Monday, September 15, 2014

How My First Novel Ended Up In The Trash

Considering that I have at least one post each week tied over to Indie Writers Monthly, I'm sure most of you realize that I write for that blog, too. There's a team of us over there and several posts a week, which may lead to the question: "Why is it called Indie Writers Monthly if there are weekly posts?" And that's, in that context, a very good question. One I'm not sure I've ever actually addressed here. I think Briane did over there, but I'm not sure how many of you follow along over there. Not many, based on the comments.

So why is it called Indie Writers Monthly?

Well, along with the blog, there is a monthly magazine. The magazine deals with various writing topics and, I think, is probably a pretty good resource for indie authors. Or, maybe, any authors. I mean, heck, I contribute to it, and I always have worthwhile stuff to say. Right? Right?
Hey! I don't hear you. I said, right?
Okay, that's better.
The September issue is out and is all about how to deal with negative reviews. In this issue I talk about my first ever novel and how a negative review prompted me to throw it in the trash (the novel, not the review), something I think all authors should avoid. I tell my creative writing students to never throw any of their writing away. Or delete it. There's always the potential for something to be useful later even if it's not working in the moment.

The issues are only $0.99, so you can get nearly all of them for less than a cuppa at Starbucks. I'd say that's a pretty good deal. Plus! The current issue also contains issue #1 as a FREE! extra, which is especially good, considering that the first issue is no longer available on its own.

To assist in your perusal, here are the links to each issue:
Issue 2 (April)
Issue 3 (May)
Issue 4 (June)
Issue 5 (July)
Issue 6 (August)
Issue 7 (September)
The Annual -- Contains 15 short stories about time travel. You should definitely give it a look.

The June issue not only contains an interview with me but my short story "The Day the Junebugs Came." Personally, I'd love for you to pick that one up and take a read through the story and, then, let me know what you think BY LEAVING A REVIEW.
And, hey, with this month's issue being about handling negative reviews, I'll know how to respond no matter what you think of the story, right? As I said, it's less than a buck, and you can probably read the issue on your lunch break.

Aside from all of that, we're also accepting submissions. If you have some bit of writing advice you think authors would benefit from, send it in. But it doesn't have to be writing advice; it could also be a short story. Or poetry. Or whatever. We're not too picky about what we'll look at. Which is not to say that we'll just print anything, because we won't, but we're (mostly) willing to look. Or Briane is. Someone is.

There you go, a whole, semi-new writing resource I bet you really didn't even know about. Pick up a copy today!


  1. Website and monthly magazine - sounds like a lot of work. (Yeah, says the man who co-runs TWO other websites and is putting together a book with one of them...)
    You really deleted your first book? As in, gone forever?

  2. I don't think I'd be able to trash my first book. I worked too long on it. Will that change after the first negative review? Maybe...

  3. Alex: Well, no, not "deleted" but, yes, gone forever. You should go read the article.

    Elsie: I'm using the term "review" liberally here.

  4. People can be such sticklers about things like that. Usually the people who have never actually written anything.

  5. LOL! Well as long as SOMEONE is willing to look...

  6. Jeanne: Things like what? Did I miss something?

    Crystal: Oh, yeah. Briane looks at everything. He's the one who things go to. Everyone else only gets to look at things he passes on.

    Michael: Yeah, but I don't think I'm as busy as Briane. I think he must be the Flash.

  7. The day the junebugs came? I haven't been anyplace except a restaurant near St. Augustine.


  8. I'll echo Michael and say, "You've been busy!" I have a few novels that will never be unearthed. Love that you tell your students not to trash anything because of negative reviews. Negative reviews are a part of the writing world. Heck, they're a part of the rest of the world as well :)

  9. Pity you threw it away. I wrote a whole bunch of children's stories years ago and then lost the lot through failure to back up. They were probably not much good, but I was sorry I lost them just the same.

  10. Janie: Maybe, you're like Elvis?

    Jessica: Usually, for them, it's their own negative reviews. They read something a couple weeks after they first wrote it and decide they don't like whatever it is and trash it. I can't tell you how many papers I've turned back to students with editing notes to never see them again. Some of them were quite good, too.

    Jo: It's probably not a pity, actually. The real problem was that I didn't write again for a long time after that.

  11. I didn't realize there was a magazine to go with the blog. I do visit the blog sometimes. I know how additional blogs go though. I don't get many comments on my blogs besides Tossing It Out. The extra blogging might be overkill, but I feel compelled to write them.

    Tossing It Out