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Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #2263218
A blog detailing my writing over the next however long.
A blog for my writing journey.

Let's see what happens...
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October 1, 2023 at 7:22am
October 1, 2023 at 7:22am
October 1, 2023, 10:00pm

In a desperate bid to keep myself on track and accountable for my own writing, I have set myself a public goal of finishing my current novel this week.

As such, I will be detailing the journey to conclusion here, as part of that accountability.

So... I started on September 30 with 78k words or thereabouts. But I'd written myself into a corner. It happens, especially when you're a pantser.

This morning I resumed at 77500 words after a heap of deleting and rewriting yesterday.

I have finished today at 80300 words.

The MC is about to attack her mum, but I need to sleep on it to ensure it is not just a carbon copy of any previous attacks.

I have until Saturday my time to get this done.

I have no life, no IRL friends, and no romantic connections, so what's stopping me?

Just my appalling mental health, that's all...
September 30, 2023 at 12:58am
September 30, 2023 at 12:58am
September 30, 2023, 2:30pm

So, we are now a month or so out from National Novel Writing Month. This will be my fifth attempt, and my goal is a rather modest 80k words. I say "attempt" but I won the past 4 times. Truth be told, being a pantser, I find it surprisingly easy... and now I am unemployed and homeless and virtually live in the library, let's see if I can get it done in as few days as possible. It might also be a good way to not think about "her"... and, no, I am not over her yet.

Why am I obsessed? It's because I am so damn lonely. There - explanation.

So, my NaNoWriMo story. The idea came to me some time ago. In my last university degree (Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Creative Writing) we had to write a scene of two people meeting, then a later scene of one helping the other.

Well, I did it (of course), and the characters stuck with me.

A girl is named Raven. The boy is a classmate of hers. They are in the final year of high school (Australia), so are 17, 18 years old. They do not end up together. He gets a girlfriend. There is pagan magic involved (I have so many pages of notes on ancient Celtic magic practices that I could write a decent length book on the subject), another class-mate becoming involved with fire, deaths and a complex ritual involving the goddess Brigid to end it all. The minutiae is yet to be worked out, of course (I am a pantser!), and the actual ending (who dies?!) is up in the air, but I can go into the story come November 1 after another month of stewing on it (provided I finish this current novel) full of enthusiasm and ready & rarin' to go.

Or I'll spend four days writing like a demon and then panic will set in...

Meanwhile, I am open to NaNo buddies on the NaNo site, and am mentoring here on WdC, all to do with this weird month.
September 29, 2023 at 12:56am
September 29, 2023 at 12:56am
September 29, 2023, 2:15pm

Well, this rejection is something that's happened before, but I thought I'd go through the process to explain where I am coming from.

This was a "reverse rejection".


I received an offer for a book to be published by a mid-sized publisher. Royalties were based on cover price: 25% of print, 50% of ebook, 33 1/3% of audiobook. So far, so standard for a traditional publishing contract for a not well known author.

However, there were two clauses I was not sure about.

First was that any translations would see me get 5% of cover price in royalties because of the costs associated with translating the text.
Second was that I would not be party to any negotiations for further uses of the work. This included, but was not restricted to, translations, adaptaions (visual media), games, etc. Basically, I was giving them carte blanche to do what they wanted with my work. I had not seen this before, so I contacted the Australian Society of Authors.

They told me that not only could they do what they wanted, but that, apart from translations, I would not receive compensation. So they could sell my book to, say, Netflix, and I would get nothing.

They also said the fee for translation was low; they would assume a reduction of 10% in royalties.

The ASA told me NOT to sign the contract.

So I wrote back to the company, with the advice from the ASA legal department, explaining why I would be turning them down, but that I was open to negotiate.

They replied with something along the lines of I should be grateful I was being published at all.

In apologised, but said I was going to follow the legal advice and unless those aspects of the contract were chanhged or clarified, then I could not accept their offer.

They emailed me this morning to say the deal was off, and sent me a legal letter to the effect they were relinquishing any hold on the work. They also informed me they would not consider another of my books or any of my short stories for any of their anthologies, so not to submit to them again.

Fine; they'd only published one short story, and I got $US25 for it, so they didn't pay brilliantly.

Anyway, the reason I am putting this out here is that as authors, we work hard on what we create. Publishers who think they own us and our work and play on the desperation of would-be authors are not to be trusted. Don't just accept any contract because it's a contract is what I am saying. Make sure you know what you are signing.

I have informed the Writer Beware site of this as well, and sent them all the relevent documentation, so hopefully this publisher will be put under pressure to change their ways.
September 28, 2023 at 7:41am
September 28, 2023 at 7:41am
September 28, 2023, 9:15pm

Time to look back on the things I wrote for Weekend Notes in September.

I have not included 2 articles here - one about places to eat in a country town in South Australia, and one about a concert last weekend. Otherwise, here's nine other articles. If you want to help me, just clicking on and opening these up earns me money. Don't even feel the need to read them or listen to the music - every click gets me some money.

Okay, shameless plug is over, here's the list:

Songs with the phrase 'Without You' in the title  

Songs about strangers  

Equalizer 3 film review  

Songs about beer  

Songs about alcoholic spirits  

Songs about champagne  

Songs about alcohol in general and the drinking thereof  

Songs about bones  

Songs about doctors  

Hope you find something to enjoy!
September 27, 2023 at 7:45pm
September 27, 2023 at 7:45pm
September 28, 2023, 9:15am

Only 1200 words of the story yesterday.

I did get 7 rejections... 4 jobs, one poem and 2 short stories. At least the woman I like didn't reject me again, so there is that.

I think I have a third option for the ending of my werebat story. Not happy, but not truly depressing.

What I do is I write, and let the characters take me where they want to go. I feel a lot of the time like the stories I write do not come from me; I am merely the scribe for the life stories of those I have created. The problem is, here I have two different characters dragging me in two different directions, and so I might have to make a call.

Or, and this is most likely what I'll do, is I will write three different versions of the final chapters, see which one works best, and use that one. It means writing a few thousand words that will end up discarded, but that is what being a writer is all about, right? Killing the darlings?

Oh well.


On a slightly different topic, I decided to do the Horror Writing Contest again for October.
Horror Writing Contest!   (13+)
A contest involving writing a horror story. Simple, really.
#2273172 by One lonely reject...

Part of me trying to pull myself out of the mental funk she has put me in.

But, if you wish, give it a go.

It seems most have given up on the horror writing lessons, so I might as well do something.
September 26, 2023 at 8:44pm
September 26, 2023 at 8:44pm
September 27, 2023, 10:15am

Well, yesterday was interesting.

I tortured myself - well, I don't think I had a choice, to be honest - by writing where the woman I like and who rejected me was. See, she works where I currently stay, and my room lost Internet, so I had to go down to where she was, and use their 'Net.

I spent around 4 hours there, typing madly away, trying not to be distracted by her, until it got too crowded, then went to the library for another 3 hours, where the Internet kept cutting out (as I knew it would; they're having serious issues at the moment due to vandalism).

7 hours of typing.

So? you might ask, interrupting me.

It resulted in 6,135 words added to my story, at an average of around 14 words a minute. That is the sort of word count I'll need come November! The climax and denouement are now visible. I've killed a few people, wounded a few others, and am about to bring in an annoying United Etatian (are there any others? okay, unfair, but USAians do have a stereotype that is hard to ignore) to bring it all to a head.

But this is where I run into an issue.

I don't know whether to kill the one of the main female characters or have her be saved through... something. Her death would end the book on a real downer, as we've followed her from having her stomach and face ripped open to being something different, seeing the really good relationship she has with her father and the fact she is good at her job. She is (mostly) likable. But saving her feels way too cliched, too "happily ever after." So, I'm torn unless I can find a third option...

And I need to make that decision soon, because the end is nigh... and I need to get this done before November so it doesn't sit in my head while I try to complete my NaNoWriMo novel (cover done, title decided, main characters worked out, antagonist sorted... no ending...)

Hmm... No ending...

I see a pattern here that does not bode well....

September 25, 2023 at 8:49pm
September 25, 2023 at 8:49pm
September 26, 2023, 10:15am

Okay, time to rant/vent.

I am getting sick of gate-keepers in the writing world.

I used to be one, I admit, when it comes to self-publishing. I still have views on it that are considered unpopular, but I am not going to hammer someone who self-publishes. Their choice, that's all. And when it comes to grammar/punctuation/etc. I will be vocal. So, maybe I am one of them. I admit that's where my biases lie (along with personal preferences, like my disdain for present tense stories, but that's what I like/dislike, not me telling people not to do it).

However, when it comes to writing, the actual process of creation...

This year alone, I have been hit with:

* I'm not a real writer because I don't write to a theme.
* I'm not a real writer because I don't have morals or lessons in my stories.
* I'm not a real poet because I prefer poems that rhyme and have a consistent rhythm.
* I'm not a real song-writer because I only use 4 chords.
* I'm not a real fantasy writer because I write stand-alone stories and don't continue to world build.
* I'm not a real YA writer because I won't try to place the real world onto my characters, and all that entails.
* I'm not a real essay writer because I don't write about depressing things that hurt people.
* I can't be a writer in this day and age because I am a white, middle-class, middle-aged, straight, atheist male, and "our kind" don't deserve to have a say.

This is why I am no longer on Twitter or Facebook, and why I won't do social media, and why I am down to one Discord channel.

And, I will say, some of these have come from WdC members.

Why can't we just write and be writers?

Oh, and I did counter someone who hit me with a couple of these things that I've sold more work traditionally than her entire writers group, and she came back with: "Traditional publishing means nothing. Only self-published writers are real writers." I sent her a series of laughing gifs; she blocked me.

Why do I bother writing? The gate-keepers are trying to make writing something for their niche group, the rest of the world be damned.

Or maybe I'm just out of touch and all those publishers who buy my work are out of touch as well, and writing is now only to push barrows and not for entertainment.

September 24, 2023 at 2:35am
September 24, 2023 at 2:35am
September 24, 2023, 4:00pm

A question I have been asked in my current mental down-state (I still like her, by the way; can't just turn emotions off) is what have I written?

Why not share? None of it is here at WdC because some is too personal, some I hope to sell (and WdC classifies as a self- or online publication), and some is rubbish. But here is a run-down.

In the past 2 weeks since being so thoroughly dumped, I have:

Added 18k words to my novel, including 2.5k last night at a write-in organised by our local NaNoWriMo group.
* a drabble about a man being rejected and then immediately going after someone else.
* a horror poem about a sentient sand-thing.
* a haiku and a rhyming poem about unrequited love (see a pattern?).
* a poem about pub musos (currently under consideration for publication... yes, already).
* an essay for an open activity for people who have been previously published by the magazine about a life lesson we learnt (also already submitted).
* my 21st short story in my story cycle called Uncle Joe's Tales.

That makes a total of more than 23k words in 2 weeks. Not quite up to required NaNoWriMo levels of output, but considering how I'm feeling, I'll take it.

Sometimes we need that crap to make us create, I suppose.

September 23, 2023 at 1:44am
September 23, 2023 at 1:44am
September 23, 2023, 3:15pm

So, I received a weird rejection. They liked the story and the way it was written, but not the way it was written nor the story.

Well... that market has been removed from my "submit to again" list.

I spent yesterday and this morning submitting to a total of 15 magazines, anthologies and online e-zines. Going through the archives of previous stories, making changes where appropriate, formatting according to whatever variations of Shunn they demand, reformatting (in some cases) smart quotation marks for straight, changing spelling to US (or, as we call it, "wrong" spelling), going through online submission portals, or going through emails, rewriting my writers Bio to give them what they want without giving away much of my personal details, supplying an author's photo in a couple of cases (done with my wrestling mask on; I don't do this to become known), and then going to the next one. 11 short stories, one poem, one essay, one novel, one novella.

The lesson here is one on how to forget the woman you like doesn't even think of you: work and don't let your mind stop working.

I have a virtual write-in at 6pm my time tonight for a couple of hours, so I hope to get this current novel close to finished; I want it done before mid-October so NaNoWriMo is just the new novel. The cover's got some positive feedback; I love it when Pixabay has a picture that perfectly captures what I hope my story will be about.

Trying so hard to be positive here.

She ignored me this morning (she works where I am staying)...


No more dwelling on her...

Ha... like that's going to work.

So... write. Write. Write again. Write some more. That's the secret. It might be crap, but it's writing and it's me in a world I created where things can go the way I want them to go.
September 22, 2023 at 12:58am
September 22, 2023 at 12:58am
September 22, 2023, 2:30pm

Why has this rejection hurt me so much?

It's not my first rejection from a woman I liked - hell, my ex-wife rejected me to go off with someone else - and it's not like I'm in love with her; I just really like this woman a lot. And yet it has knocked me for six.

Have I been that lonely and socially isolated that I am seeing this as representative of the whole world? Do I crave that sort of contact so much that I am willing to make myself look like more of an idiot than normal as I admit my feelings? Or am I just that dislikable on a mental, physical and emotional level that I won't have that sort of relationship again?

Okay... venting over.

And you know what the worst of it is? It's not even inspiring any writing out of me. I have a novel so close to being finished, and I need to get it done before November so it doesn't interfere with my NaNoWriMo project (cover already designed, title decided, characters chosen, the magic worked out... no ending whatsoever) and I just spent 2 hours staring at what I wrote last night before deleting around 5000 words because what I wrote yesterday was borne of my emotions and did not suit the story or where it's headed.

This sucks.


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