Shifting Gears

I put Masters on hold for a while, starting the middle of last week. I’m up to 45,500 words, and have a clear end point in sight. But last week I realized it was halfway through March, and the deadline to enter this quarter’s Writers of the Future contest is 1 April.  Since I determined a while back that I wanted to take a try at it, it seemed a good idea to focus on getting something ready to submit.  Besides, to meet my writing goals for the year, I need to do a couple short stories a month in addition to working on my novel.

So I got started on another short story.  This one is longer than the first three.  I’ve already got 6,200 words, and have probably another two to three thousand to go before it’s finished.  That’s ok, because Writers of the Future accepts up to 17,000 words.  The new story is straight science fiction.  It details the life of crewmembers aboard an interstellar starliner, heading back to earth with cargo and passengers from a colony world.  Halfway through the journey, on the shift they call the center passage, the ship and its crew make a dramatic discovery.  I’ve taken pains to get the physics right as best I can, and to make the ship function on sound engineering principles.  But of course, I’ve taken a few liberties here and there.  I call the story Passing in the Night.  I’m on track to finish it this week, which will leave me the weekend and early next week to proofread and get some other eyeballs on it.  Then I’ll hit click on the Writers of the Future website, and we’ll see what happens.

In reality, I don’t expect to win, or come close to winning, on my first try.  But it’ll be fun regardless.  And who knows?  Maybe it could get an honorable mention or something.  Guess we’ll see.

Right.  Back to writing.