Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I belong to a small writing forum which has been doing bi-weekly free-writes on and off for a while.  Someone hosts and provides a topic / inspiration, and everyone writes for an hour.  I almost never finish, but I've gone back, finished and sold many of these stories.  This week, I plopped down to write up a list of what I had and had some surprises.  The general statistics:

Total free-writes:  58
Finished:  34 (of these, 1 was trunked for being, well, terrible)
Sold / Published:  5 (+1 that was sold and hasn't come out yet)
Currently in Submission:  2

Several patterns appeared.  There was no real science fiction here; a few stories had far future settings, but were closer to science fantasy.  Most of the stories were in secondary worlds, usually with significant worldbuilding basis, but a handful were contemporary.  Most of the protagonists were female.  There were far more stories that involved cooks, bakers or confectioners than I would have expected - keeping in mind these free writes were done long before I decided to attend culinary school.  Four of these stories were in worlds I had used before ... not including the two Ishene and Kemel stories, since the first story started as a free-write, and the story start from the perspective of Ishene's apprentice, decades later.

Some of the free writes were experimental.  One of the finished stories I had forgotten about is completely in dialogue, the arguments of two minds who end up in the same body.  Another is present tense, first person plural.  Then there's one that I have to blame on the prompt:  the entire story is one sentence.  Well, two, but the last sentence is used as sort of a cap to the run-on insanity.  A lot of the finished stories are way too long, and almost all of the unfinished ones need tightening.

So what did I learn here? ... I need to start doing free-writes again, of course.

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