A Week of Writing: 12/31/2018 to 1/6/2019

The first week of 2019 is in the books. Let’s see how I did.

Words to Write By

This week, it’s another of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Good Writing. This is #9.

“Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.”

– Elmore Leonard

This one might rankle some folks, especially those with the ability to write gorgeous prose that, honestly, I lack. With that in mind, I think it’s important to view Elmore Leonard’s rules as rules for a particular style. In fact, he said as much about his famous list:

“These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.”

So, rule number nine (and rule number eight, which is the same rule just about characters), resonates with me because it fits my style. I am largely trying to be invisible when I write a story, and I try to use a spare style to show instead of tell. It also lets me focus on things I’m better at (like dialogue) and minimize things I’m not so good at (describing people, places, and things). I do agree that Leonard’s rules can be useful to any writer, but there are certainly writers who flaunt many or even all these rules and are doing just fine.

The Novel

Almost there. I had meant to turn my novel Late Risers over to my agent at the end of the year, but I didn’t quite make it. I’m very close now, and I should be finished this week. I have a few more plot knots to untangle, but they’re not too scary, and I just have to dive in and write them into submission. Anyway, I dearly hope my next update will be that the novel is off my desk and that I’m waiting, terrified, for my agent to pronounce judgment on the manuscript.

Short Stories

Getting off to a bit of a slow start on the submission front for 2019, but it should pick up this week.

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

Both rejections were for stories submitted in 2018. I received my third rejection and sent my third submission for the year this morning. I’m shooting for 100 submissions for the year again. That’s roughly two a week, and, so far, I’m on pace.

The Blog

Two blog posts last week.

1/2/19: 2018 Review: Writing by the Numbers

In this post I reviewed my writing endeavors for that last year with lots of stats and a healthy dose of rejectomancy.

1/4/19: 100 Rejections: Achievement Unlocked

An in-depth look at the 100 rejections I received in 2018. Lots of rejectomancy here.


Same goal. Finish the final revision of Late Risers, get it off my desk and to my agent.

Story Spotlight

One of my favorite publishers, Pseudopod, recently updated their list of recommended stories for new listeners. I am very pleased to report that my baseball vampire story “Night Games” is now one of those recommended stories. You can check out and listen to the recommended list by clicking the link above or listen to “Night Games” by clicking the link below.

Listen to “Night Games

That was my week. How was yours?

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