Here’s my accounting of another week gone by.
This week’s quote comes from Ernest Hemingway.
Good dialogue is not real speech–it’s the illusion of real speech.
I have said many times that dialogue is my favorite way to tell a story. Many of my pieces are just folks talking to each other, and I feel I can capture drama, horror, love, angst, rage, and all that other good stuff between a couple of quotation marks. That said, I think Hemingway is absolutely correct. Dialogue is NOT how people actually talk. The closer you can get to that, though, the more realistic it sounds, but most casual conversations are so full of pauses, repetition, and people talking over each other I wouldn’t know how to write it let alone punctuate it correctly. Still, if you can add some of those pauses, a couple of those repetitions, and some of the nonverbal stuff folks do when they talk, I think you get a much more sumptuous spread of dialogue that FEELS more authentic.
A better week in submission land.
I managed 2 submissions last week, which is better than the week before, but I need to send 4 more submissions by the end of the month to stay on pace for 100. Other than that, it was quiet as a crypt. I haven’t received a rejection since July 1st, which makes me more than a little nervous. I expect I’ll get some this week and maybe an acceptance too. More about the publication below.
I finished the first draft of Effectively Wild last week, and it came in at just over 25,500 words. I’m currently doing my first read-through and revision before I ask my critique partners to take a look. I’d like to get it down around 22,000 words, as that’ll give me a few more submission options. That shouldn’t be hard; there are definitely a few scenes that drag on with unnecessary dialogue (yes, I also overuse dialogue) and whatnot. Overall, I’m happy with what I ended up with, though I’m not sure I stuck the landing. Even so, all can be fixed in revision.
There’s a new installment of my monthly Rejectomancy column over at Dark Matter Magazine. This month, we’re talking about reprints, which is one of my favorite submission subjects. You can read that article (and all the other ones) by clicking the link below.
My flash fiction anthology Night Walk & Other Dark Paths features 40 of my best stories. Here are some of the nice things folks have said about it. 🙂
“I’ve been a fan of his stories for years, and now they’ve been collected in Night Walk it’s possible to fully appreciate the many wounded landscapes of his imagination, the harrowing beauty of his prose, and the consistency with which he weaves his tales of despair.”
— Christopher Stanley
“Aeryn has proven with this dark anthology, that he is truly one of the very best flash fiction writers around. At times, you have to pinch yourself to remember these terrifying tales are the work of just one mind.”
— Andrew J. Anderson
“The tales are short, snappy, well-paced, often witty, and always satisfying. I had to force myself to limit myself to a couple of tales a day–to savor them like rich and bitter dark chocolates.”
— MM Schreier
Revise the novella and send out four more submissions.
That’s my week. How was yours?