I've been mucking about with this writing thing for a couple of years now and I'm thinking maybe I'm getting a tad bit better at it. Perhaps…a tad…what, no comment from the peanut gallery?
Ahem, errr, so, as I continue to hone my craft and hopefully improve HOW I write, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't be putting more thought into WHAT I write.
Historically the inspirations for my stories have come from rather mundane sources: A chocolate chip cookie. A tattered comic book cover. A discolored bit of sidewalk.
These don't strike me as the sorts of things that might inspire greatness. But then again, who am I to judge?
Actually, if I'm to be perfectly honest, I will have to admit that this line of thinking has been born out of my search for homes for my little orphan short stories. I don't know if any of you have been trying to place stories in speculative fiction markets lately, but editors can be so…persnickety.
One wants romance stories about left-handed dwarves, another buys only myopic, alternate histories featuring gender-bending anthropomorphized woodland creatures. On and on it goes. So picky.
I know if I keep on looking and sending em out, one day—like those poor creatures on the Isle of Misfit Toys—my stories will find a home. But as I begin to envision my next project I wonder… Do I? Dare I? Consider writing to a market? I mean, actually researching what a particular editor wants and attempting to focus in like a laser beam on that kind of story.
So, my question is this: is that selling out? Is that giving in to the man and relinquishing my artistic freedom—nay, RIGHT—to create my own stinkin' crap, versus stinkin' crap that someone told me they wanted me to write?
Or is that simply market-savvy writing that gets right down to business like a shark with a frickin' laser beam attached to its head?