I submitted Unjoined to Clarkesworld Magazine
. The queue moves quickly; when I submitted a few days ago I my submission was listed somewhere above 100, and at the moment it's at 15. But the magazine has limited space. Only two stories a month, and of these only one is from new talent/the submissions system. Sooo, I'm hoping.
I'm rereading Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
, and it's giving me a lot of food for thought. Right now I'm struggling with the MICE quotient--the idea that your story is either a Milieu, Idea, Character, or Event story. Obviously any one story can have components of more than one of these, but the beginning and end of the story is determined by which one of these ultimately fits your story. If it's a Milieu story, it starts with an outsider arriving in a novel land, and ends with him either leaving or choosing to stay. If it's an Idea story, it starts with a question or problems that needs to be solved, and ends with it being answered. If it's a Character story, it starts with a character beginning to change and grow from the place they are now, and ends when they've completed the change/found an acceptable place for themselves. If it's an Event story, it begins with the main character in a world that's been disturbed/wronged in some way, and ends with this character fixing the disturbance and setting the world to rights.
Soooo, I'm having trouble not just determining which one of these I need for my story, but also which one some other stories fit into. Like I suppose... Mistborn is an Event story. That's easy enough, I think; Vin and the other characters are the crew that will finally "fix" the world from the way the Lord Ruler and Ruin left it. But the one I just read, The Dead-Tossed Waves
(which was really good by the way)? I'm not so sure. It starts with Gabry's world changing, being placed into upheaval, when she's finally convinced to leave the safety of her town and it goes all wrong when she and her friends are attacked by a Breaker--a super-fast zombie. But it doesn't end with her righting
her world. There are still zombies, and she leaves the safety of home behind, probably permanently. She certainly grows up, though... so perhaps it's a Character story, except she doesn't precisely choose
the change she goes through. It's kind of forced on her.
I'm being hopeless and rethinking Blood and Heat again. Kind of... seeing what would change if I focused on making it an Event or Idea or Character story. (It's definitely not Milieu.) Hm. It's in a state of flux right now. We'll see how it settles. Maybe nothing will change. No idea yet.