A Dry Spell. Knowing One’s Limits. Some Free Fiction

Long time no post, I know.  But things have been slow and a bit painful on the writing end of things.  I got a rejection from an anthology I was incredibly interested in and am still seeking a home for it.   I have three other stories awaiting judgement from anthologies, one of which is a story that, while it is only 11 pages long, took me about 4 months to write.

On top of all of that, I’ve been trying to finish my second novel, a book that is tentatively titled The Dark.  Why, you might ask, would I devote so much time to this book when I have still not found a home for my novel The Bleeding Room?  Because once the ideas come to me, if I don’t get them down right away they will eventually be forgotten because my organizational skills (and perhaps my memory as well) sucks.  While working on this new horror novel, I have also decided to start a rough draft on what will be my first non-horror writing attempt.  This one is waaaaay on the back burner, but when I do decide to write on it, it usually compromises most of my day.  And in the midst of these two books, there is also the short story collection that I am toying with and the several meandering short stories that I have out in submission limbo.

I haven’t decided yet if this work ethic (that is, two separate novels and about 20 short stories all at once) is wise, considering the fact that my publication experience is vastly limited.  I have these chunks of manuscripts looking at me, as if taunting me, asking why bother with such a task when I have yet to garner any real attention from my writing.  I know that there are a few people that poke their heads in here from time to time who have much more publication success than I do.  What are your thoughts on this dilemma?  Is it a reasonable worry or simply me being a literary drama queen?

To wrap this post up, I have found a nice little dark corner of the internet in which to share my love of scares and horrors.  Graveside Tales has quite the little horror community going and, with at least 5 titles due this year, they continue to grow.  As a promotional exercise for their release Fried! Fast Food, Slow Deaths, they have decided to give away a free sample of the anthology to all interested parties.  The free download can be found here.

That’s all out of me for now.  Keep checking back as my list of submitted short stories continues to await the fall of the axe or the approval of editors.

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4 comments

  1. Don’t know that I’ve got any words of wisdom for you, but I would say not to worry too much about the lack of attention to date. We’ve all got to start somewhere, and if you don’t write and submit, you won’t get published.

    As far as having chunks of stories sitting around, some people can work like that (Gustavo Bondoni and Ian Rogers seem quite adept at it), but I can’t really. Especially on novels; I need to work on one thing at a time, with the occasional short story thrown in. I have some notes on several short stories I’d like to finish, but what little time I have right now is mostly going to Jennings Grove (of course, right now I have no time, so it’s hard to do even that much).

    Find your groove, work with whatever comes out best for you.

  2. My own suggestions for what you’ve described are thus: 1) don’t worry about having sold anything — short or novel — before working on the next. Just write. Write write write. 2) The mistake so many (too many) writers make is trying to submit a short-story collection as soon as they have enough material to do so. Instead, what you ought to do is keep writing until you have enough GOOD stories to make up a collection. That may take a year, that may take ten, but that collection ought to be your top-grade work. After all, do you want it to be released, be read, and be dismissed as being 50% good, or do you want it to be read and wow the reviewer because it’s 100% great? I guarantee you the last one will do more for your career.

  3. Jeff: I know what you mean about the notes. I have 3 notebooks full of sketches and ideas that have yet to come to fruitiion.

    Cate: I am beyond the nail-biting stage…no nails left. I’m beginning to worry about my fingers.

    Simon: Great advice! Although any thoughts of trying to publish a short story collection are waaaay in the back of my head, hidden behind the 2 other ideas for novels and a huge stack of totally useless lyrics to 80s pop songs.

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