The bad news? I didn’t get the story finished in time to submit to Sword and Sorceress this year. But the good news is that I passed the professional exam I was studying for, and I have a really good start on the story I’m going to submit for Sword and Sorceress next year. This story decided to get more epic than I thought it was going to get. Which is good because it means that I have a whole year to build and refine and revise this story, and maybe make something more of the world that I’ve started developing.
I don’t usually do a ton of research for my fictional projects. That’s both an advantage and a disadvantage when it comes to writing fantasy. It means that I can make stuff up as I go, but it also means that the stuff that I make up might not be based on realistic principles. Even though reality is not the focus of the fantasy genre, the writing itself needs to be based in ideas to which readers can still relate. There needs to be a frame of reference, and this is starting to sink in now that I’m really getting serious about this getting published thing. I still have research to do on this story. A lot of it. That’s why I wasn’t able to get this story to submission quality in only a week. Lucky for me, there is a blacksmith in the town where I live who does the medieval-style stuff. I’m planning to contact him after the regional Renaissance festival is over to see if he can point me in the right direction.
I remain optimistic about this story and what it can become (which suggests that I have not yet spent enough time with it, since I am not sick of it yet), and the things that it can do for me and my career. It is pushing me in ways that I never imagined that it would, and that is fine by me. If I’m not growing, then I am stagnating, and I can’t afford to stand still.