Bitch-Space: 30 April 2024

I wrote and submitted a short story all in the same day. It’s fucking scary. I’m still firmly in the “the story fucking sucks” phase of the writing process, which is not conducive to confidence when sending a story to a paying market… for other people to judge. But hey, I did it.

As well, I guess it gives me less time to second guess myself and (potentially) talk myself out of submitting the story, which is what happened with ‘Old Ink’, although ‘Old Ink’ will get sent to the mailing list, so there’s that.

Still, I should celebrate the fact that I wrote almost 1000 words (albeit words I kinda, sorta practiced last night) and sent them off within the space of twelve hours. That’s pretty awesome. And now, now I’m keeping shit going by writing Bitch-Space. Look at me go!

A little wrap up on the writing process; was it hard? What blocked/stopped me from writing faster? What helped the words flow?

The start of the piece was the most difficult, that initial 15-minute sprint felt a little like pulling teeth, even though I accomplished just under 300 words in that time. The non-sprinting part (~200 words) was much longer although it didn’t really feel painful, just slow. Was it fun? It wasn’t un-fun, but it also wasn’t a glorious rush.

The last 400-500 words came fast. I wrote them in the span of two 15-minute blocks and they seemed to flow easier, as if the time spent on the first half loosened the muscles for the second. Or, perhaps that was because I was recreating the words I lost last night in the first half? That’s a point.

The critical voice was present for a lot of the first 400 words, were I was establishing location and character, but not so much for the last part. Again, I think some of that is due to me recreating the words, but… I don’t know. I was also conscious of making the story sword and sorcery enough to be not be laughed out of the submission pile.

That last line is ALL critical bitch, and I’m not sure what I can do about it. I mean, it’s true, I’m totally unsure about how S&S the piece is because a) I don’t really read S&S and b) this is my first time trying to write S&S. The bitchiness in that statement comes from the “laughed out of the pile” part of the phrase. Honestly, if I’ve missed the mark, the editors are just going to ignore it, send me a form rejection (they’re not even going to comment on it) and move on to the next submission. It’s not like they’re going to tell me that they’ve never read anything so ridiculous in all their life. They’re just going to forget me.

There’s some comfort in that, more comfort than terror at least.

And hey, I wrote my first S&S story. It was practice, me trying out a new genre, expanding my horizons and skills. That’s awesome, that’s progress. Add to that the whole written and submitted in under twelve hours shit and that’s freaking brilliant. Go me! I get a gold star!

I’m going to keep reading about S&S and see where it takes me, then I’m going to read about other niche genres and see where those take me. It’s all about the professional development, baby.

Anyways… It’s the mid-Bitch slump and I’m not sure what to type about.

The AWC Furious Fiction thing was not good for the inner bitch. Well okay, that’s a lie, it was good for the bitch, it wasn’t so good for beating the bitch into submission. She took the non-mention of Parachute by the teeth and made a meal out of it, which didn’t help with the jitters around ‘Blood & Bells’. 

I guess this latest submission was good for a number of reasons, helping me conquer the bitch.

Will I do Furious Fiction again? I think I should, if for no other reason than to smash the bitch in the face. In fact, I think I should keep doing Furious Fiction, and hope they never select one of my pieces, just to stick it to the bitch. Surely she’ll get sick of making a meal out it at some point. Right?

Yep, I think that’s a bonza idea, if a little rough on the ego, but still, all part of the learning curve. 

Who knows, maybe it’ll help with the longer-form writing as well. I mean, it should, it’s all writing, it’s just that the only person judging the long-form stuff is me… and my readers, but I’m kinda (mostly) okay with that.

I guess that means I should also keep an eye out for more paying flash fiction markets. They’re a good chance to hone my short-form skills and get those “I submitted a story” runs on the board without investing a fuckload of time, allowing me to keep on top of Short Bits and WiW.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this last year (I was going to say “earlier” but I did, right around the time I wrote Parachute, this is just the first time that I’ve written the thought down).

So, yay, and added bonus, I have content for the secret notification list (if you’re reading this and you’re wondering what I’m talking about… email me, it’s a secret after all, can’t go blabbing it to the world). They’ll be happy. Also… microstories*? Good thought.

*What the fuck’s a mircostory, you ask… it’s another name for a short story coined by Joe Solari in his book, Advantage.

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