Yesterday I finished my forty-ninth story since I began writing seriously, approximately a two and a half years ago. Since then I have sold seven stories to various low level zines (two in print, the rest online). I have trunked seven stories, three of them for overtly political themes that I just didn’t really handle well.
That leaves me with 35 stories still in play. Ever since I sold the very first story I wrote, I’ve been fairly confident that I can sell all of these stories to someone, somewhere. Of the stories, ten are pretty bad. I won’t be embarassed if they sell, but I’m definitely not going to revise them. The next fifteen (which are mostly comprised of stories I wrote during my freshman year and last summer), are decent. They’ve mostly been around the block once or twice, but I think they can be placed somewhere. Most of them could use at least one sentence-level revision (going through it and deleting clunky prose, rewriting things, etc).
The last ten are stories I’ve written during the last six months. These stories are my best. The problem is that the majority of them are not science fiction, they are literary stories. I have no idea how to market that sort of thing. I also like these stories enough that I’m planning fairly more revisions for some of them. None of these stories have yet been submitted (save one that I sold to my campus newspaper, hey a circulation of 10,000 is nothing to sneeze at).
Six of my stories are currently out, including one that is in the 3rd round at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I really want to send the last twenty-nine out into the world before I leave for Clarion. To be honest, I am tired of them, and most of them are never going to get any better. I’d prefer to get rid of them before I can come back and view them with contempt. However, submitting twenty-nine stories is quite a daunting task. Where the hell am I going to stack them all? That’s the dilemma that inspired this post. I think that tonight I’m going to concentrate on flushing out the dregs, and tomorrow I’ll work on where to place the work that’s actually good. I don’t know why I’m worrying about this right now, I still have two finals to study for and I need to pack/clean my room (which is a complete mess).