This is just a 1000-word short story. Barely worth mentioning, in normal situations. But it taught me quite a lot.

3. A Trigger and a Flash of Inspiration Can Take You a Long Way

The theme of the Fantasticon competition was “Eclipse.” So I rolled with it, already knowing things like Lagrange points and perpetual eclipses and some of the specifics of Hubble and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. I just imagined a situation regarding all those things, in perpetual darkness. It was the shortest submission of the competition (they did tell me that cause I know some of the people involved), and it was as long as it needed to be. Sure, I could pad it out, add a second twist. But my gut feeling was to leave it as-is.

2. Even Your Mentor Can Be Wrong About Things

After I wrote this and got awarded, I gave it to my mentor to read. His notes, always on point, were that it was pretty transparent to the avid sci-fi reader and that I should add in another twist at the end. I respect that opinion but I think that it should stay as it is. I don’t take his opinion lightly, this is a man who has had international awards for short stories, got published on Asimov, got translated abroad, studies short stories by the dozen and has actually taught a paid seminar or two about writing short fiction. Honestly, this is as close to expert opinion as you can get. But, ultimately, the creation is my own. So I rolled with my gut and got rewarded.

1. A Story That Resonates Will Get Readers Excited

I put Cosmophobia up online and even got it produced as an audiobook. Book is too long for this, so, audioshort? Blergh. Anyway, I got this produced by Bridger Conklin and got a gritty performance out of it. Now, the story is the top rated ever, on Amazon, on Audible and on Goodreads (At the time of writing this, it has a 4.4 star rating on both Amazon and Goodreads.) Plus it sells on its own, despite being so short.

See also  Take the Purple Pill

The whole thing taught me to have courage and faith in my craft. I can only hope I’ll be able to crank out new stories that work as well as this one did.

Find Cosmophobia and take a trip to the dark side.

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