Places to write, Writer's Blog

Published way out of my comfort zone…in fact out of this world!

I received an email this afternoon advising me that another of my short stories has been accepted for publication. I know that’s not a huge achievement in the grand scheme of things but it was a story I wrote for a module as part of my coursework and I had to step way out of my comfort zone.

I like to write stories with a twist in the tale and stories encompassing subjects I have a little knowledge to draw upon. This particular module was to produce around 3000 to 4000 words on a subject I have never previously written about. I chose to write an alien story. I didn’t opt for scary, more along the lines of strange but oddly friendly.

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I am not sure about any of you but I have never had the pleasure of meeting with a real live alien. I haven’t met any expired ones either but that’s really not important. I found it difficult as the whole story had to be fabricated from nothing, where usually I have at least a small amount of knowledge or insight to draw upon.

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I bashed away at the keyboard over the course of a few days (remember, I do have a full time job and spend much of my spare time dancing so there is much to work around). I edited and re-edited and when I was happy with my finished piece, duly sent it to my course tutor. I didn’t hold out too much hope of a good mark, after all my tutor probably knows lots of aliens! Surprisingly, the assignment was returned to me with a glowing mark and some positive comments, the last of which was to advise me to send it for submission. I didn’t expect that from an other-worldly story.

I submitted it and forgot all about it, expressing my pleasure when it was shortlisted into the second round of reading. I have never thought much about sci-fi as a way forward but, as you can guess from my blog heading, I received an email today advising me it is being included in a Fantasy Story collection in September.

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Maybe the moral here is to stretch my imagination and spend more time out of my comfort zone. I may not get rich on small publications but it is a step closer to my ultimate goal.

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