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So a friend of mine told me in mid-October that Tor is accepting open submissions for novellas until 01-12-2017.

Great! I said.

I’ve never written a novella, and I’ve only read a handful of them; I like my fantasy series to have a dozen books, so I can really roll around in the universe. A 20,000-40,000 word limit is more intimidating to me right now than a 10,000 word History essay ever was in high school.

Well, comfort zones are for getting out of, right?

They’re looking for stories that are either: epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy.

Great! I said.

I’m sure there are people who can write a 20,000 word Epic fantasy masterpiece, but I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them. Similar problem with high fantasy. Sword and sorcery is fun to read, but I’ve never really been the type to play a fighter or a barbarian. Clashing shields and fireballs, not so much my thing.

Good thing I’ve always wanted to write a quest!

That is a lie. I have never wanted to write a quest; I find them frustrating a lot of the time, mostly because my life never follow such neat paths and I have a hard time believing it for anyone else. But that thing I was saying about comfort zones is no less true now than it was four paragraphs ago, and with NaNoWriMo looming, I figured it was at least worth a shot, right?

I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it through NaNo. The story I had was unlike anything I’ve ever tried to play with before, the format was short and strange, and of course life had no intention of pausing for a month to let me get my feet under me, because life is a jerk. I spent most of the month 7,000 words behind quota, and realized half way through that one of my three characters had about as much personality as cardboard. Thanks to the never-ending support of my wife, my cat, and my Appa plushie, I managed to push through and get the first draft finished on November 30 at 8:30 pm.

Cue celebratory hot chocolate, kitten snuggles, good night sleep.

Spend a couple of days getting caught up on schoolwork, groceries, the whole post-nano deal.

And then, of course, I wake up and realize what I’ve done: written a first draft.


So now I guess it’s time to roll up my sleeves, get the big mug in off the shelf, and see how quickly I can turn a first draft into a decent second draft, and a second draft into something that’s worth submitting to a publishing house.

Honestly, one of the scariest things I’ve ever contemplated doing, but if I can get it right, it’ll be worth it.

Fingers crossed! Here we go!