Buried books. Shelved manuscripts. Filed for a Rainy Day. All are evil, undead things and should be resurrected.
When I was 14 or so, I sat down one summer to write a novel. This was when dinosaurs fled the earth, and there was no computer involved. Instead, there was a Selectric Electric Typewriter that has has long since been lost and there was a ream of paper.
I believe I managed 316 double spaced manuscript pages of what can only be called, in all kindness, fecal matter.
I mean, it was BAD. There were dimensional portals, dragons, armor made from dragon scales, griffins, evil sorceresses...if there was a trope, I found it and I used it.
Know what I forgot? Anything that vaguely resembled a plot.
I kept that manuscript for around four years, in an old box that was sealed by rubber bands. Now and then when I wanted to torture myself, I pulled that bad boy out and read a portion of it as a cautionary tale against ever trying to write anything again.
And then, when I moved into an apartment with friends for the first time I threw that manuscript into the dumpster, careful to open the box and scatter the pages much as a vampire hunter might the ashes of the departed and vanquished.
That is as close to a buried book as I have.
The rest of what I have written, with the sole expression of a novel manuscript that rose to the towering height of 40,000 words before I lost it for all time (ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK, PEOPLE!!!!!) has been published. It might take me a while to finish a manuscript, but to date I've sold everything I've finished. I might have sold it for a nickel, but, damn it, I sold it.
There are a few stories out there I try to forget I wrote. They could have used, oh, so much work. But I wrote them, and I sold them.
I don't know if it's talent or mere tenacity. Whichever the case, the skeletons in my filing cabinet have all been aired or destroyed beyond all repair.
Have a little faith in yourself. If it's good, you'll sell it.
Of course, you have to finish it first....
Monday, October 27, 2014
Burying the Dead
Posted by James A. Moore
I write fiction, a little of everything and a lot of horror. I've written novels, comic books, roleplaying game supplements, short stories, novellas and oodles of essays on whatever strikes my fancy. That might change depending on my mood and the publishing industry. Things are getting stranger and stranger in the wonderful world of publishing and that means I get to have fun sorting through the chaos (with all the other writer-types). I have a website. This isn't it. This is where you can likely expect me to talk about upcoming projects and occasionally expect a rant or two. Not too many rants. Those take a lot of energy. In addition to writing I work as a barista, because I still haven't decided to quit my day job. Opinions are always welcome.