Livia Llewellyn (livia_llewellyn) wrote,
Livia Llewellyn

I couldn't write a "short" story to save my fucking life

There's a spectacular thunderstorm going on right now. I've turned all the lights and the AC off in the room, and raised the blinds. Living in that shitty basement apartment made me so neurotic about rain (because rain = flooding), that I stopped enjoying the sound of it. It's nice to reclaim that little pleasure again.

I've been meaning to update with accounts of Nancy Kress's and Toby Buckell's smackdown on Saturday, the relatively well-ordered bacchanalia we had on Saturday (also well-deserved, since we'd just gotten halfway through the workshop), Joe and Gay Haldeman's arrival, and the start of the dreaded Week Four (so far, so good - although it got a bit ugly when we had to vote on class t-shirt designs, heh). However, all I've been able to spend my time on is my story. I know: it's like when women talk about their "boyfriends", and everyone silently adds "imaginary" to the word. My story is the "imaginary" story - I talk about it, I supposedly write on it every night, and yet no one has ever seen this mysterious document.

Well, this imaginary story (aka novelette) will be clocking in at approximately 12,000 words (don't bet on it being under that amount). It sort of sickens me that it's that long, not just because it's a terrible imposition on everyone else's time to have to read it. It's also a length that is completely unmarketable. I'd love to be able to do what Cherie Priest is doing with Subterranean (her success is well-deserved, I might add), but I'm so laughably far from earning that type of opportunity, it's not even worth thinking about it. Everyone in the workshop circle will have some great critical commentary on it, Joe and Gay (and Holly Black and Kelly Link next week) will all give me their opinions, and then? Trunk City. Because nobody in their right mind will spend good money on a 12k word mini-epic about a bunch of oversexed man-hating suburban witches by someone who is very much unproven. That's just the truth of the market. Maybe in five or ten years, I can do something with it. But it's dead at the starting gate, at this point in my "career".

And yes, I understand that I'm at Clarion to learn how to write, and I shouldn't consider this a waste of my time - everything I'm learning is applicable to fiction of all lengths. But if I can't write to market specifications for short fiction, then I should stick to novels. Besides, we all know what kind of success I've had with the "long form"!

::rolls eyes until they pop out of head::

Next week I'm handing in a grocery list. :P
Tags: clarion

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