I mentioned in my last update that I was going to work on a submission for Otter Libris’ MCSI: Magical Crime Scene Investigation anthology.
It’s going… pretty well, I think!
It took about a week of brainstorming for me to find the perfect idea. It plays off a somewhat-controversial law in my local area, and twists from a slightly amusing setup to a kinda dark finale.
I loved it!
I wrote a short summary, broke it down into an outline, then went back to the submission rules to double-check I hadn’t missed anything.
And my heart sank when spotted this:
On page sexual assault, child abuse, or animal abuse – this is an immediate rejection. Your investigator may be trying to solve one of those crimes, but we will not accept a story with one of those crimes happening on the page.
Of course I hadn’t started off with an intention to write about animal abuse, but… undeniably, it’s in the story. It ain’t gratuitous; in fact, it’s portrayed as being as horrific as it ought to be.
But — undeniably — it’s there.
So I filed the story away for another submission, and went back to the mind maps to mine another one.
It took me several days to find the the first story.
The second one was a solid ten hours.
And — oh boy — I was so close to giving up. I was so in love with that first story, I just couldn’t see myself writing something else.
But I did it. I found another story. And it’s still based on controversial local events. And it still has a lovely little twist.
As you can guess from the top of this post, I’m writing under the working title “MCSI: Kids Today”.
I started writing this morning with only a one-page summary, and now I’m 2,712 words into the outline and first draft.
I’m not hard-and-fast about that 7,000 word goal. The submission has to be between 3,000 – 10,000 words, so I’m just going to see how it naturally turns out.
I suppose I only put the goal in because I like watching progress bars fill up. 🤓
Anyway, that’s where I’m at! I’ve got a few more days before I’m back at my day-job, so I’m going to get this story done as much as possible while I’m here at home.