There is a website that publishes short, scifi stories. I sent them something a few months ago and they rejected it. I have a few more stories that I’m finishing up which – if the better paying places don’t accept them – I’ll send to this site. Now, I have more books than I will ever be able to read, so going online to read stories never seemed a good idea. I did read a few on this site to see what kinds of stories they published, but I haven’t been back in months. But I’ve decided that I should try reading more contemporary works, so I went to the website to read a few. The first story I read wasn’t science fiction, was poorly written, and the ending was completely predictable. Yet it was published while mine wasn’t. I almost want to be bitter about it, but you just have to laugh and keep going. Of course, the second story was an interesting idea, but a little long-winded for my taste.
Archive for December, 2010
I’ve been thinking I should make another stupid video for my book. This is what I came up with.
I was going through my writing notebook and I came across a blog that I never wrote up. It was about an experience I had that may be enlightening to other writers.
I was trying to come up with an idea for a very short story. A vague idea bubbled up from somewhere, so I just went with it to see where it went. It didn’t go to a good place.
The story was set in one of those dystopian futures where people have numbers instead of names, for example, A517 or A to his friends. Well, A sits down to a “genuine, vat-grown steak” when his comm buzzes. He answers and someone goes, “Hey A, it’s T.” A doesn’t know any Ts, so T explains he works with R at the clone factory.
[It was about this point I knew the story … sucked, but I just forced myself to finish it.]
A still doesn’t know who T is, so T in frustration asks, “This is A571, right?”
“No, I’m A517.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I guess I have the wrong number.”
I wrote that, then turned to a fresh page to start all over again, forgetting that I ever wrote that story. At best, that was the plan.
I started thinking about a couple of characters discussing their bad stories. Then I thought about an author publishing a collection of his terrible story. What would be a good title for a collection like that?
Then it hit me. I had written a bad story, but instead of burning it, I was trying to figure out some way to use it. I think how we react when we write something bad could almost be a personality test for writers. Some tear it up, some spend time trying to make it better, and some use it to go off on a tangent.