Last Clarion West story in

I have a Friday (technically) slot, which means that my stories go out on Monday and are critiqued on Tuesday. So that’s it for me – I’m not scheduled to turn in again.

In keeping with trying to go as far out on limbs as possible, I wrote fantasy this time, prodded by a bet by one Mike Underwood (who for his part wrote space opera for week six). I turned in at ~8,800 words, which is huge (it’s 50 formatted pages).

Here’s what’s crazier, though: that’s small. As late as last night I was well over 11k, with big chunks missing. At the suggestion of trusted advisors on the matter, I slashed huge subplots and world stuff out of it, boiling it down to just under 7k, then completed required scenes to get to 9k. My *cut file* from yesterday to this morning runs 26 pages. 26 pages.

I haven’t slept. I look horrible. I have no idea how good it is: I’m not anxious the way I am every week, I’m not worried about whether I pulled it off or not. I’m not even concerned this is the story Delaney will critique on Tuesday. All I want is a shower, a shave, and some decent sleep.

If I’d kept everything in, if I’d completed all the other plot threads instead of taking them out, this story might have run 20k easily, and likely even over that, at which point it’s a fat novella or looking to turn into a book manuscript.

Crazy. Time to head back in and work on tonight’s dinner.