If you have read my previous post, you should know that my bio/resume as an author is pretty non-existent. I wrote a 100,000 word manuscript, and that’s about it. But composing a short story isn’t just to boost my resume as an author, it’s to prove that my writing and my story are good enough. So last night, I began composing my first short story.
My story is set in the world of Thornwall that I have created for my novel. It even involves some of my favorite characters from it too, set before the events of my novel take place. I have chosen this route for many reasons:
1) Leverage. I have already dedicated a lot of time into creating this world, so showing other aspects of it through a short story is always a plus.
2) Recognition. When this short story becomes published (and hopefully wins a contest or two) then it gives credit to THE SOUL SMITH. It is a statement that my characters, my writing, and the fantasy elements of my world are worthy of an agent’s attention.
3) Fans. Any fans of my novel will love to be rewarded with a short tale that involves some of the characters; where they came from, how they met, etc. None of this would be possible without a readership, so doing everything I can to engage them is important.
4) Marketing. My name and readership will grow if my story is published and/or wins a contest. Once posted on my website, I can drive more traffic there, get more online followers, etc. Being “publishing ready” is important to agents. Additionally, I could throw in a tag line at the end to say something like, “Do you crave more? Be sure to read Adrian V. Diglio’s novel: THE SOUL SMITH”.
5) Characters. These were some of my favorite characters from my novel and I wanted to give them the spotlight.
6) SFWA Associate Membership. After getting one short story sold, I can become an associate member and therefor further my author resume/bio.
So here is my plan. I will submit my writing to Critters Writer’s Workshop to obtain additional critique. (By the way, I am blown away at the membership they have. They have Nebula Award winning authors, and presidents of SFWA, it’s insane!) Then I plan on submitting to fantasy magazines like Light Speed that pay you if they publish your short story. Sure, they have to accept your submission, but I am confidant. They pay you 5 cents a word and they prefer stories that hang around 5,000 words in length. That’s $250 and publishing credit! I would additionally try submitting to these other places that buy short stories: Llist provided by SFWA. With money like that I will use to pay the entry fees for submitting the same short story to multiple writing contests. At my first glance, I noticed that short story contests have an entry fee anywhere from $10-$40, but you usually get a magazine subscription or something as part of it. If my short story wins… then the prize money will be money in my pocket, plus bragging rights for me! The prize money for winning a contest is usually $250 – $1,000. That’s not why I’m doing this, but it would be a nice bonus.
That’s my plan anyways. We will see how well it is executed. Though, I think this is the path to success that any new author of fiction should take.