Writing Update – August 2021

In last month’s update, I lamented how each month I seem to abandon a writing project in favor of a new one. Well, I’m proud to admit I’m still working on the same novel from last month. I’m passionate about this project—in a way I haven’t been in a long time.

I still haven’t come up with a title for it (which is odd for me), but the characters and plot are flourishing. I’m currently on the fourth draft of my outline, with maybe one or two more to go. My hope is to solidify the story and get things just right to avoid drastic revisions when I’m done—something I’ve learned the hard way.

As for my troubles with inspiration, I’ve fought through them, and while I may not be functioning at 100%, I feel closer to my old self.

I continue to write my weekly short stories. In the past these might have been labeled “flash fiction”—usually between 1000 and 2000 words—but last week I wrote a 4000 word short story entitled “Point Emerson.” I enjoyed working on a longer project, allowing me to focus more on character development.

The view from the front porch of the cabin

Halfway through the month, I took a weeklong vacation to my family’s cabin on Vashon Island. It did wonders, recharging my batteries. I took the time to savor the outdoors and returned more motivated than ever. While I was there, I “attended” Killer Con—a writer’s convention for splatterpunk and extreme horror—done over Zoom this year. With the limited Internet up at the cabin, I could only attend three panels, the Splatterpunk Awards ceremony, and the infamous “Gross Out Contest.” But I emerged with oodles of great advice that directly benefitted my WIP.

At the convention, I heard the story of how John Skipp—legendary horror author and one of my favorite people on the planet—once covered the walls of his apartment with rejection slips. And while I don’t want to damage the paint in my study, it’s inspired me to start submitting as much as I can. As I write this, I’m currently in the middle of a short story to submit to another anthology.

My horror power tower

WHAT I’M READING: I’ve decided to do a “Power Tower”—a reading technique I’ve used over the years, in which I take a stack of books and “power” through them in order, reading as much as I possibly can in a day.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m somewhat new to horror and to complete my education, I’ve found 14 titles across the spectrum of the genre to round out my knowledge and—I hope—help my WIP. I’m four books in at the moment and having a blast exploring dark literature in its many forms.

That’s it for me for now. By next month, I will hopefully have a finished outline and will be able to share with you more about the story.

I know I promised more diversity in the content of this blog, but the vacation and other responsibilities prevented that this month. I would like to get back into writing reviews. However, I’m not ready for the inevitable review requests that come with it.

Until next time,


One thought on “Writing Update – August 2021

  1. Pingback: Announcement: My 1st Print Acceptance! | Zé Burns | Blog

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