It took some time, but I seem to have finally gotten some writing mojo back. I finished up the first draft for a short story I plan on submitting to an anthology, and I'm starting to get super excited about the projects I intend to work on next.
Writing for anthologies is always an interesting exercise. This time around, my biggest challenge was the word count. This call specified a range of 2500 to 5000 words, which I consider a pretty good length: long enough to develop a plot and characters, but short enough that it doesn't become a massive undertaking.
Here's a confession: I was never all that good at estimating word count for myself. For many of my longer words, I just sat down and started writing, and wherever I wound up, I wound up. I mean, when I'm sifting through the ideas in my brain, I can usually differentiate between, say, "short story idea" and "novel idea", but I was never one for saying, "Okay, I am going to write X and it will come out to be approximately 60,000 words." To give an example, I figured The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions would end up being around the same length as its predecessor...and then it went about 10K longer. Oops. But since I didn't have any strict guidelines for it, no big deal.
So this anthology submission. I liked the theme, I mulled over some ideas, and came up with something that made me say, "Oh, I can definitely tell that story in 2500 to 5000 words!" I started off and everything went according to plan...until I started encroaching upon the 3000th word and realized I still had a lot of story to tell. Eeek.
I soldiered on, and when I didn't feel like writing new words, I went back to cut some of the previous ones to give myself some wiggle room. The 4000th word came and went and I started sweating again. When I only had the final scene to go, I did the only thing that could save my sanity and let the prose just flow out of my fingers: I turned off the word count display.
I merrily wrote the conclusion of this fun little story without concentrating on the bottom corner of the screen. (All right, I confess that I cheated and peeked twice just to see where I was.) I wrote the last word, capped it off with a period, and right-clicked for the results.
5015. DAMN IT, SO CLOSE.
It was getting late at night, but no way was I going to bed without finding 15 unnecessary words to chop. I did a quick skim, got rid of them, and now the story's waiting at 5000 words on the nose for revisions and edits. (And, uh, a spell check, because I haven't done that yet.) My editing usually involves more cutting than adding, so I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll keep it under 5000.
And if it doesn't get picked up after all that? Maybe I'll add the 15+ words back in and release it as a freebie. ;)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
My fellow Decadent Publishing author and sci-fi romance enthusiast Jessica E. Subject is celebrating the release of a compilation of some of her 1Night Stand stories! I'm thrilled to be able to share an exciting excerpt over here (not to mention excited about the release itself) - be sure to check it out!
a collection of 1Night Stand stories
by Jessica E. Subject
A date on a space station? Alien lovers? Madame Evangeline, owner of the exclusive 1Night Stand dating service is known to be magical in fulfilling the ideal dates of her clients, but she’s outdone herself this time, bring together beings from Earth and beyond. As long as applicants are willing to let go of their pasts and open their hearts and minds, she will find their perfect match, whether they be a former sci-fi television star, a nurse, an employee of the Space Service, a former Marine, or even an extraterrestrial. Because everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after…
Contains: Beneath the Starry Sky, Celestial Seduction, Unknown Futures, Satin Sheets in Space, and Sudden Breakaway
Genres: Science Fiction Romance, Contemporary Romance, Lesbian Romance, Menage Romance, Military Romance, Interracial Romance, Erotic Romance
Available FREE in for your Kindle!
July 31, 2014 to August 4, 2014
Also available in PRINT from:
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/8pY8tDTBhbk
Excerpt from Unknown Futures – F/F Science Fiction Erotic Romance
“Let’s hit the dance floor.” The drinks could wait. She wouldn’t let her guest out of her sight again.
The music thrummed, filling her to the core, preventing her from standing still. She found a spot with just enough room for the two of them. No one else mattered. With each hit of the bass, she moved her feet, her hips, her hands. She let the beat control her body and her heart.
Although others might be watching, her attention remained on Jewel. Each movement, a planned seduction. She couldn’t let her go without trying. When the next song began, Jewel finally relaxed. She moved to the music.
And V moved closer. She slid her hand from Jewel’s waist, down, then back up, swaying in front of her. Only an inch between them. She couldn’t get enough. Her Earth scent became intoxicating.
Beat after beat, song after song, she kept her hands on the sexy woman. She claimed her, telling everyone else to stay away. She wanted to savor her precious body. Maybe she could make her forget about her date.
She pulled Jewel even closer, her sensitive nipples pressed against the woman she desired. Holding her with both hands, grinding against her to the music. Her heart raced with hunger. I want to take her on the floor. Right here. Right now.
But the song changed. The beat slowed, indicating last call. The club would close soon.
Most of the patrons had left. Only those hoping to hook up remained. She stepped back. Jewel would have to make the first move. V could never force herself on anyone.
When Jewel took her hands and placed them back on her body, she couldn’t help but smile. Perhaps the evening would end the way she wanted.
Jewel pressed against her, her head resting on her shoulder, swaying to the decelerated beat. “I don’t want this night to end.”
Their dancing became deliberate, a sensuous and intimate rhythm. “It doesn’t have to.”
Jewel stopped and looked up at her. “You…you’re interested?”
“Why wouldn’t I be? You’re the most beautiful creature in the space station.”
Somehow, she had to make her see. She brushed her thumb across her lips, wanting to touch more, her entire luscious body. Taking a deep breath, V steadied herself. If this were to go any further, Jewel needed to show her own intentions. As warm moisture pooled between her thighs, V schooled herself to patience.
“Are you sure you’re not my date?”
Shit! That damn date, the only wedge between them. “No, but I wish I was.”
“I wish you were, too.” Jewel stood on the tips of her toes and claimed her mouth.
V pulled her closer until the bit of space between them had been filled. Excited by the warm, curvaceous body pressed against her taut nipples, she fed from the sweetness of Jewel’s mouth, drawing out each delicious sweep. But she wanted more. She wanted all of her.