With the Long List for the Fantasy-Faction Anthology released, you will notice that Second Chances did not make the cut. Since the six stories to be published will be selected from the long list, Second Chances is now free as the proverbial bird.
Ok, I’ve been rushing to complete my short story Second Chances for submission into a fantasy short story contest to see how things go. Deadline is fast appraoching, like tomorrow fast, and I have been doing some polishing.
The story follows Kath’ri-sa, an elf, and the deuteragonist of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. I just like saying the word deuteragonist. Its sounds so quirky.
Final stats on the short story are 5,941 words, Flesch Reading Ease of 84.3, and Flesch-Kincade Grade Level of 4.1. (more…)
So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).
I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.
Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.
Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.
So I just received back comments on my short story “Second Chances” from my second set of guinea pigs who I asked to read and comment on it after the first group really didn’t come back with anything overly critical. The responses from the second group were basically the same; nothing terribly wrong, great story, good read.
This second test group contained people that I peripherally know and I had thought that they would be more likely to be harsher and more critical than the first group which consisted of friends and family.
A friend who read my short story “Second Chances” tried to engage me in a conversation about whether the protagonist was was more of a heroine or an anti heroine in my mind. I said that she was prototypically neither.
In truth, I said, she exhibits traits of a hero, an anti hero and even a Byronic hero. I find that any of the basic hero archetypes, if used in their true forms, are just too predictable. I like to mix and match the traits of my main characters to make sure they don’t fall into any particular pigeonhole.
In the sense that in the beginning she exhibits none of the traits of a pure hero I don’t think anyone could confuse her for such. If anything, if you push me, I would say she is much more of the anti hero.
I think though that mixing things up leads to much more well rounded and believable characters.
I have received my feedback on my short story “Second Chances”, a prologue to the novel “Under the Darkened Moon” which I am also working on. That novel is now in its second go through after I completed the rough draft two weeks ago.
I asked people to be critical of the short story, whether or not they liked it and to point out places where improvements were needed.
I have come to conclude that either the story is near perfect or the people who I asked to comment on the story were not willing to give it the sort of critical eye it requires. Now I have to decide how to proceed. I did get some opinions on how to fix some of the verbiage which I am going to implement. But the general consensus among all that read it was that it was a very good story. No one had more than five or six comments and nothing groundbreaking that would cause me to rethink major parts of the story. Everything was minor.
But I will also probably submit the story to a second round of screening to a new group of proofers for their take. While it is possible that the story really is as good as my first round of readers said it was, I just would feel better making sure.
I mean, I have been writing for years. I know how to do it. But since fiction writing is a new thing for me, I need to make sure I get things right before I move this story forward.
After much consideration I have renamed my short story “The War Within”. The new title is “Second Chances”.
I have also moved the project along for comment from some people I know who have agreed to read it and give me feedback.
Once I get that feedback I will decide how to proceed.
Friday marked a milestone in my progress towards my first completed short story. The first draft of “The War Within” is sitting completed and ready for a fresh look in a week or two after I have let it simmer for a bit.
Total word count sits right now at 5,553.
In the meantime I will be revisiting project “Dark Moon”, my novel which this short story is based on, as well as “Sacrifice”, my other previously existing short story project. Also I have opened another new project file preliminarily titled “The Yoke” which I came up with during a brainstorming session on Friday. I will be putting down some ideas for it as well.
I have updated the site to include basic information on what are now two short stories I am working on. The first is being called “The War Within” which is the short story spawned by project “Dark Moon”. This story focuses on a particular event which helped form the world view of a secondary character in the later.
The second story is being given the working title of “Sacrifice” and is a short story spawned by elements I had started to put into “The War Within” but which did not seem to fit that story’s main character. They did however fit another character from another short story I wrote nearly two decades ago for a writing class in college. I am adapting those pieces of story that I scrapped to a new story in a completely different world.
More on all these projects soon.