Well, I’ve certainly not done much actual writing, but I knew that would be the case.
I sent off a batch of stories to various publications this week. It’s mostly unpublished work, but there were a few reprint opportunities in there too.
Every time I do so I feel positive about the outcome, although recent results don’t give me reason to be. I don’t know if the short fiction market has changed recently – I don’t think it has to any great degree – or if my standards are just higher these days.
Maybe my writing is just not up to par anymore, but even that distinct possibility is hard to accept because so much of what I’m sending off was written years ago, at a time when my stuff was being accepted on a fairly regular basis.
Or maybe I’ve just been unlucky.
I finally managed to finish a story! Granted, it’s not a new one, but it is the first thing I have completed in 2019.
Jigsaw is an old piece of fantasy fiction. I wrote the first version of it in 2000, left it for almost the entire decade, then redrafted it in 2009. That iteration was much shorter, but a lot cleaner and tighter as a result.
I didn’t really think I would ever go back to it, but I had an unfinished attempt sitting on my laptop that I decided to throw myself into… and so, almost twenty years after the story was written the first time, I have fine-tuned it again.
Although it still comes in shorter than the original text, I have added a sizeable chunk of words, bringing it in longer than the last time I looked at it.
It’s a good story: maybe this version will make the editors smile.
A fast-paced police thriller at its core, with science fiction undertones, Slipwater is above all else, a tale of love lost, and hope regained. It is the story of one man’s blind desire to chase the second chance at the life he saw ripped away, no matter what the cost; and of his best friend’s quest to stop him.
That is part of the synopsis for Slipwater that I have sent off to five agencies over the last few days, along with either the first three chapters or the opening 10,000 words.
Agencies (and publishers, should you choose to go to them directly) dont want the entire manuscript, and that’s fair enough. I’m sure you know if you’re enjoying a book before reaching the end, and similarly, they don’t need to read every word you have written to know if it’s any good. What they ask for does however seem like a narrow window: a lot of stories are only just taking the training wheels off at that point. But, this is not my game, and these are their rules.
The girlfriend is currently reading it as well. She says she is enjoying it, but then again… she has a dog in this race, so it will be difficult for her to be completely blunt and honest. Hopefully there are no glaring plot holes or silly continuity errors that I inexplicably missed in all my edits – and I don’t think there are – but however she responds to it, it will be good to hear the opinion of someone who doesn’t know what is coming next.