Novel Submitted!


Five years after beginning to write a novel, I finally sent it off to a publisher tonight.

Why in the world did it take so long, you ask? I actually had the thing written two and a half years ago, but then I spent six months or so editing it. By the end of that process I had this dim realization that it might be a good idea to get some formal training in writing.

So I took the next year off to take some very excellent writing classes. I learned a lot, including that my previous writing skills left something to be desired (okay, a lot of somethings).

I took the year off after that to focus on writing short stories and getting some published.

That brings us to this year. I started editing again some months ago, and it took far longer to complete than I had guessed. After getting used to a short story length, it was somewhat mind-boggling to return to the novel length. And then there was this pesky business of having to rewrite almost every single line, because dang, whoever wrote this rag really could have used some writing classes…

To give you an idea of what this process was like, the story went from 122,000 words to 112,000 words, all without removing any plot or character elements. I even added some stuff. Those ten thousand words got chopped out one sentence at a time as I streamlined, tightened, and generally embettered (*new word alert*) it.

So anyway, I’m relieved to finally have it “out there.” I’m actually about a fifth of the way though the sequel, so hopefully I can make some good progress by the time I hear back on my submission.

Bottom Line: I believe in this story again, love it, and hope that someone else will too.

So how about you? Do you have any slow writing stories?

A Wordsmith is Me


English is a pretty good language. Awfully well-rounded. Lots of words. The Oxford English Dictionary has entries for 171,476 words in current use, plus a bunch of ones no one likes anymore.

But gaps exist. For example, what if you wanted an efficient way to describe that feeling you get about 4:00 in the afternoon when your brain feels like melting butter, and you know you have lots to do, but you just can’t stop yourself from slumping in front of your computer while you rearrange your desktop icons into more and more pleasing shapes? I wish there was a word for that, and if there were, I would use it.

But I digress.

The other day I found myself needing a good hearty word to describe the tendency (from which some suffer) to dabble in the fantastic. But however could a poor, butter-brained grad student describe himself efficiently with reference to a compulsive interest in all things speculative–science fiction, fantasy, and horror?

Easy. I have a certain specuclivity.

That has a nice ring to it, right? Sort of official sounding. Sort of impressive. Sort of see-wife-I’m-really-not-just-a-kid-who-won’t-grow-up-it’s-just-that-I’ve-got-this-kind-of-genetic-thing-and-I’m-pretty-much-a-tortured-artist-and-well-actually-I’m-pretty-happy-but-it’s-not-my-fault-so-I-should-pretty-much-try-to-be-a-genius-and-that-means-instead-of-going-out-on-a-date-we-should-stay-home-and–watch-the-Walking-Dead-cause-it’s-important-research-in-light-of-my-genetic-predestination.

So, without further ado:

Spec·u·cliv·i·ty, noun, plural -ties.

A natural or habitual inclination toward speculation, most commonly with reference to fictional endeavers. “Johnny does have a certain specuclivity, poor boy.”

Origin: 2011; Latin prōclīvitās, speculātīvus

Synonyms: affliction, compulsion, blessing

Antonyms: aversion, dullness

I invite you to join my quest to make this entry number 171,477 in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary!