State of Jake: March 2017

This is a big month for me, friends. A BIG MONTH!

Countdown to my Writers of the Future workshop! I’ve been submitting to the contest for years now, and I’ve daydreamed about this opportunity to pick the brains of some genuine bestselling writers. I’ve got a list of questions as long as my arm, and a week to ask as many as possible. Wish me luck!

Turns out I didn’t win the Wattpad contest #BattletheBeast. I lost to a beautiful writer, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam who’s had stories appear in Black Static, so I don’t feel so bad. $10,000 prize money and having my short story filmed would’ve been cool, but I now feel like I’ve got a pretty great ice-breaker for when I meet Lev Grossman. I also learned what I’m going to call the $10,000 Lesson: Write for your intended audience! In this case, it means I should’ve written for the bottom line of TV production. If someone’s going to make a short film of your story, don’t create an elaborate set of ruins covered in dead bird skeletons. Understand budget. I also got some wonderful advice from the amazing S.P. Miskowski who said that writing for the stage taught her a similar lesson. If you’re going to have a ship come on and off the stage between scenes, you’re going to end up with angry stagehands. Budget. Practicality. These are the reasons George R.R. Martin left TV, but don’t ever forget he made a living at it for years, first. Bottom line, people.

My March edition of the Midnight Mix-Tape (Antarctica) can be found HERE. I’ve spoken with a few writers now who ask me why I’m writing for and I always end up saying the same thing. I love those guys, and I believe in what they do. “But Jake, money flows towards the writer, remember? If you’re not getting paid, why do it?” Way I figure it, they’ve got more readers than my blog, right? If I can connect with even one person I don’t find another way, it seems like a good idea. Plus, when you review books you can get them free and get them early. Who doesn’t love free books?

But what about your fiction, Jake?

I’ve outlined a novel. Not the same, meh-way I’ve outlined before, with lines like “COOL SHIT HAPPENS HERE,” but I really took the time to knock out actually scenes and emotions and purposeful actions. I always thought that I could just wing it, and it has led to hundreds of thousands of words trapped in dead-end stories. I’ve got 20 years of almosts here, so trying something new is exhilarating, not stifling. The part of writing I like is making things beautiful (not that you get much of that here). Creating a story–a skeleton to build upon–means I can relax into the story and concentrate on the parts I love. Plus, it means no more dead ends. You’ll be getting Jake Marley novels soon. Stories that have been incubating for years, but are finally solidifying into something I can be proud of.

There’s going to be a lot more coming from me soon. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Love, Jake


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