Yep. Another project. A few weeks ago I was invited to write a story for an upcoming anthology. I don’t know whether or not I’m at liberty to talk about it publicly, so I guess I’ll have to speak in general terms here. When they made me the offer and told me the subject matter, I was at first reluctant. Short stories and anthologies historically haven’t done me a lot of good. At least, not financially. If you’re an indie, you still have to pay for editing, formatting, and cover design. Then, since it’s a shorter work, you can’t charge as much for it. And if you don’t charge at least $2.99, Amazon cuts your royalty from 70% to 35%, even further cutting into what you can make from it. So yeah, I usually view shorter works as time and effort spent on creating something that takes forever to make your return – time that could be better spent on writing something of longer length that has a better chance of helping to pay some bills.
On the other hand, it’s also excellent practice for learning to write in a shorter, more concise, format… a skill that ultimately pays off in producing better novels down the road.
Still, there’s that money thing…
Wait. What’s that? This anthology is a paying market? And the publisher will be handling the cost for editing, formatting, and cover, so no out-of-pocket expenses. And it’s tied into something I’ve already done?
Well that certainly changes things. Where do I sign?
So with an idea for a story already in mind, I replied back that I would love to write for their anthology. I went to work on the story the next day, getting about a thousand words into it. I sent them an email, letting them know in general terms what I had in mind, in order to make sure it fit the antho well enough for them to be comfortable. I was fairly comfortable that it would, but better to be sure, right?
Unfortunately, it didn’t. Since my story tied into the novel that had garnered me the invitation, I had figured it would be a shoe-in. I figured wrong. They wanted something that was more of a stand-alone nature.
Well crap. Back to the drawing board.
And since I had jumped in feet first with the first story, I was now at a complete loss about what to write. So I tossed a few ideas around. I wrote a few hundred words on a second idea, then abandoned it… another thousand or so on a third idea (one that I really liked, actually), but found a problem with the world building for it… as in, there’s no freaking way the world I’m writing in could ever exist. Then I wrote a couple of paragraphs on a fourth story line that also didn’t work. I was beginning to think I was going to have to pass on the offer.
Then I finally had my eureka moment a few days ago. I realized that, while the world I had envisioned in the third story might not ever happen the way I originally envisioned it, it could happen in a more localized environment. And wouldn’t it be interesting to tell the story of how that disaster began?
So you’ll notice a new progress meter entitled Terrorists in the sidebar to the right. It’s just getting started, but I think I finally found its feet and it should really start moving now.
Other news –
MBH is doing much better now. She’s still not 100%, but the illness has gone from killer plague back to uncomfortable flu. Vestiges of it are still hanging on for both of us, but we’re no longer contagious, and we’re no longer up all night hacking up our internal organs, So yay for us, right?
Writing news –
Chucklers – Evidently, CV1 was on sale for a day back on February 17. I would have made an announcement, but unfortunately, I didn’t know about the sale until February 25. Not being in control of things like this is one of the trade-offs for being published through a press. You don’t have to worry about the up-front expenses of publishing, but you also relinquish control of the work. It’s a fair arrangement, but it makes it harder to track things until after the fact.
Pangaea: Exiles – This one continues to surprise me with how well it’s doing. Reviews are still coming in, and they’re overwhelmingly positive. PE currently has a 4.5 rating, and the only negative review is from some poor soul who was upset because the book had humans living in a time when they “didn’t belong”, and killing “the animals that lived there” (dinosaurs). I supposed that’s a viable view. I just have to wonder what he thought the book was going to be about, based on the cover and book description.
And there’s really no other writing news to report this week. Payne and Suffering is pretty much on hold while I concentrate on this antho story, and I’ve got nothing new to report on the Y12 audiobook, or Crazy Larry. So, in sticking with my “keep it short” blogging policy, I think I’m just going to end it here.
You guys stay safe, and I’ll talk to you next time.