Week 7 begins in a mild depression. I think this is mostly a result of disappointment in myself for not working harder these last few weeks. I have so many projects hanging over me. Rather than diffusing my effort, this should inspire me to be more efficient with my time. I’m floundering, for sure.
Saturday: For Week 7 I’ve chosen to go into my really ancient story files and re-approach a character I wrote about some twenty years ago. I still recall him and I don’t quite know why. The story was not terribly memorable. For the market, I’m targeting one of the Holy Grails of my journey: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.
In general, we’re looking for “character oriented” stories, those in which the characters, rather than the science, provide the main focus for the reader’s interest. Serious, thoughtful, yet accessible fiction will constitute the majority of our purchases, but there’s always room for the humorous as well. Borderline fantasy is fine, but no Sword & Sorcery, please. Neither are we interested in explicit sex or violence. A good overview would be to consider that all fiction is written to examine or illuminate some aspect of human existence, but that in science fiction the backdrop you work against is the size of the Universe.
Sunday: I worked primarily on last week’s story. Still no ending.
Monday: I talked about my story idea for this week with Sue and she had a good tweak that pulled my thoughts on it into a neat line and turned it from Dark Fantasy to SF, which I much prefer. This has real potential if I can summon the skill to write it well. I don’t actually think it’s a one week story, so my goal will be to get the bones of it onto the page this week.
Tuesday: I wrote my literary fiction for the week and worked through some Triangulation slush.
Wednesday: Today I plotted the first half of the story and worked through major setting and character details. Turns out the only thing I’ll keep from the original story is the character that initially interested me. NOTHING else is the same. I suspect that’s a good sign.
Thursday: Happy to report I sat at the keyboard this morning and banged away for a good 3-4 hours. Churned out 8 pages single-spaced background notes for this week’s story and finally got through chapter 6 of the fantasy rewrite. Tonight I did my first open mic reading in Youngstown (at least of my own work). Glad to say the microfictions got a nice reaction, with one person seeking me out later to say how much he liked them. That felt good, but to tell the truth I didn’t get a buzz from the stage stuff. I like listening to others, but all that attention does nothing much for me. I must be strange that way. Sue, on the other hand, eats it up (she’s great up there on stage). Her satiric poems had the crowd rolling in the aisles.
Friday: I worked for 3-4 hours again today, mostly on the fantasy novel. I also wrote a new literary flash (200 words). I’ve got a sense of the Asimov’s story, but not that crucial first sentence. I subbed a story to Allegory, and several micros to literary markets this week, so I’m technically on tack for W1S1.
Saturday: I wrote flash fiction and worked through edits of a story from earlier in the week. I also worked on Triangulation submissions lest I fall too far behind.