Well, the story is out of my hands – for a little while at least. I have submitted it to the Katharine Sussanah Prichard Speculative Fiction Competition.
It was important to me to submit for this competition – probably the only comp I’ll go for this year. Having placed & shortlisted in the competition for the last two years has given KSP a real soft spot in my heart. I don’t really expect to place again, but I just didn’t want to miss out on submitting.
But before this it went to the writing group, and the feedback was varied. I sent it to them with what I knew were structural problems and I wanted my writing buddies to come at it from that point of view. Their feedback (paraphrased) went something like:
Annette: Enjoyed the story but picked a glaring structural problem. She wanted to know why people were put on boats. I had cut out about 1,000 words of storyline that went nowhere, and had cut out some important background information. Crumbs!
Anthony: Anthony had a number of issues with the story. Firstly he didn’t believe some of the cultural ideas that I was trying to develop within the fictional world. This I again took as an indication that Annette’s view was correct – that I had left out important background info to make the world authentic. Secondly, Anthony was concerned by the language of the story – he felt that it would not sit comfortably in either the SF or “literary” genres. He suggested re-writes into a number of individual stories to suit each tone.
Phill: Phill had similar comments to the previous opinions with one exception: he said that the end of the story was actually the point where the story got interesting! This has given me an idea…
Anyway, I edited it down (yet again) and wrote in a few scenes to contextualise the world and off it went. Now it is out of my hands for a few months at least.