Ohhh, right. This is the ‘Everything Sucks’ section of the publishing process.

This is the fourth novel-length book I’ve published; you’d think I was used to the checklist by now. This is the part where everything is awful and nothing works right and what the Hell, Moe? I’m not sure if it’s a buildup of put-it-aside-for-now emotions from the process, the desire to get it over with, or just the inevitable reaction to the detail that I’ve spent more time the last month working on books instead of advertising them. It typically goes away when I finally publish the blessed thing.

Anyway, talking about it is therapeutic. If only because I stop feeling down, and start feeling annoyed. I don’t have time for this.

Had a good session at the writer’s circle tonight.

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.

Moe Lane

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.

The author’s circle thing was good!

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.

Well, that was surprising.

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.

Back in the saddle again…

…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.

Moe Lane

*Separate from the stuff on this site.  I’m talking about stuff I plan to sell. Or at least hope to sell.

I have plans.

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…

First original submission goes out tonight…

[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…

It has been a busy enough week.

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.

Moe Lane

PS: Scrivener? Totally worth it. Continue reading It has been a busy enough week.