What Do I Do Now?

By | March 2, 2011

You wrote the story. You edited the story. You scrapped it. You rewrote it. You edited the story again. You asked friends for input, then ignored them. You continued editing. You cut, you cut, you cut. You asked friends for input and listened to them. You put it into proper manuscript format. You sent it in.

Now what?

This story is done.
There is nothing you can do to make this story more likely to succeed. This counts whether it’s an Alpha submission story or a story sent to a market. Right this second, the story stands on its own. Do your best not to worry.

Have you seen your cat today?
Get up from the computer. Stretch! Go outside! Take the dog for a walk. Take someone else’s dog for a walk if you don’t have one.

Shouldn’t you be in school?
You may have some real-life responsibilities to take care of. Whether it’s homework or a perilous stack of coffee cups, tend to it. And watch out for the civilization in the next-to-bottom coffee cup. They’ve developed beam weapons.

The words crawl in….
You know, there exist stories you have not written. They can be found in books.

…the words crawl out.
You can also write something new. Something absolutely different from what you’ve just written. Something frivolous, something no-pressure (remember the postcard stories I mentioned a while ago?) …or something you know will be dreadful but eh, why not?

2011 Applicants, we will get back to you as soon as we can. For now, breathe. Talk in the comments. You’ve met a deadline. Rest.

You’ll need it, come July.

14 thoughts on “What Do I Do Now?

  1. Rebecca M.

    The dishes made me laugh! Thank you for this.

  2. Jenna

    Phew!! I was sooooo stressed today and kept sporadically checking my email. I would like to say that I will no longer be doing that, but I’d be lying. The post is wonderful, though!

  3. Secret

    Um I sent in an application story. I was just wondering how long it usually is before you get an email saying it arrived safely?

  4. Catherine Krahe Post author

    So what else is there to do when the story’s in and the response isn’t yet? What do you do?

  5. Diane Turnshek

    Lovely, Cassie, thanks!

    I took yesterday off to get all the confirmation notices out, but I didn’t get to finish sending them. I’ll have another chance on Saturday. One thing that’s taking so long is that some are in weird formats and I have to go back and forth with the authors to get it in Word or rtf. We got over 50 applicants this year. Only 7 were male. Four from other countries. A nice mix of SF and F (I haven’t seen much yet that I can identify as horror off the bat).

    So sorry for the delay in confirming that your story arrived safely, but be comforted in the fact that if it did not, you can resend it.

  6. Becca

    I almost sent in a horror story this year, but everything I tried came out too campy (which wasn’t what I was aiming for). Still, glad to be deadline and worry free! 😀

    And next year I’m SO making some of my guyfriends apply, after hearing about such a small male turnout. 😛

  7. Noella

    Is anyone else burned out now that the adrenaline rush of finishing the story and submitting it the night before is gone?

  8. Meghan

    I’m burned out too! So glad for this post, and the confirmation email. The long wait for the acceptance email is going to kill me though!!

  9. Jenna

    I am definitely burned out, but in a good way. It’s nice to breathe for a little while. Oh an by the way, is anyone working on a novel?

  10. Becca

    I am! (sort of)
    I’m actually found out that I’m attached to my Nanowrimo novel from 2009 after finding it buried in my hard drive. So I’ve been trying to go through and edit/revise it to make it something I’m really proud of, filling in plot holes and such.

  11. Tia

    I’m working on a crime one, actually…not quite a mystery, but not quite…something else, either. I came up with it during my rush-to-the-finish for this.

    I find I must ask, though…is this it? This post is the last until we find out? Or will you feed us a little bit along the way?

  12. Catherine Krahe Post author

    The group of people reading the application stories don’t have all of them yet, but we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    As for posts, we have more scheduled. They’ll mostly be on general topics rather than Alpha-specific.

    Is there anything you’d like to see addressed? Questions about writing, publishing, or workshops?

  13. Noella

    Catherine,
    I’m actually very curious about the different subgenres in Speculative fiction. I’ve researched them a little, but there just seems to be so many that I’m still a little confused about what exactly each one is.

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