I wrote a story last week. It started with a seed I got maybe 2 years ago that kept coming back to me. It was one that I worked on a bit to build up my descriptive text and exposition, so I was familiar with it.
Well, this thing wouldn’t let me alone. I’ve had a couple stories like this, that insisted on being shown to the world. But this one was GOOD….
It ended up 11 pages single spaced, or 18 pages formatted for submission. A little over 5,000 words.
Yes, I submitted it.
Anyway, this story woke me up in the middle of the night with a poem I needed for the last scene. I don’t write poetry, after all. I was wondering how I would handle it, but not really wondering, you know?
After I got the poem, it insisted on being finished, so I got up and finished it. This story was so hot-to-trot onto the page that I was surprised. The entire thing was a pleasure to write. I know most writers will think I’m nuts for saying that. But this one was even fun to edit!
During the same week, I read Orson Scott Card’s “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy,” published by Writer’s Digest. It’s a really good book if you haven’t read it. I learned quite a bit and even downloaded Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed” from the library because of his book. Yeah, she’s that good, too! I’m still learning.
I remember years ago when I met Forrest Ackerman. He said that I didn’t want to write sci-fi because I would never be able to write anything else. I would be pigeonholed as a sci-fi writer and that would be it. I must have been 14 or 15 years old. But he was wrong on that – I DO want to write sci-fi/fantasy stories and books! I always have, and I still do.
So this little story popped out and it’s a fantasy without sex or violence. It can go into the “coming of age” type story, or a “journey” story, or a “sword and sorcery” story or an “alternate world” story or…..
My first reader was really impressed. He said “the language” blew him away, and that he missed reading it. I write a little more formally, and I use a lot of what he called “Olde English” prose in my writing. Especially when it fits the story and the genre.
Since I’ve submitted this story for publication in several places, I won’t publish here and blow that. I’ll keep you posted on the results. I’m sure that I’ll get some rejection notices.
Currently reading: “Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction,” ed. James, E. and Mendlesohn, F.; Cambridge University Press, 2003.
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