Deadlines approach

So there are ten days until the Black Library submission deadline. Having abandoned, for this year, my novel submission, I now have only a pair of short stories to worry about. I am happy to say that I have one of these submissions ready to be read by my beta-readers. I feel quite good about it…

Hmm, I’ve just had a thought (quite literally – I was writing this and the thought has popped into my brain) about the sample I’m going to be sending off. I was going to use the first 1000 words; a good bet, given that that is what the reader would see first when they start. However, it doesn’t have much in the way of action; its a pretty good introduction to the main character, and establishes his arc that will be the heart of the story.

Actually, I think I will keep that. The urge to show off one’s action-writing chops is always present when submitting something to BL, but in this case I don’t really think I need to. This is a story of a character’s fall from arrogant superiority as a result of… well, I shan’t tell you that. Suffice to say that it is a character piece, and while a number of action scenes do crop up (that I am particularly looking forward to writing, it has to be said – there is something intrinsically cathartic in shootykillbangdeath-writing), the story does not rest on them. Much better, I think, to show the BL editors – hallowed be their names – the character of the piece, and the quality of my writing beyond the bolter, and let their minds fill in the action from the scene-by-scene breakdown I am providing too.

Sorry about that, a bit of a waffle there. Regarding the other story, that may follow the same trend, although depending on word allowance I may be able to get a short action snippet in at the end of that sample. For those that don’t know, the submission requirements during Black Library’s open window is (for short stories) a writing sample of 1000 words and a synopsis and summary of 500-1000 words. Not a huge amount to go on, although I have realised just how much you can get in in a thousand words; its an eighth of the story (or more, if you aren’t aiming to hit the 8k upper limit as I am); if you can’t show a decent sample of the story you need to work harder. An ideal sample would have dialogue, action, natural exposition and character development all folded neatly together within perfect writing. I am going to try and get the whole of Harbinger (if that is indeed what the title remains) first-draft completed before I send the submission, in case I come across a scene with those properties. For now, though, I feel good about my chances with that one. For the other short, that one is more for my own amusement as I don’t think it has the novelty-factor going for it as Harbinger does. But it is a good idea, and a relatively unique perspective that I hope will interest BL.

In other news, I have won another book! I can’t remember if I informed you, interwebs, but a couple of weeks ago I was chosen out of a hat to win the Civilian Reader‘s package of review copies of BL books that he was giving away. That arrived the other day, with some tasty books and audiobooks that I have wanted for a while. And now it turns out that as I logged in for an online chat with Gav Thorpe, I won a signed copy of one of his books! A good weekend for the freebies! 🙂

I shall cut this one off, since it seems to have rambled enough. I promise something of substance, possibly on something interesting, in a forthcoming blog. Peace out, y’all o/