On the Writing Side

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 under Background, Story.
Tags: , ,

I am still not happy with the Paksworld story written for the second anthology (and the deadline daily steps closer to my nose) so I started another one.   Actually I’ve started several that didn’t work at all, either because they instantly bulged and made it clear they would be too long,  or because fitting them to the anthology requirements would warp them too badly.   But this new one has retained its potential and is cantering along briskly.  It’s too long, but that’s because I had to work out background in the course of writing it–cuts shouldn’t be too difficult.  I hope.

My evil scheme for writing Paksworld stories for these anthologies (other than that the editors rather wanted Paksworld stories–fantasy warfare, anyway)  is that eventually there’ll be a book of all the Paksworld stories to that date.

Naturally, since this story may end up published in an anthology, and the editor will not like it to be spoilered ahead of time, I can’t tell you much about it.   It’s set in Paksworld and it involves characters you already know, at a time of their life you know only by hearsay in the existing books and stories.   Decades before the Deed of Paksenarrion, in fact.    There’s a new character I wish I’d created back in the Deed–at least as part of the history–but I didn’t, so all that happens in the story is just stuff that nobody bothered to mention because other stuff was going on.

Should this story not end up in that anthology, then I can share a little more.  It’s been coy about its title, which has been, variously, “A Short Victorious Disaster” and “Foresight” so far.    “Hindsight” might almost do as well.    Plus many others, but the exact best hasn’t declared itself yet.

Now I’m off to finish the first draft.   Then comes the “fun” part.



  • Comment by Victoria — October 23, 2013 @ 9:25 am


    Yay for another Paksworld story!!

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — October 23, 2013 @ 1:49 pm


    Yes, hooray for another Paksworld story. Soon. Please.

  • Comment by Richard — October 23, 2013 @ 4:45 pm


    How long, contractually, before stories published in other people’s anthologies (multi-author ones) can be re-published in a collection exclusively your own?

  • Comment by Sharidann — October 23, 2013 @ 11:59 pm



  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — October 24, 2013 @ 9:18 am


    Please don’t forget to let us know if it gets accepted and then the title and release date for the anthology, please.
    Oops – is there such a thing as too many “please”es ?

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 24, 2013 @ 10:20 am


    Thanks, all, for your enthusiasm.

    Richard: How long a writer has to wait to republish somewhere else depends on the specific contract. Usually exclusive rights for at least six months post publication of the anthology–up to two years post pub. Longer than that is unusual with traditional publishers, though some small presses try to hold rights longer.

    Kerry: I’ll tell you when I know. Both anthologies are contracted by Baen. The first one, remember, is _Shattered Shields_ and that story is “First Blood.” This story’s still being coy about its title (or rather, generating new titles pretty quickly, but with no emphasis on one over another. This morning’s offerings included “Merc’s Honor,” “Just One More Thing,” and “What You Don’t Know.” “First Blood” was simple compared to this one, which is growing hugely and thinks it would be fun to be a novella. (It says. I know what that means. It thinks it wants to be a trilogy. NO.) “First Blood” was willing to stay in the box the invitation set out. This one…not so much.

    Today the first draft gets a structural revision. When a short story needs a structural revision, you know it’s grown out of bounds in more than just words. It’s insisting on two POVs. Questionable in short stories. But–they’re both really, really interesting people. And given that it’s supposed to be fantasy warfare–and it is–it’s a different take than I’ve done before. We’ll see.

  • Comment by Genko — October 24, 2013 @ 11:49 am


    You just keep stumbling across these stories-that-want-to-be-bigger, don’t you. And of course as fans, we’d love for them to be bigger too. Love all those interesting people.

  • Comment by GinnyW — October 25, 2013 @ 7:27 pm


    I think it would fun if the story turned into a novella too. Maybe you could save the edits and put the longer version in your own anthology later.

    I second Kerry’s request for the title, when it reveals itself.

  • Comment by Linda — October 26, 2013 @ 11:30 am


    This is funny, in a way. I am struggling with my chronic problem of my life wanting to be a novella, not a short story. The pellet stove blew a fuse, visit by repair man, three weeks in the future. Backup propane furnace won’t stay lit. Temperature falling fast. Hard to do winterizing chores when I’m so cold.

    Also my possessions want to occupy something larger than my cottage, which means that any winterizing I want to work on probably involves a search for tools and maybe moving things for access. So I sat down at the computer to distract myself and lo and behold the comments gave birth to a solution involving the transformation of a bookcase into a “hutch” to go on top of my crafting table.

    Your post on the continuing production of must read books is a reminder that if I can stick to e-books for the “keepers” and donate the rest to a library I need fewer bookcases. I am feeling better about my reading addiction today. I have recently discovered that re-reading your books is a real step towards better mental health, as it is a pretty harmless distraction / addiction and a cheap way to feel better fast. Thanks, and Cheers!

  • Comment by Jim Marriner — October 27, 2013 @ 10:16 pm


    you know, I dont ever think I have read one of your books and thought, gee I wish this was shorter. The book could be over 1000 pages and i would sit there and eagerly read each one. Dont worry about us fans, hon, we will be ok.

  • Comment by GinnyW — October 29, 2013 @ 7:00 am


    Linda, Good luck with the winterizing, and the storage. I hope the cold weather holds off until the stove gets fixed.

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