East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Three for December (plus two)

Like every month, I have received a series of open calls from various magazines and publishers that are looking for submission, and so I am ready to start the game of writing on spec.

Right now I have on my list

  • A post-apocalyptic story, in the Mad Max tradition, but somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
  • A vampire story (this would me my second vampire story ever… wow!)
  • A folk horror story that will be hypothetically set here in Astigianistan.

All these are in the 4000-8000 words range, and are therefore quite feasible. I plan on writing one per week this month.

Then there is the opportunity for a new weird western – the first one sold nicely, now why not go back and explore the same setting again?

Finally, there is the matter of the story I’ll need to write for my Patrons and that, due to my commitment to the Seven Lives project, will feature a cat in some way or other. Maybe a story of the Corsair?

Apart from this, I am working on a new RPG setting that is very promising and is at the same time different enough from my themes and close enough to my interests to make this job quite interesting. But that’s for the future.


Weird Western, First Draft

My weird western story is done, in first draft: two sessions, about four hours, 1600 words – which is fine, considering the call is for stories between 1000 and 5000. This call was different than usual, because it asked for a story to fit a pre-existing setting – it came with a set of characters, a place, a bit of background.
It’s hard, but I like working this way, once in a while – it’s a good exercise, it’s good for discipline.
Also, considering the proposed rate of payment, I needed to make it fast, or it would become anti-economic.
I guess I did it.

Now I’ll let it rest for the night, and have a go at it tomorrow morning – a little editing, and an extra 200/300 words because there is a point I know needs some expanding for both structural and narrative reasons. I’ll add a scene, and balance the story. Add some flavor too.
Maybe 150 words to cut, also.
And I’ll need to find it a title.

And then it’s off to the editor, and fingers crossed.
It’s not my usual kind of story, but it has potential.
All I can do is wait and see.
But it’s been a good day, despite the rough dinner and the day-long wind and rain.