April 2020

Here are the stats for April:

64,107 words written
6 submissions
1 contest win (runner-up)

This has been a productive month in terms of submissions, and while I haven't heard back from many publishers yet, I'm definitely satisfied with my output. May's going to be a little bit tougher because there are so many submission deadlines coming up, but I need to prioritize the third draft of my urban fantasy novel. It's really tempting to just say "F*** THE NOVEL" and throw myself into short stories. I don't really want to take another crack at Aisling MacEwan's job interview scene, but I definitely want to crank something out for submission calls like Dark Peninsula Press' Violent Vixens: An Homage to Grindhouse Horror or The Were-Traveler's People of Color Destroy Lovecraft issue. Every time I stumble on a new submission call, I'm just like: "YES, I HAVE AN IDEA FOR THAT ONE." But that doesn't change the fact it takes a few days to write a short story and then you have to let it percolate for a week (or more) before starting in on revisions. All of that time could be spent working on my novel. Especially since I have a deadline coming up at the end of August. As a member of the Romantic Novelists Association's New Writers' Scheme, I'm allowed to send a manuscript in for critique by a successful published author. Yes, my novel's already drafted, and I could send the manuscript in tomorrow if necessary. But I want to get the novel as polished as possible before submitting it to the NWS. That's how you get the back feedback after all. (We'll have to see how my reviewer feels about reading a Lovecraftian rom-com. All the hijinks! All the romance! All the tentacles!)


So it's off to write the third draft of The Black Book of Hours. The thing I'm dreading most is making the shift from third-person limited POV to first-person POV, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I've written two Lovecraftian short stories in first-person POV this month for practice, and there are definitely some advantages if you have an interesting protagonist who demands an internal monologue. The problem with The Black Book of Hours is that my protagonist happens to be the least interesting character in the book. She's a library science graduate surrounded by eldritch abominations and cult members and MLM salespeople. All of whom I'd rather have monologue to me for 300+ pages. And that's ultimately why I decided to level up to first-person POV for this draft. I feel like being stuck in her head for a month will force me to make Ailing MacEwan more interesting. Or I'll just switch the character POV entirely and be like: "Eldrich Abomination, you are the new hero of the book! Congratulations!" Just today, I wrote 2,552 words and found Aisling to be much more enjoyable as an "I" instead of a "she".

That doesn't mean I've sworn off all short story submissions though. I have three drafted and ready for revisions. That just leaves one more for drafting this month. (I see you, Eerie River Publishing.) So I'm keeping my weekends reserved exclusively for anthologies. It'll be a welcome break from the grind of novel-writing.


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