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Lovecraftian Acceptance Feeds My Hungry Ego!

A while back, famed Lovecraft scholar and weird fiction editor S.T. Joshi flattered me by asking me to write a story for Black Wings II, a sequel to the excellent collection of Cthulhu Mythos inspired tales, Black Wings. I was, needless to say, excited and didn't hesitate to say yes.

I've written very little short fiction. In fact, I've only written one other short story, and that was last year. I just tend to think in big plots that don't squeeze well into short form. Most of the ideas that I have that I love I want to be novels. It's actually a habit I'm trying to break myself of, and I think this experience has helped me a lot. I hope so, since one of my many schemes (this one still way to early to be anything but secret) involves writing a fair amount of short stuff.

My idea for Black Wings II is way off the wall. It's not really a mythos tale. It's not even a supernatural tale. It does have a LOT of H.P. Lovecraft in it though. I loved the idea, but executing it turned out to be much more of a challenge than I thought. Even my original outline for a short story with this idea would have been novella length if I'd tried to adhere to it. As I started writing, I found that I had to condense it down to its essential elements and just a few key scenes. A lot of strange but potentially fun ideas got cut away, leaving a story that still does everything I wanted it to. It was a great experience.

But because it was so different, I was worried that S.T. wouldn't go for it. Hell, I was worried no one at all would go for it! So I turned it in a month early (which is to say, yesterday), giving myself time to pen my backup idea if this one didn't pass muster.

I'm very pleased to report that it did indeed pass muster! S.T. wrote back last night and is delighted with it. I have some edits to make, but they are all of the time and date, punctuation marks and italics here variety and not the story itself. Damn, what a relief! I still plan to write that "back-up" story too. I love that idea as well, although it's slightly (only slightly!) more traditional in its form. 

In the meantime, I've started in earnest on the new novel this week, building up my traditional massive outline. I think I'm going to try and use this space to catalog my progress and try and give some insight into my writing process. That would be fun, wouldn't it?

Reader Comments (6)

Awesome! It takes a cool hand to submit a non-supernatural story in that situation. Your next submission should be a recipe for Yog-Sothoth cookies.
February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt
Congratulations! You are so pro. Looking forward to seeing it.
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