Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strange Place

I'm in a strange place with my writing at the moment and I think it has a lot to do with AKL, the associated assignments and the recent improvement in my strike rate with short stories. The list is not all new news, just a round up of things that occurred in May (without being a full May report...if you get what I mean).

Firstly - Wamphyri has been accepted at Night to Dawn. Thank you guys for the suggestion.
Next - Dreaming was shortlisted at Apex.
Next - Worth the Wait has been long listed at Festive Fear.
Next - Swirls in Obsidian came back with some really positive comments from PARSEC. It won't take a lot of revision to ramp it up and send it back out.
Next - Spoilt Rotten received good comments from its target market before being rejected. I had very little qualms in resubmitting that one elsewhere.

All of these stories have been written in the last seven months. Actually all of them except Wamphryi have been written in the last 3 months.

Two other stories written recently: God's Piscatorial Church and Digging Up The Past are also firmly on my favourites list (particularly GPC).

With the diploma firmly directing me back to AKL, and more specifically to AKL chapters I'd written a long time ago, I've been dismayed at my past writing efforts. Yep, I'm on one of those down sides, but only as far as the long version stuff goes. I'm very much on a high for the short stuff.

So I'm thinking about changing my course selections for the last two years of the course. I'm thinking of shelving the novel aspirations for the moment and hitting the shorts - hard!

An option for the final two years of the diploma where I need to come up with a big project, is to put together a short story collection. I could do that. It will take just as much work as a novel, but in much smaller bites. They will need to be just as measured as a longer story as I need to keep to a central theme, but the idea has merit, and it excites me (and I haven't even decided on a theme yet!).

The problem here will be putting AKL away, or at least on a back burner. It's been a long haul so far. Any writing would help me to continue to improve, but do I hone in the short form until something hits me over the head so hard it must be made into a longer form, or do I just plug away with what I'm doing? Does putting AKL away amount to admitting defeat?

I guess that's what scares me most: admitting defeat. Admitting I'm not ready, not skilled enough to write a compelling novel, or that my current ideas aren't compelling enough; not fully formed enough.

I know I one day will be, today is just not that day.

So I'm going, I think (I still need to research all my options), switch tacks with the diploma and with my time.

Look out anthology markets - here I come.


  1. Sounds like an exciting development. I know I've hard similar thoughts about short vs. long form, and if I remember correctly one other blogger said a similar thing today.

    I think you should go for it.

  2. I'd do what feels right. Anything else is forced, and forced isn't always good. I've thrown away tons of forced material.

    Good news about Wamphyri and the short/long listings. Fingers crossed.

  3. Woo hoo! You're on fire!

    Well, not literally. You know what I mean. ;)

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Ben.

    You're right, Aaron. Recently I've started throwing away a lot of what came before.

    Carrie, between you and Nat, I can always be assured of having a smile on my face. If I'd sold all of them, then I'd be on fire - now, I'm just warming up...

  5. Congrats on the sale. Which issue are are you going to be in (I am thinking of a subscription because both Nat and I have stories coming out in different issues in the next year.)

    As far as shelving the novels for awhile I am with Aaron, do what feels right.

  6. I don't think it's admitting defeat to put off the novel, or that its a reflection of talent. I think it's simply a matter of timing.

    Just remind yourself of all the rewriting you'll have to do if you force the novel out : P

  7. Congrats on the acceptance, BT. I’m with everyone else on this one: do whatever feels right. The very fact that you’re writing is the main thing. If nothing else, shorts are a great way to hone your skills.

  8. Go with your gut feeling. And congratulations on a great May. Well done!

  9. Thanks everyone.

    Shorts it is. I'm working on something a little different as we speak...

    As for which issue - no idea. I must ask.