The best thing about being a science fiction writer

I did some fiction writing yesterday, something I’ve been avoiding because I just felt like it hasn’t been going well lately. Early in the day I received a form-letter rejection from a place where I’d previously sold a story. “Ouch!” I thought, and my initial reaction was that the story was so bad that it wasn’t worth even comment. But I liked the story and indeed, later in the day, one of the editors took the time to follow up and send me some detailed comments on why they felt the story did not work. The comments made complete sense and I realized that the story was good, but that it did have some problems. While the story has pretty much circulated everywhere I can think to send it, I can certainly learn from those helpful comments.

So thanks to that editor who took the time to provide them to me. You know who you are and it was above and beyond the call.

Later in the day I had a long chat about writing with the eminently popular, and fabulous science fiction writer Juliette Wade. Our conversation inspired me to get back to my novelette which has been giving me endless amounts of trouble. Like a batter in a hitting slump, nothing I do seems to work at the moment, and yesterday, Juliette acted as a kind of hitting coach, and just by discussing our stories, I began to feel like giving it another try.

So last night I started a new scene in “Rescue” to replace an older scene that was just bleh. The new scene is not done by I got through 800 words of it before the Little Man was awakened by the last vestiges of Kelly’s morning sickness and I had to console him back to sleep. I’m pleased with the direction the scene is going. I put it in there as a way of introducing some necessary back story without the “Well, you know Bob…” gimmickry we’ve become all to familiar with. In second draft I think the scene will be a lot better, and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up tonight–I know just how it will end and it also ties in very nicely with the first scene in the story. So overall, I am pleased.

I’d like to work my way back into writing fiction every day–something I haven’t been doing much of lately. This was a good first step and I have Juliette to thank for her valuable coaching–which she probably doesn’t even realize she was giving. I’ll tell you: the best thing in the world about being a professional science fiction writer is being able to call other science fiction writers friends.

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