Monday, April 30, 2012

Status Update!

I apolgize for my lack of updates for most of the month, but my father is recovering from a major operation, and I have come the designated driver, cook and handyman around the house until he fully recovers. It's cut into my writing time, but it's for a good cause. Family comes first.

I just had my seventeenth BattleCorps story published. Looking at my spreadsheet I use to track my stories pregression, I have had nearly 121,000 words published in those seventeen stories. That's the equvilent of a major novel!

And the future? Looking at the next section of stories I have partially written on my spreadsheet, I have a number of stories, ranging through nearly all the eras. One has only 1,900 words written, while another has over 13,000 words (Have to look at that and see if I can break it into a multi-part story, but only after I find out where it goes.) I have three parts of a story that might end up being a five-part story (With no expectation of Jason actually accepting it.). A couple or three characters of mine appear again in stories, and a couple of stories involve items I've written for sourcebooks. Plenty to look forward to.

And the Star League era. . . Herb Beas, the closest thing Battletech has to a god, said in the last BattleChat that the Star League era was "Boring". I take that a challenge, and will look into writing stories set in that wera that are NOT boring..

That's it for now. See you next time!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Have to do What?!?!

Last week, Jason Schmitzer, Battlecorps editor, and the man who decides what to buy for the website, sent me a couple of Emails about stories I had submitted. One he took as is and sent it along to the Continuity people. But it was the second one that caught me off guard.

The Email said: "There's some I like in this, but I don't have the budget. If you can trim about 2,500-3,000 words out of it, I can probably make a go of it, but at 9,500 its too big."

My first thought was "How in the Hell am I going to cut out 2,500-3,000 words?!?!"

I had edited down stories before, but nothing like 2500 words before! How was I going to do this? My story was perfect! Wasn't it?

So I started back into the story, reading thought it. A few words snipped here, and a few sentances rewritten there, and suddenly my "perfect" story lost 1600 words and was now 8100 words in lenght (Word counts are always rounded to the nearest hundred) A good start, but I still needed to get rid of at least another 900 words. Again, what am I supposed to do?

I posted the shortened version to the workshop (Now moved, but I don't know how long we're going to keep it at that location because It's not a good interface despite being "Brand new!" Newflash: the old interface was a hell of a lot better -- I have no idea why you changed it, but change it back!), and worked on a couple of other stories for a couple of days.

I then went back, checked the comments and read over the story again. A couple of minor characters were cut (Amusing, but ultimately not contributing much to the story) the 'Mech combat was streamlined, and some of the final scene was rewritten to account for some changes earlier in ths story. I guess I cut about 1500 words, and repalced them with about 600 new words. The new story was a lean 7200 words, right at the 2500 word minimum I had to cut.

I sent it Saturday night. No matter what happens to it, I learned something that I knew but failed to put in place. "Edit as much as you can without compromising the story!"

The story is still the same, leaner and less cluttered than before. If it meets with Jason's approval, you'll see it on Battlecorps sometime in the future.