They took my first three paragraphs, yanked out one sentence, told me that was the hook, squeezed a couple more paragraphs together, yanked that down past the hook, and effectively said “There’s your intro.” It all felt incredibly useful. I may bring bagels next time as a thank-you.
PS: My schedule’s been wacky today, but that’s OK. Things are going along as per the schedule. Also: right now I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth it to get a bare-bones book vendor table at the conventions that I go to. Might be, might not be. It all depends on how long I can man that table and whether I’ll make my money back if I do.
I wasn’t sure how it’d go, but it was cool. People read the stuff that they were working on, and then we gave them thoughtful and helpful commentary; I enjoyed the experience. Nobody else there did science fiction and fantasy, which may have been an advantage for me when I did the first three pages of IN HOC SIGNO VINCES. They mostly just liked it, without any sort of “Dear God, man: how could you have made that mistake?” sort of commentary. Which reaction I might or might not have been subconsciously expecting.
Anyway, I think that I’ll do this on the regular. The circle seems to be made up of friendly, chill people who have been doing this for a while; and I like the idea of being helpful. Although I’m bringing my own soft drinks next time. The vending machines were nightmarish.
I just ripped 1,500 words out of my head for a flash fiction call-for-submissions and I have no idea where it really came from. Unless it came from the part of my brain that would eagerly write something, anything for the Weird Tales website. And get paid for it: let us not forget that. Ever.
If it doesn’t sell, I’ll probably put it up here. I don’t know where else I’d put it, honestly: it’s pretty market-specific. But, anyway, that’s what I did this morning and early afternoon.
…no more excuses or Spring Breaks or whatever. From now on, 500 words a day, net*. Maybe it’ll be 1,000 and I throw out half; maybe I’ll be on and can get 500 that don’t need to be hacked at later. But it’s time to schedule writing the way that I schedule exercise. That’s probably the only way it’s going to work for me.
*Separate from the stuff on this site. I’m talking about stuff I plan to sell. Or at least hope to sell.
Mostly, they involve watching my wife take my kids to the pool, then grabbing my Chromebook and retreating to a Panera Bread or something so that I can get some writing done. I have, like, three short stories that need finishing and this weekend has been not great when it comes to my larger productivity. A couple of hours writing in peace and quiet sounds like a great idea…
[UPDATE] Annnnd it’s submitted. Thanks for the encouragement, folks.
…I finished it this afternoon, and I’m going to give it an hour to cool down before I do a revision and send it out for the Rejection Circus. I try not to overdo my revisions; I get the feeling that a lot of people get snagged on that and spend so much time rewriting their stuff that they never actually go out and submit it for publication. I’m mostly just looking for spelling, lost text, and bad autocorrects.
I have some hopes for this particular story: I’d let you folks read it, except that doing so immediately flips it from ‘original’ to ‘reprint.’ This is one heck of a racket; I ought to host my own quarterly contest or something and rake in the cash that way. The hoops people will jump through to get even twenty bucks…
I’ve been sifting through the various sands for publishers who will do reprints – as I’ve noted before, everything published either here or on Patreon counts as a reprint – and submitting the various stories that I’ve created so far. And so now it’s just a matter of sitting back, and watching the rejection emails flow in. Although I still have a bunch of stories that I have yet to prep for sending out, mostly because I want to have a nice, even flow. I figure that getting into a routine of making sure that I send out at least one story every day to be rejected will keep me productive.
This is, by the way, not despair talking. The expectation here for me has to be that I will gather a plethora of rejections. That’s just simply how it works. That’s how it works for everybody. And while I am of course a brilliant writer, I am also competing now in an arena that has its own rules and ways of doing things. So there’s that. Besides, eventually they’ll start sending me rejection emails that explain why. Feedback that I can use, in other words.
Good God, but I just got filled in on the original/’reprint’ racket. Long story (heh) short: everything counts when it comes to whether a story’s a reprint, apparently. Including things like, say, Patreon accounts or websites. And the rates go through the floor. I say this with bemusement, not anger: it’s a hell of a racket, particularly since nobody seems to be actually making a mint off of it.
I’m just grateful that I discovered this on Day Two. Looks like I’m going to have to write more things that just go straight out to the publishers before anyone else sees them. I’m also contemplating whether I need to seriously reassess how long I wait before I put Patreon-generated works on this website: there’s some debate about whether things published via subscription count as reprints, and absolutely none on whether things published on websites do.
Halloween being over and everything. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, before anybody asks: instead I’m going to be actively starting up trying to sell something. In my experience, the single best way for motivating me into perfecting my craft as an writer has always been to wave money in my face. Obviously, this is just my particular artistic kink, not a general rule; but since it seems to work for me as an impetus for artistic growth I see no reason not to go with it now.
On the one hand, I’ve been writing for twenty-five years. I actually get money for doing it, too. Heck, I’m one of those strange people who actually gets to use the stuff that he learned in his English degree. On the other hand, I’ve spent the last fifteen years writing things that aren’t, say, science fiction short stories like the one that I’m totally procrastinating on writing right now. So, you know, maybe I should get a refresher? And on the gripping hand: even if I need to touch up my skillset, is a writing workshop the way to go there?
Opinions welcome. I still got a few days before this online class that I happened across closes, anyway.