Saturday, January 26, 2019

Editing Marathon

Now Playing: BARRACUDA by Heart
Just Read: THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill--Really, really enjoyed this one. I've liked all of Joe Hill's stuff. This one started strong, had a lull, then picked back up after a long, slow burn (pun intended).
Reading Now: THE DETECTIVE by Roderick Thorp

First, update: It's been a solid January, and I'm on track with my goals of writing and submitting one story per month. I submitted a story that earned an honorable mention in the WotF to another magazine. It got rejected, but I'm thinking of other places to send it. For January 2019, it looks like I'm going to get two new ones. Both flash fiction stories, but that's okay. I've been writing a lot on both a longer short story and a novel.

Today, though, wasn't about new stuff. It was about a story I wrote for WotF back in 2017. It didn't place, or win an honorable mention. But I've heard about such stories being editing, resubmitted, and winning, and since I'm far away from anything new being ready to send by the end of this quarter, I thought I'd tackle it.

It's long. Over 14,000 words. And it took me ALL DAY to get through it. I think editing my own stuff is the worst part about being a writer, the part that feels the most like work. It just isn't as rewarding as new composition, and I never know if changes I make actually improve the story or not. I have a hard time stepping back and saying, "This needs to be changed. This story needs a faster pace. This part of the story has to go because it doesn't contribute."

Today was a drag. I think the story is better, but I really have a hard time knowing. I think I'm going to put it away for a while and see if I can come back to it with fresh eyes, like I did today, and spot any errors in the story's trajectory. The prose is fine. But it's so long, I have trouble knowing if anything doesn't belong. I feel like it all belongs.

Gotta find a book on editing fiction . . . preferably, for dummies.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year Stuff

Just Read: SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK--Great book! Very fun story, and loved all the cat references. Having just visited the Biltmore, I loved the details.
Reading Now: THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill

It's a brand new year! A chance to set and achieve a ton of new writing goals, and I have plenty.

But I'm only going to set vague ones, in the hopes of having a greater chance of achieving them. In brief, they are: Write more. Edit more. Read more. Submit more.

I'll only get specific with one idea: to write and submit at least one story per month the way I did back in my Write1Sub1 days. That worked really well for me, left a lot of time for editing, and was doable. So, I'd like to bring it back. Additionally, I'd like to read 50 new books this year. The most I've ever read was 40, but I think 50 is a good goal. Also, I have a shelf of fiction magazines I'd like to read and recycle--hope to make some progress there in 2019.

This past year was a great one in a thousand ways, but as far as my writing goals, I maybe fell a bit short. I wrote four new stories and finished NaNoWriMo with a new 50K word manuscript (that's now about 60K). So, I did a good amount of writing, just not as much as I would like. I'm not beating myself up about it--I was a senior in grad school most of the year, starting a new job giving anesthesia during the rest of the year. But now that it's 2019, it's time to get more of a routine and figure out how to fit everything I'd like to write into my schedule.

I hope everyone has a blessed and productive 2019!