I’m going to this year’s 9 Worlds convention – it’s my first ever con, and I am a new-minted Fantasy author, and I am nervous and excited and fully-expecting to sort of stagger round in a baffled haze, missing stuff.
As part of 9 Worlds I am going to be doing the first ever LIVE Death of 1000 Cuts. If you haven’t read my weekly writing advice blog, you can find over two years’ worth of posts here. The format is, authors submit the first 250 words of their novel or short story to me, then I offer feedback, sentence by sentence, really drilling down into the word choices and deep syntax of the piece, often being sweary, joke-furious, and very honest. The idea isn’t to tear anyone down or do a public roast – it’s all about the writing, not the author, and the purpose is to be as tough as possible, by assuming that everyone has the potential to write brilliant, exciting, original, vivid, rich and powerful stories. The idea is to empower people to do that, and sometimes we have to call out crap writing (but never crap writers) in order to get to the great stuff.
I’m not quite sure how it’s going to work live, except that we’re going to run some pieces and use them as a jumping off point for talking about all the stuff you need to know to write better than everyone else. I’m going to share everything I know about writing well and about improving your work, there’ll probably be some audience participation and feedback and I expect for at least some of the time I will be pacing up and down, sweating and shouting. I promise you will leave knowing more about writing than when you came in.
So look: I need submissions. Ideally from people who are going to be at 9 Worlds, but not necessarily. Our usual submission guidelines are here. You can email me via the ‘Contact Me’ link on the right, but basically I want the first 250 words of your novel or short story. This should be final draft, polished-to-brilliance, absolute best work you can manage, please. We want to be working on improving your A-game, otherwise it’ll all be feedback you already know. Read some previous Death Of 1000 Cuts blogs before submitting, so you can get a sense of the house style. I expect we’ll have time for 3 or 4 pieces. Please mark any submissions for this ‘9 WORLDS’ and include whether you’re going to be there.
Oh, by the way, if you don’t know me, my debut novel is THE HONOURS, it’s Fantasy, (I like to think of it as Downtonpunk) and you can read about it here.
And any help distributing this call for subs would be really appreciated. I’m a newbie and don’t really know what I’m doing!