Saturday, 28 March 2015

A Word on the Numbers (Two)

Words written 24568
Stories completed 1
Rejections 23
Acceptances 1

I'll take it as read that you've all gone out and bought my book 127a - what's that? it's not really sci-fi? hell, it's a broad church.  Well, to make use of the bookshelf you bought specially, why not double your reading list by buying Christina Escamilla's Welcome to the Future?  It's got a story by little ol' me in it, and another nineteen crackers, I'm sure.  My two copies arrived this week - thanks, Christina.

I digress.  What I wanted to blog about was a couple of postscripts to my last missive.  I'm not sure that my wordcount is going to make much sense going forward.  Reason being (and this made Wednesday a bit of a red letter day), I finished the first draft of my YA sci-fi yarn, About Time, Billy Hudson (81,100 words).  So what do I do now for the word count as I rewrite and edit?  There's real scope for the number to go down.

Plus I've set myself the task of welding together two old stories where I realise one provides a great twist to the ending of the other.  Do I automatically award myself another, oh, six thousand words to my year's output?

Of course, this fascination with word count is entirely artificial but, as the cliche goes, I'm (firstly) trying to get it written, not get it right.  Getting it right helps, of course, and may help to increase that last metric.  Maybe I should re-prioritise.  But short stories are often paid by the word, and I don't think I quite got across last time the slight mystification that, whilst I'm trying to concentrate on the long form it's my shortest work that (eventually) sells.  My one acceptance?  708 words.  What's that as a fraction of the big number up top?

Talking of stories, you'll see the rejections continue to rise.  As a pre-holiday task last night I managed to dispatch all of my unpublished stories, all twenty-one, to various pro- and semi-pro markets.  Sounds easy, but by the time I've matched a market to a story another's normally been slung back at me.  So this is like keeping twenty-one plates spinning, or the planets all lining up.

Last time that happened didn't Turkey have an earthquake?

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