An update on my writing projects…
It’s a new, straight-up horror short story and it’s shaping up nicely. I’ve written three of five acts in it so far. I think it’s at about 3,500 words right now. So, if I add another two short chapters, I should get to about 6,000 words or so—just the right word count for a short.
Writing this was another lesson in plotting out your SHORT pieces before you sit down to write. I was midway through Chapter 2 and I just didn’t know where I wanted this to go. So, I backed up. Stopped completely. I thought about it, wrote down an actual plot (stealing the 5-Act arch from playwriting) and started Chapter 2 from scratch. I liked the new chapter so much, I junked the old Chapter 2 and moved on. Now, I’ve done Chapter 3 and I’m ready for 4 and 5 this weekend. We’ll see how it goes…
I will return in a later post to why I don’t plot out novels before I write them.
Breakpoint—This story keeps up chalking up rejections. It just got its third. This time the rejection letter had some comments, which I’m taking as a good sign. The editor said that the exposition distracted from the story. I think this is a nice way of saying: “You need to show more, tell less.” It’s a point well-taken and just when I think I’ve finally started to make some progress on the whole “Show, don’t tell” dictum, this shows I still have a long, long way to go.
Anyhow, I’ll be firing it off to a new magazine soon. I think the story is solid as it stands, but I will definitely try to cut out the exposition as I write in the future.
AFTA—I’ve decided to send this manuscript on to some more publishing houses that accept simultaneous submissions. No bites yet, but I’m hopeful. The last rejection letter said they found a lot to like in the piece, but that it just wasn’t for them. I’ll let you guys know if this one breaks my way.
See you next time,