I spent a LOT of time today trimming a story down. It’s my little bloody Christmas story, “Solvjaynghi’s Christmas Wish,” and while I didn’t get it as slim as I wanted — I was vaguely hoping I could compress it into 4000 words and give it a try at Clarkesworld — I did get it down to 5000 words.
I regard that as a considerable feat since the original was 8200 words, and since I managed to lose not so very much of the story. And yeah, for the curious, I started it with the reindeer thing.
Caroline, I guess this means you owe me a beer. Though, at the same time, I owe several beers to others for their helpful crits. The hardest advice is often the advice that makes a better story, and the one thing I’m working on is developing my classmate/mate Ian’s sense of where to start a story. He often tells me to cut the first few pages, of which I’m usually inordinately proud, and it’s usually the right thing to do, too. Owch. Gotta learn to just start the story from that spot instead, I think. Or to cut my own beginnings preemptively, maybe — write them to get into the story, then cut them? But man it hurts!
Anyway, I’m glad this story is a much more saleable length now. I’ll proofread it in a couple of days and then it’s out the door, though I’m not exactly sure where I want to try sending it first. I’m tempted to try Interzone since they might go for it, except it takes a long time to hear back, and this story, being an Xmas story and not very SFnal, is definitely a seasonal thing. The nice thing is that, since it’s Xmas related and still somewhat anti-corporate, there are other possible markets out there if the horror/fantasy markets don’t bite.
(Other submission news: “The Egan Thief” was slightly expanded and is now pending at Interzone, and “Iblis’ Devotion” (nee “Iblis’ Desire”) was also very slightly expanded [about 150 words, but enough to spice up heaven and earth, and bring the I.D. link a touch more to the fore — I actually use the word “design”] and it is now pending at Chiaroscuro.)