Finished the first draft of my Machine o’ Death submission today, coming in a hair over 8,000 words (ie 8,100 words). Really had a good time writing it, lots of, y’know, nice little bits in it, not entirely sure about the ending, might need to tweak and tuck and tidy and possibly write something completely different but still, overall, very happy with it. My thoughts about the whole thing? Well, first of all, short stories are a breeze! Outline one day, finished first draft the next, so instantly gratifying! And I could read the whole thing in … let’s see, 8,000 words, oh, well less than an hour, probably. I could do my three edits/two proofs in a single day, mad! I guess I’m just used to writing lengthy novels, so this is all very strange and wonderful to me. Also, although I have to admit I didn’t immediately warm to the whole Machine of Death thing, now that I’ve written a story in that ‘universe’ I have to say that it’s really fun and really interesting. The whole predictions thing is great to play around with and leads to loads of neat ideas. About the story itself–well, first, a little background in case you’re not familiar with this whole Machine of Death thing, basically the concept is that there’s a machine, and it can predict how you’re going to die. It gives you a little card. The rules are that the prediction is accurate and that once you’ve got a prediction, it can’t change. Anyway, my story is titled:
AYLA JONES, OPTIMISTIC
It’s a far-future sort of thing, the simple story of a group of pre-salvagers scavenging stuff from a derelict spaceship.
I think it’s good. I think it definitely has a chance of being accepted into the anthology. I hope I do get in, I could really use the exposure.
Also, this is cute, my father has gone zombie-mad from reading Imogen Shroud. He’d never really been exposed to them before, you see, just the original Night of the Living Dead and Braindead. Now every time I see him he’s talking about “What if a zombie attack happened right now?” and suggesting weapons and things (solid-slug shotgun shells, he feels would be effective, and for melee a gorse-clearing scythe–I have to agree, if it can slice through two inches of gorse a zombie has no chance against it). Anyway, I’m just glad he enjoyed it. My mother too, who likes everything about it EXCEPT the zombies. And another ‘How do you know about smoking?’ comment from her, which was gratifying. Writer, you see? We research and we question and we think, and it’s not strictly necessary to have personally experienced something to write about it. ‘Write what you know’ is good advice, but ‘what you know’ can always, always be expanded.