A Week of Writing: 3/19/18 to 3/25/18

Starting a new feature here on the ol’ blog. Every Monday or thereabouts, I’ll update you on the writing I did for the week prior. How many words I wrote on which projects, how many stories I competed, how many I submitted, and so on. The purpose of this is partly to keep myself on track and also to explore my, uh, “process.”  So, without further ado, here’s my writing week from Monday, March 19th to Sunday, March 25th.

The Novel

My big project is a horror novel I’ve been working on for a couple of months. The working title is Late Risers, and when it’s a little further along I’ll tell you all about it and maybe share a snippet or two in these updates. For now, I’ll just talk about getting the damn thing on the page.

With big projects I like to get at least 10,000 words a week. I generally set a loftier goal of 15,000 words, and if I hit that, awesome, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I can get my 10K. So, here’s the week:

Date Day Words Written
3/19/2018 Monday 2576
3/20/2018 Tuesday 2505
3/21/2018 Wednesday 2500
3/22/2018 Thursday  0
3/23/2018 Friday  0
3/24/2018 Saturday  0
3/25/2018 Sunday 2514

I had a pretty good head of steam going early in the week, knocking out 2,500 words three days in a row. Obviously, Thursday through Saturday were a little rough, mostly because of some plain ol’ life stuff that couldn’t be avoided. I got back on track Sunday and ended my week with 10,095 words. That’s not too shabby. The book now sits at 43,500 words, and I’m in the middle of the second act.

I’m gonna set my sights on 15,000 words again this week, which should put me toward the end of the second act and heading into the home stretch.

Short Stories

I’m always working on short stories, and as I sit here and write this blog post, I have seven of them open on my desktop in various stages of completion. I did finish one piece of flash fiction this week as part of a one-hour flash challenge contest. The story is called “It Makes the Trees Grow,” and it’s a neat little supernatural crime piece. It needs some spit and polish, but it’ll go out for submission this week.

Submissions

A slightly below-average week for submission volume.

  • Submissions Sent: 1
  • Rejections: 3
  • Shortlist: 1
  • Withdrawal: 1

The shortlist and withdrawal are kind of rare. For some reason, I don’t get a lot of shortlist letters. That may be because I don’t submit to anthologies much, where they’re seem to be more common. Or it might just be editors either like my story enough to accept it or dislike it enough to simply reject it. No middle ground. I sent the withdrawal letter after I sent a submission status query and didn’t hear back for quite some time. That’s usually a clear indicator it’s time to withdraw the story.

I still have ten submissions in rotation at the moment, and a few of them are getting pretty long in the tooth. Here’s the list if you’re into analyzing wait times like me.

Story Date Sent Days Out Avg Response
Caroline1 6/24/17 275 261
A Small Evil 11/9/17 137 65
The Scars You Keep 1/7/18 78 123
Scare Tactics1 1/18/18 67
When the Lights Go On2 1/25/18 60 40
Big Changes 1/30/18 55 39
Bites 2/8/18 46
A Point of Honor 2/18/18 36 10
Old as the Trees 2/28/18 26 24
What Kind of Hero 3/24/18 2 119
  1. Reprint
  2. Shortlisted

As you can see, I should probably hear back on a few of these soon. You always hope that the longer a story goes beyond the average response time, the more chance it has at being accepted, but, in my experience, that’s not always the case. Sometimes editors just fall behind or get more submissions than they expected for a submission window. Still, I feel pretty good about a couple of these.

Goals

This week, I’d like to ad another 15,000 words to the novel first and foremost. Then I’d like to finish revising a short story called “Teeth of the Lion Man,” which I’m pretty excited about. I think it’s one of the better shorts I’ve written in some time. If I pull those two things off, everything else–submissions, other shorts, etc.–will just be gravy.

Story Spotlight

This is the part of the post where I ask you to read a thing I wrote. This week, check out a flash fiction story I published with Evil Girlfriend Media a few years ago called “The Rarest Cut.” It’s, uh, a horror story with a culinary theme. 🙂

Read “The Rarest Cut”


And that was my week. Tell me about yours in the comments.

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