So it’s been two weeks since I last posted. Seems longer. I had intended to update at least weekly, but…
I’ve been trying to strike that balance between writing and platform and for the last fortnight that balance needed to tip heavily in favour of the writing.
As I earlier said one of my goals was to submit my writing to awards this month. The first of these is the Katherine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction Awards. I have completed a new short story to submit. It’s a bit different from my more traditional Fantasy writing, and that brought a different set of challenges with it.
It started as a draft of just under a thousand words, and in completing it I built it up to about 1600 before editing it back down again to about 1550. This makes it on the short side; most of my short stories are about 3,000 (though I’ve got one nearly complete at 7,500… which is a little long really – a ‘long story’ perhaps?).
The KSP awards aren’t announced until August, so now I’ve got a few months to sit tight and hope. In the meantime I’m trying to complete another story for the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. The timeline’s getting tight but a little more midnight oil might see it complete in time. It’s more Rural Fiction than Fantasy, and the realism is a bit of a change of pace for me (although I consider my Fantasy to be ‘realistic fantasy’ – oxymoron perhaps). I find I’m working harder on the plotting, but the characters are flowing pretty well and I’m quite happy with the setting. I’ve put an early draft on the site already so feel free to give me some feedback on it.
Somewhere down through the twisting alleys and the narrow streets, down past scrawled and fading graffiti and piled refuse, down between the cracks… a thing grew.
In its beginning it was asomatous. It was a discarnate self, experiencing first the qualia of time, and then of place. It felt the passing of moments. It extended itself into a niche where people rarely went, and in that corner of the city which few knew of, which even fewer cared to visit, there amidst the marginalia of five million stories, it became.
This is a Weird Urban Fantasy, complete at 1500 words.
So I’m juggling a few projects here I know, but I’m adding more:
The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre is in WA and runs annual competitions. One of which is specifically Speculative Fiction and entries close later this month.
The Australian Book Review runs the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, and it too closes for entries later this month. In this case it is not Speculative Fiction per se. The past winner describes her genre as Farm Lit, or Rural Romance. I’m not so much a writer of Romance, but I agree with her that writers should have the imperative to write about sheep if they wish. I’ve written about the rural life myself, so I’m treating it as open to some of the less obviously Fantasy pieces I’ve written.
So if I’m a bit quiet I’ll be working on my entries to these competitions. I’ve got some projects in the pipe-line I am polishing for the purpose.
Other than that I’ve experienced renewed vigour for my follow-up to my manuscript novel, and I’m still spending some time with my Urban Fantasy draft.
I suppose it’s about finding that balance between my writing and building this platform.