Weeks of Writing: 1/1/21 to 1/10/21

Here’s my writing report card for the first week and change of the new year. Let’s take a look.

Words to Write By

I really like this quote from novelist and playwright William Somerset Maugham,

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

― W. Somerset Maugham

I can go on Twitter right now and find a dozen different posts telling you dozen different ways to write a novel. Some of these posts will even be quite emphatic about how you must write said novel. I too am a lowly sinner, as I have given plenty of novel-writing advice on this blog. Ultimately, if you polled fifty different authors about their novels, you’d get fifty different formulas for writing those novels. That said, I will disagree with William Somerset Maugham on one small point. There is one rule to writing a novel that must be followed. It’s one of the few things every published author has in common. Ready for it? The only rule of novel writing is that you must finish the novel. Every book you’ve ever read required its author, at some point, to push away from their desk and say “done.” Sounds simple, but in my experience, the elusive state of finished holds back more authors than anything else. So, finish what you start. After that, make your own rules.

The Novel

I’ve got two novel in revision right now. Late Risers needs a little more work to be shoppable, and Hell to Play needs, uh, more. My goal for the first month of the year is the get Late Risers finished and ready to shop and Hell to Play through its second full revision. If I pull off just the former, I’ll be happy. Both novels are supernatural thrillers and need roughly the same kind of work, which mostly revolves around pacingLate Risers needs some of the slow bits streamlined or removed altogether, and Hell to Play actually needs some slow bits added. The first novel drags a bit in the middle chapters, the second is a little too balls to the wall right now. It’s a strange balancing act of giving the reader a breather and boring them with too much standing around and talking. I’m pretty sure I know how to fix both problems, though.

Short Story Submissions

Here are the submission for the last ten days.

  • Submissions Sent: 4
  • Rejections: 3
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Pending: 6

Once again, my submission goal for the year is 100 submissions. If you break that down over a year, it comes out to about eight submissions per month (8.33 if you want to get technical). I’ve sent four in January so far, and I don’t think it’ll be too arduous to send four more. Then I just have to keep up that pace for the next eleven months. 🙂 The three rejections so far this month were all form rejections, so not much to discuss. I did have one publication with The Flame Tree Fiction newsletter, and when that’s available on their site, I’ll share it on the blog. No acceptances so far in 2021, and I’m not in a fantastic position at the moment to get one. My pending submissions aren’t likely to come through in January, and, well, I just need to send more of them. That’ll happen in the next few weeks, which will hopefully make February a good month.

Super Secret Project

Super secret project continues to develop, and I hope to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks. 🙂


I’d like to get a couple more submissions out this week, but that means I’ll need to revise and/or finish some short stories. I’d also like to make some heavy progress on the final revision of Late Risers. 

And that was my week(s). How were yours?

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