Tag Archives: Sci Fi

A Gift to Readers?

giftI’m going to follow Brandon Sanderson’s¬†example yet again, I think. That is, if you approve. Feedback is crucial.

Brandon wrote a free novel to his fans, for no other reason than…so they could read it. It isn’t published by a publisher, it’s available for download directly from his website.

My brother (whose name is also Brandon) suggested I do something akin to this early in the site’s development.

Of course, manuscripts of my work-for-publication are available to friends, family, agents, and editors for free, but they are deliberately kept private and unpublished as I endeavor to have them put into print. They’re stories for sale to magazine editors, not free to public.

I have no delusions that I can boast Sanderson’s readership; his free e-book novel was written only after he’d published a couple of critically acclaimed novels. (But he wrote 11 unpublished novels even before those.)

But I think a “free” project for readers would be an enjoyable project for me in several respects.

  1. It will be one project I can enjoy without the angst of submitting for publication.
  2. It will give me a consistent “writing for an audience” feel which is so much more motivating than just plugging along as though writing is busy-work.
  3. If you like it, and you tell your friends about it, it will give some measure of exposure through the web.

All in all, I like the concept and I’d love to go forward with it.

The remaining question is…what to write?

One of the story ideas already listed? Fantasy? Sci-fi? Horror? You decide. Feel free even to suggest plotlines and characters at this point. Throw something out there, and if I like it, I’ll pick it up and run with it. Just be aware that they will be no royalties for either of us with this one. And of course, if you’re self-conscious about posting your ideas publicly, you can always email them instead.

Busted!

So Megan called me out for not updating the site more often, and Stephen commented no food til I finish another story.

Although I regret not having written more this weekend, I think fasting until I complete another project is a little on the extreme end.

Some points to ponder as I start the next week:

  • What makes a good fantasy? My father-in-law just finished Well of Ascension (Brandon Sanderson) and enjoyed it but for a few criticisms. Likewise I just finished Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings and pretty much hated it. I can’t even put my finger on why. But until I discovered Sanderson, I was fed up with all fantasy. It seems that feeling remains except for Sanderson. But Bruce assures me there’s nothing very different about Sanderson as an author.
  • Pondering the above point makes me wonder what the heck I’ll do with Echoes of Prophecy.
  • For my current project, I’m debating a title change. Second Chances captures a central idea as well as Instant Replay, and has a more mystical ‘feel’ to it, as opposed to the latter title, which has a more gritty sci-fi sound to it.
  • Got some emailed feedback on Perfect Justice from a buddy in training before he deploys to Iraq. Like all who read it before him, he pointed out the repeated scenes are … well … too repetitive. That’s why when a writer argues with his/her feedback, it rarely helps — the next reader (or the next 50) may have the same reaction. Duh.
    • On the other hand, you can’t always please everyone. That’s why feedback from multiple sources is so valuable. It allows you to sift through comments which are a matter of personal taste, and which comments EVERYONE made because they refer to deeper problems with the story.
  • A co-worker also looked at Perfect Justice — surprisingly. He was thrilled by the title, but complained about the flow.
  • This kinda motivates me to go back and rework it.
  • Now I feel like I have too many balls in the air, but it’s a good problem to have. I’d much rather juggle too many projects than too few.
  • I should set a deadline for Instant Replay Second Chances. But what? I have an insanely busy week at work, so this weekend is unrealistic, but the following weekend feels way too far away.

It’s away

I hashed out typos/misprints one more time (there were still some nobody caught yet — unfortunately I’ll probably find more again tomorrow) and then spent about 90 minutes researching preferred hardcopy submission formats, spent 40 minutes formatting and printing, and finally put the whole manuscript together with a SASE and addressed a large manila envelope.

Woman’s Best Friend will soon be on its way to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for review.

It’s weird to have stage fright for something you won’t hear back on for two months, minimum, but I do. Boy do I. I’m more frightened than Naomi was.

What’s most important is that I get another story finished and submitted LONG before I hear back about this one. If this story is 3 or 4 stories behind me, all of my excitement and energy will be focused on current projects, and a rejection for this one will hardly matter (continuing that cycle indefinately until a work is purchased).

The next project actually will be none of the prior ideas I mentioned, but a whole other pair of ideas I mentally married earlier today. I think I’m going to wait until tomorrow to tell you, though, but my non-geek fans will be pleased it’s another modern thriller instead of outright sci-fi or fantasy.

Step aside, Dean Koontz.

Woman’s Best Friend: What we know so far

The Bad

There are a number of missing words…11 or so. It’ll be nice to get these corrected before the story is submitted for publication.

I used the wrong version of “emergency” (oops).

Some transitions have gotten mixed reviews.

The Good

I made a few corrections prior to sending it out — the things I corrected have not been named as concerns, so this makes me think 1. the corrections worked and 2. they weren’t obvious (or jarring).

The best thing I’ve heard so far is that this story kept people guessing. In truth, I was afraid it would be too predictable, given the title.

Still Wondering

Hopefully (nobody has stated this explicitly), this means the story was also suspenseful.

My #1 goal writing WBF was, “Write something suspenseful.” I hope that it was also a little scary.

I haven’t decided where to submit it yet. It clearly isn’t right for Analog or Asimov’s, my first two submissions went to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy is always requesting more sci-fi…this might fit that request but I doubt it. I could try and outright horror magazine, but my fear would be that this story isn’t scary enough for an outright ‘horror’ audience.