Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Finished: Draft of "Squiggles and Squares"

Today I finished a rough draft of "Squiggles and Squares" (@ 13,250 words).  This is long for me; I've only written a handful of stories in the 10,000+ range.  Partly that's because I have difficulty finishing lengthy projects, but also because it's darn near impossible to sell anything between 9,999 and 50,000 words.  Fortunately webfic and ebooks are gradually filling in what is not-so-affectionately known as "the gutter" to many people in the publishing world.

Anyhow, this is a Torn World story.  It began with a Muse Fusion prompt last year from ellenmillion, so I get bonus points for finishing a fragment.  This is epistolary fiction, presenting a series of entries in Nleimen's journals that run from her sixth birthday to partyway through her eighteenth year.  The main focus is her establishment of the Squiggle Mouse as a breed of fancy pet, but the story also shows how she studies science and artwork, her early networking contacts including Tosh near the end, and various other stuff.  It's mainly character-driven sociological science fantasy, although the time crystal technology and the time shards/boundaries do get mentioned repeatedly.  I rarely write epistolary fiction, so this was useful practice (more bonus points).  Another practice feature was evolving voice (still more bonus points), a very tricky technique ... come to think of it, last time I did this was a character losing his sentience over the span of 10,000+ words in "Confliction."  Here in "Squiggles" the shift comes as Nleimen grows up.

I also had a particular motive for finishing this story.  I could, of course, simply post it on Torn World -- assuming it gets past my first-reader and the canon board reasonably intact.  But I thought that it would also work neatly as a webserial, something I've been wanting to try.  The advantage here is that the story is already "in the can" so readers wouldn't have to worry about it running out of steam halfway through.  Therefore it has a conclusion (not the end of this character's adventures, but a comfortable stopping place).  Because it's an epistolary story, it has convenient episodes, very short at the beginning but approaching decent flash length later on.  Because it's a Torn World story, it has -- if I'm lucky and they like it -- a potential audience already. 

I'd like to try crowdfunding a webserial, and my first attempt at crowdfunding fiction was a total flop.  Anyhow, I'm thinking about different possible venues for this if it comes together: here or torn_world to pick up the LJ audience and/or one of the webfic hubs such as Webfic.Us or FictionPress to pick up readers interested in webserials.  Feedback on this is welcome.  If it sounds pointless, you can hint that I'm wasting my time.  If it sounds promising to you, comments, credits, karma, or a PayPal donation (see permanent button on profile) will get my attention and boost this project's priority.

Eventually, I'll let you know if or when "Squiggles" makes it through the revision process to release.  Right now, I'm sick of looking at it.  I spent a sizable chunk of today writing the last few episodes, then doing all the detail work like checking character names and filling in all the dates that I skipped specifying while I wrote offline and wasn't looking at the Torn World calendar.  I'll set this aside for a little while and get back to with fresh eyes later.
Tags: personal, science fiction, torn world, writing

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