More to Come

Yesterday night, I finished my final short story of the year for The Black Wind’s Whispers although the page count really stretched the definition of “short.”

The length is bothersome, but it was critical to make a sharp story to explain the origin of the driving plot device. My first draft was summarily rejected. So I struggled to improve the power of the story. This took legitimate research and expounding on details, and the end result hogged word length more than I intended. Perhaps there will be cuts.

Based on certain definitions, the tale is somewhere between a short story and novella. I am debating either reducing its length or cutting it into two parts and separating them somewhere within the anth. I know a good spot within the story to do just that. I will discuss our strategy with the editors soon.

I will be fighting hard to get the book published probably late next week. In the mean time, I got to push the contract out tonight (no more delays on that).

With five (perhaps six) stories under my belt, I think I’ll finish the year by shooting a few more rejections at Every Day Fiction (and learning patience from their critiques). Research a few publishers and see what’s cooking. Then fail to complete a novel for NaNoWriMo, and by fail I mean probably not even start.

I leave for London tomorrow. I may or may not post once more before then. Expect a few BLW pictures when I return.

Pre-New Years Week

Just because I wasn’t updating doesn’t mean I wasn’t writing.

There’s no such thing as a holiday when innovation and inspiration alike strike. So I’ve been stockpiling a few reviews for this week, and putting aside a few thoughts to develop into story stoking theories. But first, a little news.

So last month, I put down the starting ideas for a new novel for the Black Library submission window that opens in the coming year. We have approximately five months before it opens and eight before it closes. That seems like a lot of time, but the best proof readers don’t normally read up about the Imperium. So we’re stuck with the tricky task of ensuring our writing fits the canon and background as well as proofing and editing, often by ourselves.

Laying the foundation for a novel is no easy task. We need a well thought out chapter outline no more than six pages, and three superbly written starting chapters of at least 10,000 words. That could easily run a tab of around 20,000 words, about the length of four to six short stories (or more if flash fiction).

That is a tremendous exertion of writing effort. Not only because of the sheer quantity of words, but also because the stories are not reusable. The setting of the Imperium cannot be taken to another publisher. So we boltholers are better off developing one hell of a great story, instead of stringing together dozens of piddly ones that end up rejected anyway.

That’s why many of us crazy folks have been working on the next submission window since the last one ended. Although I have the makings of a Warhammer 40,000 short story and novel set aside, I’d like to contribute at least one Warhammer fantasy short story.

Which brings us to subject two. I had taken to writing my own original work to try and craft an ebook anthology of three sword and sorcery pieces. I’ve looked up two editors I can trust and am looking for a cover artist. But this is moot if I don’t finish the tales in time. As excited as I am for the Black Library window, this takes priority.

One of the three stories is nearly finished. I have some other pieces I am considering for the second slot. But I’ll likely create two new stories to fill this anthology.

Next bit.  Thanks to Lord Lucan, I got suckered into writing for a horror/western anthology for the Naked Snake Press, delaying me even further. Thankfully though, I’ve already finished and proofed the story. I’m having a few more eyes glance over it before I submit it.

Finally, as my last story for Every Day Fiction was rejected, I’ve started and finished a new one.

I’m going to update my publishers lists with a few new links now.

Rejection and Victory

Well at least you succeeded in SOMETHING during your miserable life!

Well at least you succeeded at SOMETHING in your miserable life!

So I received another rejection letter, although this one was from Every Day Fiction.

To my surprise however, they gave the story I submitted three full reviews by three editors. The reviews were extensive enough for a 700 word flash fiction story involving a game at the office.

The reviews arrived at relatively similar conclusions. They all seemed to enjoy the beginning, the overall idea and the humor. But at least two out of three editors took issue with the overall reaction of this one character against the setting. As I read their reactions, I came to realize that the rejection letter is far, far more valuable than the story itself.

You see, a story that is successfully published is like a hypothesis confirmed. It’s ideal, but doesn’t really teach anything or lead to any new discovery, like a writer’s weaknesses. Many publishers do not bother with full reviews like this one, which often leaves large numbers of befuddled and anxious writers.

As I read the review, I understood what they were getting at. The idea itself is gold, but the execution needs work. Based on what I gathered, I suspect that my third story, a spiritual/religious pagan piece, will probably be rejected on grounds of being confusion. However, the second story about a guy on a date probably still has a chance to succeed.

For now, I’ll put this one on the back burner and try to re-cultivate the idea into something that better fits the setting. It shouldn’t take long, but once finished it’ll have to be resubmitted and go through another two and a half months of occupying the slush pile.

On the flip side, the internet meme above relates to a victory I took from a friend in a game of table top Warhammer 40k, using only 17 words. How, you ask? Well, to understand you’ll have to read the following dialogue.

He2etic: “And someday soon, I will kill you all at the BLL and Gamesday with my Black Legionnaires.”

Shadowhawk:  “I don’t have any army anymore so that might be a bit difficult. :D”

He2etic: “I WIN BY DEFAULT!”
Chaos. We take victory anyway we can.