Monday, July 5, 2010

Word Count Woes

Brevity is not my strong point.

Well, that was an ironic opening, huh? Seriously, though. I'm constantly battling unnecessary verbosity. Case in point, the first version of my opening chapter to
Kissing Glass was seventeen pages. I've gotten it down to eleven and a half, which is probably still too long. Where this really kills me, though, is in the short story genre.

It's not that I dislike writing short fiction. Half of the novels I've started began as short stories (see above re: bad at brevity.) Then they just take off and before I know it, I have 200 pages.

I'd really love to have a publishing credit because currently my resume includes...nothing. I've read that having prior publishing credits are helpful when querying agents and editors for longer works. Not 100% necessary, of course, but helpful. And since it's arguably "easier" to garner a publishing credit in the magazine market, I decided to revisit some of my short stories.

I have three completed. The problem is two of them are well over 1000 words. The third (which I actually DO really like, so it's not like I'd be subbing JUST for the credit) has been slashed to 569 words with a target audience of around first grade. Too long for
Highlights (500 word limit for that audience.) Ladybug accepts fiction up to 800 words, but I'm less familiar with that magazine. Plus, I just love Highlights. Between my childhood memories of devouring the stories and combing through the Hidden Pictures puzzles and the scholarship they gave me to attend Chautauqua in 2006, I feel a stronger pull toward Highlights than Ladybug.

So what to do? Try to slash 67 more words and sub to
Highlights? Or familiarize myself with Ladybug, add in some of what I cut, and sub to them? That's probably a silly quandary to debate, but...yeah. It's my (teensy) problem of the day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Best laid plans...

After a week-long grad school class during which I had no time to write anything that wasn't class-related, I had hoped to focus on one (or let's face it, with my attention span as of late, SEVERAL) of my stories today. But then...

Here is a (very lame) poem to convey the problem:

Ow, ow, ow.
My head hurts
quite a lot.
Ow, ow, ow.
Need coffee.
Have coffee.
No help. Too late.
Need drugs (not the bad kind.)

Yeah, so a poet I am not. You were warned. Plus, I have a headache. I mean, it would've sucked anyway, but at least I can blame this particular suckage on the massive pounding in my head.

Hmmm. Bright side to everything.