In March of 2017, I started to write again, ending a two-year drought. I wrote stories to submit to magazines and anthologies, and I wrote stories for the writing contest I love to play in. When I got booted from the contest, and when I got tired of rejection letters, I came to a crossroads. I was finding that I really love to write, but I couldn’t just write for no reason, I needed a goal. I needed a story idea. And so, a year ago, I decided I was going to write a novel. I didn’t know what it was going to be about or what was going to happen in it, but I figured I’d work through that as it became necessary.
Four months later, I found myself at another crossroads. I was almost done with my novel, and I really loved the act of writing. What should I do? It turned out I should write the sequel. And again, three months later. And so, as of this writing, I’ve got four completed novels, and I’m well into my fifth.
They’re not very good. I don’t mean that the writing’s bad or that I’m a bad writer in general (I happen to think I’m pretty good at it), but writing my way, i.e. not knowing how a chapter is going to end when I start it, has been described in every article, blog, and podcast as the wrong way to write a novel. I don’t really do recognizable character arcs—my main character does the thing because it’s the right thing, and she’s the most qualified to do it, and she doesn’t really change. I simply think of something that fits the characters and situations and might present a challenge, and I run with it.
Also, I have too much dialogue. Every editor I’ve ever encountered has told me I write too much dialogue. So fuck those guys, I’m writing for me.
I’m considering publishing on Amazon, but that’s a lot of work for what will ultimately be very little reward. And I’m utterly incapable of promoting myself, so that’s something I need to figure out before I take that leap.
So, long story short, if you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, it’s been me and my fountain pens living in an urban fantasy world with spirits-demons and fairies and gods and the corporation that secretly controls the country. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to see it someday.