Sunday, October 08, 2006
  Decisions, Decisions
I've written a story for the Sails and Sorcery anthology, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's got a lot of conflict, a ton of tension, and it's quite spooky, if I say so myself. But this weekend at Context, I went to a panel on "What is Horror?" that's making me rethink the story.

I would consider quite a few of my short stories to be horrific stories -- The Priesthood is very Twilight Zone, Mutawwa describes a dark, mind control distopia and while the end for the protagonist is ok, the rest of society has a pretty bleak future, and so on. My readers have, on the other hand, commented on how realistic these stories are. (Which to me says we're living in pretty horrific times!) Anyway, this response got me thinking what is the difference between the tales I was telling and a horror story. Which led me to my current story.

This new story, as it stands, is a tale of redemption. If I took out the redemptive part, and left only the horrific part, it would clearly be a horror story, and one that works pretty well, I think. Of course, it works well as it stands, but...(isn't there always a but?)... it's on the long side at 8600 words. The anthology's word limit is 9000, so I've squeaked in under the limit, but I'm thinking it will still be easier to sell a 6000 word story than an almost 9000 word story.

So now I am debating -- rework the whole thing as a pure horror story, no redemption, merely recompense, or leave it as is?

Agh! Decisions like this are tough. The story is fine as is, but it would also be fine without the redemption, certainly would be one of those chilling tales. So it's not a matter of feeling like I'm prostituting my art to the market, both stories would be good.

Only God and the editors can tell which is more likely to make it into the anthology. Maybe I'll send an email to the editors of the anthology and see which sort of story they are more interested in... That's probably a no-no as well.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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