There’s a nifty blog hop going around in the writing community right now. It’s called “The Next Big Thing!”. It basically gives writers a chance to talk about their current work in progress and then tag other authors to do so as well.
I was tagged by Michael Haynes in his 300th blog post, found here. Michael is a very talented author. I really admire his work and his talent. We met through Twitter, I believe, and have chatted quite a bit there. Then, last September at Context 25, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with Michael in person for a little bit. Definitely a fun experience.
Anyway, these “Next Big Things” questions are normally geared toward novelists, so Michael edited the questions to apply to short story writers. Now on to the main event!
1: What is the working title of one of your current stories?
“The Balance Between Us” is a short story that I recently finished. It totals out at roughly 6,000 words. I’m thrilled to be able to announce here that it has officially been accepted for publication in the Sidekicks! anthology soon to be published by Alliteration Ink, edited and put together by Sarah Hans.
2: Where did the idea come from for the story?
I wrote “The Balance Between Us” specifically for the Sidekicks! anthology. This anthology is, as it sounds, a collection of short stories focused on sidekicks, those wonderful folks standing in the shadows of heroes.
Sarah had invited me to submit something last fall and I sent her a Western piece using some familiar characters from a previous story. Unfortunately, that piece didn’t quite make it. I was thrilled, however, when Sarah offered me a second chance.
She said she wanted a story with a male sidekick and female hero. The difficult part is that I only had about 3 weeks to write, edit and submit the piece. I’ve been caught up in the science fiction genre lately, so I decided to go there. I brainstormed for about a week, scribbled about 20 pages worth of handwritten notes and eventually developed a plot centering on two characters that, together, lead a mercenary unit hired to put down resistance movements on colonies. The whole thing just sort of spun out from there.
3: What genre does “The Balance Between Us” fall under?
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oooh, that’s a tough one. Rurik (the sidekick) might be across between Ty Olsson (Supernatural) and Daniel Craig. Both of these gentleman have a rather stocky build (Ty Olsson more so than Daniel Craig) and a bit of a Russian look to them, which was how I pictured Rurik. As for Shae (the “hero”), possibly Milla Jovovich — only with short, wild red hair.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?
A man struggles with his conscience while trying to help his captain put down a resistance with the least possible blood spilled.
6: Will your story be self-published or represented by an agency?
This piece has already been accepted, as I mentioned before, for publication in the Sidekicks! anthology.
7: How long has the editing taken you?
I finished the first draft of the story on January 5th. The story was 8,200 words long and the limit was 6,000. I spent the next ten days editing like a maniac, getting as many critiques from my good writing buddies (Michael Haynes included!), and cutting as many words as possible. By the time I finished editing, the story was under 6,000 words and I had rewritten both the beginning and the ending.
8: What other stories would you compare “The Balance Between Us” to within your genre?
Oh, yikes! I don’t know. I mean, I read a lot of short stories, but not a ton of science fiction stories that are set on colonies (I know they’re out there, I just haven’t read them). And I haven’t read any about mercenary suppression units.
I will say that I was consciously and subconsciously trying to find the proper balance between intense character-driven stories and neat sci-fi action that was done so well by Battlestar Galactica (the reboot). I know…that’s not a “story”, per say but I think it counts!
9: Who or What inspired you to write this story?
Once again, Sarah Hans and the Sidekicks! anthology.
10: What else about your story might pique the reader’s interest?
I named one of the minor characters after one of my best internet buddies — an amazing critiquer who helped me during the brainstorming session.
So that’s that! Now I’d like to take a moment to tag an author or two to continue The Next Big Thing! I don’t know if either of these two have been tagged before, but here goes.
Samantha Memi — another talented writer and good friend that I met over at Scribophile.
And that’s all I’ve got folks! Thanks, as always, for taking the time to stop in. 🙂