Monday, February 07, 2005

Back and Fill

A blast from the past. "Wolf Moon" is now back on my rewrite list. This is one from long, long ago, one of the first stories I ever wrote. I still love it. This is the first story that ever woke me up at night demanding to be written RIGHT NOW!!!! I finally gave in at 3am and knocked out 1200 words (basically a detailed summary) in about 2 hours. Went back the next day and fleshed it out some.

"Wolf Moon" has a mythic feel to it, and is written in an apocalyptic style that seldom comes to me. When it does, the results are usually very good. The story needs a lot of work, but I think the end result will be worth it. At 1800 words, it is still not much more than an outline, but I think I can handle it now that I can write actual dialogue (well, OK, "attempt" to write dialogue! :p ) and have some grasp of scenes and character development.

This all came about while I was doing some browsing on Ralan's Webstravaganza. Not looking for anything special, just poking around to see what's new. I looked in the "Anthologies" listing on a whim (I don't usually look at them, I don't know why) and saw the listing for Vintage Moon. The connection was immediate. "Wolf Moon" is a werewolf tale set in Scandinavia during Viking times. This is one I really look forward to whipping into shape.

Raising My Sights?

A friend, one whose opinion I value, asked me over the weekend why I keep submitting to low-paying markets instead of going for the big markets first, then working my way down. A very good question. The fundamental answer: confidence. I don't see myself as being a good enough writer to break into the big markets yet. Yet. I have always been methodical, preferring to start from the bottom and work from a strong foundation.

That may not be such a good idea in this field. How will I ever know if I'm good enough if I never try? I think I'll modify that strategy some and look at the stars first, then bring my sight back Earthward if it whould not work out. I'm sure-as-Hell not getting anywhere stuck down here in Amateur Hell.

Required Reading

I've been reading Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea. This is the book that some members of the SFWA used to scam PublishAmerica. It's available at Lulu.com for $11.95 and all proceeds go to the SFWA's Emergency Medical Fund. It's worth every penny.

I have only made it through Chapter 5 so far. I have to stop frequently and let my eyes dry and my sides stop hurting. This is by far the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, wonderful, fantastically awful writing ever. It should be required reading for every person who would dare to call themselves a writer. These writers do not just break the rules, they shatter them, grind them to dust, burn the dust, and scatter the ashes. Characters change names, verbs change tenses, adjectives and adverbs cavort across the page in Dionysian abandon. I understand that there is at least one instance where a character suddenly changes gender, but I have not seen that yet. Something to look forward to.

I highly recommend this book. It is one of the most hilarious I have read in a long, long time.

2 Comments:

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Holly said...

Here's a rule of thumb on markets. If you're selling most of what you submit, you're either aiming too low, or, if you're at the top of the food chain, you're selling like magic.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

A while back a writer friend asked me the same question. Like you, I had the same "start at the bottom" philosophy. I too adjusted my "submitting policy" and decided to start at the most suitable top markets and work my way down. d:)

 

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