October was a pivotal month for my writing. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to brand myself as a horror writer, focusing only on the horror genre and beginning work on a full-length horror novel. It makes sense, as most of my short stories have been published in horror anthologies, providing me with a spook-filled portfolio to approach prospective agents and publishers with when the time comes. Happy belated Halloween, by the way!
As of 5th October, it isn’t only short stories in my portfolio. I was over the moon to have the No Sleep Podcast pick up one of my shorts, Better Than Mardis Gras, and turn it into a segment on their incredible show. It features as the second story in Episode 16 of Season 13. Hearing three talented actors perform the story gave me goosebumps. It felt even better because this was a story that has faced rejection in the past. It reinforced the idea that you should never shelve something just because you get a few rejections. One day it may find a home, and a perfect one at that!
I have to admit, there was one glaring error in the story – a dreaded hanging adverb! There is no writing mistake that stands out more than an adverb at the end of a creepy sentence, read out by an actor, with atmospheric sound effects in the background, followed by a dramatic pause. Believe me, now I know. But hey, I cringed. I moved on. If I hadn’t have spotted that as a mistake, maybe I should worry (and yes, I wish I had spotted it before I submitted it!). But we live and learn – that’s what writing is all about. It’s a comfort to me to know that even though our work may not be as perfect as we’d like, we still get these chances to showcase and improve.
So, I’m chugging away at my horror novel. I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m enjoying seeing participant word counts growing on Insta! I’m currently on 20k and hoping to hit 30 by the end of November (definitely not enough to make the Nano grade!). Good luck to all of you who are participating. I can’t wait to hear about your successes.