Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fantasy stories’

I have another story to share today, “Random Acts of Magic” by Amy Claire Fontaine. It’s another from Daily Science Fiction, which I recommend so much if you enjoy short SF and fantasy.

This sweet urban fantasy gets me with its intersection of magic and education, plus some pointed comments on how growing up can crush the joy out of childhood passions. Check it out!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

This is something I’ve been running into a couple of times lately when reading short stories. You get to the end and it just… chops off. Literally, at the bottom of a page, there is no story left. Turn the page, and the next story begins. It left me irritated and confused. Where’s the rest of it??

This happened three or four times in an anthology I’m currently reading. The first instance, I wondered if it was a glitch of some kind. Maybe they rushed through the proofing process and didn’t realize pages had been dropped.

But it kept happening, so that makes me wonder if it’s some sort of writing fad. To just chop the ending off and, I don’t know, make the reader puzzle out what might happen next? And then they’ll think you’re all edgy and stylish? If so, that doesn’t work for me.

Has anyone else noticed this?



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been sharing my process as I go through revisions on my children’s short story, “The Lonely Dragon.” Here is the second draft, and probably the last I’ll be showing you. It’s time to finish this thing up and let my lonely dragon fly to some publishers.


The Lonely Dragon, by Lucy D. Ford

A very long time ago, there was a dragon who lived high in the Skyclaw Mountains. Her silver scales barely shimmered, her lush mane was ragged, and her sharp horns had become blunt. Yes, the dragon was very old. She was also very lonely.

Sometimes people from the valleys down below would climb the rugged peaks and creep into her lair. They wanted to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t really mind. If she heard the sly crish-crish of footsteps, she would quickly set a trap.

Once the thieves were caught, they would tremble and cry. They thought the dragon was going to punish them. But as she grew older, the dragon had also grown wise. All she did was bring a pot of tea and ask about the goings-on in the valleys. Sometimes the people told her their problems, and she gave them good advice. When the tea pot was empty, the dragon would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, people stopped sneaking up the mountain to steal from the dragon. They just came to talk to her. She told them tales from long ago, and if they spoke about their problems, she still gave them good advice. Even mighty rulers came to seek the dragon’s wisdom.

Once, the dragon learned that two kings were about to send their armies to war. She invited them both to have tea with her. Instead of fighting, they signed a treaty. The dragon was glad that all the soldiers got to stay home with their families.

She was still very old, but she wasn’t lonely any more.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Last time, I shared a cold write from a group at my school. Today I’ll show you the true first draft, as I begin to expand and develop the themes. Here it is.


The Lonely Dragon, by Lucy D. Ford

A very long time ago, there was a dragon who lived near the top of a high mountain. Her silver scales barely shimmered, her lush mane was ragged, and her sharp horns had become blunt. Yes, the dragon was very old. She was also very lonely.

Sometimes people from the valley below would creep into her lair, hoping to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t really mind. As she grew older, she had also grown wise. When she heard the sly slip of footsteps, she would set a trap for them.

Once the thieves were caught, they would tremble and cry. They thought the dragon was going to punish them. But all she did was bring them tea and ask about the goings-on in those valleys down below. Sometimes the people told her their problems and she would give them good advice. When the tea pot was empty, the dragon would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, people stopped sneaking up the mountain to steal from the dragon. They just came to talk to her. She told them tales from long ago, and if they told her their problems, she still gave them good advice. Even mighty kings and wizards might come to seek the dragon’s wisdom.

The dragon was still very old, but she was no longer very lonely.

There’s still work to do here, but I like the way it’s coming together.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Last week, I was leading a small writing group, and our prompt was “once upon a time.” Fifteen minutes later, my page was full and I had to remind myself that they were supposed to be doing the writing.

Anyway, I ended up with about 150 words of a very basic short story. I thought it would be fun to share my process as I shape this rough draft into a finished story that I can submit. I don’t know if I’ll go all the way to the final draft, as some publishers would consider it a reprint. We’ll see.

For now, let’s get started with the original paragraphs from the prompt.


“Once Upon a Time…”

Once upon a time, there was a dragon who lived on top of a mountain. She was very old and wise, but she was lonely. Sometimes people would come to her lair and try to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t mind. She just trapped them for a while, so she would have someone to talk to. She asked them for news of the goings-on in the valleys below. If they told her their problems, she gave them good advice. Then she would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, the people stopped coming up the mountain to try and steal. They just came to talk to the dragon. She told them tales from long ago, and she still gave them good advice. Even kings and queens might come. Soon, the dragon wasn’t lonely any more.

Pretty simple, right? I like the way it gives the dragon a problem that people might not expect, and uses some of the typical dragon lore in a fun way. It needs to be fleshed out with rich details and description, though. Next time I’ll share my first real draft.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

I was just pondering what to write about today, when a terrific story came through my e-mail. Daily Science Fiction is the publication. Every weekday, they e-mail a genre short story. It’s really easy to subscribe, and the donation they ask for is ridiculously small.

Someday, I hope to get a story in with them, but not yet.

Anyhow, I loved the way the author used dialog to reveal the plot retroactively, and how funny and smart his characters are. That said, if you aren’t comfortable with teen romances and some gayness, you might want to give this one a pass.

The story is “The After Party,” by Max Christopher. Check it out here.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

As previously mentioned, I’ve resolved to push myself and submit my short stories to more places before giving up on them. You know what that means, right? Rejections are coming in.

Rejections are part of a writer’s life, and I usually try not to dwell on them. When one comes in, I just look for the next market to submit to. My goal is to submit to 5 places. That may not sound like much, but with markets quickly coming and going, it should be attainable.

With one of my stories, that’s going to be harder. It has a juvenile voice, but at 2,300 words, it’s too long for the juvenile magazine markets. So far it’s been at 3 places. I’m casting about for any more markets to try. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.

The other is more clearly for adults, so I have a lot more potential markets there. The first one I tried sent a generic “didn’t work for us” but then added they’d like to see more from me. I’m trying to focus on that, instead of the didn’t-work part.

One thing I’m observing already is that the responses are coming faster. Instead of mailing physical manuscripts back and forth, most publications now take electronic submissions. They are able to get through submissions in a couple of weeks, or even a day or three, where previously you would wait 3 months or longer to hear back.

Would be nice to get some acceptances, though!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

I’m glad (and maybe a bit relieved) to say that I finished the fifth draft of “Hag.” There still needs to be one more pass to look for typos and tweak my word choices, but it’s really almost ready. In a few more days, I’ll begin submitting to publications.

Everybody has their own way of deciding where to submit, and in what order. Should you submit first to the high-class markets? To the ones that pay best? Should you take a chance on lesser markets, or look for anthologies? Someone could run seminars on the subject. (And they probably do, honestly.)

My approach to this has changed over the past few years. It used to be that I was really chasing the traditional publishing route. I would spend hours combing through market listings, comparing the word rates and what kind of work they were looking for and how long the stories could be. At the end of it, I would put together a list and when I had a short story to submit I would go down in order, rejection after rejection.

The unfortunate thing is that I don’t write that much short fiction, so my list always seems to be out of date when I actually go to use it. Markets might have theme lists, or limited submissions windows, or they try to do a rights grab just because you submitted to them.

So these days, my submission process is a lot less formal. First, I look to see if the market is even open to submissions. Next, I check their guidelines to see whether my story would be a good fit for their approach. No point submitting to markets that don’t publish fantasy. Finally, I see what their word count is. I’m constantly finding that my work is too long for their needs.

Here’s where I confess that, like a lot of writers, I under-sell myself. Knowing how tough the competition will be, I skip the top markets and try first for the medium and lesser magazines. I also tend to give up after one or two rejections. Those are bad habits. I really should be pushing myself harder if I want to get any recognition.

With “Hag,” especially, the story is a little more substantial than my usual. When I’m ready, I’m going to aim for the top — as long as they are open to submissions, that is. I’m going to keep trying longer than a couple of weeks before I give up.

What do you mean, August is too late for making resolutions??



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Yep, just like a video game, I leveled up! That is, I completed the third draft of my short story, “Hag.” I had to abandon the second draft, which is something I hate to do, but the POV change just wasn’t working. This story was always meant to be seen through the eyes of the sarcastic old hag who keeps having to chase human intruders out of her swamp. I cut a subplot that was tangling things up, and got the hag daughter to say a bit more. Turns out she’s just as snarky as her hag mother. The poor young wizard who gets caught between them just hardly knows what to say.

The story still has a lot more work to be done. Basically, I’ve got the skeleton of the plot to connect and move properly. My next draft will make sure a couple of critical lines didn’t get cut in the transition, and then I can really start to flesh things out. In particular, I’ve been vague about what my hags are wearing. They swim a lot, so it has to be something that won’t drag in the water. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

By the way, I have also been giving status notes on “Hag” on Twitter. One person there has been asking for a snippet. An unknown writer like myself doesn’t get many requests like that, so I put up a couple of paragraphs in a thread. Check it out, if you’re interested.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Okay, it was a tiny sale. To a tiny market. And it’s more of a re-sale, since I sold two stories to this tiny market and they had to go on hiatus before publishing.

But the market is run by a friend of mine, and I want to support her. Plus, I want to see my work in print lots of places, not just in my self-published e-books. Sometime in January, I should be able to publish a link to my stories!

If you might be interested in submitting to a tiny market, it’s The Lorelei Signal and their guidelines are up.

Anyway, I’m calling this a win!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »