I’ve been writing semi-professionally for only a few months now, since August of 2014 if you’d like to put an official date on it. Unprofessionally, I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen, scribbling out masterpieces of wavy lines and circles in any book that I found lying around. As for writing professionally, I had been toying with the idea for some time. It came down to “Well why not?” and started responding to themes set by magazines and publishers.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
For new writers I would say the best advice would be is perseverance. I cannot drive home this message enough, even though you will hear this from many authors; Not only in submission of stories (because you will be rejected or outright ignored more than the most awkward man in the bar on a Saturday night) but in writing itself. Even if what you have before you is not so much literature as it is vomiting from a pen, it is important you should get something written. You can always go back, edit, and revise anything that you write and it will give you an excellent outline.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
For people who write things on the more macabre side, I would recommend looking on Dark Markets (www.darkmarkets.com) for publishers and magazines that are looking for stories, novels, or novellas. It saves a lot of time than sifting through the Google results.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
My favorite type of fiction is the more dark side: the dystopian, the cynical, dry/dark humor, and many subgenera of horror. An author I cannot get enough of is Neil Gaimen. I also really enjoy works by H. P. Lovecraft, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Terry Pratchett, and (secretly, so don’t tell anybody) Laurel K. Hamilton. The list continues on, and on.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Writing rough drafts are something that you have to take the time where you can get it to write, so keep a small notepad and pen on yourself at all times. Editing, revising, and final drafts are something that you need to make time to sit down and dedicate time to. That isn’t meaning that it has to be a lengthy amount of time, though. In fact, spreading it out will help the process.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I like to write on the fly. A story, to me, is a living creature. It grows, changes, and (sometimes) even dies. Writing a rough draft with no plan and changing it many times allows me to help the story change into what it will eventually become. It may be something I’ll submit, or something that will be relegated to Recycling Bin Hell, but odds are it has changed over many times and little resembles what I started with.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
Mostly alone time, a placement of the story in the “Rejected” file (as it could be useful or published later), funny videos, and maybe alcohol.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
The next twelve months are already planned with a roster of short stories and flash fiction for various magazines and online sites. Some will be submitted, some won’t, but it’s still going to be a lot of writing.
9. For the next five years?
There is a novel bumping around in my head, but it will take time to sketch out and research, though. I plan to go on the whole affair after that: the movie deal, the fame and fast living, the fall into obscurity and alcoholism, then writing another bestseller that starts the cycle again.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
Yes! Myself! If you’ve liked what you’ve seen, are a publisher that wants to contact me about a project, or just want to read my quips and witty humor, then you can contact me through my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carl.jennings.35 Send me a message or friend me.