By Tim_the_Corsair 9 Comments
So it turns out I like dubstep. How weird is that? Fucking Syndicate trailer.
Welcome to the second instalment of Fan F(r)iction, my blog about my journey towards becoming a professional author via the Black Library that I am inexplicably posting on a Gaming Board (I figured I'd just point it out myself and save someone else the hassle).
Last time I waffled on a bit about my own history, why I like the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and why I feel that the Black Library is the way to go for me to try and cross the border from amateur to professional writer.
Today, boys and girls, we're going to discuss what I've actually done to achieve this dream, as well the numbing, soul-destroying wait for a response to submissions. Ooooh drama!
The Black Library, like some (but not many) other publishing houses, have an open submissions window once per year. This means that any man and his dog can send in a flurry of poorly written, barely spellchecked work in the hopes of making a few quick bucks.
What this ALSO means is that a guy like me - that is, a fairly young (fine, late 20s, I'm old compared to most of the people that might read this on here), unpublished author - actually has a shot of getting his work read by a publishing house without needing an agent, to know someone (although that never hurts), or knowing how to give one hell of a blowjob.
When this opportunity came up earlier this year (I had a tonne of advance notice, having begun preparing in February), I decided that I was going to make a go of it. Rather than overextend myself with a tonne of short story and/or novel submissions, I decided to weed myself down to my two pieces that were furthest along and polish the living shit out of them, with the goal of getting them sent off and then worrying about any further work.
Unfortunately I can't discuss these subs in TOO much detail, but essentially they were both Warhammer 40,000-themed short stories, both about Space Marines (seeking to maximise their selling potential, but also because I liked these two stories the most). One of these was a slow-burn thriller style story ending in a fairly good (at least, I think so) action sequence, while the other was a more cerebral piece involving cannibalism and drug-induced psychic visions.
I am insanely proud of the work I put into both of them, but both stories would not have been anywhere near what they are without the help of a few wonderful assistants acting as both beta readers and editors.
For any budding writers out there, I cannot stress enough the importance of editing. It doesn't matter how good your idea is or how talented you are; your first draft is NOT gold, and it never will be. Furthermore, after a point, you lose the ability to adequately assess your own work. I was lucky to have my fiancée and a couple of friends (none of whom read 40K, which was crucial for me to ensure that the story held up regardless of the setting) help guide me through about ten drafts of each story, and the final products have little in common with the originals beyond the basic themes and characters.
Anyway, the submissions window has been closed since the end of July, but the promised eight week read window (that is, if you haven't heard from them in eight weeks, you ain't going to) blew out massively due to the sheer volume of entries, which is kind of scary in its own right.
It has been a real challenge to keep on focussing on other work while I wait to be rejected (I'm a pessimist, what can I say?), and as such my writing scheduled slipped right off until recently. After all, it's already pretty easy to just tell yourself "I worked a full day today, I have to go home and exercise, there's a 50/50 chance I'll be cooking dinner for the missus and I...fuck it."
Motivation is key, and that is something I have always traditionally lacked. That was, at least, until I found the secret:
A secret I will share with you all:
Seriously, I'm getting to it right now:
Alcohol. That's right, alcohol.
Finally, I understand why all the greatest writers in history drank themselves to death! Having a beer or two at night after a long day of work immediately gets me chilled out enough to just sit down and start typing. It may not all be gold, but writing shit is better than writing nothing at all.
Actually, that's another lesson to any budding writers out there: Write, always, as much as you can, even if it is utter bollocks. Freezing up is a terrible thing and can stop you from ever trying again if you aren't careful.
Anyway, I'm back to working on this little first-person Inquisition story I've been fiddling with for almost a year now, then back to my two non-BL novels. Lucky there are no good games coming out, hey?
In Gaming News:
Orcs Must Die! is fan-freaking-tastic on the PC, absolutely love it to death. I've beaten it on War Mage with 5 skulls on each level (that last level...), and I am working my way through Nightmare now...something I NEVER do with games.
Seriously, best 15 bucks you could spend on Steam, can't recommend it enough.
Finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution last night. I started to like it again by the end, especially with all the shit that goes down (obviously don't want to spoil it).
Saw the specific story beats coming from a mile away, but I did enjoy the endings. Kept to that Deus Ex moral ambiguity I like so much, and the ending videos themselves were actually really cool.
TF2 keeps being TF2. I keep backstabbing fools. I suddenly find myself good at sniping and playing Scout again, which is odd.
I need Batman in my life, going to pick it up at the airport tomorrow when I pick the missus up after her sojourn to Thailand - how's that for multitasking?
Excerpt (because hey, I want to sell books to you in the future):
The Stickybomb Launcher is a goddamn skill-less weapon. I hate saying that; hell, I use it myself, but it is the biggest fucking easymode gun in an online FPS ever and probably needs a slight nerf to punish air-bursting. Just saying.
18/f/brazil - wana chat? LOL ^_^;;
Tim the Corsair on Steam or XBLA
Or just send me a PM.
Hope this was interesting to somebody,
Tim ‘the Corsair’ Sweeney