In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* All Caught Up
* Topic: The Pulp Writers
* Turns out I’m lazy
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“I write for the joy of writing. It is the air I breathe and the joy of my life.” Charlene Iverson
“There is in writing the constant joy of sudden discovery, of happy accident.” H.L. Mencken
“In Sarasota, Florida, Stephen King reminded me of the joy of just writing every day.” Neil Gaiman
All Caught Up
I went ahead and published Book 8 of the FOH series too, early this morning. If I get additional significant first-reader input I can always make the changes and upload a new manuscript for any books past 3 (and The Portals). I have a new book releasing every two weeks (15th and 30th) now through June 15. By then I should have written at least a few more novels. (grin)
I think God would like me to keep telling my characters’ stories the same way He keeps telling mine. Note that He doesn’t control what I say, think or do. He only reports on it.
Topic: The Pulp Writers
Y’know, what I’m doing here with regard to writing and publishing novels is not exceptional. Compared with the old pulp masters, many of whose works are exceptional and still being turned into films, I’m a slacker. On many days Erle Stanley Gardner wrote 10,000 words or more. He dictated, but still.
Many, many of the pulp writers were hyper-efficient, often writing well over a million or even two million words of fiction per year. And they didn’t have computers and word processors.
They wrote that much to put food on the table. They were paid by the word, so they churned out the words, and they did it all on manual typewriters. And they didn’t rewrite much because they knew they were paid for the words on the page, not those plus the words they had replaced on the page.
In other words, what we know today as Heinlein’s Rules was just common sense back then. If you wanted to be a writer, you had to write and finish. Writing into the dark wasn’t a thing yet, but they did it every day.
Harlan Ellison famously once set up a table and chair and his trusty typewriter in a department store window and typed short stories while people gathered on the sidewalk opposite the window to watch. He taped each finished page to the window so they could read along. Now that’s writing into the dark.
If you wanted to make a living as a writer, you had to not waste time with rewrites. You had to write a clean draft the first time through. Retyping the 250 or 300 words on a page that contained an error took time, and time literally was money. If they wrote a clean first draft, then the time they would have spent retyping a page could be spent on the next story or novel instead.
Same with revisions and rewrites. Every day that a manuscript languishes with members of a critique group, that’s one more day an editor (or two or three) could be reading and deciding whether to buy that manuscript. And it’s one more day the writer could be turing out another story.
They had to send off what they finished when they finished it, then sit down and write the next story or novel or installment of the series. They would have marveled at this world in which we have the choice of submitting to magazine markets or instant publication.
It really is that difficult and, for us, that ridiculously easy. We’re spoiled. If we make a mistake we don’t have to retype a whole page. We can just edit on screen, then run a spell checker, change what we agree with, and send it off or publish it. We have the luxury of doing “whatever works” for us. We don’t have to write every day or depend on finishing the next story or novel for food.
Still, the extra money comes in handy, doesn’t it? You know, if you actually write the stories.
Turns out I’m lazy. Above I wrote that I’m “all caught up.” Well, I am, sort of.
I have around a dozen or so short stories that have never seen the light of day languishing in a folder on my computer. I didn’t create covers or promo docs for them, and I didn’t upload any of them in my current publishing frenzy.
And I’ve decided it takes far less effort to submit those electronically to magazine markets than it does to create a cover and a promo doc and publish them. That, coupled with the fact that individual short stories sell fewer copies than anything else (novels, novel series, and short story collection) has convinced me to submit at least some of them to magazines.
Because who knows what the editors might buy? So I’ll do some of that today. And then I’ll kick out of the stirrups of Rule 4 and decide what to write next either today or tomorrow. Because therein lies the joy.
Talk with you again soon.
See “A Dictionary of Science Fiction” at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/dictionary-science-fiction-runs-afrofuturism-zero-g-180977224/. Thanks to KC.
See “The Fey Returns Kickstarter” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-fey-returns-kickstarter/.
See “The Joy Of Writing Quotes” at https://www.wisefamousquotes.com/quotes-about-the-joy-of-writing/.
The Journal…………………………………… 890 words
Writing of The Journey Home: Part 9 (novel)
Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX
Total fiction words for March……… 36988
Total fiction words for the year………… 235996
Total nonfiction words for March… 12320
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 58350
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 294346
Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 59
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates it both regularly and publicly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.