Another Day in the Word Mines

Class is starting to wind down. We’re in the work-shopping phase, which is sort of a mixed blessing. On the upside hand, I’m getting really rigorous and relentless feedback. On the downside, I’m getting really rigorous and relentless feedback. It’s hard to face the prospect that I’m not the sparkling princess of awesome writing I hoped I was. =P I’ve gotten past the initial jolt and am feeling better, but it took me a little bit to get my feet under me.

So, the blow to my ego has fed the foot dragging with my writing. I haven’t written anything new beyond than blog posts for for the last few weeks. Part of it is that I have no shorts I’m dying to write. Part of it is that I haven’t decided what to do with my unfinished novels. I’ve learned enough from the last few months to know things I need to improve. And rebuilding novel-length fiction is kinda scary.

In a week I need to get my submission off to Crossed Genres for their “Eastern” issue. I’ve given it one more pass, tried to clear out some snags. It’s now in the girlfriend’s email waiting feedback.

After I get that sent off, I will be at the writing workshop at Norwescon. I fully expect to have Court of the Red King raked over the coals. I have some pretty extensive changes I want to make to the story structure, mainly adding a second POV to the piece. Part of it is to give more depth and length. At the moment, it’s pretty damn short for a novel. Part of it is that I’ve written one too many short stories about burnt out thirty-something office drones, and feel that I need to give this some stronger contrast. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.

But, yeah. Four professional writers taking turns telling me exactly what’s wrong with my novel. I will be decompressing in the bar afterwards. Maybe crying. I can’t decide if it’s good or bad that I know one of the people who will be critiquing it. She’s never read anything by me before. We mainly know each other through D&D. This could be mortifying.

I’ve also learned that I’ll have to miss a reading/signing by K.C. Ball. When it rains…

Somewhere in here I need to get my act together for Kansas. It’s looking like I’ll be paying for the whole shebang out of pocket. Between my tax refund and some payment for writing, I should be able to swing it. I wanted to dump that windfall into debt, but that’s going to require some other sort of miracle. Now I just need to club some short stories into shape for the workshop.

After I get back from that, I’ll be at the PNWA writer’s conference. I got my registration in early enough to do the pitches before agents. Now I just need to figure out what I’m pitching and how. Ten minutes face to face with an agent or an editor. Yeah, that’s not scary at all. Somewhere around there I may have gotten my critiques back for my attempt to submit A Sunless Garden to their literary contest. Again with the firing squad.

2 thoughts on “Another Day in the Word Mines

  1. sandykidd

    That’s a lot of busy-ness. And whoo, you’ve set yourself up for some blows to the ego in rapid-fire fashion. Total respect for that.

    I am tempted to give you *pats* and try to cheer you, but… that isn’t really what I’m best at. (If you were a book cover or a magazine cover, I could ‘fix’ this whole situation for you!)

    Actually, I don’t think it needs fixing. There will probably be some pain (as opposed to the merciless anticipation of pain), but it really is a testament to your committment to writing. I am impressed. And in all likelihood, if you receive with grace all the criticism you’ve lined up for yourself, you will impress several others. Editors and agents are used to seeing writer egos flare-up, so if you can really embrace the notion that it’s not about you, you’ll put yourself miles ahead of most.

    Not that you need me to tell you that.

    The thing is, your writing is good. Certain individual pieces may need more work than others – and oy, reworking novels is laborious – and none of us have so many brilliant ideas that we never feel we’ve lost our touch. But you’re doing it. Traumatizing as feedback can be, you’re obviously not going to quit. And the long game is the one you want to play. Nobody wants to be a one-hit wonder, right? Better to endure low heat at length than to be a flash in the pan.

    I have little tolerance for writer angst – including my own – but I declare, you handle yourself well. Drinks may help, hah, but I think in the long term, you’ll emerge from this season on your self-imposed hotseat, with or without ‘medicinal’ intervention. ;)

    And for the record, I’m looking forward to your Eastern story.

  2. admin Post author

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. A week agao I was hip deep in trying to get stuff ready for a convention I was about to leave for.

    Thank you for the positive words, though. I said this to Bart already, but you guys gave me the early confidence to really take a stab at this. And I’m glad I don’t come off as too angsty. I at least pride myself on not going the “indignant with a sense of entitlement route.” =)

    You guys should have my Eastern submission by now. I’m sure I’ll hear back from you guys soon about whether you want to use it. =)

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