This weekend I finally finished my short story. I had an epiphany on Friday. I remembered that the story was set in the world of my NaNoWriMo story from last year, where a man learns magic from dragons to save the world from a demon invasion. That meant that I had a way for my character to escape from the demon. I could use some of the work that I had done developing my world in my first story to help me with my new one. Once I figured that out, all I had to do was figure out what part of my earlier story applied in my new one.
Another thing I realized is that my character needed to be more affected by what had happened. She had caused the death of her partner. Even though they were always fighting, they had been together so long that they might as well have been friends. The problem was that she needed to admit that to herself. She needed to let herself feel all the pain that the events in the story had caused. I needed to work more on character development. I needed to let her open up to the reader and show how she felt.
So I started with another revision (of course). I opened with her falling apart with the demon pounding on the door. Then I flashed back to the hunt. I made her directly responsible for the death of her friend. Then I started working on bringing out the magic.
In my dragon story the idea was that when a dragon breathed fire on a person that had magical ability, they burned away all the dross that kept them from being able to use their magic. I decided that the terrible events that had happened to my character in this short story had the same effect. They stripped away everything that mattered to her, leaving nothing left to block the magic from coming out. She was left with one thought in the midst of her depression: that she was NOT going to let this happen to the rest of her people.
The magic came out, she destroyed the demon, and she went home. The end.
It reads a bit better than that, but you get the idea. I focused on character, and used what I had learned about the world in my other story to finish this one.
I like it, and I know where I am going to submit it. It’s a little anthology being done by FableCroft, a company out of Australia. The project is called Apocalypse Hope, and submissions close September 30. They pay AUD$50 (anyone know how much that is in US$?) and a copy of the book. There may also be further royalties for e-book sales.
And if they don’t want it, I’ll send it out to someone else. Like I said, I like the story, and I think it is worth publishing somewhere. I can always put it out myself as a 99¢ e-book if I want to. It’s just under 4000 words.
My plan is to run it past my critique group one more time tomorrow night, make some final revisions, and send it out. If the editor likes it I will post the news here first. Wish me luck and I’ll see you on Thursday!