flash fiction

Horror fiction submission

Earlier this week I dashed off an 800-word flash fiction piece in a sudden fit of inspiration.

“Frankenstein’s Monster” features a man compulsively dreaming about a woman from his past. He worries this might start to affect his marriage (“I gave a wife… I love her very much,” he insists). So he goes to a quack “specialist” doctor to receive a new-fangled dream treatment. Unfortunately for our protagonist he experiences some ugly unintended consequences.

My target market for this piece is Every Day Fiction. They’re far and away my favorite online market, combining a skilled editorial team with a solid online format and plenty of opportunities for commenting and sharing. The latter is HUGE for writers in this day and age. In fact, old-school static pages have soured me on a number of other online venues, including hackwriters and Bewildering Stories. I am submitting primarily for visibility, after all. If a publication isn’t optimized for the modern web user it’s usually not worth a submission.

If EDF rejects “Frankenstein’s Monster” I’ll probably look to a specialty SF/horror market next.

“Like Killing A Mockingbird” published!

It’s been a long time coming, but “Like Killing A Mockingbird” has finally been published on Every Day Fiction.

You can read the full story here: http://www.everydayfiction.com/like-killing-a-mockingbird-by-malcolm-chandler

I would love to hear what you think!

…And now for a form rejection

You can’t win them all. While Every Day Fiction accepted “Like Killing A Mockingbird,” Flash Fiction Online has summarily rejected “First Corinthians.” The email didn’t get into details. The original submission guidelines, however, stated that the editor isn’t looking for downer stories. I have a feeling “First Corinthians” was a bit too much of a downer, what with its central premise being the absence of God and all.

“Like Killing A Mockingbird” accepted

After a somewhat lengthy wait (and a rewrite) Every Day Fiction has accepted my flash story, “Like Killing A Mockingbird.” According to their editorial calendar the story will be published on May 20.

I can’t say enough about the editorial team at EDF. They have given me great critical feedback throughout the submission process and have really pushed me to improve the story. It’s come a long way since the first draft. I will post a link when “Like Killing a Mockingbird” goes live on May 20.

Flash Fiction Online submission

As part of my ongoing quest for increased visibility, I submitted my flash horror story, “First Corinthians,” to Flash Fiction Online. In an earlier post I described the story thusly:

“First Corinthians” is about a little girl speaking to the exorcist trying to throw a demon out of her sister. It actually takes place apart from the exorcism itself, while the exorcist is taking a break. This isn’t blood and guts horror. I’m trying for something more cerebral – maybe even philosophical. The story is about faith and God and how one copes in the apparent absence of those things. What if God didn’t exist but the Devil did? Pretty horrifying stuff, methinks, albeit in a much subtler way.

As usual, updates to follow.

New short story project

I’m still waiting on a decision regarding “Like Killing A Mockingbird” from Every Day Fiction. In the meantime I dashed off a first draft of a new short story. Its working title is “First Corinthians.” It, too, is a flash fiction piece. Unlike the abovementioned story its genre is horror.

Why did I decide to do horror? Probably has a lot to do with all that True Detective I’ve been watching.

“First Corinthians” is about a little girl speaking to the exorcist trying to throw a demon out of her sister. It actually takes place apart from the exorcism itself, while the exorcist is taking a break. This isn’t blood and guts horror. I’m trying for something more cerebral – maybe even philosophical. The story is about faith and God and how one copes in the apparent absence of those things. What if God didn’t exist but the Devil did? Pretty horrifying stuff, methinks, albeit in a much subtler way.

I would love to share a bit of the first draft but I plan to try and publish this online and most e-zines ask for first electronic rights. For now suffice it to say that this project exists. I will update as things progress. I am setting my first draft aside for a few days so I can come back with a fresh perspective.

“Like Killing A Mockingbird” rewrite

Sent my rewrite in to Every Day Fiction yesterday. As I noted in an earlier post, I really appreciated the initial round of editorial feedback. It definitely pushed me to improve the story. This second draft is an order of magnitude better than the first. A decision on the rewrite should come much quicker than the original submission. Will update when I hear something.

Request for revision from Every Day Fiction

Some time ago I submitted a flash fiction piece to Every Day Fiction. Yesterday I got back a request for revision. Some writers probably look at this as rejection. But to me a request for revision (and the accompanying critical feedback) can be more rewarding than even a string of unqualified acceptances. After all, success isn’t half as good a learning opportunity as failure. Besides, when people stop telling you no and just accept everything you put out you run the risk of ending up like George Lucas.

Specifically this request has to do with character development. Namely that there should be more of it. This is something I struggle with in short fiction – particularly flash fiction. I fall into the trap of viewing very short pieces as snapshots more than fully formed stories. Telling a complete story with three-dimensional characters is not the easiest thing to do in 1,000 words.

I said I would take another look and submit a second draft by Sunday.

Flash fiction submission to Every Day Fiction

Just submitted a flash piece to Every Day FictionIf you’re unfamiliar with the site, it publishes one piece of flash fiction a day, every day of the year. Hence the name. All genres are welcome as long as the submission is under 1,000 words. EDF’s a great place for previously unpublished writers to submit. There are some very astute and honest commenters offering critical feedback. The only downside is Every Day Fiction doesn’t pay anything except for a token dollar.

This particular submission is titled “Like killing a mockingbird.” It’s a bit of sci-fi, based on the premise that if computers ever become self-aware some of them will probably commit crimes, and someone will have to defend them in a court of law. It’s Neuromancer meets To Kill a Mockingbird. Or maybe Dead Man Walking. 

Updates to follow. It could be up to 90 days before I hear anything.