Another week of writing. Here’s how it went down.
Today’s quote comes from novelist Zadie Smith.
“It’s such a confidence trick, writing a novel. The main person you have to trick into confidence is yourself. This is hard to do alone.”
Love this quote because, at least for me, it’s so true. I find that I do trick myself into writing a novel, especially the first draft. In order to get all the words on the page and complete a manuscript, I recite the following mantra: I can fix it in post. I say this to myself so I’m not overwhelmed by the mistakes or the perceived mistakes I’ve made in the nascent book. It allows me to get the whole thing down, all 90,000-words or more without slowing or stopping. Then, well, I do in fact go back and fix it in post.
I struggle with revisions, so I need to come up with a confidence trick for that too, but that’s a subject for another post. 🙂
Not much going on in submission land last week.
Just one new submission last week, but that story was a new one I completed and revised to make a very short submission window for a prestige publisher. Got the story submitted just in the nick of time too.
The one rejection was a personal rejection and it was interesting because I have never seen a clearer example of an editor telling me that my particular style is not for them. I don’t think that was the intent; they were just remarking on the story I submitted. That story, however, is extremely indicative of what and how I write, and the editors comments took issue with those exact things. This is excellent information because it means I don’t have to waste my time or the editor’s again. It’s important I note that I am not offended or salty about this rejection, and the editor was absolutely NOT rude or condescending. This information will help me dial in my submission targeting in the future.
Other than one submission and one rejection, I did have a publication with The Arcanist last week, which I’ll link below.
Let’s try something new with this weekly thread. I’ll list all the #vss365 microfiction I wrote last week, and you tell me which one you like best (in a poll after the stories). Thinking about putting together a collection of these things, so your feedback will be very helpful.
March 14th – Exacerbate
When Daddy had his spells—that’s what Momma called them—she’d keep us away from the special room with the big metal door. “If he smells you, it’ll just #exacerbate his condition,” Momma would say. I never understood why we smelled different to Daddy when the moon was full.#vss365
March 15th – Switcheroo
I had a big orange cat named #Switcheroo when I was a kid. During the day, he was all purrs and snuggles. At night, though, his eyes changed from green to gold, and he’d sit on the end of my bed. A little lion who hissed at the slithering dark . . . and the dark retreated.#vss365
March 16th – Mud
I got #mud on my soul. The kind that won’t wash off. The kind that splatters you with each pull of the trigger, each twist of the blade, each time someone begs for mercy, breathless and terrified, and you don’t listen. Hell must be a damn muddy place. Guess I’ll find out. #vss365
March 17th – Whiff
A haunted house has a specific scent. Go from room to room and breathe deep. You’ll get dust and wood and old cooking stinks, of course, but beneath that, there’ll be a #whiff of something sour, like spoiled milk. That smell is not death. It’s worse. That smell is regret. #vss365
March 18th – Joker
Saw a gunfight at the saloon today. Two cowboys were arguing about poker. One said the best hand is five-of-a-kind. The other said no it ain’t, because you need the #joker, and the joker is bullshit. The shooting started when they got to one-eyed jacks and suicide kings. #vss365
March 19th – Pack
There’s a pack of wolves near the place we settled. Not many zombies—too far from civilization and food—but a few occasionally wander through. I caught one, tied it down, and painted it head to toe in deer blood. Turns out you can train wolves to eat just about anything. #vss365
The second volume of THE REJECTONOMICON, my Q&A column over at Dark Matter Magazine, went live recently. You can read it by clicking the banner below.
As always, I need your writing and rejection questions. Here’s how to send them to me.
Got it? Then send me those questions!
Finish more short stories, send them out, and work on some long-form fiction projects.
That was my week. How was yours?