Not a good week for writing. No responses about any of my submissions. My wife gets through about 5 pages of my book per week. My dragonslayer story on Critique Circle only has one response and it was stupid. But the guy had one in the queue, so I hit him back with a scathing review. It made me better. But I have nothing to write now, really.
My next task was supposed to be to write the Kaiju Emails story, a Scalzi-esque list of emails from a Kaiju zookeeper, but I just feel like its crap. Its juvenile story-telling, like dragonslayer and White Mage story. I hate short stories. I hate writing them. I don't even like reading them that much. I didn't feel like this before, but now I feel like I'm wasting time on this when I should be working on my novels. I just don't have any good ideas for something of the size of a 5,000 word story.
Jim C. Hines posted something a few days ago that basically stated that everyone gets to being published in a different way. And twenty or thirty years ago, writing a lot of short fiction was necessary. Today, not so much.
Well, the reason I've been working on my short fiction is because I thought this was the case. I read in Stephen King's On Writing that it's a good idea to get a few things published before you start querying writers. It's like building a resume. Now I hear that may not be the case. Well, that's good for me, but how do I make sure my name gets out there? How do I get myself to stand out from those yokels on QueryShark? How willing are agents to accept novels from unpublished authors? Especially in this day and age when fewer publishers are investing in new names. Is it solely based on the query letter? I'm in a lot of trouble if it is - my story's difficult to fit into a sharp summary. These are people who have emmys (emmies?), published books, and... writing experience.
Should I keep trying for short fiction, in hopes of building my rep? Scalzi also says so, but he also doesn't suck. Or should I keep torturing myself with this crap. People are more willing to review 5,000 words than 140,000, but short fiction markets are slowly trickling away because they refuse to adapt. Podcasts and flash fiction markets are coming up, but they have limited audiences, and don't appeal to anyone. In fact, I don't really know anyone who puts much stock in short stories. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree.
Well, I'm not going to waste too much more time trying for short fiction while I wait for BHS to come trickling back in. Not unless I get a good idea. I've got a good handful of stories, and they've barely started the submission rounds. I'll wait a bit before I dive back in, no point to polish shit. Crochety dragonslayers and vampire families are what you see in Highlights magazine, not Clarkesworld.