A Week of Writing: 11/30/20 to 12/6/20

Here’s my past week of writerly endeavors. Normally, I’d try and play catch-up and cover multiple weeks since I haven’t posted one of these in a while, but the last month and change have been pretty hectic, so I’m just gonna start over. 🙂

Words to Write By

Here’s a quote from one of my faves, Elmore Leonard.

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

—Elmore Leonard

This is one of Leonard’s famous (some might say infamous) Ten Rules for Good Writing, and as with any writing “rule” is more of a guideline to writing in a specific style than anything else. Since I also tend to write dialogue-heavy, description-light fiction, Mr. Leonard’s rules work for me. Now, this particular rule I apply mostly to dialogue. When people talk it needs to sound as natural as possible, and because my current WIP contains a TON of dialogue, I’m definitely trying to apply this rule wherever I can. How do you make dialogue sound natural? In my personal opinion, it’s half writing how people actually sound and half writing how readers expect people in a novel to sound. It’s a balancing act. Too far one way or the other and you end up with something that reads oddly or sounds broken or stilted. Of course, this is what works for me, and as usual, YMMV. 🙂

The Novel

After a couple of months away from Hell to Play, I’m back at work revisingBefore I took my little hiatus, though, I wrote a detailed road map of what needed to be revised and how. I compiled this document from notes from my critique partners, had them look at it, and then made tweaks based on their feedback. I ended up with a document that is proving to be invaluable as I stare down 90,000 words of novel that need revisions and rewrites in a number of key areas. I’m not saying that task doesn’t still feel pretty daunting, but breaking it down into many separate tasks makes it easier to keep forward momentum and not get completely overwhelmed. Anyway, I’d like to be finished with this revision by the end of the month.

Short Story Submissions

A pretty good week for submissions

  • Submissions Sent: 4
  • Rejections: 0
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1
  • Shortlist: 1
  • Pending: 14

Four submissions last week, which gives me a total of 86 for the year. Not too shabby. It’s unlikely I’m gonna send another 14 subs and hit my goal of 100, but that’s okay. My acceptance rate this year is the highest it’s ever been, and, even better, a good percentage of the acceptances were from pro-paying markets. I had one publication last week, which I’ll discuss below. The shortlist was with one of my favorite pro markets, and, honestly, completely unexpected. I sent them two stories, and the one they liked best was, uh, not the one I thought they would like best. In fact, I wasn’t going to send it in at all but went ahead and pulled the trigger at the last minute. It just goes to show you that you shouldn’t self-reject. Let the editors decide which story is the best fit for their publication.

Publications

One publication last week. My story “Second Bite” was published by MetaStellar. This is one of my favorite flash pieces, and it’s been shortlisted and ultimately rejected a few times. So it was very gratifying to get it published and at a pro rate to boot. You can read it by clicking the link below.

Goals

Full steam ahead on the revision of Hell to Play is the main goal. I’m doing pretty well with submissions, so I’d like to get at least two or three more out this week. Feels doable.


And that was my week. How was yours?

3 Comments on “A Week of Writing: 11/30/20 to 12/6/20

    • Heh, yeah, it’s a thing you can definitely have done. I’m guessing (hoping) your friend didn’t have the same outcome as Mr. Langley. 🙂

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