Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"Windows to the Soul" is up at Nocturnal Ooze !!! Happy birthday to me!

2000 word so far today. Chapter 3 is finished except for some details that I need to go back and add before I start Chapter 4.

The novel is now over 9600 words. This is the longest piece I have ever written so far. Feeling and seeing this thing come together gives me the best feeling I have had in a long, long time, even more so since I can see the path to the end of the story clearly for the first time. Being on Forward Motion has been the greatest blessing I have had, as far as writing is concerned. The support and feedback from the Community has been amazing, and the education I have gotten there so far has been golden. I’ll have to work very hard for a very long time to pay this debt forward.

Well, break time’s over. Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s back to Hell I go…

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Got deep into Chapter 3. The monster has revealed himself and is now taunting his helpless victims. Time to put John into the wringer. 2 more scenes in Chapter 3, then, in the first scene in Chapter 4, he faces his first really big crisis. Does he allow Maggie to sacrifice herself so that he can live to track down and destroy the monster, or does he die with her. The kicker is that he can only survive if he kills Maggie. She's dying anyway, but if he doesn't kill her, he will die too. Maggie wants to make that sacrifice (see why I love her so?), but John will have to compromise his most deeply-held beliefs in order to do it. Furthermore, after seeing what has been done to Maggie so far, the agony of his moral decision is matched only by the depth and fierceness of his rage. Getting intense.

I was sitting around this morning doing a self-evaluation (Ok, OK, I was wasting time and trying not to have to work on that damned novel). After getting back to work after my recent ... uh ..."vacation", I find that I am able to finish a lot of stories that I have started over the years and had to lay aside for one reason or another. Mostly that reason has been no clear idea of how to plot. I have a lot of stories that have a beginning and an end, but no middle. I am finding that I can now pick them up, plot them all the way through, and write out a first draft all in one sitting. This has really done wonders for my self-confidence. The fact that I am turning out stories that I think are good, with strong characters and a tight plot, is a huge boost. Critiquing other people's work is also, as always, giving me some real insights into my own work. I am finding errors much more easily and correcting them in ways that really contribute to the story.

Now that I'm through stroking my own ego, I have to get to work. Sorry Maggie, it's be nice knowing you.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Submitted "Real Monsters" to The Georgia Review this afternoon. It's the first time I've ever submitted to a major market. I feel kind of on edge about it, like I'm waiting for the thunderbolt to strike me down for my hubris. It's going to be a long 4-8 weeks. I know I don't have a chance in Hell, but I guess I can't really know for sure unless I try.

I really need to get back to work on Washed in the Blood, but God I really don't want to write the next scene. I really like Maggie, and now I have to do some really horrible things to her. I really hate it, but the whole premise of the story hangs on this one scene. If I don't do it, the whole thing falls apart, and that is unacceptable. This is a story that I really need to tell. I just have to get my courage up and do it. I posted a goal of 3000 words this week on it, so I better get my butt moving.

I've been spending a lot of time reading stories on the Web the past couple of weeks, doing market research. I have been extremely disappointed by what I have found. There must be a lot of basically illiterate editors out there. I understand that a lot of them publish stuff from their friends and/or e-buddies as a favor, but I can't understand the complete lack of any standard of quality on most of these 'zines. I often get tempted to grade some of this crap and send it back to the editor and the author. Jeez! I have had to eliminate a lot of potential paying markets simply because I refuse to have my name associated with a site that publishes crap stories with misspellings, cliched plots, bad description, ungodly bad dialogue, and puerile errors that I knew about in the 8th grade, for God's sake!


It is a relief when I do find a gem of a story out there, like I did recently when I saw "Raspberries" by Jennifer Loring on Bloodletters. It's excellently written, but very disturbing. Highly recommended.