No post last week while I was away with friends in West Palm Beach. I was curious how travel and a change in routine would effect my writing, mindset and creativity. I enjoyed the change and had a good time, but it wasn’t conducive to writing… sharing a hotel room, group schedules, etc. My current WIP (Unfair Advantage 2, more on this below) is set in Palm Beach and I hoped to catch some inspiration. But nothing really caught my eye… the only thing I noticed was how weird the denizens of one of the richest places in America are, with the conspicuous consumption and plastic surgery.
A few rejections from journals rolled in, including one for The Valley, my story about a prepper family living in post-apocalyptic Hudson Valley. I wrote it with New Maps in mind, but they had rejected it as too slow (ironic because I wrote it that way for them. Live and learn). I tried to incorporate the editor’s feedback about speeding the story, but struggled. There aren’t many options for an over 8k piece, which (as I know now) is a gray area and tough to publish. I’ll try a few more spots, then either make the revisions the editor asked for or publish it here instead.
I also got tough feedback on another post-apocalyptic story (Mags Hotel) about Mags who is taken to a hotel and tries to decide between a chance at her old life or a new one. I loved writing it and needed a few weeks to sit on the feedback. The story emerged from a writing prompt (your character wakes up in a strange place….). Unfortunately, this is a beginner’s trope (link to trope). Good to know! Now I need to jump straight into the action. The editor also said I was too simple/basic when providing information about the background and situation, and starting in res can help… although I can picture some of my readers getting confused without the exposition. But I asked for professional feedback and I will try to improve the piece.
My current WIP is Unfair Advantage 2. I finished the first pass, and it also clocks in with an unwieldy word count, north of 15k. I enjoyed returning to Eileen (link) and writing the piece. I can’t imagine trying to get it published anywhere other than here on chawner.net, though. The first edition struggled to find a home, and this second part assumes the reader is familiar with the first. But this obstacle, used correctly, should be an opportunity. If I publish it here, I will need to format and present UA 2 correctly. Maybe provide blurbs here and link to a properly formatted pdf which should be a great learning opportunity.