On Short Stories and Novellas

One of the agents with whom I spoke at the recent Writers’ League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference expressed interest in a set of short stories if I could also stick a novella in there. At least, that’s what I thought he said, but it was loud… Anyway, I’m already shopping “Upline,” a story set in a universe where life begins at conception and the government’s now having to handle the inevitable consequences, intended and otherwise, of that constitutional amendment. I’m shopping but also having workshopped at the next ArmadilloCon.

I started out with a novel that fell apart, then parts reconstituted into another novel which was (rightly) heavily snorted at by folks at the Slugtribe writing group here in Austin. Then the short story pulled a Hera.

Sunday, fresh off the conference and a great chat with an agent about a couple of other book projects, I finished off another story in that universe: “Transfer Point.”

Tuesday, while topping out Last Run, the novella plot dropped. all at once. It’s an embarrassment of riches, it is. Focus, with agents looking for specific material, is more important than ever, and I won’t deny feeling nervous of not keeping it all together. Creativity wars with editorial control meets marketing and… oh… a day jobbe!

I read several author blogs, and there’s a lot of “pro” discussions (some of it pretty damn awesome, like Marshall Ryan Maresca’s site. But I haven’t seen many “struggling” sites. Hopefully I’m not TMIing out of any future seat at the “real authors” table.

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