There goes another week where I was supposed to be writing and submitting stories. Let’s see how I did.
This week’s quote comes from science fiction novelist Joe Haldeman
I think any writer keeps going back to some basic theme. Sometimes it’s autobiographical. I guess it usually is.
Saw this quote a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. There are definitely themes I return to in my writing, and at first blush, they don’t appear to be autobiographical. However, when I think about them in detail, that’s not completely true. I keep returning to subjects that frighten me in one way or another. Writing about these fears, even when I’m not fully aware of them, might be a way to tame them, even exorcise them. If I can put my fears into a story, I’m controlling them in some sense. This is not to say that my work never features overt autobiographical themes, and I’ve certainly written a few of those lately. The difference with these stories is the intent. I set out to be autobiographical. The other stories seem to happen without that same level of intent. It’s like my subconscious bubbles up and on to the page, and it’s only when I’m finished and rereading the story that I realize I’ve delved into something fairly personal.
A slow week for submissions.
Just one submission last week. That said, it was for my novella Effectively Wild, which, as it would so happen, was also the lone rejection. Unlike short stories and flash fiction, where there are often dozens of possible markets, novellas are a different story. There are few magazines that take stories of that length, and once you exhaust those options, you have to start researching small book publishers, which is what I’ve been doing. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of publishers currently open to novella submissions or markets where my paranormal sports story would be a good fit. I did find one publisher that could be a match based on the novellas they’ve previously published, so I sent Effectively Wild there. Now it’s just wait and see.
The one submission last week gives me six for January, and I need nine to stay on pace for 100 submissions for the year. That shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve been working on a couple of flash pieces that’ll go out this week or next.
I made good progress on the revision of Hell to Play last week, and I revised about 75 pages, right through chapter six. The first act is in pretty good shape, so the bulk of my revisions was cutting out extraneous words, sentences, and paragraphs to sharpen the writing and improve the pacing. I also needed to make some minor character adjustments, though the bulk of those will happen in act two. I should finish act one this week, and then things get more difficult. Acts two and three will require full-on rewrites in some areas and the addition of new material in others. Challenging, but I have a clear idea of what I need to do. I just have to buckle down and execute.
Same goal as last week: keep revising the novel and send out more submissions.
That was my week. How was yours?