Six sci-fi stories, I decided.
Six tales of various themes and ideas. Various locations, characters and concepts. Draft, rewrite, retell. Six great stories. Then load them up and fire them at the publishers, one at a time. Careful, calm, steady. Until I finally hit the mark.
Normally, I’d like to think that a great story is all there is to it. But there are things the editors aren’t communicating. Maybe next month’s magazine has a theme they’re looking for. Maybe there’s some element of your tale that bugs them, or maybe someone already published something similar.
Themes. Themes are great. It’s awesome when they have an idea of what they want and can tell you. I’m fairly aware what’s been done before, what’s cliché. I love twisting old ideas into new ones. Hell, that was the beauty of The Black Wind’s Whispers. Old monsters, new tricks. The old is what crafts the new. History writes our future.
My previous publisher spoiled me by flat out telling and explaining what he was looking for, theme wise. And in knowing, I was able to craft tales to his specifications.
But publishers don’t always want to give the game away. I can’t say why… maybe they’re afraid it will stifle creativity. Or they’ll get rehashed with the exact same story by different authors. Black box requirements seem to be the most common aspect of the publishing business.
So six stories. I got one, need five more. Going to organize my stories, sit down and jot up some fresh tales after I finish this fantasy themed tale that’s almost done and due in a week.