IWSG—Plans for 2018


Welcome to the first installment of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group for 2018!

A total stranger recently misinterpreted one of my Tweets and jumped on me like an attack dog, assuming both my religion and politics. She never apologized after I explained several times I was writing from the POV of a character and that this is a writers’ hop.

I also recently did a guest post about Dr. John Money and David Reimer for 4thWaveNow.

I was recently in the odd, difficult position of having to pass on an offer of interest. Though I haven’t taken part in any trad-pub contests in a few years, I took a chance and pitched the book formerly known as The Very First during the latest Pitch Madness.

I was excited to get one like from the managing editor of a publishing house, but further research revealed this would be a very bad fit. Though I’ve significantly watered down or removed the age-inappropriate content I only included to be controversial, there are still a few spots they wouldn’t consider “clean.”

Removing or radically reworking them just to curry favor and potentially get published would alter the story in unacceptable ways. It would distort and misrepresent my voice.

That publishing house is also an imprint of a very conservative religion’s book company, and has a censorship board. G-rated content isn’t who I am at all. My character Cinni says several times that real life isn’t like a Norman Rockwell painting, and that that kind of life never existed for many Americans.

I thought I only had to finish up my unplanned chapter on The War of the Worlds radio broadcast and do some final polishing, but I instead saw an awesome opening to add two additional chapters after what I always thought was the ending.

Though I’ve carefully edited this book to feel more suited to upper MG, the ending felt too simplistic, easy, sudden, more suited to a younger readership.

The new chapters are about Sparky’s first Thanksgiving, and the experience of being Jewish when everyone around her celebrates Christmas. There’s also an Epilogue in January 1939, at her favorite brother Barry’s bar mitzvah. The new and improved reason for the nickname Sparky will be revealed then.

My guesstimate for the final length is 80K, which is super-short by my standards. The hot mess of a first draft was only 38K.

I also need to finish my alternative history about the rule of Tsar Aleksey II. My initial plan was to release it on what would’ve been his 112th birthday, 12 August 2016, but that obviously didn’t work out. A release date of 17 July 2018 would be so appropriately bittersweet, since that’s his real-life 100th Jahrzeit (death anniversary).

Getting back to work on my fourth Russian novel would also be awesome.

My planned blog posts for the year will again feature films and albums celebrating landmark anniversaries, including:

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
October (1928)
The Crowd (1928)
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Duck Soup (1933)
Thriller (1983)
Colour by Numbers (1983)
The Birds, the Bees, and The Monkees (1968)
The Wedding Album (1993), this year’s feature for Duran Duran Appreciation Day

My October series on classic horror films will include The Invisible Man (1933), West of Zanzibar (1928), The Fall of the House of Usher (1928), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), and several Georges Méliès films.

I’m also going to feature the radio play of The War of the Worlds (1938). As I recently discovered, the so-called mass panic was far, far, far less widespread than we’ve been led to believe. It’s also an awesome story perfect for Halloween.

Finally, as you might’ve seen in my second banner, I’ve added an index page cataloguing my posts by nine major topics—book reviews, film reviews, album reviews, misc. book-related, misc. film-related, misc. music-related, historical topics, writing advice, and names.

What are your writing and editing plans for this year?

12 thoughts on “IWSG—Plans for 2018

  1. It’s tough when someone is interested in your work only if it could be “clean.” None of my books would be published then. lol Stick to what your story needs to be. The right publisher is out there.


  2. I’m trying imagine Henry Miller or Vladimir Nabokov cleaning up thier work to be published. Somehow that just isn’t working for me. As to the attack…I had a hard time figuring out where she was coming from. Maybe she did, too.


  3. It is great that you plan your entire writing year ahead. I think it is an admirable approach, but sadly, I could never do that. Often, I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. A result: I haven’t accomplished half as much as you have. Good luck with your plans.


  4. Writing Plans for 2018:

    Mother Tongue Day which is 21 February.

    International Day of Tolerance 16 November.

    I might join in some NaNoWriMo camps – the April and July ones.

    #31for21 and #autistichistorymonth.

    I watched the 2005 version of WAR OF THE WORLDS and thought “Mass panic? What mass panic?”

    I loved getting to know the character in the Atlantic City series through your drawings of the time, Carrie Anne.

    And the Money/Brenda/David post is where I think I got into contact with you and your work in general. 4th Wave does some good.

    I think I can mostly tell your characters for the writing hops though not which ones or in which series.

    I might write some Medium.com stories.


  5. Some stories need to be told in certain ways, and it’s good that you didn’t change your story just to fit what the publisher wanted. And I have to say I love when I scroll down that the fish appear to move on your background. 🙂


  6. Wow, that Twitter responder sounds like a real joyful person. There’s no point in trying to reason w/ someone like that – she’s not capable of understanding logic.

    Good for you in knowing what you’re willing to change and what you’re not willing to change just for a contract. But congrats on the interest anyhow!

    Happy 2018!!


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