I skim read. It’s one reason I can read so fast, and also why I struggle with books sometimes – I miss words, plot details, minor things like character deaths or plot twists. I find the best way to make sure I do understand something is to read it at least twice…and I entirely failed to do that with a submission criteria last week. However, I also don’t particularly mind in this instance!
The submission is Fox Spirit’s Winter Tales call. I’d originally spotted it for a friend, but then started thinking about the meaning of winter. What would winter be in a desert? Could it be winter of the heart? And I wrote a 2000-word story, set in the Green Sky world.
“We ask that the stories take place on Earth….” FAIL.
I then started pondering about fables and Faeries, about selling your soul, about the nature of bargains and time. I picked up another writer’s character, discarded him, and then flipped the scenario around to my own characters. And I wrote another story, 5000 words, that’s based on the Dresden universe – so much that I don’t feel I can claim it’s my own. I know a lot of it is based from common mythology, but that isn’t where I’ve started. I haven’t referenced Dresden or Butcher, I haven’t used any of his world, but still…
“We are not looking for…fanfiction.” FAIL.
But, in both of these cases, I don’t mind. The Green Sky story is a quirky character study. The Dresden one is something I may use for something else, or might put on the blog at some point. Both were stories that popped into my head and I had to write in the way that I love about writing. It was good writing practise, and it was fun.
I’ve got the Red Ribbon submission still on the go, so at least that’s original – and I have read the submission criteria thoroughly!