A Week of Writing: 12/10/18 to 12/16/18

Another update on the writing week that was.

Words to Write By

This week’s quote comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs.

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.

– Edgar Rice Burroughs

This is pretty much my writing and submission philosophy in a nutshell. I’ve written a lot of stories, and some of them are very bad. That said, even the bad ones taught me something, something I could apply to the next story and make it a little bit better. Those incremental improvements add up over time, and now if I write, say five stories, one is bad, three are mediocre, and one of them might be publishable. Still working on that ratio.

The Novel

I’m still in the middle of the final revision of my novel Late Risers and it’s going well. I’m primarily focusing on cleaning up the language, adding clarity and simply sharpening the prose. I find this is largely a process of subtraction, and I have a hit list of words, phrases, and other stuff that’ll get the chop. For example, I often overuse the “was” sentence construction, which can create unwanted distance, especially in action scenes. So, I search for every instance of was, wasn’t, were, and weren’t, and see if I can’t find a more descriptive (and active) verb. Of course, was is a perfectly fine word to use, and my novel still has plenty of them, but those that remain have earned their keep.

Short Stories

A little more submission activity last week than the week before.

  • Submissions Sent: 2
  • Rejections: 4
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0

The four rejection last week put me at 98 for the year. So, getting close to my 100-rejection goal. Here are my current stats for 2018:

  • Submissions – 117
  • Acceptances – 19
  • Rejections – 98

I’d like to hit 120/20/100 for the year, and I have about two weeks to pull that off.

The Blog

Two blog posts last week.

12/10/18: A Week of Writing: 12/3/18 to 12/9/18

The usual weekly writing update.

12/14/18: A New Rejection Record

This past year I set a number of personal submissions and rejection records. This post details one – most rejection by a single publisher.


Keep pushing on that final revision of Late Risers for the hand-off to my agent at the end of the month.

That was my week. How was yours?

9 Comments on “A Week of Writing: 12/10/18 to 12/16/18

  1. How many of those 117 submissions were unique? How many were re-writes?

    Those numbers are seriously impressive, especially as you have other writing work.

    • Excellent question. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me yet, but a quick tally shows something like 40 unique stories, 4 of which were reprints. I sold two of the reprints.

    • Yeah, I use that one all the time. It’s great if you’re going for a lean, spare style (I usually am) or just looking to remove passive sentences and extraneous adverbs.

      My only complaint is that it’s a little difficult to use with large files (like novels). I actually bought the software, and you can import Word docs into it, but it’s a little clunky.

      • Yeah, adverbs will be the death of me. Lol. Good to know that it’s available for download too.

  2. Congrats on 19 acceptances, and I hope you reach 20 and beyond! I’d be happy with four acceptances by the end of the year, meaning I’m still down one.

    • Thanks. Got a bunch of stories pending, so I hope to hit my acceptance goal, my rejection goal, or both by the end of the year. 🙂

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