Stories Finish: Now What?

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I’ve been working on two short stories as of late: Dreams of Priory and Nobody Gives a Crap About Compsagnathus (working title, I think). Both clock in around 8,000 words (the latter a little shorter, if memory serves me correctly). Both stories are drastically different too. The first story is a bizarre take on life, death, and the afterlife, with aliens thrown into the mix, and the other is about reverse engineering chickens into dinosaurs, which is meant to be mildly humorous (and which the girlfriend really doesn’t like even though she hasn’t read it because she asserts, given her genetics background, that such things are simply impossible…even though I got the idea from a news article).
In fact, the first story is really hard for me to pin down to a specific genre. I started writing it with aliens and the supernatural together, perhaps “future urban fantasy” would be a sufficient title. The problem is that I don’t know what to do with it. I’ll be editing it pretty soon and hopefully submitting it. I don’t know if this story should go to WOTF or if the dino story should. I had fun writing both and I like both stories, but Dreams of Priory has a special place in my heart for some reason. Maybe it’s because the story is confusing. It’s never entirely made clear why the main character (Sol) is the way he is. I try to explain, it but I didn’t want to have huge loads of exposition or dialogue where another character pulls an as-you-know-Bob. So, there is explanation, but I left it a little ambiguous. I don’t know if that was a good thing. I personally like stories that make me think about the ambiguity, and make a few of my own guesses too, but that’s not necessarily what I write (perhaps because I might not be good at the whole ambiguity thing). Still, I like the story. I intend to edit both of these and figure out what to do with both of them. I have less than nine days to get one of them off to WOTF though.
Now that I’m done with these two stories, I’m left wondering what to do next. I have a quota to meet every day, but I also have a lot of stories I’d like to edit first, some of them a bit on the long side, plus a novel to finish up (I have about 60,000 words left). But I also have a bunch of new story ideas (short stories mostly) that I’d like to work on as well. I like writing short stories now that I have them sort of figured out.
So, part of today was spent mulling over what to do next. I started to write a little in The White, but in doing so meant I needed to refresh myself more with the story. I took a while to do that and spent a lot of the day thinking. The result was that I only wrote 744 words. Part of that was from editing the previous chapters for The Spellweaver of Dern because I had left a character out. Yeah, lots of thinking today. But, I’m not going to hold any of that against myself, since I did do quite a lot of work in regards to brainstorming, etc. Tomorrow should be more productive though.
We’ll see.

(Don’t click the read more, there isn’t any more after this!)

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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