May 2020

Here are the stats for May:

85,131 words written
4 submissions
1 acceptance

I currently have eight short stories out in the world waiting for a YES or NO.

May was almost completely dedicated to writing the third draft of Black Book of Hours. For the record, the first draft was written during NaNoWriMo in fifteen days and was 52,812 words. I've worked almost every day this month on the third draft, am almost finished with Act 2, and have 58,206. (I'll continue working through Act 3 in June and then distribute to betas for feedback. Fourth draft begins in July!) There's still a long way to go before this novel's completed. While I'm now beginning to understand what the story and the characters want to be, there's still so much of this world that needs to be built out. That's the drawback of writing a series instead of a stand-alone. You need to know so much more going into that first novel. I'm also working on a stand-alone, Red Ranch Summer, which I might revisit at the end of June if there's enough time. Red Ranch Summer is a dark romance novel, and while I remember going hard on the steamy scenes, the plot left much to be revised.

I've also had to really cut back on my short story writing and prioritize the deadlines that matter most to me. There's a science-fiction call that I've had something drafted for since March, but it needs a lot of revision. It's more of a think-piece than a short story right now. I decided to cut all the cosmic horror calls from my schedule. Despite my love of all things Lovecraft (Black Book of Hours was literally pitched as H. P. Lovecraft writes a rom-com), I enjoy gently poking fun at cosmic horror more than I actually enjoy writing in the genre. (This is another thing I'm beginning to realize about my writing: everything's comedic. I cannot write straight drama/horror for the life of me.) There are two longer (10K+) calls I'm going to focus on instead: one dark romance, one dark fantasy. So we'll see how those turn out. While I enjoy writing short stories (and the boost of confidence an acceptance letter gives me), I want to write novels. So I'm going to focus on writing novels.

I just completed my edits for "Dating in Murderville", my contribution to Eerie River Publishing's It Calls from the Forest: Volume Two. Unlike "Fair Warning", I didn't go back and compare the edited version to the original version. However, I still found myself nitpicking my language and grammar. I actually revised a paragraph, highlighted it in red, and sent a note back to the editors saying the sentence structure was repetitive, and while they didn't have to use my revisions, I just had to throw them out there as an option. UGH. I'm the worst.


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