IWSG: Submissions and The Race

December 4, 2013

Hi there! It’s Wednesday, it’s the first week of the month, so that means it’s time to meet with the Insecure Writers Support Group! Today, I wanted to go back to talking about submissions, and something a little scary that I’m going to try: Race points.

It can be really intimidating to send your shorts to a market, where it’ll get judged in the slush pile for all kinds of things you might not know about, and discouraging to keep sending anything out after a rejection.

I hadn’t submitted anything to an actual market in years before this fall. When I was at Odyssey this summer, everybody was really encouraging about submitting, and talking about how it might take up to 100 rejections for a good writer to make their first sale. A lot of my Odyssey classmates are full of plans to become ‘Centurions’ (ie reach their 100th rejection) by next Summer.

Sigh. I’ve made two submissions so far in 2013; got one rejection back, and the other is still in the slush pile.  I think I’ve made progress on letting go of my perfectionism and refusing to leave stories in the trunk because I don’t know enough to fix the flaws I see in them.

I used to be intimidated by Race Scoring, maybe because I felt there was something I was missing, and maybe because I’d come across some really high Race target numbers, (like Dean Wesley Smith’s, which is 60 points! :-o.) The idea with Race points is just to keep your points up at a high level for as long as you can; you get one point for every story that’s submitted and out on the slush pile, you lose the point when it’s rejected or when you get paid for the story. There’s some ‘equivalent points’ stuff to factor in submitting novels and other stuff, but that’s the basic idea. And part of the reason I’m drawn to Race points now is that they’ll keep me from targeting markets that have a really quick turnaround time, as opposed to really good markets where I’d like to make a sale, and that I think are a good fit for my stories.

I think I may keep count of my rejections as well, just to turn something that could be depressing into a badge of honor as a writer.

So, what about you? Any followers out there who are also struggling with the submission grinder?


Nanowrimo 2013 Recap

December 2, 2013

Hi there, friends and followers, it’s me again! I know I’ve been updating you every Wednesday, but still it seems like I haven’t had a chance to just share on this blog since I started the Nano Spotlights. So…

I had such a blast doing nano this year! My region is so awesome, I was running around doing four write-ins most week, having a great time with fellow writers, cheering each other on. We did an Intra-region challenge this year, central Hamilton versus East/South versus West/North. The West/North tribe won by a small margin; I was on the East/South team, which took an early lead and then fell behind badly, but I don’t care, I had fun anyway.

I’d planned to do a ‘Triangle of Rebellion’, finishing two Camp Nano books and starting sample chapters for a third novel manuscript. That took me to 50k, and then in the last week I wrote a short story and started another one, turning my triangle into a very irregular pentagon. Here’s the breakdown of my sixty thousand words and change, by project:

  • Opening chapters for “Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale”: 26,078 words
  • Ending for “The Aurigae Express”: 19,232 words
  • Ending for “The Witches of Arion”: 5,492 words
  • “Soldiers”, complete short story draft: 7,248 words
  • Opening scenes of “Beauty”, (the short story with the horses): 1,975 words

Let’s see, what else can I tell you about? November started in a kinda strange way, as I’d known it would, thanks to the Reversed Polarity Doctor Who convention in Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »


Weekend Writing Warriors – Return to Civilization 3

December 1, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing with snippets from my science fiction story ‘Return to Civilization.’ Andy is a space prospector who’s just returned home with the co-ordinates of a ‘jackpot’ planet.

wewriwa

Snippet 1 Snippet 2

As he approached Check-in, the communicator sprang to life again. “Unidentified vessel, match our course at a distance between 100 meters and 5 kilometres. Do you understand, and will you comply?”

“Yes, this is the Yukon Stranger, acknowledging receipt and I will comply. Hey, is Rebecca Stern still working there?” Becky’s name brought back memories of warm nights and cold days; she’d asked him to stay and move in with her, but he couldn’t resist the temptation to go prospecting again, looking for his big score. . .

“Query not recognized. Term ‘Rebecca Stern’ unknown.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


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