Writing Wednesday — When The Story Doesn’t Work

It’s Wednesday again, so it’s time for a public check-in on the whole writing thing. It’s been a good week, but I’ll be putting both Triad Magic and “Faux Ho Ho” on hold for a little bit while I get through the edits on Of Echoes Born.

Because, yes, I have the edits! I’m so freaking excited I cannot tell you.

I also replaced one of the new stories.


Available for pre-order via Bold Strokes Books.

Let me explain: in my original visualization of the book, I knew I wanted to both start and end with a particular character: Ian Simon (or Christian, as his parents named him). He’s a character I’ve been working on since before I had my very first short story accepted (and indeed, he appears in “Heart” briefly). In the first Ian story (when he’s still going by Christian, and is sixteen), he’s young, worried, and just learning he can see how people feel as visual auras, as well as other abilities that are coming to light. In the last Ian story, he’s thirty-six, and a lot of life has happened between. It occurred to me I could also drop a story in the middle of the collection where Ian is twenty-six, and show some of that life.

And therein was the mistake I made.

Happily, I have an amazing editor who called me up and let me know the second of the Ian stories was…perhaps salvageable, but hey, is there any chance I had something else that would fit, like the other story I’d already had him edit to maybe someday release as the start of a novella series? Y’know, that one with the perfect tone for the collection and many of the characters included in the collection already? That one?

We trimmed down the “setting up a series” part of the novella in question—”A Little Village Magic”—and as a self-contained short(ish) story it did exactly what the middle Ian story didn’t do, and did it better. The pieces connected better as a whole, the collection flowed better as a whole, and honestly? I don’t know if I’ve ever been this excited to have the book in hand.

This is why amazing editors are worth their weight in gold, by the way. They tell you when you’re too close to something to see where you’ve gone off track.

Triad Magic

Before I got my edits, I was on track. Post edits, I’ll nudge up my word goal targets for a few days and catch up. It shouldn’t be a problem.

I still haven’t actually written the pitch, so I know this means I’m procrastinating on a part of the process I don’t enjoy. Deadline for self has been set for the end of the month. One more week of waffling, and then it goes in.


Ditto for the writing here; I’ll catch up once I’m past the edits on Echoes.

Other Short Stuff?

Speaking of the end of the month being close, yeah, I still haven’t submitted anything. I’ve still got some time. But officially hitting the “eep” phase on that front.

Open Calls for Submission

I also try to list off calls for submission I find (and find tempting) every week on Writing Wednesdays, so without further ado:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul—Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Mischief Corner Books—Open to submissions for various themes, including Legendary Love, Everyday Heroes, Cowboys and Space; these are open rolling calls, so no deadline.
  • NineStar Press—Open to submissions for various length prose, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and horror; Click “Currently Seeking” header for details; word count limit variable.
  • Spectrum Lit—This is an ongoing Patreon flash fic provider, 1,500 hard word count limit; LGBTQ+ #ownvoice only; ongoing call.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to F*** Them—Circlet Press; Erotic short stories with magical beasts and shapeshifter tropes; 3,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline February 1st, 2018.
  • Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction—Uncanny Magazine; Doesn’t require stories to explore issues relating to disability, but encourages them; 750 to 6,000 word count limit; deadline February 15th, 2018.
  • Multipartner Anthology—ERWA/Excessia; Multi-partner erotica; 4,000 to 10k word count limit; deadline March 1st, 2018.
  • War on Christmas—ChiZine; Deranged and demented stories and poems that snap back against holiday schmaltz; 500 to 5,000 words; Deadline March 4th, 2018.
  • Tru-Romance: Love in the Age of PrEP—Beautiful Dreamer Press; stories involving the impact the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis regimen has on the standard model of romance fiction; 4,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline April 15th, 2018.
  • Lost—NineStar Press. LGBTQIA+ romantic pairing. Both HEA and HFN are acceptable, Click “Lost” header for the theme. 30k to 120k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • Happiness in Numbers—Less than Three Press; Polyamorous LGBTQIA+ anthology, non-erotic polyamorous stories that explore the idea of “Family”; 10k to 20k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • MLR Press—Quite a few different themes are open; 10k to 40k word count limit; deadlines vary, but the earliest right now is April 30th, 2018.
  • Artefacts and Alchemy—Edge Books; Tesseracts 22 is doing a historical magical realism theme; 5k word count limit; deadline May 15th, 2018.

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