East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Numbers II – Write Faster

And today I mailed three more stories, early this morning, thus managing to post six submissions in roughly 24 hours. Should all six stories sell (unlikely), at the rate proposed by the respective publishers, it would mean six months of mortgage covered. It would be good.
It will not happen, but it would be good.

And I am writing on – not only my new novel (about which, more in a future post) but a story for another submission. I started it this morning, and hopefully I’ll have the first draft ready before midnight. The target word-count is 4000, of which I have already about 1600.
Then I will let it rest – the call opens officially in two weeks, and it’s good to let the new stories sediment for a while before revising and mailing them off.

Finding out yesterday that I have been slacking in my writing and submitting this year made me feel bad. Not only working for an abusive client has caused me health problems and a devastating amount of stress, but it has really come close to damaging my ability to earn a living.

This, more than anything else, has caused me a sort of frenzy.
Something that was supposed to help me has massively damaged me, and as a result, for a change, the future is bleak.
In such circumstances, all I can do is (like good old Ike Asimov said) write faster.

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What a way to relax: 5000 words in one afternoon

I am currently working on a couple of big projects that are taking up a lot of time and energy, and I am doing all I can to keep my weekends free to recharge my batteries. One of the two jobs is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety – something that had never happened before, not this hard. So finding the time to relax is essential.

On the other hand, there is an open call I received at the end of last year that I really like, and I really would love to be part of the connected project. All I need is a 5000-words story, a swashbuckling romance with a twist.
And anyway I always said I find writing relaxing – especially if I am writing for my own, and not for my clients.

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Back to the Valley

Today I wrote a short story.
This has been a busy month, and indeed in the last two weeks I have submitted ten stories – but wait, I’m not that good.
The fact is, between August and September, I had to work on a couple of big projects that took up a lot of time. The little time left I used to relax, or to start working on a few shorts, that languished in various states of completion while I put much effort in the big ones.

By October the big projects were out of the way, and so I picked up the various half-finished things I had laying around, finished them and mailed to various editors. One already bounced back, but that’s part of the game.

Then, yesterday, two things happened.

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Lessons learned, stories told

So, now is the time for the sort of post that goes things that I have learned writing a short srtory in one day.
My guru tells me this is the sort of post that brings readers like, in cartloads, and so here we go.


The first thing one learns in this kind of exercise is I can still make it!
Which is very good because if we do not boost our enthusiasm ourselves, nobody will.
This time I did it as a game, but the ability to stick to the story and bring it to a (satisfactory? One hopes so) conclusion, is vital.
Deadlines are a thing. Continue reading


The end is nigh

I just passed the 10.000 words mark, and the halfway point in my planned outline.
The end of the story I am writing is finally in sight.
As it usually happens, now that all the pieces are on the chessboard and things should begin to finish, I need a moment to carefully plan the next moves.
What will happen, in what sequence, where.
I need to up the action.
All three major characters will have their big action scenes (one each, carefully mapped and choreographed, and one involving the whole team), the evil plot will be revealed, justice will triumph and the main bad guy will have his just desserts.
Which means roughly 8000 words…¬† Continue reading