I never had much use for flash fiction. With the small amount of words you have to work with (usually < 1,000) you can’t really show more than a scene. As such, most of the stories I’ve read are either heavily cliched (to save space) or don’t really tell a story per say, just sort of describe a scene. I never found them very interesting.
So if that’s the case, how did I find myself writing a piece of flash fiction?
Well, I had an idea, and it wasn’t really the sort of idea that could carry an entire story. More like one scene really. You can see where this is going. So now I sort of understand the place of flash fiction because I have several little thoughts or scenes like this that I’ve written down. The only option is to either write them as flash, or hope that some day, some how they can fit into some other story. In some cases, that is pretty unlikely.
Finished my second story. It took just about 6 weeks and topped out at almost exactly 9,000 words. I laugh to think that I intended this to be shorter than my previous story. I swear the next one is going to be short!
Just need to go through the comments from my lovely editor-in-chief and then I plan to ship it off to Writers of the Future this week. I think this is a really good story, much better than my first.
Well, today was the big day: my first rejection!
As I said, I didn’t really expect my first submission to be accepted. I’ve already re-submited it to another venue. This is a really hard market to get into because they only publish one story a month, but they are looking for “Near-future, Earth-based science fiction” which describes my story perfectly! It is online publishing only, and of course I would rather have an actual print magazine, but the pay is good.
This story was returned pretty quickly, faster than average. Maybe that’s not a good thing. 🙂 I really thought I was going to finish my next story before this one came back.
So, off we go again.
Well, the story is officially in the mail!
Sara is dropping the envelope at the post office today. My story weighed in at around 5,700 words. I decided my first submission would be to Asimov’s Science Fiction. I think the subject matter would be a good fit for their magazine. I don’t necessarily think that the story is good enough for Asimov’s, but you never know if you don’t try. Maybe I am a prodigy!
Conventional wisdom says to find all of the markets that would be interested in your story and then submit to the highest paying one, working down to the lowest paying one. The obvious advantage being that when you do sell your story, you can be sure you got the most possible money for it. The disadvantage to this strategy is that the higher paying magazines are tougher to crack because they have more submissions to choose from and thus can demand higher quality. It also means that they take longer to respond. For me at least, this isn’t much of an issue since I am not in a hurry to make a sale, so I decided to go ahead with this route. The other downside of the better magazines is that they receive so many submissions they don’t have time for personalized rejections, which means my story won’t necessarily improve.
Nevertheless, I have a story out the door and that is a big moment. I’m sure there are lots of potential writers out there who never even make it so far. I am nervous for no reason that something will happen to it, like Sara will forget to buy and apply postage for the return envelope, even though I doubt this would happen. It’s like having someone else watch your baby.
No savoring this moment however, I’ve already started on my next story and I already feel like it will be much better. This will keep me occupied while the first story makes it’s rounds. I anticipate having several stories in circulation before I make my first sale.