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Production is up

February 21, 2011

Over the past six weeks I have written eight stories.  8.  Can you believe it?  Seven of those are flash, mind you, but that’s eight finished products.  Yeah, yeah, some still need polish, but eight.  I’ve gone full years without finishing eight.

The primary contributing factor was my writing group, Codex.  They had what they called the Weekend Warrior contest.  It’s a flash fiction contest with no tangible prize.  each Saturday morning, a series of prompts were posted on the group’s site.  The following Sunday (Monday morning, technically), stories were due in.  750-word limit.  Judging was done by group members, mostly contestants.  It was fun.  I was in the top bunch the first week, at one point taking the #2 spot, but drifted back.  I ended the contest in 7th out of 30 entrants (fewer writing the 3 story minimum to compete).  Nothing to sneeze at.  These are all professional caliber writers and I hung with them.  This was simply evidence that I too am a pro caliber writer, something I already had reasonable evidence to support, but a little reminder is nice from time to time.

Anyway, the contest technically only accounts for five stories.  The sixth was actually the first, a failed attempt at the first week’s prompt that grew into a 900-word story and now lingers on the scales of justice at DSF (second round, long wait, good stuff).  The seventh was also a failed attempt at a contest story, though it did come in under 750.  It was Thursday before the SuperBowl and I had it in my head that one prompt would relate to a sporting event, so I jumped the gun and drafted a sports story.  It turned out to be 750 words of dialog, no speaker attributions or anything.  Experimental and maybe a tad derivative but fun.  Alas, the sports prompt never surfaced, which I guess is good because it forced me to write another story, as well as alleviating the temptation to cheat (that story would not have been written over the weekend).

Number eight was a result of someone’s idea to follow up the Weekend Warrior with a full-fledged short story in a weekend.  This wasn’t part of the contest, just a friendly challenge.  I did that, too, pumping out a 3000-word zombie tale that has so far received warm reviews.  It’s really a reduction of a novel (maybe novella) milieu that I’ve never found devised a plot for.  I didn’t expect it to be so short, but the story did a reasonable job falling into place.  I’m glad it’s short; short sells.  More market options, less financial risk for the editor. I credit five weeks of flashing (that sounds more inappropriate than it is) for the concise story.

Anyway, I’m happy to have lots to send out.  I’m still waiting to hear on a few good candidates.  Like I mentioned, DSF has one (initials FS) in deep consideration; if they buy it, it will be my first one-time-submission sale since my very first sale, “Decisions, Decisions!”  Strange Horizons has been holding EE for quite a while; nowhere near their predicted response time, but they were only open to subs for four days before I sent it, and that was to limited volume.  Escape Pod has had TRM for a long time, but they seem a bit backlogged at the moment.  (Their payment for Leech Run arrived, though.  Yay!)  I should hear something from Sniplits about GB…eventually; they have long response times, but I’m reaching the end, finally.  I need to get these other seven buffed and out the door, too.  I think I may send some of the lower-scoring ones straight to lower-paying flash markets.  Or maybe I’ll hold them while Fred works them over.  At least two of them are ready for top-tier scrutiny.  Maybe I can get my race score up above ten for once.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 4:18 pm

    Yay! That’s a lot of stories!

  2. February 24, 2011 10:12 pm

    Wow, I’m truly impressed! You know, I queried Codex and got an affirmative response, but I just haven’t had the time to invest in participation. Maybe I should.

    Perhaps you’ve blogged about this and I missed it, but have you tried Lightspeed? Just a suggestion.

  3. February 24, 2011 10:14 pm

    Well, duh, Tracie. Scott has Lightspeed on his market list, RIGHT THERE.

    • Scott W. Baker permalink*
      February 24, 2011 10:26 pm

      Tracie, I have sent stuff to Lightspeed, but no flash. Do they do flash? I confess that I haven’t gotten around to reading Lightspeed. Heck, I’m behnd on my Asimov’s and Analog subscriptions on my Kindle. I’m such a slow reader.

      Really, you should come by Codex. It took me a while to become a regular participant there. I don’t generally use the critique system (though my 3000-word zombie story is up now, post-contest thing). Just engaging in conversation there has helped me become a better writer. Plus, Codex members have eight Nebula nominations this tie around. Eight!

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