Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Queries: Metal More Attractive...

Madama Hamerquist has inquired how long it took me to write Metal More Attractive, a short story that was published in F&SF a few years back.

Answer: About 48 hours.

Metal More Attractive was written while I was attending Clarion West a few years back. Our esteemed teacher, Paul Park, had tasked our class with a writing exercise: describe a location through action. That is, rather than using passive description (I walked into the room and looked around...the floor was flat and the walls vertical...) all the setting description should be part of the action of the scene. In response, I wrote the first few paragraphs of Metal More Attractive, which describe Hardhands walking into Guererro's Helado y Refresco.

Later, I finished the story in one caffeine fulled day. At this point, I had already written Flora Segunda, so Califa was clear in my mind, but the characters of Hardhands and Tiny Doom were new to me. I've never written a story so easily and I probably never will again. Despite its length, the tale just poured right out, and I didn't have to do much revising either. Since MMA was the also the first short story I'd ever written, I can truly attribute it to beginner's luck!

4 comments:

First said...

Does MMA exist online, or is buying a back issue of the magazine the only way to read it?

Ysabeau Wilce said...

As far as I know, MMA does not currently exist online. I am in the process of turning it into an official CPG publication (viz., the cover art to the left of this column), and then perhaps might make that available as a PDF in the Crackpot Hall Bibliotheca. But I haven't gotten that far yet and probably will not for some time...Should you not be able to wait, I'm sure that F&SF would be happy to sell you a back issue--February 2004 was the auspicious (for me anyway) date! Thank you for asking...

Erika Hamerquist said...

OMG! --- (and I'll have you know that's the first time I've ever resorted to that acronym) --- my awe and jealousy knows no bounds! But I wouldn't call it beginner's luck, because everything else of yours I've ever read, including here on the Gazette and on your cool original website, has been equally fantantabulous. Although I admit to a special fondness for Bwannie.

Erika Hamerquist said...

Meant to add this query: So where does the Alta Califa come in? Before or after the stories and novel? And do you think you'll ever publish new issues of that?