February 1, 2011 Leave a comment
As my first paid fiction sale, “One More Time” is, needless to say, pretty special to me. It’s also a story that took me a very long time (ha!) to write. I started it sometime in 1998 and didn’t submit it anywhere until over ten years later. I sent it to all of the big sci-fi magazines and e-zines (I always target those first, since one of my short-term goals as a writer is to become a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and being published by one of the biggies is a prerequisite) but received very nice form rejection letters from each of them. It was accepted for publication by Allegory, a small but very good e-zine with a dedicated readership. The pay wasn’t as much as the big names, but that didn’t bother me in the least. An editor had liked my story enough to give me money for the privilege of including it in his publication. By that point I was already making money writing about MMORPGs for Examiner.com, but to be able to cash a check I’d received for writing fiction was a magical moment.
“One More Time” features time travel, a staple in the science fiction genre. The main character, on a quest to save his relationship, does a lot of very bad things, but he justifies his actions by imagining that most of them happen in timelines that won’t exist once he’s finished with his journey. One of the main rules of fiction is you have to make the main character likable, or at least make it so the reader can relate to him or her. I’m not sure I satisfied either of those requirements with Erik Waterson in “One More Time,” although I’d wager that many of us have done some pretty unthinkable things in the name of love.
I’m making “One More Time” available for free on my website as part of a planned “free fiction” series. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the story (send comments to email@example.com) and hope you enjoy reading it.