The coming months are pretty exciting for me, writing-wise. First off, the release of Best British Horror 2014 is imminent – featuring stories from such luminaries of the genre as Anna Taborska, Robert Shearman, VH Leslie and Gary Fry, as well as some idiot called Laura Mauro. Early reviews have been really positive, so even from a non self-promotional perspective I suspect it’ll be an excellent addition to any horror fan’s bookshelf. But also, I’m in it, so you should buy it and stuff.
Secondly, as already mentioned, Horror Uncut is due sometime in June from Grey Friar Press, also with a superb lineup (check out my previous post for details.)
And of course, my ongoing novella project. Up until now I’ve mostly focused on short fiction, with several aborted attempts at writing full-length novels. The novella format has proven an interesting challenge for me – telling a full story within the restrictions of a novella’s word count (approx. 40,000 words.) In preparation I will be reading my way through the Shirley Jackson Award nominees to get a better idea of what a well-done novella looks like.
The challenges here are numerous. First, and most pressing – time. I work full-time, and have an extra part-time job on top of that – I average 49 hours a week, sometimes more. I also study Japanese, which takes up time. That doesn’t leave me with much time to write, and some days I find myself so drained I’m reluctant to set up my laptop and up the word count. (I do it anyway, because art is pain and all that bollocks.)
Secondly – I’m a relatively slow writer. Some of my writer friends manage to write entire novels in a matter of months. For me, 1000 words a day is a very good day indeed. I’m also a chronic self-editor. I have to physically force myself not to go back over what I’ve already written and obsessively rewrite it. So there’s the additional challenge of actually thrashing out a first draft in a reasonable amount of time. After that comes the editing and redrafting, and the polishing a turd into (hopefully) some kind of pleasing diamondlike substance.
Still, before anyone thinks I’m complaining, it’s the coolest thing in the world to be able to write stories and know that people like reading them. So if it means coming home after 13 hours at work and plopping down in front of a blank word document, I’ll take it.