Welcome to The Newb Files, Issue XII, archived. A short issue this month as work around the house and writing takes precedence.
Zombies, a Novel is making progress, 6637 words. ... and yes, deleting is progress.
Monthly Newb Moment
Mediocre please. ...
In the almost two years I have been writing, the thought that I don't want to write “well” has crossed my mind more than once. For the moment let's ignore the fact that most beginners aim too low when writing, submitting, and publishing.
An example of what I mean regarding "writing well" is the winner of the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition; in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category versus my entry "Righting my Life".
My entry was one of the first things I wrote. It is very personal and evokes powerful emotion in the few that have read it. Most of them too close to me to count. For one of the first things I wrote, it's pretty good. I am proud of it even though I can see now how I can improve it. That is a constant in writing.
It was a shock when I read the winning entry for that year. It was a description of a walk down a street, full of bars and people, and ending on the beach, at the ocean. Very deep.
Written in flowery, yet concise language, that really did paint pictures in your head as you read it. But that's all. If that is the ultimate level of writing, then, no thanks.
Another example is the winner of the CBCShort Story Prize. My entry was thesecond short story I wrote “The Rope”. Written at the last minute for the competition during a blizzard. I raced to finish it before the power went out. It was a very rough draft, that was not even of draft quality when I hit "submit". An hour before we lost power.
I finished it after I received the rejection email, re-writing it from scratch. It is available on my web site, click the link above.
The winning story was extremely well written. It was about a young girl's abuse and her reaction(s) to the sexual and physical assaults of her father.
At one point I read a sentence and sat there horrified by the images and feelings invoked by so few words. I re-read the sentence multiple times, and then the sentence before it, trying to figure out how they did that.
Well, I don't know how, and there is no need to figure it out. I have no desire (or need) to read or write such things.
One thing I knew from the start is to write what you read. Write what you like.
So, yes, make me a midlist author please, that would be great. Perhaps, I am aiming too low as well.
If people enjoy reading what I write half as much as I enjoy writing it, well, win win. I hope to sell a few things, make a couple bucks. But mainly to have a more fulfilling, more satisfying second career than my first one (computer drafting).
Another one that blurs the line between Opinion and M.N.M.
Below are links to a few short stories I wrote. The first three are the results from an exercise in 'voice' for the diyMFA 101 writing course I took in the spring of 2020. The fourth is the second short story I ever wrote, which I wrote as an entry for the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize.
Clicking a button will take you to my author website.