A few days of quiet, working on my own projects for a change, and recharging the batteries as I wait for new challenges.
The total for 2019 at the moment is
- 38 submissions
- 9 stories accepted
- 1 story given away pro bono
- 7 stories still waiting for the editors’ responses
Which is not bad, but could be better.
After much work – and I really mean a lot of work – I was able to “get” the 2500-words format. I tend to be long-winded, and my “standard” formats used to be 6000 and 10.000 words.
Going shorter means a complete rethinking of the story structure, and that’s something one has to exercise.
The main reason to learn to write 2/3000 words stories is, of course, that that is usually the sweet spot for magazines. A 2500-words story can fit in some corner, while a 6000-words story takes up too much space.
And indeed, at least three on my sales this year were in the 2500-words range.
Another good thing is that, if I’m in the mood, I can write a 2/3000-words story in one evening – and then spend the following day tweaking, cleaning and tightening it.
We go back to the old Ray Bradbury rule: write a story per week, because nobody can write 52 duds in a row.
It is interesting that publishers in Italy still go for characters instead of words – I am currently working on a story for which I have an allowance of 30.000 characters, that is somewhere in the 5/6000-words range (more if I go and use all the shortest synonyms).
The length is not the real problem, though – upon re-reading the first draft I realized not only that I exceeded the character count of a hefty 12% (yes, I like long words), but possibly more important, my supposedly sword & sorcery story has a fair number of swords, but not a single trace of sorcery.
Time to rewrite.