Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little Things

I wasn't getting anywhere with picking publishers and agents, or anything else much, for various reasons ranging from "well, the market's shrinking" to "freeze leaves chaos in its wake," so yesterday I opened up a market guide I subscribe to, found a market soliciting short stories on a theme, and drafted a story for it.

It starts strong, with dialog and what actors call "business" carrying all the exposition and characterization; and then I start talking and wreck it; but that's why it's called a draft. It clocks in at about 1600 words and the market's ideal length is about 1500, so in revision I'll lengthen it by turning all that second-half talking into dialog and business, and then I'll trim out all the words that I need but the audience won't, and then I'll send it in and sell it, or not. The maximum I can hope to make from the market in question is $150, or $17 less than we paid the handyman to replace the valve that popped off the downstairs plumbing when the pipe thawed; but that's a good word rate in this business, where some employers still pay Depression-era wages.

If I don't sell it to the intended market, even in the truncated world of modern fantasy short stories I'll have three or four more shots. But the most important thing is, that I started a project and finished it. The draft is one project, the revision another, and selling it is another. It's important to feed yourself accomplishments once in awhile, or your morale starves.

This is why we all write more works than we can sell. We can't control the sale of them, but we can get our dopamine fix writing them.

That's also why the crocheter in your life has made so many doilies. Nobody really needs more than two or three doilies; but once in awhile you need to make one in order to stay sane.

Anyway, if I'm going to make any progress with revision today, I'd better get started, as the painter is coming at 10 and I'm supposed to meet the designer at the plumbing place at 1. Busy day ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Writing is a field I'm slowly exploring but thoroughly enjoying. I keep a tablet where I write down my ideas and flesh them out just like a keep a sketch book for future paintings. Our blog is another creative outlet we utilize as well in variety of ways. Good luck with selling those short stories.

    Alberto Ramirez Jr.