Writing Snags: What do you do?


Problems with writing have struck me again. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, but here’s an update anyway.

The Lies of Venicia is on hold at the moment. I’m still writing it, but I’m needing to re-evaluate where I want it to go. I have two very different storylines going on and I’ve hit that point where I need a transitional period. I may try to add a fourth POV to the story, but that might extend the word count well beyond the 90,000ish word mark I was shooting for. I want it to be a relatively short, less-epic novel. I’ll figure it out though, don’t you worry.

Asher is a short story I’m basically finished writing, but I mentioned having a problem with it. My girlfriend didn’t get it. I’m thinking about either rewriting it or assuming that it is simply a ‘she-doesn’t-read-SF’ problem, which means the story might still be good. I’m leaning somewhat in the latter direction, but again, if anyone reads a lot of SF that could read Asher and tell me their opinion I would greatly appreciate it.

Now for my new problem. I have far too many of them actually. I’m currently writing a story called “Marx Ignatia For Hire!” (working title), which is actually the story of a character that is mentioned in passing in Asher. I just loved the name Marx Ignatia and when I started thinking about the character I realized it would be really awesome to tell a story that takes place in the same time period as Asher’s story, but from an entirely different perspective. What happens in Marx Ignatia is far different from what happens in Asher, since both events take place at the same time, but are entirely opposite.
Here’s my new problem. The story is turning out to be a lot longer than a typical short. I can’t fit this into 3,000 words, considering I’m at 1,566 and that’s maybe 1/3 into it. The middle section alone is going to take up a lot of space. It’s sort of a detective story, so there has to be plenty of time for Marx to, well, investigate. This means the word count could go anywhere from novelette to novella size. The longest it could go is novel size but I think the likelihood of me stretching it to that length is slim.
So what do I do in this instance? Is there even a good market for novelette or novella sized science fiction? How hard is it to sell something like this? I like this story a lot, so I am going to write it anyway, but if the chances of finding it a published home at those lengths is slim I might write a short story that involves the character, but a different story, and save this one until I can come up with enough to make a novel. I just think this story works well, at this point, as a novelette or novella (most likely novelette though, since that goes up to 20,000 words and I think this story will sit in around 15,000).

What are you thoughts everyone?

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.

2 thoughts on “Writing Snags: What do you do?

  1. I am pretty new to writing, but have been reading for a long time and pretty active. If you need another set of eyes or want to check the plot logic off of someone, let me know, would be happy to help.

  2. I left a comment on your blog. If you don’t get that, and see this first, please send me an email using my contact me thing on the left sidebar. I’m very interested in having a different set of eyes on this to determine if it is in fact a matter of SFness…or a matter of the story just being confusing. It makes perfect sense to me, but maybe I’m too close to the story.

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