I did something ballsy this week.
I sent Rose’s Hostage to horror writer Brian Keene, who is doing critiques for money.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for published authors to do this. Writing books doesn’t pay very well—just scroll to the bottom and check out the link to his post on what being a full-time writer is REALLY like. But we write because we have to, not because we can.
Brian’s one guy, and he doesn’t do this all the time, because you know, he has his own work to do. He offered it last year, and I was unable to partake. Thanks, unemployment. This time, it coincided with my first full paycheck from NewJob. Yay!
I pulled another 1,000 words out of the sucker and chopped up some of the chapters before I sent it. Many of them were too long. I’ve been reading more lately, as per my New Year’s resolution. While I read, I notice stuff, like word choices (I can’t stop editing in my head, or headiting—it’s really kind of annoying), chapter length, and crap like that.
Anyway, if you’re a writer, horror or not, you could do worse than to read Brian’s stuff. He’s good. I respect his opinion, and I’m both elated and terrified as I anticipate receiving my undoubtedly heavily red-inked manuscript back. Dear Baby Jesus, please let him like it.
I met Brian and fellow horror scribe John Hornor Jacobs at VisionCon (see my post “Geek Heaven”), where they introduced me to the Gross-Out contest. John’s got a terrific zombie book out called This Dark Earth. If you like The Walking Dead (I do; I’m totally addicted now. Thank you, Netflix!), you might want to take a look at it.
Okay, shameless plugs aside, hanging out with other writers and getting them to look at your work, even if they charge for their expertise –WHICH THEY SHOULD!!!—is a valuable thing. Certainly worth more than the Samsung Galaxy S II I was planning on buying instead.
No matter what dear Mr. Keene says about my book, there will be lessons I can carry forward. I’m doing the first rewrite of my new novel right now (well, not right this second—I’m probably going to watch a few episodes of Red Dwarf tonight. Yeah, I’m into that now. Thanks again, Netflix.) First thing would be to shut off the damn streaming and work. The inner boss is much harsher than the outer one.
Speaking of it, I promised you a little more information about NewBook, and here it is. It’s called Tunerville, and it has something to do with the paranormal. No, there are no vampires. One of the main characters does something that turns the world upside down. I hope I can get it up to snuff so you can read it someday.
I’m still not ready to reveal my hook just yet; as I said in an earlier post, a lot of changes could happen, especially in this first rewrite. I don’t want to get you all excited and then drop you like an old shoe. That wouldn’t be fair. By the time the Blogging from A-Z Challenge rolls around, I should be farther along. So stay tuned.
I will say this: my first rewrite is reminding me how much I really like this part of writing. First drafts can be fun if they flow like Rose’s Hostage did, but Tunerville was a real bitch-kitty. Let’s hope the rest of the process is a bit easier.
And there is some material in there that will, if it gets published, undoubtedly brand me a heretic and a heathen. Bring it on. As Robin Williams once said, God has a sense of humor—just look at a platypus.
Okay, I’m going now. Two hours of skating this morning and two lessons froze my brain as well as my feet. See you around.
I’ll leave you with a fabulous song from The Hobbit, which I have chosen for my Adult Bronze test program. Enjoy.
- On Writing Full-Time (circa 2013) (briankeene.com)