A Week of Writing: 5/18/20 to 5/24/20

One more week has come and gone. Here’s how I did.

Words to Write By

Today’s quote is from Jodi Picoult.

 “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page”

– Jodi Picoult

This, this right here, is what keeps me writing the first draft even though every fiber of my being screams THIS IS TERRIBLE. Because, like Jodi Picoult says, I can always edit a bad page. I can fix it in post. This is the only way I can write. If I try to make the first draft perfect–an impossible task anyway–I’ll never get anything done. I’ll be stuck in a kind perfectionist paralysis inimical to the creation of a first draft. So I chant to myself as I write: I can edit, I can fix it in post, I can make it better. JUST GET IT DOWN. That’s worked so far.

The Novel

Armed with a revised outline I got back on track with the Hell to Play last week. I wrote about 6,100 words total, and the manuscript now clocks in at nearly 35,000 words. I even like some of those words. I’m in the beginning of act two, and the last couple of chapters have been very dialogue heavy and maybe a tad too expositional. The dialogue, and especially the interplay between the two POV characters is kind of the heart of the book, but I may have gone overboard, as I am wont to do with dialogue. Still, that’s a second draft problem, and the stage is set this week to get into the meat of plot. I’m shooting, as always, for 10,000 words, but I’m letting this one breathe a bit (as hard as that may be), so if it’s 6,000 or 8,000 words and some reorganization and editing and whatnot, I’m a-okay with that.

Short Story Submissions

Another good week on the submission front.

  • Submissions Sent: 3
  • Rejections: 1
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1
  • Shortlist: 0

Three more subs last week brings me to 41 for the year and pretty much back on track for my goal of 100. I’ll probably add one or two more subs this week to really seal that particular deal. No acceptances this week, though I did get one yesterday, but I can’t talk about that until next week. The one rejection was a 135-day form letter, which are always a bit of a bummer, but such is the gig. The publication is a good one, and I’ll discuss that below.


I did write some vss365 microfiction last week. Exactly one. 🙂 Here it is.


For years we marveled at the planet’s rings from afar, a beautiful #silver halo around our future home. When the last remnants of humanity made it to the ringed planet, they found not ice or rock, but a graveyard of derelict ships encircling a dead but still hungry world.


Earlier this year, I sold a story to The Overcast, a supernatural noirish gangster piece called “Reading the Room.” If you’re unfamiliar with The Overcast, they’re a great audio market, and host and narrator J. S. Arquin does a simply stupendous job with the voices and narration. Anyway, click the link below if you’d like to listen to “Reading the Room”. If you stick around after the story is over, you get to hear me read a halting afterword about Texas Hold ‘Em poker and my writing process and stuff. 🙂

Listen to “Reading the Room”


Back on track with the novel, I’m aiming for more solid progress this week. Like I said above, something around 8,000 to 10,000 words would be great. I’d like to get a few more subs out this week as well. All that seems doable. 🙂

That was my week. How was yours?

2 Comments on “A Week of Writing: 5/18/20 to 5/24/20

  1. Ah, I see from your microfiction that you watched that episode of Space 1999!

    As for too much dialogue in your book, people love good repartee and I’m sure you’ll rtighten it suitably for your second draft.

    • Heh, I’ve actually never seen a single episode of Space 1999. That said, the graveyard of dead spaceships isn’t exactly a new idea. 🙂

      There’s always going to be a lot of dialogue in my work. It’s how I tell a story, but I can be over-indulgent. My critique partners will shoot me straight on that account when I hand it off.

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