Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writing to spec

One of those things that I have done a lot during my writing career is write a story to meet a given specification. What this means is that there is that a company puts out a request for a story that meets some criteria and I then figure out how to do a story that meets that criteria and still makes sense to me.

For example here are a few of the story specs I've written to:

1. An Ellora's Caveman story that involves one of the following: a heavyset heroine, a vampire, futuristic, or bondage.

Or as I put it "so if I write a story about a vampire who lives on a space ship and finds a heavyset heroine tied to a tree, that would work, right?"

My editor said "Yeah, that would work."

And it did work. The story was "Darkpilot's Bride" and it is in Ellora's Cavemen Legendary Tails, volume 1

2. A story based on a Tarot card to be part of a card set put out by my publisher.

I wrote "Imperfect Judgment" and it was about an abandoned space colony that uses Tarot cards to make important decisions, and the "judgment" card featured prominently in the story.

To date I haven't written another story in that world, but I really enjoyed creating it.

3. A story where people ask Mrs. Claus for something that changes their life.

In "Perfect Hero" my heroine puts on a white board at work her request to "Mrs. Claus" for a new monitor and gets a magic one the next day. When she uses it to design a game character she ends up with a"hero" that steps out of the monitor. He then goes on to ensure she has a magical Christmas.

I've done others but you get the idea. I enjoy the challenge of taking a story concept and twisting it into something I want to write.

Recently I joined a group of writers who are doing an outer space anthology. The concept is a short work, ten to twenty thousand words, set in a casino on a space station. Now there are all sorts of ideas this brings up but I've decide to do a story set in my Gaian world. So the story will be a Gaian man who finds his match in a woman working the equivalent of a black-jack table in a small space station. The tentative title is "a turn of the cards" and I've already gotten several thousand words written and the plot planned out.

I'm pretty excited about it so watch this space for more information.

Janet Miller/ Cricket Starr

1 comment:

Rolynn Anderson said...

You are clever! I like this kind of challenge. Makes me think we could 'cruise' for plots/characters that people REALLY want to read about. I think I might try that!