Well, it’s an adventure for me, anyway. In January I wrote my first short story for a competition and blogged about it. It was super fun trying to write in my genre of Silly (trademark pending), but with a limited word count. Two thousand words are not 120 000 words, that’s for sure. Still, I felt pretty proud of this first attempt. (At the time of this post, I’ve not heard back about it.)
Today I worked on a short story for a submission to an anthology–another new adventure for lil’ ol’ me! This time I have 5000 words to play with. Yay! But also, WHOA! That’s still not a lot of words for someone who thinks in terms of science fiction word counts. (Yes, even though my genre is Silly, it’s science-fiction, space opera silly.) I’m already just over 3100 words and I better bring the story home because I’m running low on words!
There’s an adrenaline rush for me that comes with writing short stories for competitions or anthologies. The whole wild ride of ‘can I pull this off?’ appeals to me. It’s a challenge and a change from the casual pace in which I write my books. Gets the blood pumping.
I am also stoked about the concept of my stories being grouped in with other authors’ pieces. It would be really cool if that happened. I truly love meeting authors and discovering their work; it makes reading their stories more intimate for me. I find myself cheering writers on in their accomplishments and often look forward to reading more of their stories and books. I hope one day people feel that way about me. Mind you, I have had some lovelies say they’re looking forward to reading my next novel and I thank you peeps from the bottom of my heart.
One thing I’ve noticed–and that’s where I came up with ‘my genre is Silly’–is that I am totally recognizable in my writing. Anyone who read Life in the ‘Cosm will know I am the author of these shorter stories. I have this tendency to take my writing seriously while not taking it seriously at all. I don’t know if I am capable of writing an eloquent dystopian romance, for example. Knowing me, there’d be a scene in it where, as the world is coming to an end, everyone decides to stop for tacos. (That’s not really a bad idea. I would totally scarf down some tacos. Good way to die, really.) I suppose I do have a certain style.
Anyway, I’m hoping to finish the first draft of the latest short story this week and then edit next week. After that, I submit! Squee! I’m less terrified of the submission process now. I just click on Submit, close my eyes, and say a wee prayer. (Then maybe I eat a high-caloric snack.)
Will let you know what happens! I hope I’m considered for the anthology, but if I’m not, I’m still having a blast.
Cait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance Press). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.