Writing Update – September 2021

My productivity this month has been good but not great. I took a week off to visit my brother’s family in El Paso. The desert climate and the company of loved ones thoroughly reenergized me. But on returning to Seattle, the gray, autumn-like weather dampened that. Still I’m chugging along, albeit a little slower than usual.

Untitled Novella Project

I’ve finished the outline for my novel, only to discover it is in fact a novella. I could throw in a handful of subplots and new characters to plump it up to novel size, but I like it how it is. I’d rather have a neat little package than an overflowing mess.

I promised last month to tell you a little about it. It is my policy not to divulge too much of the plot until I’ve finished the first draft, but I can elaborate on a few points.

The story came to me in the form of a strange recurring nightmare, always with the same ending. It terrified me and I saw the potential. This is not my first project inspired by a dream. But while the others were bizarro fiction, this is soundly horror.

After voraciously reading horror novels these past couple months, I’ve discovered what I like and what I don’t. I’ve used this knowledge in planning this novella, even if it meant throwing away some of the standard conventions of the genre. This may make it harder to market, but it’s the story I want to write.

I have a few last things to do in regards to the characters and the overall organization of the novella before I start writing. But I imagine by next week, I’ll have begun.

Short Stories

I mentioned last week that I received my first story acceptance to appear in print. I went from stunned to elated to experiencing a rather nasty case of impostor syndrome. I’m working on that now and hopefully I can make peace with myself.

Since I want to devote myself fully to the novella, I will halt my weekly short stories for the duration of the project. In my experience, a novella doesn’t take more than a month or two to write the first draft (*knocks on wood*) so I’ll be able to return to the stories soon.

WHAT I’M READING: I’m at the tail end of my Power Tower, but so many books on my shelf are crying out to be read that I might take a brief intermission. Currently, I’m reading the fifth volume of the Borderlands anthology series. Tim Waggoner describes it as, “required reading for anyone serious about writing good horror.” I’m thoroughly enjoying these unique takes on the genre.

I’m hoping to do a separate post each month about what I’ve read as there is so much more to say than the above paragraph.

I managed to write three blog posts this month. I hope to return to weekly posts like I did back in the day, though with the novella coming up that may or may not happen just yet. This blog has been a passion of mine and I’m having oodles of fun with it. Hopefully, I can return it to its former glory.

If there’s anything you’d like me to write about, let me know.

Until next time,


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