Happy New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Small Talk of 2017. It’s been a couple of weeks but the last two sundays were holidays and let’s be honest, I haven’t been doing much because of those said holidays.
For the last month, I took a small vacation from writing professionally because I use December to write fanfic for friends for the holidays. I suppose some will argue that it’s a waste of my time but I mentioned on Queer SciFi when the question was asked ‘how do you recharge your muse’ the answer is I write fanfic. I DO find it recharging but I get to take a break from some of the harder parts of writing (world building, character creation) and just let the words flow.
So I’m looking at 2017 and trying to be better about my time. I need to get an ecalendar that emails me because I keep missing things I should be doing.
Nine Stars rejected Cassadaga Nights but were thoughtful enough to tell me what they thought did and didn’t work and the didn’t was something I had been worrying about so it’s back with my first readers for opinions on how to change it.
Once I get Blood Red Roulette revamped (and god is this a bear!) I want to a) find first readers for it b) start thinking about the rewrites for Deadwood and dedicating it to my friend, Paulle who died this week. It was the last thing she beta read for me.
Other than that, once I get the start of the semester crap out of my face, it’s time to get back into writing new stuff. I have four current projects: Behind Blue Eyes (SF), the Steampunk holiday story, These Haunted Hills (contemporary or paranormal, still working that out) and the one set at an anime con but I think I’m going to back burner that one for now.
For the first snippet of the new year I’m doing something I’ve never done: sharing something brand new in its raw form. Literally I have only about six paragraphs of this one but its one of the projects I want to finish this year, something close to contemporary. Okay there are ghost hunters in it but done in a realistic way (okay, one of the leads (not in this snippet) is based very loosely on a friend here who is in fact a ghost hunter). It’s called at the moment These Haunted Hills and is set where I live in Appalachian Ohio, the Hocking Hills (technically I live a bit south west of here but I can be here within the hour). Brendan is a man whose been through a lot and is an author of a popular middle grade/YA series whose come to the hills to investigate ghosts for his next, more adult novel but more important, he’s running from his problems.
This is what I had in mind for the cabin in the snippet. This is from Crooked Creek Cabin rentals which is in the area.
Brendan second guessed his decision the moment he walked through the cabin’s front door even though it was exactly what he wanted: a cabin in the woods. The cold spring deluge that lashed him from car to porch hadn’t helped matters much. To Brendan the shower embodied perfectly the condition of his mind and soul.
Leaving his bag on the doorstep, Brendan took in his home for the next month. It could almost be called cute in a rustic sort of way. The loft bedroom perched above the open concept living area and kitchen.
If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!
Just a short post today as I’ve been driving some 250 miles today. I suppose this one is just general writing related more so than being LGBT specific but it’s what’s on my mind after getting a rejection yesterday.
To me it was a good one as they told me what they liked and what they thought didn’t work. I find that very useful. I was surprised a few weeks back when I saw a FB post ranting about how that particular author hated that. Which, yes, that’s perfectly fine as we’re all different but I was curious how an author would come to that choice. I didn’t ask because I didn’t know this particular author well and I don’t like to start up stuff on someone else’s page.
Personally I think any and all input I get can be helpful. I would have liked to be able to make changes and resubmit this to that publishing house but they didn’t say that I could and I’m not published with them so I didn’t really ask (as I have other options). As it is, one of their weaknesses was something I had wondered about myself. So I should have listened to my gut.
I know some authors feel that once they submit something it’s ‘done’ and they’re not changing anything. And there is the point that you could send it to three different places and have them feel three different ways about that same piece so making suggested changes in a rejection might not help you. I often see this in my writers group. Two people love something and a third hates that exact same thing.
You just have to use your best judgment when you get these suggestions. Would making the changes turn your story into something other than what you wanted it to be? I’ve faced that too.
But for me, if I have to be rejected then I definitely want to know WHY. I want to know what didn’t work and what did. I appreciate that they took the time to tell me that rather than send me some form letter (god knows I got tons of those in the 90s back when I had to send postage so they could send me those form letters). I find them helpful.
Helpful but still painful. Ah well, such is a writer’s life.