Building a mystery

I’ve just sent out the story “Mrs Gagarin and the Fallen Angel” to a sci fi magazine.  It’s a little different from previous stories I’ve sent out, at least in its form and its inception.  This is the first story to be drawn from writing I did for Nanowrimo in 2012, when I set out to write a novel made up of linked short stories: mysteries set on board a space station (a sort of orbital Miss Marple, essentially).  At the time I wrote them quickly and simply.  In re-writings and re-creations they’ve become more baroque and multifaceted.

They’re also not the easiest thing to work out how to pitch.  While the stories are standalone, they’re standalone like episodes of Star Trek are standalone, not like movies are standalone.  While each story has a beginning, middle, and end, there is also the novel version of a season arc.  This is great for a continued story, and also means that if the first of these stories does well people might be interested in the second, but it also means that I can’t, for example, set the first story aside and start submitting the fourth places.

I’ll see if this works.  Mysteries are rewarding to write when they go well, and frustrating to write when they don’t.  My brain is already too tired without having to spin plates.


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