Let’s do some weekly writerly catch-up.
This week’s quote comes from E.B White.
“It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is common in all writing and among the best of writers.”
I am struggling mightily with a novel revision at the moment (more on that below), and this quote kind of sums up how I’m feeling. You see, it’s hard not to view it as a sign of weakness and defeat because the novel needs A LOT of revision. It needs more revision than any book I’ve written. It’s also quite easily the best book I’ve written. That’s a real motherfucker of a combo. The book is on the operating table, ready for that major surgery E.B. White mentioned, but I feel less like a surgeon and more like a butcher. cleaving meat and bone instead of making precise cuts. I know I’m not alone in my predicament. I don’t think there’s an author alive who hasn’t stood back from a manuscript at one point and said, “Okay, now what?” Ultimately, I have to make a decision, and I will.
Pretty slow going in submission land for the past couple of weeks.
I’ve sent only two submissions in the last couple of weeks. I’ve got some new stories in the works–one that’s nearly finished–that’ll bump up my submission numbers in the second half of the month, though. Only two rejections in February so far, both form letters. One took six days, the other four months. This is my first submission (and rejection) with both markets, so it’s hard to say if these response times are typical. Other than the two rejections, not much happening on the submission front. I definitely expect to hear back on a few this week, especially a couple to pro markets whose response times are predictable and fast approaching.
A dozen subs for the year is a little off my pace. I need nine a month, more or less, to reach one hundred for the year. So, I’ll need to send out another six submission before February draws to a close.
Progress on the revision of Hell to Play has stalled, mostly because I’ve hit a rough patch, and I’m not sure how to proceed. It’s not writer’s block, per se, it’s more I know what I need to do, but I’m not sure the best way to do it. Analysis paralysis is probably closer to what I’m dealing with. I’ve never failed to revise a novel, but let me tell you, this one has turned into a real bear. I’m at that point where I’m wondering it it’s not better to move on, write a new book, and come back to this one when I’m in a better frame of mind. I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels at this point, and that’s an awful feeling. What I might be struggling with is the fact that I’m approaching this is a revision, when what I’m really dealing with is a rewrite. That’s new for me.
I have not been idle on the novel front entirely, though. I’m still shopping my other novel, Late Risers, which I did manage to revise successfully, with a number of indie publishers. Hoping to hear back soon from one of them.
I want to again draw your attention to my new Q&A column, THE REJECTONOMICON, over at Dark Matter Magazine and invite you to submit questions about submissions, rejections, and writing in general.
The first article went up a few weeks ago, and we’ll be doing these on a bi-monthly basis. Check out that first article by clicking the link in the banner below.
So, how do you submit questions to me? Easy. Here are the submission guidelines.
Got it? Then send me those questions! 🙂
Goals this week are finish up short stories, send submissions, and figure out what the fuck I’m gonna do about my novel.
Those were my weeks. How were yours?
Simply having written something is an achievement. Most people can’t write well enough. Sure I do good work as a critique partner but original creation is a wholely different level.
So put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, turn your attention to other matters, then come back to your story when you’re refreshed.
It’ll be coffee rather than tea, but sound advice all the same. Thanks. 🙂