I hit a major milestone this week. I passed the halfway mark on the first rough draft of my manuscript. As of today (Monday) progress is sitting pretty at 58%. I have a nifty spreadsheet that keeps track of everything for me. This is only the rough draft though. I know that any words I type will be subjected to rigorous edits and possibly cuts further down the line. I’m excited for the next few chapters because the action, the steampunk elements, and the just overall “weird” faction all get ratcheted up. It just feels good to be working on “the second half.”
Over the weekend I had the displeasure of witnessing what I can only describe as a Twitter fight. Maybe this is what living in the digital age is all about? Either way it was annoying to see anywhere from two to four grown adults arguing with each other via Twitter. Twitter is probably the worst place to have an argument/disagreement. 140 characters per tweet? Public tweets that clog your followers’ feeds? You can be open and honest with someone in a private form of communication–Twitter direct messages, FB messages, emails, phone calls, even an old fashioned letter. Don’t clog the Twitterverse with squabblings that nobody else wants to see. It made me feel uncomfortable and voyeuristic, and it’s not something I’d really want to experience again.
Anyway that’s enough of that. Back to the writing progress. I didn’t get any work done over the weekend, but oh well. That’s life sometimes. My girlfriend is having a weird allergic reaction right now, so we’re going to the doctor this afternoon. Today probably won’t be a stellar word count day.
Update: Apparently today went better than I thought it would. I hit over 3,000 words for my daily total. The word count section has been updated to reflect this. How exciting!
Project: The Exile’s Violin 2 (working title)
Deadline: N/A (Maybe May 1, 2011)
Daily word count: 14,986 (since 3/7)
Word count: 49,416
Not much is new right now. I’m still collaborating with Michael Bacon on the outline/script for Tweekers. I’m waiting for more information/official release dates for Growing Dread and In Situ. And I’m still working on The Exile’s Violin 2–this might be the last steampunk thing I write for a while. Man I hate typing that title. I need to come up with a new one soon.
I wrote an outline for a new short story the other day. I might work on it this weekend. I’ve also been itching for some space opera recently. I might have to do a little bit more work on The Price of Loyalty — my sci-fi/space opera novel that’s been stalled for a while. It’s set in the same universe as but before my short story “Runner.”
So here’s the updates for TEV 2.
Project: The Exile’s Violin 2 (working title)
Deadline: N/A (5/1/11 maybe)
Word Count: 23,376
Good news everyone! (I always say that in the Professor’s voice from Futurama). My short story “Neurolution” is going to be featured in the anthology Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions by Timid Pirate Publishing. The anthology is set to come out in March 2011, so it’s just around the corner!
I found out that the story had been accepted a couple of weeks ago, but I had to keep it quiet until the announcement went live on their website. Maybe they announced it a couple of days ago, but I just saw it tonight.
I wrote “Neurolution” specifically for the anthology, so it felt twice as good when it got accepted. It was the first time that I’d tried to write something biopunk-ish. I’ve read a little bit in the genre, including Deadstock and Blue War by Jeremy Thomas, so I knew some of the genre’s conventions. It’s always a little bit of a risk when you write something based on pretty strict guidelines. If it doesn’t get accepted there, what are you supposed to do with it? Luckily, that didn’t happen in this case.
I can’t wait to see the cover art and get my copies of Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions. I want to read all the other squishy, creepy, grotesque stories in it.
Yesterday I got the nicest rejection letter ever. I had submitted a short story a couple of weeks ago to an online publication. I saw the response email in my inbox, and I was all prepared for one of the generic “Thank you for submitting. Unfortunately…” letters all writers have grown accustomed to seeing.
Instead I got a personal note from the editor saying how much he liked the story, but he had to reject it because it was more of a ghost story than the type of Lovecraft story he was looking for, but he was really sorry to have to do that. Seriously, here’s an excerpt: “So I hope that you will consider sending me something along those lines [more Lovecraftian] soon, because you are the kind of author that I enjoy reading.”
Damn. Talk about taking the sting out of rejection. However, as much as it boosted my ego, I can’t help but wonder how helpful the letter really was. Writers need rejection and criticism. It’s the only way we can get better at our craft. If a story gets rejected it forces us to go back to it, dissect it, and staple it back together in some sort of improved way. While the standard, generic rejection letters don’t offer much advice, this super nice rejection letter didn’t either.
I’m not saying he should have sent it. No, please send me more like that. My ego loves the attention. But I know my story wasn’t perfect. I can’t help but wonder what he would have wanted improved or revised if he had accepted it.
The letter was a wonderful distraction, but it was only temporary. So bring on the pain you editors and slush pile readers out there! I can take it. We writers can take it. We need to if we’re going to become better writers.