Friday, February 5, 2016

The Friday Report for February 5, 2016

One of my Instagram images for the week!
(I surrender to my need to make more than one per week.)

Hello! This Friday Report is here despite the fact that I had sick kids at home for three out of my five work days, including today. Nothing too serious, just some coughing. It's February. This is what happens in February.

I've even written a decent amount of fiction! I finished a very rough draft of my new story yesterday, at five thousand words. It's a good thing that I went back and checked the guidelines, because I had been thinking it could be six thousand words long, but it could not. Five thousand was, and is, the limit. Does this mean the story is done? Not even close, because when I say "very rough draft," I mean "nobody sees this version but me." But after today's work of starting to convert "rough" to "readable," I feel good about the first thousand words of the story, and I just have the remaining four thousand to turn into prose that I would want to submit.

I feel like it's time to start thinking about what kind of a story I'll write after this one, so that I'll have a project to work on after I finish this draft, while I'm waiting to do the final version. I like to do three drafts: 1) very rough; 2) pretty much finished; and 3) thoroughly polished. After a story is pretty much finished, I like to leave it alone for maybe a week so that I get some distance, and then I print it in a different font from what I used when I wrote it, and I read it out loud while walking around the house. That gives me a few different ways to notice things like repeated words, typos, and most importantly, the way the sentences sound. I mark the printout with any changes I want to make and then incorporate them, and make sure the final file is in Standard Manuscript Format, and then I send the story to its destination. 

So now I must figure out what to write next. I'm currently most interested in writing The Weird as a subgenre of speculative fiction, but that could include all sorts of things. I'm also going to look for themed anthology calls that will involve actual money being paid for stories, because that's been my route to publication every single time, so far.

My Projects:

Writing: I have two weeks to get this Weird West story to the thoroughly polished stage--because that's what I promised my writing buddy--so I'd like to have it pretty much finished by next Friday. And I want to have a new story idea forming by then, too.

  • City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. I'm re-reading this because I want to refresh my memory before I read his new book, City of Blades. I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU BUY AND READ BOTH.
  • Undeniable, by Bill Nye
February's Other Project: Still my new office! This is taking a while! But I have the desk halfway assembled, which is more than I could say last week.


  1. I finished City of Stairs in mid-January and I would have started City of Blades right away if it had been out at that point. (I read the sample chapter immediately and it made me so eager to read the whole thing.) Unfortunately, during that two-week wait before the release, I discovered the Lady Julia Grey mysteries. I'm currently enjoying the second one, but I have plans to take a break when I finish it and read City of Blades.

    I love that Mulaghesh is getting a starring role in City of Blades. She's such a great character, and I love her sense of humor. (Also, until I read City of Stairs, I hadn't realized how much I wanted to see a fantasy book with two strong, realistic female characters in central roles. It was so refreshing!)

  2. I tracked you down from your old livejournal page and I'm interested in reading more updates on your writing projects. How do you go about finding paying anthology markets? I've always kind of wondered how you get the in on those, though I imagine opportunities start opening up more as you get a better byline, right?