Did you know that?
I sure didn’t.
In a non-scientific survey of some editors, a friend of mine found out that two out of three of the editors he polled agree: Editor #1 “responded immediately, saying he considers posting a work online to be publication…‘if something has been made available to the public online, then I consider it published.’" Editor #2 “responded a week later, saying that posting a story on a public website ‘definitely constitutes prior publication and would normally disqualify the story" from being considered for publication.’” For those who absolutely MUST know who said what, I will direct you to the site I got the stats from – but I have published with one of the editors and respect one of them and hugely respect the other’s reputation. What they say to me goes.
So the whole purpose of my writing here is in vain! It was supposed to be a way to “field test” my novels in the form of flash fiction pieces. If I’d known that they would be considered published by someone, I might not have done this.
On the other hand, the short pieces have allowed me to develop character in a way I’ve never done before. I understand Emerald and Pastor Jeremiah and Jalaya, the Blind Angel as I never could have understood them by just outlining them and then writing them. I’ve been able to play with ideas. The character interactions and most of the settings of HEIRS changed dramatically from when I began the book five or six years ago.
The practice has made me a more consistently fast writer and given me a harder grasp on plot and scene. Each piece is a complete story – which I never thought I could do. Yet they all fit into an overarching story line. Rather than “stringing together a bunch of flash fiction stories”, I can now begin to use them as a framework on which to grow a…heart: (http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/01/14/rebuilt.heart/index.html )
The question now remains, “Will I include the story as I’ve developed it?” The answer is, “Obviously!” I can’t abandon what’s happened in any of the series of flash fictions. But I may leave out some (RING SCOOP 17, for example) and include other things (the Puppeteer for another example).
The ideas are great, the plots are grand and the work has NOT been in vain!
Maybe you should try it?