Big in Japan

Last week has been huge. The biggest in my career as a writer. I’ve signed contracts for two publications, including one for the start of our new novella series, Outliers. So obviously the only solution is to celebrate with terrible-awesome 80’s music.

With regards to the other agreement, I don’t want to give away any details until the publisher’s formal announcement. However, after some soul searching, I’ve realized that I can’t allow myself to write reviews about a particular type of product anymore. This aches because of a recent release I really wanted to cover and discuss. But to do so would slightly risk being a conflict of interest, for reasons similar to why I don’t do book reviews these days.

It’s not that an author necessarily shouldn’t review books, as it can be done ethically and fairly. A decent metaphor for the matter is the dilemma of dating at one’s workplace; perfectly acceptable as long as Human Resources is informed and one is prepared for the consequence of a relationship failing. But personally with regard to reviews, I’d rather just avoid those financially interconnected concerns down the road. Recuses over excuses.

I’ve one final short story window to commit to this year… and I just noticed it’s due in two weeks, so that’s all the time I have for today.

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Promise is a Promise

So yesterday, I ran into a gent at a bar who talked about writing. I mentioned that I’m in the same boat. He in turn mentioned that he enjoys writing crime fiction.

In retrospect, I’m not certain if he meant crime as in police and mysteries, or crime as in mafia and the thug life. Still, I gave him my blog address and promised him I’d update my publishing companies list with a few crime story publishers.

And I’ve done just that a moment ago. They are filed under general fiction, as the second link is actually three publishers. Check them out, my fellow yarn spinners.

Some Improvements

This is how American's celebrate good news!

This is how Americans celebrate good news!

Lots of small updates.

First thing I want to do is give a slightly delayed welcome to Lord Lucan to the blogosphere. You can find a link to his freshly created blog both with this link and on the Hip Cats section to the right.

I will be helping him over the next few days improve his blog’s technical and visual aspects.

Second, a new blog is up at the Bloghole written by yours truly, dealing with how to come up with ideas for writing. Check it out!

Third, the Publisher section has been updated, as I promised, with two new publishers. In this case, they’re both horror publishers, but more for all genres are on their way.

Fourth is that the Sample Writing section has been updated with a new general fiction story, The Office Warrior. Check it out for a chuckle.

Fifth and finally final, a new story writing competition will be going up this afternoon. Keep you posted.

Procrastination

He got cast out of Olympus, had a bum leg and his wife cheated on him. And he *still* hammered out the stuff of legends.

He got cast out of Olympus, had a bum leg and his wife cheated on him. And he *still* hammered out the stuff of legends. That's dedication.

The Black Library requires writers to contribute two parts in a short story submission: the summary and the writing example. My short story summary is finished. It went through two drafts before arriving at an acceptable level of quality. I glanced through it, looking for a good section to craft into the writing sample. After some thought, I decided that I wanted a section that includes both action and dialogue, and some plot driving elements with a touch of mystery. I wanted Xaphan to be in it, obviously.

But I realized that in my mind, every time Xaphan is in combat he is seen through the eyes of his enemies. I guess that’s fine for the purposes of this story. For some reason, it strikes me as easier to imagine being on the receiving end of a gigantic, armoured behemoth’s blood curdling fury than to be the one delivering it. This is why I should probably never box professional.

Xaphan spelled backwards can be “Nah Pax”, which can be a weird way of saying “No Peace.”

Stepping back, I was careful to write about the summary first and then focus on the writing sample. I think a lot of authors dive right into the writing sample and then try to tape a plot around what was written, because they’re too proud to throw it out. I’m guilty of that in the past. Sometimes however, I still do it just because skipping the planning and just writing is an amazing way to find inspiration and creativity. If I find an idea in what I wrote, I set it aside for later. It’s like sifting dirt for gold- you just want the gold.

Sometimes, that’s important. In truth, that’s exactly how this entire story came to exist in the first place. I jumped into the Bolthole and started hammering a random thought. An idea came of it, so I saved it. I’ve turned that idea into a full blown short story. So now I simply have to write the sample and I’m finished. I had to remind myself that the only way I will ever get published is to legitimately work at it. I’ve really stepped that up in the last submission window. And this one.

Will I get published? Statistically, my chances are no.

But there’s next year. And the year after. And the submission windows and other publishing companies and magazines. You just don’t give up because it’s what you love to do. So write on. I’m going back to work.