Daily Science Fiction released my story “Metal and Flesh” today. It’s a dark little flash piece I wrote for my very first write-a-thon in 2012. I picked it out of my old drafts folder recently and tweaked it a tiny bit.
My initial premise was “uh… like, what if Transformers took over the Earth?” and the text file is titled “transformers.rtf” in evidence of that, but otherwise it has nothing to do with the beloved cartoon and toy series. I was active in the SCA as a fighter back then and wondered what a robot race would make of humans wearing armor. The first line I wrote was “Unit five had a metal carapace” and the story – a robot overseer trying to understand human biology – grew from there.
So, what did I change from the hasty rough draft with all my five years of additional experience?
Originally, I had the robot protagonist call all the humans “she” regardless of gender. I thought I was very clever, but you might know that a super famous award winning book has since done that so I changed it to have the robot call them all “it”.
Also I added a new last line which I think twists the knife a bit, and a tiny moment of sweetness a paragraph before to make the knife twist all the harder. HEH HEH.
Why don’t I write dark things more often? It’s, like, fun.
Rejectomancy: Not much on this one. DSF was the third market I sent it too, after revision. Since I wrote it initially in 2012 and started using The Submission Grinder in 2014 there might be a few places I didn’t record. However, I am extremely pleased to break in to DSF since I’ve been sending them stuff FOREVER. I used to have a hard time writing stories over 2,000 words so they were my first-refusal market of choice. That’s changed in recent years; this was only my 7th story submitted to DSF since I started using The Submission Grinder.
Honestly I hadn’t sent this story out because I didn’t believe in it – I hadn’t even moved it into my “Done” folder where I keep stories-to-send-out. I thought it was too “slice of life” or “not original enough” and I was clearly wrong.
A flash contest got me to revise it, and my self-imposed goal of submitting 9 stories every month got me to keep sending it out there. Horray for random goals!by