Writing Wednesday – All the Single Stories

I mentioned last week that I learned not having a single major focus (ie: a novel) meant I got a little off target with tracking and being organized with my writing. So, I decided to up my game and focus and put myself back onto the same schedule with writing other things as I was using with my novel-writing.

First week? Success.

Works for Current Calls: Goal: 2,000 words; actual: 4,400.

This is my work on Mondays and Tuesdays, where I’m working on open calls and trying to maintain at least one submission per month.

  • I wrote and finished a draft for a non-fiction piece, “Limit.” It came in at a bit over 1,700 words, and I need to polish it before I send it in, but I’m quite happy with it. Basic idea was taking the mathematics concept I’d learned in high school and applying it to what it feels like as a queer guy with an ever-increasing list of rights intended to make me equal with the rest of folk.

  • For a call for a romantic collection of gay stories, I’ve been working on “Rear Admiral.” 2,700 words are down, and though I’m a little flummoxed as to how to get where I’m going, I’m happy with what I’ve written so far. I daresay this is going to be another of my stories where I have to hack it back a lot when I’m done, as I can see myself sailing past the word count limit on the first draft. That’s fine, though. It’s good exercise.

    Pitchwork: Goal: A pitch by end of month; actual: lots of notes on paper.

    On Wednesdays, this is where I’m planning a new pitch to send in by the end of the year, which basically means giving myself some options over which novel I’d like to suggest to my publisher next. The current list of ideas include: the sequel to Triad Blood, which is Triad Soul; a follow-up to Light, tentatively called Flame (pyrokinesis!); an unnamed YA idea I have about young folk who can download skills and memories from parallel lives; and, finally, a collection of short fiction, tentatively titled Of Echoes Born.

    Working for Myself: Goal: 2,000 words; actual: ~3,200.

    On Thursdays and Fridays I’m working on stories that I just want to work on. Be that for a potential inclusion in Of Echoes Born or be that for the “Village” idea I’m still kicking around, the goal here is to build up some stories that could very well be released on their own, in a collection, or just sit and wait for calls that suit them.

  • Untitled Assassin Story – This one has been kicking around as bits and pieces for a while, and I flushed it out and gave it some work. It already had some word count, but I’m fairly sure I added more than 2,000 to the total 6,100 it now has.

  • Village Stories Ideas – I put down roughly 1,200 words of notes and ideas for the “Village” story plots and characters. Some of that is useable, some of that is more planning, but either way, I’m happy with it.

    And there you have it – I’m on track. In a fractured, many-projects-at-once way, but on track nonetheless.

    Open Calls I Know About

    Here are the open calls I’ve bumped into…

  • Nine Star Press has a call open for Valentine’s themed stories, but no concrete deadline listed.
  • Torquere Press has quite a few themed submission calls up right now, the earliest deadline for which is October 15th, 2015.
  • The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Short Fiction Contest – Deadline extended; loose theme of ‘Saints’ and/or ‘Sinners’ fiction; new deadline November 2nd, 2015.
  • Men in Love – M/M Romance; deadline November 15th, 2015.
  • Covalent Bonds – Geeks in Love; deadline December 15th, 2015.
  • Year of the Superhero – The Book Smugglers, looking for superhero short fiction; Deadline December 31st, 2015.
  • Friends of Hyakinthos – Fantastical gay male-themed stories set during the time of Ancient Greece or involving Hellenism in later cultures; Deadline January 1st, 2016.
  • Other places to always check include the Lambda Literary Calls of Submission page.

    Know of any other short fiction open calls for submission? Let me know in the comments.

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