Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hogs from Hell

I had hoped to announce that I had completed the story I'm writing and that a story I sent out over a month ago has been accepted. I'm still writing that story and I haven't heard anything from the editor. Nothing much to do about it but pick up my pen and keep writing. That's me in the picture. Yes, it's very cold where I live, all the time. That's why I have to wear a hat and so many robes. And yes, I do write my initial drafts in longhand although I would not call them legible. I have cross-outs and insertions and arrows pointing to whole paragraphs scrawled in the margins. I have tried to compose at the computer, but that empty white screen and blinking cursor bother me, and I find my mind going blank. Typing the manuscript also gives me a first pass at revising.

I am quite excited about the story I'm working on. It's a reworking and expansion of a story the Grimm brothers collected called "The Hand with the Knife." There's not much to the original, only three paragraphs. I've added a few details, extended the plot, and introduced new characters, including a shape-shifting wolf-man. I also invented a new type of beast that I'm calling a helshog (hell's hog). It's a cross between a modern boar and an entelodon, a prehistoric ancestor of the pig. Entelodons are featured in one of the Walking with Beasts episodes. The narrator refers to them as the "Hogs from Hell." I was hoping to write a "short" story, something less than 5K words. However, I've already written over that limit, and I'm nowhere near the end. I need to finish "The Hand with the Knife" so I can move on to some new stories and revise some older ones to send out. Time to put some more coal on the fire and refill that inkwell.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Where to Submit that Manuscript

My goal is to add something to this blog at least once a week. I failed to come up with anything witty to say this week. I'm still working on a fairy tale based on "The Hand with the Knife," a tale collected by the Grimm brothers. The original is only three paragraphs long. I thought it was more the start of a story than a complete tale, so I'm adding a few more details and a new ending to my version.

Once a writer has completed a story and digested some feedback and revised or rewritten it a few times, the writer is faced with the totally unrelated problem of finding a publisher, preferably one that pays. Agents are not going to be impressed if all a writer's publications are from non-paying sources. I've been scouring the web to find short story publishers for fantasy and speculative fiction. I'm including a list of the most promising prospects below in the hope that others will find it useful. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know. I'll update this post as I find new publications.