Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Struggling with Short Stories, Promo Blurbs and Generalized Angst

I was almost nervous I’d scare that talented cover artist away with my pink Hello Kitty flavored short stories. So I took a stab at a couple that are more hard-boiled; with guy protagonists, and I can’t seem to finish any of them. I’m having a hard time coming up with a short, digestable slice of writing that conveys what I’m about.

In the meantime, I saw an announcement where a large publishing house is doing a Willy Wonka special, inviting unagented authors to send in their stories, with promises of developmental assistance and quotes from big names. I couldn’t quite shoehorn my story/ies into either the urban fiction or military sci fi they wanted, though. I noticed another fiction contest dealing with climate change stories, and I might squeak under the wire there, except much of my changed climate has to do with the meteor leaving the planet dark for a few generations. That's probably not what they want.

The “development” concept – with a team approach -- is scary. Nightmarish visions of hair stylists and anti-slouching coaches. They might even want me to not wear Converses, and I've forgotten how to wear other kinds of shoes. Conversely, they might pick on my adverb addiction instead of my shoes. There could be a hazing or initiation into the secret anti-puppy cult the puppies believe in where they try to get me to rewrite/delete all the characters' genders. Or maybe they'll be puppylike and upbraid me for not making my female characters delicate enough. 

Back to the original plan. Self publish. Locate people who actually enjoy reading my stuff before attempting to categorize it. Categorize better while writing second book. This is my only chance to make noob mistakes, so I might as well make them all!

I did successfully write a promo blurb.  Here it is:

On March 20, 3748, Sonny Knight had a very bad day. First, he had to stand in a really long concessions line in a stadium, in a country without air conditioning, or portable electronics. Then he fell from the top deck, suffering many fatal injuries, but fortunately there happened to be a doctor standing right there, armed with medical nanobots, because clashball can be a very violent sport. After that, a bunch of evil clones rolled up in submarines made of gigantic bioengineered jellyfish and interrupted the game, taking all the spectators hostage, including Sonny’s family and friends. 

It wasn’t a completely bad day, though. He got to meet one of his favorite sports heroes. He got a new dog. He met a girl, and he had an excellent seafood dinner. Plus he ran into this eccentric guy covered in tattoos who has a really fast ship, fast enough to get Sonny safely home in a couple of days.  Assuming they don’t run into any further complications.  [Spoiler: they do.]

One Sunny Night is sort of like Harry Potter for people that don’t like magic, or school -- oh all right, I'm lying, it’s not like Harry Potter at all. It is an action-adventure series for young adults and old kids, set in a futuristic earth full of acidic seas and redefined coastlines and perpetually disgruntled volcanoes. A world of sentient sea cows and digital citizens and bioengineered pliosaurs. Not to mention catastrophes, explosions and interpersonal conflict.  There might even be a sensitive coming-of-age story in there too.


Coming soon to Amazon’s self-publishing division.  

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