Writing Tip: Sonar

Well, uhh… I had a nice free-write all lined up. Wrote it and everything. Except that… I liked it to much to just post it. Somehow, it came out as a story. Completely unintended! So now I have a nice little piece of flash fiction to submit to Vestal Review tomorrow. Can’t complain I guess!

Anyways, speaking of submissions, here’s a program I’ve fallen in love with: Sonar.

What is Sonar? It’s a handy little tracker/spreadsheet that allows you to enter all your stories, your markets and then update them as necessary.

The Market entries are particularly helpful to me. Address, phone #, editor, notes, a box for guidelines, email, pretty much everything you need to know. Better yet, the program will then print a mailing label for you! Absolutely priceless now that I’ve started building inventory and getting serious about the short-story market.

I had a nice little reminder of how necessary a tracking program is the other day. I mentioned that Strange Horizons mentioned an issue with Gmail, and asked for queries about anything not heard about after a certain amount of time.

How long did it take me to track down which piece had gone there, how long it had been there, and make sure it hadn’t been turned down already? WAY too long. Thus, I’ve been slowly working on setting Sonar up.

Damn it’s slow though. I have about 20 markets that can be put in there right now. Then I have to add the stories. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as my grandmother says.

The good thing about the query? Wind-Loved is under consideration.

Yup. The first short story I wrote and finished (the one early piece just doesn’t count…). It’s not traditional fantasy or science-fiction. In fact, it is very, very much fairy-tale. Even if it doesn’t make it, this is a nice, happy place for me to be sitting.

Oh, and I finished the article for the Fifthwind Forums newsletter today, and am just wildly pleased with it. I actually got humor in it!

So I’m going to go keep listening to CruxShadows, planning for Dragon*Con and working on Fate-Dealer.


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