After a month hiatus on the ol’ writing updates, it’s time to get back on that horse. Here’s how I did last week.
This week’ quotes comes from Anita Shreve.
“To ward off a feeling of failure, she joked that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejection slips, which she chose not to see as messages to stop, but rather as tickets to the game.”
– Anita Shreve
I love this quote. Referring to rejections as “tickets to the game” feels so on point to me, because I truly believe they’re part of the dues every writer pays to grow, to get better, and to get published. Basically, you don’t get into the show without spending some time in the minors taking your licks. (Sorry, baseball analogy.) While I don’t think you need to celebrate rejection, taking some solace and strength in what rejections signify, i.e., you’re writing and submitting your work, is a good thing in my book.
About a month ago, I sent my novel Late Risers to my agent for his first read. Last week, he got back to me with feedback. He said the novel was interesting and even compelling, but there’s some work to do before he starts subbing it to editors. I won’t go into a ton of detail here, but the highlights are essentially as follows. Punch up the beginning so the book stands apart from others in the same genre. Fix some issues that do not pass the “reasonable man” test. Add more action-oriented scenes that demonstrate certain key plot points. What I’m most happy with about this feedback is that I agree with 99% of it. More than him hating the book, I was afraid he might want changes that would drastically alter what I wanted to say with the novel. That wasn’t the case, and I feel good about where the book needs to go. Better than that, I feel like I know how to get it there.
Slow week, and so far a slow month.
I only have two submission for February to date, but one of my favorite markets opens for publication next week and there are some new contests I want to enter. So, I predict I’ll end the month somewhere between eight and ten submissions.
Two blog posts last week.
2/5/19: The Rejection Archives: Rejection #1
A new feature on the blog where I’ll share a single rejection from my extensive library of no’s and not for us’s.
2/8/19: One-Hour Flash – End of the Line
Another entry into my one-hour flash series, hastily scribbled stories not quite good enough for submission.
The next revision of Late Risers will have to wait just a bit longer as I have a Privateer Press novella outline I need to work on. I’ll finish the outline soon, though, and get cracking on Late Risers again while the outline is under review.
This week I’d like to call your attention to a short story contest hosted by one of my favorite publishers, The Arcanist. They’ve been a flash fiction publisher for the last couple of years, and this contest marks their first foray into longer fiction. The contest calls for short stories up to 5,000 words with a broad theme of magic. The deadline is 4/1/19. For more details about the contest, prizes, and whatnot, click the link below.
How was your writing week? Tell me about it in the comments.