Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

First sale

I just sold my first short story. Colour me gobsmacked.

The story is a 1000 word flash fiction called Troy Trooper about a roboticist called Manish who has developed a robotic toy soldier with a rather flaky AI mind. I sold it to Escape Pod. They're a Podcast market, which means that they will record a reading of it and give it away as a CC licensed audio file. Admittedly they don't pay anywhere near professional rates, but they do pay in real money. They currently survive on donations from their listeners.

I have to admit I had pretty much given up any hope of them buying the story, as it's been nearly two months since I submitted it, and when I re-read it the other day I could already see several small flaws. I originally wrote it under the title Trevor the Trooper a couple of years ago, but I could tell it had lots of problems and wasn't sure how to fix it, so I put it to one side and forgot about it. Then I started listening to Escape Pod and wondered if I had anything I might be able to submit to them, and Trevor the Trooper came to mind. It was about 700 words too long for their flash fiction category, so I had to rewrite it in order to distil out the crap and get it down to 1000 words. Actually I ended up rewriting it twice because the first attempt didn't come out the way I wanted it to. The rewrites proved to be far harder and more time consuming than I had expected. 1000 words? I should be able to knock that out in a couple of hours. Nope. Try a couple of long days of hard work. I certainly learned a lot about how to make every word count. I had to be brutal with the premise, cutting out anything that wasn't essential to the core story. I originally had a sister toy to Trevor - a sort of AI robotic Barbie doll. She wasn't essential so she had to go. So did the very funny but totally irrelevant stuff about the buggy robotic lawnmowers outside the robotics factory. I'd better not say any more or I'll wind up giving away the plot.

I'll post another entry when they publish it (hopefully some time in the next few weeks).
Tags: writing

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