Paths to Publishing: Think twice before lighting that fire! by MC Hana #amwriting

Paths to publishing

Don’t delete that story! You know, the one you wrote back when you didn’t have a clue? The one that mortifies you now with its very existence? Yeah, that one.

And don’t give up on it, just because you love the idea but can’t make it work yet. Set it aside for a day or two, trunk it for an indeterminate period, or take another look at it in a few years when you’ve grown as a writer. Either fix it, mine it for useful parts, or put it back in the heap to compost a little more.

Once you delete it, it’s gone. You might be able to recreate that story from memory, possibly even better the second time around. But don’t count on it.

There’s a romantic image of writers literally or figuratively burning their old work to start over. This method is supposed to ‘free up’ the writer from old expectations and burdens. I’m not that drastic. I’ve killed off more than a few pieces, once I’d analyzed them from every angle, and decided they were probably going nowhere.

Some of them, I wish I could retrieve. I’m a much better writer now. Of my works-in-progress for 2015, three longer pieces are revised versions I first started over a decade ago. Other short stories are rebuilt from unsuccessful anthology or contest calls-for-entry from the last five years. My debut novel, a M/M space-opera romance called Moro’s Price, is partly set in a continent-wide megacity I dreamed up for my very first manuscript.

I view my stories and notes as similar resources to my vast collection of beads, specialty fabrics, and other art supplies: valuable raw materials I may use years down the line. In projects that win me sales, awards, happy clients, and great entries in my art CV. The standard efficiency-expert advice of ‘de-clutter your life by getting rid of anything you haven’t used in three years’ is met with disbelieving laughter in my home. That’s my capital investment, bub. Hands off!

My stubborn refusal to give up can be read as a form of hoarding, uninformed self-esteem, or silly American optimism.

There are people who will probably never reach their writing goals, no matter how hard they work. Life isn’t always fair, that way. But they certainly won’t, if they don’t try, or learn from the attempts.

I started writing-with-intent-to-publish in late March of 1987. In the middle of a New Mexican snowstorm. After throwing a paperback of the-then worst fantasy novel I’d ever read out a second-story window, and snarling, “I can write better than this!” I sat down with a notepad, and started scribbling notes on the kind of fantasy romance story I wanted to read.

I completed that novel a few months later. It’s very different from the Moro book. It’s not that bad, for a first attempt. I can’t use it now, for reasons ranging from changed worldbuilding to blackmail potential, but it taught me two critical lessons about writing:

I could finish a manuscript.

I learned to love the act of writing, more than the idea of ‘having written’.

I’m otherwise not a great example of modern publishing. I didn’t make my first professional-level short story sale until 2000. My debut novel didn’t come out until 2012 (republished in 2014, due to an Amazon glitch. I had an art career along the way. Money and time were always an issue, so I couldn’t flit off to every science-fiction convention or prestigious writers’ workshop that I daydreamed about. I made a ten-year derail from original fiction into fan fiction, which turned out to be one of the best time investments I’ve made in my writing life. I not only gained critical writing skills in a forgiving environment, I made associations that I’m actually profiting from now in my original fiction.

None of that would have happened if I’d given up on my art or my writing.

So go ahead, make a clean slate. Just make good backups first!


Crane Hana_MorosPrice_coverTitle: Moro’s Price

Publisher: Loose Id

Date Published: January 6, 2014

Genre: M/M erotic romance space opera

Word Count: approx. 100,000

Prince Valier gives suicidal escaped-slave Moro another option than leaping off a skyscraper – a few hours of meaningless rough sex, while Moro is infected with Val’s lethal symbiont. Neither man expects Moro to survive, or become the one man in the galaxy who can tame Val’s darker urges.


Buy links:


All Romance

Loose Id

Barnes & Noble


Excerpt, explicit

“Moro,” Val groaned.

“Hmmm?” Moro hummed as innocently as he could.

“I want your mouth. Please?”

Oh, to be asked, thought Moro, easing away. He hooked his thumbs on the waistband, grinned at the frail cloth, and twisted. Cotton and elastic ripped.

“Vandal,” Val said. “You don’t have to tear off my clothes.”

Yes, I do, thought Moro, hating his brain’s crippled speech centers. I want to see all of you. I want you to come from just my voice. My real voice! But I’ll settle for making you scream.

Moro folded down the rags of Val’s underwear. The trail of white-gold hair widened over Val’s flat, bronze-skinned belly to a nest of pale curls at his groin. As Moro watched, the sizable balls pulsed. The purple-brown cock stiffened into its full, graceful curve. Moro pulled back, considering the disheveled male loveliness in front of him.

The blush really did go all the way down.


Author Bio:

Crane Hana silver book avatarCrane Hana lives in a flat place filled with cactus, writes space operas and sword & planet fantasies with an erotic edge, has never met a craft that she didn’t love or pervert until she did, and makes artifacts from cultures that never existed.


Author Links:

Blue Night blog




Amazon Author page






6 thoughts on “Paths to Publishing: Think twice before lighting that fire! by MC Hana #amwriting

  1. I like your blog. Nice easy reading and entertaining, too. Did you make that piece? Is it jewelry? It is very intriguing. Would love to know if you have a Web site for that, too.

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. I try for fun with the blog, since it’s essentially a place to park my rants and reviews, as well as art. Yes, the filigree book pendant is one of my pieces of silverwork, from about 15 years ago. The openwork pages spell ‘Amor Vincit Omnia’, along with my signature MC logo.

    You can see more of my jewelry, book art, and other art if you scroll down the Author Notes sidebar on my blog, and look for ‘original art’. I have a Pinterest site that has some more silver and beadwork jewelry, among other pages. My Photobucket site has a wider mix of images.

  3. Really enjoyed your upbeat post and completely agree about not getting rid of old pieces of writing – I’ve also reused some to better effect! All best with your writing and art.

  4. Oh THERE it is…Thanks, Crane, I really enjoyed looking at the art work.

  5. Melissa Snark

    Hi Crane,
    I’m sorry this welcome took so long to post. I’ve had a super busy weekend and haven’t been home much. So please accept my apology and my welcome to the Snarkology.

    I can very much identify with this sentiment. I recently pulled out an old trunk novel that was written to a YA novel. I’m having it proofread and considering a release to YA under a new pen name. I’m curious to see how it would do. 🙂

  6. Your advice to keep your trunk MSs has been the subject of a couple of my conversations recently. Thought I’d share that in case you were wondering why your ears were burning 😉

    Always great to get new perspectives and ideas to stir up the old grey matter

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