much weirder than anything I've ever done before. It would be much easier if Lynn and I could get a day together that's just the two of us (without the kids or menfolk or any other distractions) and sit down face to face and figure it out. Put all the info on notecards and shuffle them around, or something.

And if you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to speak up. Especially if you have an opinion on the ordering and/or keywords/prompt questions above!

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