Thursday, 28 June 2007

Writing update

In my original fiction, I have market lists for science fiction, mystery and two for mainstream short stories. Top of the list is the most prestigious or the best paying (not always the same thing). If a story is rejected by a market, I have it in the mail to the next market within 24 hours. I currently have seven original stories working their way through the various lists. One was written last week. One was written two years ago. I never know when or if an original story is going to sell.

Media tie-in or write for hire works differently. In the first place, I write for an Intellectual Property and do not have any rights to the stories I sell. For a big project like a novel or a hard-bound anthology, an editor invites pitches -- high concept, one-paragraph ideas. In the case of a novel if the pitch is good the editor may ask for a proposal -- usually a 3-5k narrative outline and character bios/settings. With short stories the buy decision is usually made on the pitch. (Payment is on delivery or on publication, depending on the market.) With other markets like trade paperback or mass market anthologies or web-based publications, I just submit the story. With everything electronic these days it's a very streamlined process.

This has been a busy few days for me in write for hire.
I'm in the midst of a very friendly and informative exchange of e-mails with editor of that British game IP I want to write for. Learning a lot about them and what they're looking for. Even though my early pitches didn't hit the mark, I have the feeling both of us are trying to develop this into a working relationship.

With a second British IP (trying to reach the point where I can write a trip over off as a business expense -- love to see the place) two editors have invited me to pitch stories for their anthologies. Both of these projects are weeks away. However, in the course of the second invite, I was given an introduction to a third editor who's coming up on his deadline. Another exchange of e-mails and third invitation to pitch -- with the proviso I deliver the pitches by Saturday.

Yesterday I received an emergency communique from an American IP. The publisher's inventory is heavy with novellas and he is requesting as many 2-3k stories as I can deliver immediately. (I tried to negotiate this into a promise to buy every story I send and was told I know better than that.)

So. Writing to do list:
1. Develop three pitches for anthology w/Saturday deadline and get them e-mailed by Friday, June 29.
2. Write four 2-3k stories and get them to market by Tuesday, July 3.
3. Get the next novel pitch to the British game IP e-mailed Thursday, July 5 (so they receive it Friday morning and have the weekend to think about it).
4. Get started on my original novel Saturday, July 7.

I have not yet reached the point where I can do this full time, but I'm working on it.


Rowan Coleman said...

I once wrote a TV tie in novel for a drama under another name. it was the hardest thing I have ever done - I think it'sso diffuclt ot get it right, I couldn't do it again I don't think!

leatherdykeuk said...

Seriously impressive output there!

liz fenwick said...

Don't think I could do it!