Writing Wednesday – Short and Long

It’s Wednesday again, which means I’m here being publicly accountable for my writerly output. But first I wanted to talk about short fiction and novels (or novellas) that share the same world or characters, and ask you (as an author or a reader) which ones you’ve written (or read) and enjoyed.

Y’all know my first love is short fiction. And I’m pretty sure I’ve said a few dozen times that the characters in my next novel, Triad Blood, were born from four short stories in four different Bold Strokes Books anthologies. I love visiting the same settings or characters with linked short fiction and I wonder how often it happens across the writing formats – from short to long. I’m always reading short fiction (hence the ‘Sunday Shorts’ feature here, and that year where I read a short story a day) and I also do love novels and novellas, and I wondered how much “cross-pollination” there was out there.

So – permission to humblebrag granted: tell me. Pop in a comment (with links, even) to your short stories (or the anthology that holds ’em) and the novels or novellas they tie in with. I’d like to know. Especially if you’re writing LGBT stuff or working with POC characters or YA.

Hit me with it.

The Novel:

Holiday weekend and some “must leave the house” chores meant I didn’t quite get as far ahead this last week as I wanted, but I did some serious revising. This is actually a good sign. I’m still missing about 20% of my initial word count goal (though I think I’m going to come in a bit short at the moment, which is okay) and should patch in those holes, but it got to the point where I needed to have more polished scenes leading up to those holes and so I’m finding myself revisiting and revising quite a bit before I tackle new parts of the novel.

Why is this good? Because it feels very end-game. It might suck from a point of view of word-counts and grand totals, but the whole of the book is really feeling like just that: a whole.

That, or I’m totally deluded and should drink some apple cider and cry a lot.

Short Stuff:

I have not submitted anything for May yet, though I have a flash short fiction piece I’m almost happy with. Shouldn’t be an issue this month.

Open Calls I know about:

  • Ink Stained Succubus – quite a few different calls, including M/f, F/m, M/M, and lots of different genre calls; earliest deadline is June 1st, 2015.
  • Queers Destroy Fantasy – from Lightspeed Magazine; deadline June 1st, 2015.
  • The Biggest Lover – Big-Boned Men’s Erotica for Chubs and Chasers; first draft June 1st, 2015; deadline July 1st, 2015.
  • Defying Doomsday – apocalypse-survival fiction with a focus on disabled characters; deadline July 1st, 2015.
  • Unconventional Love – Short romantic fiction that revolves around attending a convention; deadline August 31st, 2015.
  • Bi Guys – Firsthand Fiction for Bisexual Men and their Admirers; synopsis September 1st, 2015; deadline October 1st, 2015.
  • Covalent Bonds – Geeks in Love; deadline December 15th, 2015.
  • Other places to always check include the Lambda Literary Calls of Submission page.

    Heard of any good calls lately? Pop ’em in the comments, too.


    10 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday – Short and Long

    1. Hey, Mr. ‘Nathan!

      I’m really looking forward to your Triad Blood novel, since I love those characters and those short stories!

      As for my own “cross-pollination,” hmmm.

      Shep and Brendan, two characters in my Civil War novella Camp Allegheny (from History’s Passion: Stories of Sex Before Stonewall, ed. Richard Labonte), are referred to in my last novel, Salvation: A Novel of the Civil War.

      Two of the poems in my fifth poetry collection, Rebels, are spoken from the point of view of Shep in Camp Allegheny.

      “1066 A.D.,” my short story in Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages (ed. Rob Rosen), is the prequel to “Mead-Sweet,” a story I published in Wings: Subversive Gay Angel Erotica (ed. Todd Gregory).

      My upcoming vampire novel, Insatiable, from Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press, is about characters that have appeared in Devoured, from Masters of Midnight: Erotic Tales of the Vampire; in Desire and Devour: Stories of Blood and Sweat; and in The Bears of Winter: Hot and Hairy Fiction (ed. Jerry L. Wheeler).

      Finally, Travis, the protagonist of Cub, is about to appear in my novel-in-progress, Country, about a country music star who’s outed in the late 1990’s and has to deal with the loss of his career.

      Thanks for the podium!

      Jeff Mann

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Okay, ‘Nathan, I’m hitting you with it.

      I started writing flash about 25 years ago and graduated to short stories but nothing terribly long or over 5K words. Like you, I love short stories, especially flash. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s with a single mother–a real no-no then, Catholic, divorced, and pretty freewheeling. Long story short, I’ve written several stories about growing up single-mommed and usually with the same character named, Felicia, who is based on my mom. One of the stories, “Wheel of Fortune,” is still up on Cezanne’s Carrot, a great online journal.

      Don’t expect much. I was learning at the time. Hopefully, I’ve gotten better. Maybe not. In any case you know I write mainly LGBT but didn’t at first. Here’s the link to “Wheel of Fortune” in case anyone wants to take a look. http://www.cezannescarrot.org/vol1iss1/wheel.html

      Felicia also appeared in “The Woman Who Ran Away,” a short story pubbed as an e book by JMS Books.

      A few years back, I combined several characters from five or six of my short stories in the novel, “Too Long Among the Dead,” also pubbed by JMS Books. Sorry for the shameless promo. Looking forward to “Triad Blood”. Loved “Light”. Hugs your way and to that gorgeous dog of yours. Paul


      • It’s not shameless when it’s requested! I’ll add everything to my to-read pile, and I look forward to them. (Also, thank you for the kind words!)

        I love how short fiction lends itself so well to life experience, frankly – you can explore a facet in a very “up close” way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, I appreciate it. It ain’t Shakespeare but it’s mine. Agree about short fiction. I think it will always be my first love. We had an international journal, Mindprints, that I edited while teaching at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, Calif just before I retired–all very short fiction and less than 750 words. Loved doing that.


    3. Sounds like you’re really hitting your stride as a full-time writer. Great to see!

      And thanks for the opportunity. My Royal Navy series has one sort of “family album” volume, Sail Away, that has 4 novellas and a bunch of short-short pieces that are mostly holiday vignettes. It was fun to put Will and Davy into situations that really didn’t fit in the longer fics — a Halloween ghost story, a sentimental valentine… I like short stories. It’s a shame publishing has lost the wonderful magazines that used to publish fiction instead of one interminable celebrity scandal after another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I used to love reading serials, but they’re mostly digital and online these days (not that that’s a terrible thing, but it has a different feel, for sure).

        I love holiday themed shorts. There. I admitted it. 😉


    4. Just once for me. Even though “The Dead Book” isn’t finished yet, two of the main characters in the book appear in a short Raymond Luczak recenltly published in his magazine, “Jonathan.” The piece is called “The Incident,” and actually predates the book. It’s about an attempted suicide by one of the characters, and the incident is referred to in the book, but we never actually see it. Except here. I believe I read from it at Saints and Sinners one year–Jeff Mann and I had a discussion about Sylvia Plath (mentioned in the story) afterward.



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