A Week of Writing: 3/22/21 to 3/28/21

The final week of March has come and gone. Let’s see how I did.

Words to Write By

This week it’s another quote from Elmore Leonard.

“I don’t judge in my books. I don’t have to have the antagonist get shot or the protagonist win. It’s just how it comes out. I’m just telling a story.”

– Elmore Leonard

Defying expectations in your books or short stories is a good thing, and I think that’s essentially what Elmore Leonard is saying. The hero doesn’t always win and the villain doesn’t always lose. In fact, it might be a more compelling story if things are a little ambiguous. I think what it important–and Elmore Leonard did this in every novel if his I’ve read–is that the characters driving the narrative, be they protagonist or antagonist, have an arc. They need to learn something, to change in some way through the events of the story. It can be small, but I think it has to be something the reader notices. I like to think of a novel is like a rock polisher. You toss your characters in, turn the thing the on, and let them get smashed around by the conflict. What comes out are characters that are more real, more believable, because they’ve suffered, learned, lost, loved, and so on.

The Novels

As I mentioned last week, I submitted my novel Late Risers out to a publisher, and now I’m waiting to hear back. I won’t start revisions on my other novel, Hell to Play, for a while yet, and during the down time I’m taking on some commission work and finishing up some short stories.

Short Story Submissions

Yeah, pretty much crickets last week.

  • Submissions Sent: 0
  • Rejections: 0
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Pending: 12
  • 2021 Total Subs: 26

Had a lot going on that kept me from sending out submissions. It was still a very productive week writing-wise, just not in a get-the-subs-out-the-door kinda way. I did finish a new flash fiction piece I quite like, and I’ll be sending that out soon. The 26 submissions I have for March still has me on pace of 100 for the year, so I’m in good shape there. Obviously, it’s be nice to close out the month with an acceptance to end my rejections streak, but that might have to wait until April.

Night Walk

My flash fiction collection Night Walk & Other Dark Paths is available for preorder in print and digital through Amazon. I’d of course appreciate the support, and if you’re so inclined, just click the cover below. I’ve also started a new feature on the blog called Night Walk Wednesday, where I give you all the rejectomancy stats on individual stories from the collection. You can check out the first post in that series right here.


This week, I want to get at least a couple of submissions out the door, but my primary focus fiction I’ve been commissioned to write.

And that was my week. How was yours?

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