Sofa, So Good

Years ago on a Sunday evening I would frequent a bar in the (not so) delightful town of Walsall called Sofa Sofa, which at the time was fairly new to the area. I always wanted to read a news article by the local paper about the success the bar was experiencing in its early days with the headline ‘Sofa, So Good’, however as I (thankfully) didn’t live in the area, I don’t know if this ever actually happened. I sincerely hope it did. Just in case it didn’t, watch me as I crowbar a tenuous ‘sofa’ reference into this blog to justify using it in the title and make my dreams a reality..

This week I was fortunate enough to have an early finish from work, so spent a solid five hours SAT ON MY SOFA (woohoo) with no interruptions, which for me is rarer than rocking horse doodie. I am overjoyed, because it gave me the opportunity to actually finish a piece of work! Well the first draft of it anyway, I’m sure it’s going to need a lot of work yet but the important thing is that it’s a complete story with an actual beginning, and actual middle and even an actual end. What I have enjoyed most of all, is writing outside of my comfort zone, using various techniques I’ve not used before and having a female protagonist. It’s opened my eyes and made me want to push myself to try more varied styles and techniques in the future. Like I have said before, I’m learning all the time and I absolutely love expanding my knowledge and capabilities. I won’t be posting it up here because I have promised the first read to a special someone but if it gets her seal of approval then I may look to submit it to a friend’s website and/or post it on here for a bit of feedback one day.

A question for the unpublished amongst you, or even the published if you feel it appropriate – what do you do with your short stories when you’ve finished them? Do you enter competitions? Post to your blogs? Keep them to yourselves?

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20 thoughts on “Sofa, So Good

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  1. I’m glad you were able to get those 5 hours on your SOFA and finishing writing! I’ve written a children’s story and tried having it published twice, but it was rejected. I actually never tried entering competitions. I want to look into that now :).

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    1. It was such a luxury!
      I think it’s worthwhile having a bit of a google to find out what competitions are out there. Last time I looked there were quite a few, I wasn’t looking for children’s stories but I would guess there are some out there.

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      1. Semperite, if you haven’t discovered it yet, I’m thinking you might enjoy Dark Markets (based on your blog posting about short “evil” writing in first person POV); DM is a warehouse of contest, anthology, and submission calls for dark, dystopian, SF/F/H (speculative fiction, basically) postings. There are others I would recommend, too, as well as a Duotrope (at least basic) subscription, which lists international markets as well. Also, love the “sofa, so good” pun! πŸ™‚

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        1. Thank you! These look brilliant! I would have had no idea they existed, but I have a feeling they could be right up my street. Will definitely have to invest a bit of time looking into these in more detail. I appreciate you pointing them out to me πŸ™‚ Oh and the sofa pun is one I’ve been sitting on for about 10 years.. SITTING ON! I’ll stop now.

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  2. FWIW, I take the flash fiction and short stories and, if there is any feedback on them (such as through a contest, anthology submission, beta reader, or other means), I analyze that, put a lot of it into action, religiously read my Duotrope for markets, read other blogs, and see about resubmitting the story if I believe it has merit to it and/or can be made better through editing. Also, a lot of times, I’m finding the flash fiction and short stories can be re-tooled into longer works. Likewise, sometimes a longer work can be synthesized, exactified, darling-killed, and gotten down to a work of shorter length. In the meantime, sometimes it’s good to let a story languish, ferment, mellow, and come back to it in a few days, weeks, or month. Good luck; I’m enjoying reading your blog!

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    1. Thank you again! See now this is why I started the blog – being new to the writing world I need all the help I can get to point me in the right direction and your comments so far have got my mind stepping up into overdrive. Definitely need to make the Christmas break count and get some of these ideas into the avenues you’ve mentioned.

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  3. I love your writing style and that title got me haha no matter where you took it from xD Oh and I know the feeling of sitting on a sofa for hours together…such bliss haha Good work out there πŸ˜‰

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  4. I tend to write short stories and flash fiction with the intent of submitting them to contests. I somehow always end up finishing after the deadline though. That leaves me in this weird place where I want to horde them in case a competition comes up and I can just enter without having to write something new.

    Then I realized: My goal is to be a writer. I should just write something new. So bit by bit, I’ll start releasing my stories on my blog, knowing that although doing it may preclude them from ever being submitted to another competition, in the end I’m writing more… and thus… Winning.

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    1. I’ve never been one for deadlines either to be honest. My school/college teachers will attest to that! My thought process now is about writing what I feel I can write, whenever I can. If that happens to fit into any contest requirements then great, I’ll submit them. If not, it’s exactly like you say, write to be a writer. I’ve said since I started this writing journey, if anything were to come of it then that would be amazing, if not, I’ll still have all of my work and the enjoyment that I’ve had by writing it.

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  5. With my first few, I posted them in a small, exclusive group I had created for just a few trusted friends. When I realised I wanted to write more, I stopped posting them until I had enough to publish a collection. Then, I sent them to two good beta readers. Once they were polished and edited, I published them in my first book of short stories.

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      1. Hi Jamie,
        No, Out of Time is a full length novel which was reviewed by the Historical Novel Society and entered for the award by them becuase it received the accolade of Editor’s Choice. All I had to do was submit it for initial review.
        The book of short stories does sell, but not so well. I understand that short stories fare less well than novels, although it may depend on your genre. Mine are feel-good stories, which may not have so much of an audience. However, as a step on the way to writing a full-length novel, I found the exercise extremely useful.
        It is also good to know that, although it only sells sporadically, people are at least reading it, and I have added the first chapter of my novel in the back of the book. It also give me extra visibility as, from time to time, I can do a sale or freebie on it. And, of course, when it sells, it earns me a small amount, which is always encouraging.
        I rarely add my stories to my blogs until they are published, and the same for competitions. I also rarely enter competitons, especially if they have an entry fee – too frugal, I guess, lol. Also, I never expect to win. I prefer to save them or just let close friends see them (to see if they have ‘legs’) until I have enough for a book. Although, at the moment, I am concentrating of full-length stories. But who knows, if I happen to get a good idea for a short, I will jot it down and save it for the next compilation. But then, I’m a bit unpredictable, so I may decide to jump the other way, haha. One thing is for sure – they will never sit permanently mouldering in the back of a drawer – that’s a terrible waste.
        Good luck with whatever you decide to do with your short stories.
        By the way, for the record, I’m an Indie author – I self publish. But my work is edited until my eyeballs nearly bleed before it is published, and also submitted to a varying number of trusted beta readers. It gets a lot of checks.

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        1. Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoroughly.
          Congratulations on the nomination and best of luck! I (believe it or not) have written some feel-good stuff myself and I have thought about pursuing that too. I have found that all of these short stories/flash fictions are really helping me. I rushed head first into a novel during my course and although I don’t think it’s too bad, it has benefitted me to take a step back, breathe, and write some shorter pieces. Maybe one day I’ll compile them into a collection too!

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