What have you been writing lately?
Join LibraryThing to post.
I know, I know.
They say you shouldn't talk about your writing before it's finished. But I'm curious! You can be as vague ("I'm working on a novel, a short story and 3 poems") or as explicit (details, details, details) as you like.
Eh, maybe I've just noticed that this group has been kind of slow over the last week. I miss you guys!
By the way, I just received an acceptance letter today! Two of my poems will be published in a journal out of E. St Louis. Yippee!
Congrats on the poems!
I'm working on book 2 -- just breaking 60,000 words yesterday. I like to call it Neo Bangsian style (at least for now -- just for the content).
I've got several short stories on the go -- when the spark goes out I move on and wait until the ember catches fire again. Every other SS is out shopping.
I'm giving a novel a final read through for any small edits. I also have a novel in edits/revisions and two in the first draft stage. Two are dark urban fantasy the other two are urban fantsy but not as bloody.
Congrats on the acceptance! That's always a great feeling.
I'm currently finishing up the proposal for the next two books in my new fantasy series, and rewriting book two in that same series.
I am mostly working on the last edits for the final book of a YA fantasy series, so I can send it off to the publisher and copyeditor and only have to deal with whatever changes the copyeditor sees, later. Then I will be done with the entire eight book series and feel like I can move on in life again! (grin)
I am convinced that EVERYONE on LibraryThing reads and writes fantasy!
You can add me to that list. Although, right now, what I'm writing is a paper on pedagogy in the composition classroom :-/
After which I will have to get to work writing some more poems.
THEN I can finally get back to one of my two in-progress fantasy novels and/or one of my four or so fantasy novel ideas! ;-D
(Actually, I am part of that OTHER group... Writing horror. ;) )
Currently writing a couple of short stories, and doing research for my first novel. (Historical fiction...)
I'm still working on the first draft of a horror novel and doing various drafts and edits of a handful of short horror stories. I've got some out at various publishers, as well.
Hi everybody, haven't been on LT in ages but I'm glad to be back.
I'm working on a middle school coming of age novel. It's set in NYC with an occasional flashback to Puerto Rico. It's about 3/4's done for the first draft, and thankfully I can see clearly down the road to the end.
Hi everyone, I'm new to this group (just recently found it through a member telling me about it!) and it seems like a great group.
Anyway, I'm working on my Nanowrimo project from this November. It's a YA book that takes place in the Hollywood/LA area. It takes place in present time, but also have journal entries from the 1940's. I'm 53k into it. My goal is to finish by January 1st, to start rewriting/editing in the new year.
Wow, I just learned to proof read my posts. Sorry for the horrible grammer errors in the message above. :)
It does seem like we write a lot of fantasy, doesn't it?
I also write (and have been published in) science fiction, young adult mystery, and nonfiction. And fantasy is such a wide term these days that even if two people say they're writing fantasy, chances are they're far apart in the subgenre sections. (grin)
I'm also working on notes for a new sceince fiction novel, in fact. It requires a great deal of worldbuilding, so I'm not certain when I'm going to start writing it, though.
I just finished doing some editing to a children's story today and I'm working on a mystery novel. Oddly enough, the direction it's been taking me for the last month or so does lead into a little bit of a fantasy twist. Fantasy is not my usual thing, but I will try my hand at it occasionally. I'm also working on two other children's stories that just need some rewrite work in sections and then they'll be done too.
I don't write fantasy or horror! (I'm not opposed to it of course... but I think I'd do a horrible job of it.)
Right now, I'm writing a sitcom pilot.
I'm taking a break from editing my nanonovella in verse and writing plain, unadulterated, poetry. I want to write 30,000 words worth. But it will probably take me awhile.
Writing a stupid little religious horror story and a, yes, dark fantasy novella. I switch back and forth between the two, and they seem to be fighting for my time. I'm proud of them both, though the short story is seeming a bit choppier than I would like.
For someone not much familiar with genre definitions (basically sub-genres are all lumped into one big pile here in Sweden, since well our country and literature base is smaller) - could you please define "religious horror"?
It sounds interesting. Maybe something that I'm doing already, although my religious motifs are not too obvious at times.
Sorry, I probably should get back on topic. I just became curious of the definition.
I was wondering the same thing yesterday! What is religious horror?
Can be iconoclastic or just a slight perversion of reality, e.g. person invited to Xmas midnight mass to drink real blood and eat real human flesh, etc.
Otherwise just read the book of Revelation . . .
I'm working on the part I love best -- the editing! I'm editing my scifi novel. It has a beginning! It has an end! It has 1/3 of the middle... since I edited out the other 2/3 already, *laugh*. Count me out of the fantasy group though, my interests are in the science side of the library. :)
22marchwind02 First Message
I am in a creative writing class in my high school so we always have crazy assignments. My most recent one was describing someone's lair. I chose my twin sisters room, which is a fashionist heaven, but I put a spin on it by writing it in military terms. I had clothes erupting, a minefield of needles and a burial ground of mutilated fabric. It was alot of fun. I recomend for anyone with writers block to look at your work from a different angle and it might turn out better then you expected.
there does seem to be a plethora of horror/scifi/fantasy writers and readers here. maybe that is the way readership (is there such a word?) is today, because I also noted that the majority of members are young (under 50, which is young to me).
I'm doing a rather long novel (for me) of 300 pages about a drifter who comes to the Florida Everglades and in 10 years is living in Palm Beach and a drug kinpin.
Meanwhile, I pop out a short story that, come to think of it, is usually horror or horror-fantasy. Hm.
I write poetry, literary fiction, and also SF and fantasy. I have just finished going through the copyedits on my short story collection, which is being published in mid-2008. Now I have to get onto revising a novel I wrote in 2003-4, which I want to submit to the publisher of the short story collection. The first half of the novel works pretty well (I think), but the second half needs a lot of work.
I'm working on my second book. I'm probably about a third of the way through the first draft.
Hey, man--I enjoyed 'The Encounter' quite a bit! Glad to see you here on the boards!
I'm fairly new to LT, and just love it. I could stay on all day. I'm working on a short story. Haven't been published other than an article in a local paper's 4th of July "What's Hot and What's Not this Summer" spot. Have a BA in writing and iterature adn life has finally come around to letting me spend some quality time writing...if I could just stop reading...and get off LT! Nice to meet everyone
I've been writing lots of poetry, as always; blogging, which in my case is writing little essays; and going through the tough process of getting agents and/or editors interested in two novels I finally finished, one a contemporary literary novel with some environmental themes and a historical sub-plot, the other a social satire that's a bit "out there." I've published only one novel, and that was a while ago, so it's interesting to see how the "market" and the business have changed. Literary fiction seems to be disappearing, and agencies, like publishers, seem to be merging. Blessings to you all.
I'm working on a fantasy novel (which I wrote about earlier, having hit 100 pages, a HUGE deal for me) which involves gods, murders, Death, and a stressed out heroine.
I also started a scary short story yesterday about a girl and a typewriter. And I wrote a bunch of notes/ideas last night.
Plus, I have another book review for Veg News Magazine due, if the book ever shows up, haha.
Edit: Holy crap, there IS a lot of fantasy/horror/sci-fi in this group!
I mentioned in #25 that I'm revising an unpublished novel with a view to submitting it to the publisher of my forthcoming short story collection. I need to add a chapter describing a journey by cruising yacht. As I've never sailed on anything smaller than the Wellington harbour ferry, I am currently attempting to get my head around the minutiae of yacht design and outfitting - so it's pre-writing rather than writing at the moment.
I write monthly articles. I wrote my first review for a national magazine and I just received an email that they liked it. But it would not be used until next fall. That was weird to me.
I have a few novels and short stories started , but they are very dark and I am trying to learn about black humor to lighten up. I mean, I have some writers concerned about my state of mind. ( The problem is I have been holding back. HA)
I am most relaxed writing children's stories. I have one with a spoiled poetry-loving princess, many castles with back doors, and a mean fire-breathing dragon named Edy. I love illustrating it.
Mackan, I don't know for sure, but my guess is that religious horror is like The Exorcist and The Seven Deadly Sins, stuff like that. Scary demon stuff with biblical roots. Possessions. Poltergeists.
This is a great idea for a thread. I don't think it's unlucky at all to talk about what we're working on. It's a good way to encourage each other and celebrate sales.
I'm writing Book 2 in my Zodiac series, a futuristic fantasy (another fantasy!), book reviews of new authors (a grass roots sort of effort), a few magazine articles, and a column for the tiny monthly newspaper I edit.
Mostly all I've had time for lately are blog posts, diary entries, and letters. I'm also revising a paper about plagiarism I'm hoping to submit for a student writing contest. (I'm in Grad school).
In #23 posted in mid-December, I'd been in a two-mlnth writer's block. Thanks to John Sunsieri here on LT I broke loose and am coming up on the end of the novel. Just another 50 or so pages to go! Fortunately, the protagonist took over the job. He writes better than I do. hee.
I know I recently wrote what I was writing, but I have a question.
So, I am feeling frustrated with humor. I am told what I write is dark and I always watch the readers eyes to see how the story may disturb them. I feel I hit the target when someone is upset. So, maybe I don't need to learn humor. Maybe my calling is to shake things up. Or maybe I should just write all this black bile out on paper and sink it in the swamp behind my house.
I have been told things have to bed down into the past a bit before one can write about them. 'Emotion recollected in tranquillity' as Wordsworth said. Not sure about the tranquillity, but I can get the recollecting of emotion bit!
I want to write these dark stories but I am afraid I will chase away my readers and they are so precious to me.
Do I sound too crazy about this? Maybe I should just stick to the children's books because they will be acceptable by everyone. They are safe and the stroies are important to me, don't get me wrong, I don't mean to avoid anything with them. I want to write them too.
Does anyone ever work on more then one story at a time? I have no contract or deadline.
This, btw, is not about memoirs. It is fiction.
I think it's perfectly possible for humour and darkness to coexist in a story. It's in a different medium, but you only have to watch a few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to see how one can reinforce the others: the Season 4 episode "Hush" is probably the most horrific BtVS ever got, yet there are still some very funny moments in that episode.
As for working on more than one story at once, I find I can work on two as long as only one of them is at the first-draft stage: that is, I can cope with writing one story while I'm editing or revising another, but not with writing two new stories at once.
I'm working intermittently on a screenplay version of my first novel, soon to be self-published in paperback, which takes place during WWII, and felt moved to put down some words for the first chapter of my second, which takes place in 17th century Europe and Delaware.
I know for certain that humour can go hand in hand with a dark tale. I really appreciate when I see it.
I was venting about my own writing.
My solution for the evening is to start another story.
Senjmito, is Hush the episode where all their voices were stolen? I loved that one, too. Can you imagine writing a script with no dialogue? They did an amazing job. I love the humor in the classroom when the gang was using the blackboard to communicate and Buffy was trying to ask if staking was the way to kill the demons. Very, very funny.
Yareader2, I often have several things going at once. It gives me a choice when I'm in different moods. About writing dark stuff when you normally write for kids, I hear you. I write YA fantasy. Light fantasy. I have started an adult fiction based on date rape, and I worry a bit about such different audiences. There are authors who write vastly different genres. Go for it.
I just discovered a literary street rag that specializes in flash fictions and the like (the longest stories they accept are 1800 words!) so I've been refining my short work skills-- a very important skill that often gets overlooked, IMHO.
I'm also in the midst of plotting two comic books- one's a series and the other is (for lack of a better phrase, because I hate this one:) a graphic novel. The series is noir, taking place in Jazz Age New Orleans, but I can't decide whether it's going to have a steampunk element or not. That one also requires a lot of research into crime in Jazz Age New Orleans, a subject upon which it seems only one books has been written: Unorganized Crime: New Orleans in the 1920s. Fortunately I was able to pick it up fairly cheap on Amazon!
The other one is (without getting too specific, because I admit I'm protective of the premise) a satire of the mainstream media, a comment on how the lines between news, tabloid, and "reality" TV are blurred quite freely at present and the cult/freakshow of celebrity. Also, there's Nazis.
Meanwhile, some very kind people on another thread said that they would read my Sherlock Holmes pastiche if I ever wrote one, so I'm carefully considering the number of ideas I've had for one, for a novella, probably.
I don't normally write any single genre, I write everything. My writing dark stories are just stories. They are loaded down with sadness, lonliness, and a general lack of hope. To add humor I really had to step out of the picture completely. It is like saying I could not go on stage and do stand up comedy, but I could do impressions of other people. I could act like someone else being the fool. So, I am writing the same story two ways. First, I'll write the very serious recollection of one person. Then I'll write a comedy about a family with nine children and the sad person from the first story will be dropped into their protection. I also included the three Fates and Satan. That mixes things up for enough.
As for our adult fic, I wouldn't worry about your audience. If it is fiction, then it would probably be read by a larger group then if non-fiction. I'll repeat back to ou, go for it.
zodiacdeb, #40: That's the one. My wife was a Buffy fan well before I was - she kept urging me to watch it, and I kept resisting, because it looked & sounded to me like some kind of teen romance I wouldn't be interested in. (Of course, it is - in part - but it's much more than that.) I didn't start watching until Season 5, was quickly hooked, and went back to the start via DVD.
Although I write fiction, not screenplays, I've learned a lot about plotting and, ironically, dialogue - especially, how to use dialogue to both reveal character and carry the story forward - through watching the show. That they can do so well when there's no dialogue is, as you say, amazing.
I'm two-thirds of the way through my first draft, a mystery set in Medieval Wales. I love the mystery genre and plan on writing a contemporary one once my historical is finished.
I also belong to a writer's group. Although we meet every month or so (we all have day jobs) and we are all writing very different stories, I find their feedback invaluable.
Yareader, wow. Interesting way to write. Are your individual pieces standalone? Or do you write your subplots separately and then combine them? Or am I completely misunderstanding you? You've given me one of those wonderful brain jolts. lol.
Senjmito, I'm glad you found Buffy, even if late. A few years ago when I had Netflix, I watched the entire series and loved it all over again. It's always fun to watch people's faces when you announce you're a Buffy fan. It sounds so ridiculous, but what fantastic writing.
Yesterday a grand-daughter who lives in CA gave birth to her first child, a little boy. Her mother, my oldest daughter & I spent a lot of time on the phone going over old times & stuff.
Later that night or early AM I wrote maybe 6 or 7 poems. Unfortunately they weren't very good, but I felt better after I wrote them. Maybe one of these days I will be able to write something decent again.
MarianV, My suggestion would be to go back to your poems and read them out loud, often you can find another way of saying what you have already said. The new way may be more creative, more close to the way you felt, give a more tactile impression. Then put them away and do the same thing again at a later time. You would be suprised at how they will grow and change usually for the better, you will know in your heart that you have said, what you felt is the best most accurate way possible and in a truly original way because it is your experience, and yet universal in its own way. Mary Beth
I am writing a book about a girl who finds out that she is death. It is kind of a horror/fiction/biography book. I am having a contest that is called "what should I call my new book?" I also have one called "death wore a red dress". The first contest is for the title and the second is for the cover. For the cover I would like a girl with her foot on a gravestone.
She should of course, be wearing a red dress!
I believe every story should be able to stand alone. Every paragraph should stand alone. Every sentence, every word.
(Hope that's not too cryptic)
I do not write my subplots separately, they emerge and then I work to bring them out. I write in layers that can be removed and replaced as if a large painting is made on many layers of transparent paper. First comes the foreground and the landscape is placed around it. The next layer may add a person/character. What melds them together is the dialogue or the narrators thoughts.
So, what is a wonderful brain jolt anyway? :)
I agree with you about the strength of every word, sentence, paragraph...that's good, tight writing.
When I wrote my first book, I started at the beginning and wrote pretty much straight through, skipping difficult parts sometimes and going back, editing ad nauseum, of course, and rewriting the beginning after knowing the end, but overall it was a fairly linear project.
When I read your post, I had an image of you writing different parts of the same story separately and then putting them together. I don't know why it struck me as so different. Maybe because I'm considering a different way of going about writing my own Book 2.
So the brain jolt was a shifting paradigm, a getting out of the box, an aha! I love it when that happens.
I just joined the group a few minutes ago, so hello everyone.
I'm almost finished with the first draft of the first book of an erotic science fantasy trilogy. Not sure of the science or fantasy part. There's a humongous spaceship in it and creatures called synths - synthetic organisms - but I can't explain the science behind either bit of technology... and there's no magic in it, though the tech might seem to be like magic. Can't remember exactly but didn't Arthur C. Clarke say something about advanced tech seeming to be like magic?
Anyway, I've written some 150,000 words so far using the one finger hunt and peck method - although at this point it is less hunt and more peck.
Congratulations on your monster manuscript, friend, and welcome to the board.
And, yeah, you're referencing Clarke's Third Law.
I definitely do not think in terms of linear. I also have no formal training, so I'm sure I'm doing it "all wrong." But this is the way I find structure for my stories and I feel it works. Yes, I would consider myself "out of the box" and over the side railing of the bridge too! lol
I also started writing parts separately because I had some parts I could not face and it gave me a wide berth to avoid them.
I'm on the fourth edit of a fantasy novel, part way through what I'd love to be a serialised fifties pulp still novel, but mainly preparing some short stories for submission. Anyone want to crit a variety of short horror, by any chance?
I write fairly linearly, though I need a few rewrites to work out exactly which subplots are essential and which are just digressions. I tend to stall when I hit a hard part, but I've usually got enough projects on the go that I can switch to something else for a bit. I can't skip ahead; if I write segments that belong later in a book/series, they're almost never relevant by the time the book catches up to them, though it can be good for grasping at plots.
My final thesis pages are due next week.
I'm also working on two short stories, one about a relationship gone sour due to a rodent in the house and one about roller derby.
I've started a short story about a town where the children are part of a collection like any other material good. And then there is another story with an opposing theme where the children of a country unite for rights.
I'm working on a story based on a true story that happened in the town next to mine, which I just happened to have moved away from. It involves mutilated animals in an abandoned house. Yuck, right?
Hi all. I haven't checked in for a while. Find myself overwhelmed at times by all of the internet groups I've joined. They're wonderful and engulfing at the same time.
The recent posts remind me of how diverse writing is. Even if we all agreed to write the same thing, every piece would be vastly different. This is why I don't worry much about competition. There's room for everyone and every idea.
I was wondering why one of the posters was so opposed to paying to enter a contest? It's usually a minimal fee, and I though it helped towards costs,usually the ones I enter are in small press journals or mags Just wondering? MB
I'm not that poster, but I completely agree with him/her.
There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who think they can write, and many of them are desparate for acceptance and accolades. If a contest comes up that costs, say, ten bucks for admission, the contest organizer stands to make a stunning profit from all those deluded souls.
Believe me--I'm not in any way denigrating those who have a passion to put words on paper. The world is a better place for their efforts and their energy. But, put simply, ninety-five percent of writers aren't very good. And charging them is like charging people to try out for a professional football team; no one's going to make the team, and someone's going to walk away with a lot of money.
On the other hand, if you can afford the ten or twenty or thirty bucks, and you think you've got what it takes, more power to you. People play the lottery all the time. My advice, however, would be to go the traditional route and submit your work to agents, magazines, anthologies and other venues that DON'T charge you for the privilege of reading your work. If the story is good enough, you'll get paid for it. Simple as that.
I'm currently writing a poem, of sorts. Think "paradox". As a (long) side note, I was selected by my school for a writing workshop with the writer Elizabeth Rosner to look back on my writing. I'm very nervous. But I've got all of spring break to worry about it.
There are many eager young writers like myself ready to write something groundbreaking and new. I personally think that at least 50% of them don't have much talent, but I often place myself in that 50%, so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on my fellow aspiring writers. It's just that I have read some of the writing by my peers, and some of it just makes me worry about the future of literature.
Don't worry, Tasha. Literature always has a future, because there are always those true talents struggling to fight through the crap and shine above the earth.
I'm delighted by your attitude; most writers AREN'T very good, and it's generally the young writers who doubt themselves who are the ones who spend time, energy and pain making themselves better, and who grow into adequate wordsmiths in their maturity.
A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in
thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.
- Randall Jarell
I've always thought that quotation (by a poet who only got hit by lightning once or twice) is the deepest, realest definition of poetry ever encapsulated. Remember--anyone can write verse. Only a poet can write poetry, and then not every time. Read some of the early verses of Keats if you don't believe me--and then soak in his later sonnets and odes if you want to experience despair and wonder and longing and--if you're a true artist--a burning desire to beat the cocky little British bastard at his own game.
I may never write as well as Dan Simmons or Ernest Hemingway or William Shakespeare, but I'm gonna spend the rest of my life trying. And if along the way I manage to overmaster Fritz Leiber or Stephen King or Larry Niven, I'll be happy with that...
Best of luck with your workshop. And remember--your talent is defined by your talent, and not by what other artists think of you. If you suck, you suck. But you just might NOT suck.
I was likely the post-er who was adamantly opposed to paying entry fees and me olde mate John Sunseri sums up my feelings rather aptly.
Editors pay writers, NOT vice versa. It's a maxim that has served publishing since its inception and a rather good set-up it was...until various rags decided they could make a bundle off desperate amateur writers, the same people Vanguard and those vanity presses preyed on like raptors.
Save your money--let these rags support themselves in other, less onerous ways. If they can't sink or swim on their own virtues and hard work, to Hell with them.
Having come from a more theatre/film-based writing background, my analogy might not work in fiction circles. But there are definitely a lot of play and screenplay "contests" that charge reading fees, and the general consensus among the writers is:
An actor doesn't have to pay to audition for a play. A director doesn't have to pay to submit a demo reel for a job. Why does a writer have to pay to have their script read?
Message 62,65,66-Thanks for the advice, but my next question would be, is it going to cost me to hire an agent? From research I've done, I first have to convince an agent that my work is worth the agency taking me on. The agent is going ot make it more likely that my manuscript is going to even be considered, as opposed to sitting in a pile somewhere. Doesn't it cost alot to hire an agent, or is it one of those, if we sell it we get paid deals? And the other suggestions would be, submit my work to a magazine or journal where it would seem to fit and they accept it or not, but with all the other applicants its really got to stand out for the readers to spot something special? Believe me, I would prefer to save myself the fees that all the contests are asking for. So, I should look for Mags that accept submissions but are not running contests? Has anyone here been accepted for publication that way? So many of the writing mags that I subscribe to run contests, and now I'm getting a little ticked off that they won't just accept submissions from their readership. I mean we have already paid for the subscription, after all. Message 66 made a great point about auditioning. So I guess I felt a sort of comfort level entering contests that my work was sure to get read, and then I could have "won such -and -such a contest to my credit. Thanks for the help, Mary Beth
I've given up on the submission process--it's just a total crap shoot. Over the years I've been turned down by too many magazines...and when I check their table of contents, I find names that are also on the magazine's masthead as "contributing" editors (i.e. suck up friends).
I use my blog and promote the hell out of myself, try to draw as many "hits" as I can. If I create enough of a buzz, that will hopefully draw the attention of traditional publishers and/or agents. But even if it doesn't, I STILL have access to millions of readers (which is what I want, NOT the big bucks and fame). If you build a good blog/site, your readers will find you. More readers than you'll ever get even if you are lucky to get published in some tiny regional rag. On my blog, I've heard from folks from the Philipines, Vietnam, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia. What publication offers me the same thing--and by publishing myself I maintain full creative control.
Submitting is a mug's game and I'm well out of it.
Personally, I have no problem with contest fees for short story contests, but that's because most of the publishers that run those contests are making a net loss on a regular basis. Yes, they'll probably make a lot more money from the contest than they'll give out in prizes, but as long as the cost isn't extortionate, and as long as it's a decent, reputable competition, I don't mind handing over a few pounds.
I'm holding my hands up and admitting I'm not a published author, nor do I have an agent, but I do know a few people who are/do. The usual root is to get a few things published first, usually short stories, and try and win a few competitions, in order to show that (a) you're serious about this and (b) other people have considered you worth publishing, and then approach either an agent or a publisher. An agent will get you published, and being published makes it easy to get an agent, but it's all a bit catch-22. Maya (AKA Sarah Rees Brennan) is going to be published next year, having submitted her manuscript to an agent, and she's very descriptive about the various processes involved.
At the end of the day, getting an agent is hard, but it makes getting published so much easier; it's a good way of avoiding being screwed over. Unless you get one of the scam artists...
To my mind, a good way to get noticed (and it eats my guts out to say this), one should shell out big bucks for one of those high profile writing programs (Iowa, Clarion to a lesser extent) and bring your best work. Dan Simmons owes his career to Harlan Ellison singling him out and championing his prose.
It helps, of course, if you suck up big time to your instructor, who MIGHT turn around and offer to pass your work on to an agent and editor and help you jump the queue.
I've already gone on record stating that workshops and creative writing programs are useless when it comes to actually making you a better writer--
--but as a venue for networking, it might be the way to go.
First--you don't pay agents anything. They work with you on your manuscripts, shop them around, and then take a percentage of the profit. Generally it's ten to twenty percent, which seems very high, but in many cases they earn their take handily. The trouble is, an agent is not going to want to take on a client he/she doesn't believe will ever make money. That means you could be one of the greatest writers of speculative fiction in, say, eastern Canada, and never get a whiff of interest from literary agents. To you, the words you've written are art and passion and emotion. To an agent, they're product.
Second--a quick rundown of my career to this point. I'm not bragging, here--it's important that you see how other people do it so you can choose your own path.
I started writing seriously after 9/11, and wrote four or five short stories I thought were pretty good. I went to the bookstore and picked up a copy of Writer's Market for that year and over the next two or three days I went through every entry, marking the magazines that printed my kind of work. I then spent a few days writing cover letters (which is easy for me now, but back then was tough as hell--and I wanted to make sure I did everything correctly and well). I printed out copies of the stories, put them into manila envelopes with the cover letters, added a check to each bundle (three, four, five bucks each, for sample copies of the magazines I was submitting to), addressed them and, heart in throat, went to the post office and mailed them off to New York and Nebraska and Pennsylvania.
I ordered sample copies for several reasons; I thought that my tales might be better-received if I actually showed a little interest in the magazines, and I figured that when I got rejected I could look over the samples and figure out what they DID publish, so if I ever wrote a story that fit better I'd have a better shot. As it turns out, the strategy worked--I've sold stories to magazines after five or six failed submissions, and perhaps it's because I was able to say, for instance, "In your most recent issue I noticed that you published several stories about ghosts. When I finished writing this one, I thought instantly of you...".
Anyway, back to ancient history.
I kept writing, waiting for responses to my initial salvo. Within two weeks I had my first SASE come back to me, from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was a form rejection, but at the bottom of the letter the Editor in Chief had jotted a few comments.
I was excited. I knew going into this business that rejection would be part of the process, but I was thrilled that the biggest specfic magazine in the country had actually read my submission and cared enough to tell me what I'd done wrong. I worked on the rejected story for a bit, tightening it up, and mailed it off the next day to another market, one that didn't pay as well.
Over the next couple of weeks I got two more rejections, and they fired me up even more. I'd been writing more stories, of course, while I was waiting, and as I finished each I'd try THEM at MoF&SF. Those bastards have rejected me about twenty times now, but someday I'll crack that market...
After two months I got my first acceptance. It was a small magazine in upstate New York, and it only paid in copies, but it was a kind of validation that, yes, I could actually do this thing. So I wrote back gratefully and redoubled my efforts at other magazines.
At certain points that first year I had over twenty manuscripts floating around the country. As soon as I got one back, I'd pop it back into the mail somewhere else. It was a hell of a Blitzkrieg, and I'll bet that many editors around the country got thoroughly tired of seeing my name on the envelopes...but I started getting more acceptances. Eventually I was making .02/word, .03/word, fifty bucks here and there, and the best thing was that people were starting to contact me and ASK me to submit to their magazines and anthologies. These folks know each other, and they talk to each other. When I realized this, I was very, very glad that I'd always been professional and polite. I know of four or five writers working out there in the small press that will never, under any circumstances, be published by certain magazines or books, because they were nasty in response to a rejection and the word got around. There's one guy who, upon being rejected, wrote to the rejecting editor and started his letter with 'Clearly you are an idiot.'
I'll never publish that man.
So eventually I finished my novel. Excitedly I started looking for an agent, and I made a list of literary agencies I would try. I printed out the first five pages, wrote some query letters, did all the work I needed to do, and sent them off.
After five rejections I stopped. One rejection was form, the others suggested that I work on my resume some more.
Which makes sense. They want to represent people who are going to sell them books.
So I kept working on my craft. Eventually David Conyers and I finished a book together, and it sold to Chaosium. It was printed last summer, and since then it's sold very well--and the comments on Amazon, the reviews in magazines around the world, and the word of mouth have all been stunningly complimentary. We were also nominated for several awards, and scored an honorable mention in the Aurealis competition for best Australian horror novel of the year (though I'm not Australian--but David's apparently Aussie enough for both of us). I've also been working on other projects that will get my name out there, including a set of anthologies I'm editing.
So now it's time to start looking for agents again--but this time I'm gonna have more arrows in my quiver and my hopes are a bit higher. Eventually, it's gonna happen.
Does any of this help?
VERY helpful, John. I think up-and-comers need to know what they're facing. Too many of these idiotic writing magazines print articles along the lines of "Ten easy steps on how to become a published author" or "How to become the next J.K. Rowling"--the most inane, dishonest bullshit imaginable. The only thing WRITER'S DIGEST is good for is outhouse paper.
Nothing takes the place of hard work. The DAILY practice of writing, making enormous efforts to improve at your craft so that one day, God willing and the bridges hold, you translate craft into ART.
I think my writing has turned a corner. It has become cathartic. I love what I write.
Whereas my feelings toward my writing probably echo something I heard Mordecai Richler say along the lines of: "Each novel I write is a failure and that's what keeps me going". A bad paraphrase but the sentiment, I think, is clear. Can't stop second-guessing myself, tinkering, polishing, tightening. And it's still never good enough...
Why be so hard on yourself? Sure not everything you may write will be award winning, but can't you ever just look at a finished product and know that what you did was good? I'm sure everyone is their own worst critic, but at some point you have to accept that you are good at what you do. It takes a strong person to admit that as well.
Being hard on myself, brutally assessing my work on a daily basis, is part of how I improve as a writer. If Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Kevin J. Anderson. Modesitt and some of the other hacks out there were similarly disposed we'd have a lot better books to choose from. I have the soul of a middle linebacker, ruthless and unforgiving. Hard on the body, spirit and mind but, my God, far better than floating, easing up and not doing your very best with each and every sentence.
I agree with the above posters about paying to enter contests, but there are some reliable small presses that require an "entry fee" (for example, a chapbook contest). Usually this is $10 or $15 dollars. Even publishing chapbooks is expensive & the Press is lucky to break even. If you're still in school & in a creative writing program, you can quickly find out which groups are legit & which are scams. If you're out of school, look for a writer's group in your area. A good way to build up a list of publications is to start with your local paper or Gazette or any local outlet. You probably won't get paid, but it is something to add to your credits & you get feedback & if you're good, they might ask you for stuff. What they say about net-working is true, a publisher will publish someone he knows or has heard about or might even ask around the local creative writing programs. Go to readings, it's a good way to meet people & see what 's popular. Buy some local literary mags (If they are still being published -- today's economy has put a lot out of business.) Keep on writing. Practice might not make perfect, but it helps.
John,CliffBurns,MsSolo,Klarsenmd and all, Thanks so much for the encouragement and time you have put into answering my questions. Writers are often some of the kindest people I have ever known. Writing was my major in college, reading is my way of life. I see everything every day as though it will all be used in a story or a book. I feel like I am taking notes mentally, almost to the point of obsession. I don't think I have any choice but to write. What Klarsenmd makes me think of is that I have come across short stories or poetry that I had written in school, or submitted on occasion, and said, I like it, I did what I set out to do here, or I feel a certain "fondness" for my work in the same way that I can enjoy another artist's words. Not that I will ever stop the hard work of critiquing it, but that I simply wrote something that I enjoyed in the same way I can enjoy another writer. I know that the information you provided is exactly what I needed John. Thank you so much and congrats on your good luck. You have clearly worked hard for and deserve every bit of it.
(Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I'm chief petty officer and head bottle washer for my husband's construction company and sometimes that seems to never end...;>)~
I am starting to build the dynamics of my novel. It is about a girl who finds out that she is a descendent of King Arthur and Guinevere.
My daughter and I were playing the "what if" game yesterday, and it turned into quite a cool premise. I couldn't stop thinking about it today, and came up with a great first line while I was out and about, so I ducked into the dollar store to buy a pad of paper and pack of pens, went straight to the nearest restaurante (other end of the block) and began writing. I've got a great start... but the problem now is, what's the story. I guess I'll pick my daughter's brain somemore.
Keep going, ellevee. You&re too close to it right now to tell if it’s good or bad. If you still don’t like it when you finish, put it away for a while. And even if it is bad, it still might be the one that sells. Remember Steven King threw away the first chapter of what became Carrie, but is wife fished it out of the garbage and made him finish.
I'm about 15000 words in to a novel, a bit of a departure for me in that its a fantasy novel, but there are enough supernatural elements in it to keep my horror muse happy :)
I am making sure I write everyday even if there is not something to work on, because it has a domino effect. It jumps start the creative engine,even if it only creaks and grumbles, it helps to clear the way for something you can work with. There was a time when I would never write anything out of order so to speak, couldn't write a "snippet" so to speak, now I think I could read a whole book of blurbs, they let you fill-in-the-blamks! Mary Beth (I love when I re-read and find clear evidence that I am so tired that I write things twice and think blamks is a word and yet two hours later find me at keyboard,back muscles screaming,glazed eyes, on the verge of a drool)
I'm about to write a proposal/synopsis for an anthology-collection of linked children's stories which, if the publisher I ran the idea past goes for it, I'll illustrate myself.
Also, my editor at RHCB and I are about to begin the editorial process of refinement, plot-tightening and general chop-shop with a 25,000 word small novel for 7-10's ( also going to illustrate that one).
And if that isn't enough, I'll be tweaking and polishing a picture book text for Bloomsbury UK which is all about calming night fears. This one, I love. This one, I can barely read out loud without choking up. It's a lullaby to a child, a love song to the planet and something reassuring in the midst of the 'interesting times' in which we appear to be raising our children.
I just started a story about the settlers of The New World and the Native American Indians. I think it shows some things never change. I like that it has a happy ending because it starts off scary.
Currently I'm writing a story about a young mage, a very adventurous story. Also I'm writing a book to help people in their struggle. And finally I'm writing a book about a very dark person.
I'm one of those writer who won't tell about what I'm writing. To keep it vague, both of the novels that I'm working on are about teenage girls. In the first, my protaganist has an affair with a doctor that she works with. It's Lolita-esque but from the girl's point of view. The second one is about a high school senior who tries to pass herself off as a college freshman to get into the local underground rock scene.
I need to become one of those writers who doesn't speak about their unfinished works. Unfortunately, I am not. I am constantly craving the support and admiration of friends and family...and strangers.
So, I want to edit an anthology of African-American personal essays... but my lack of employment is slowing down the process. I need to buy a PO Box for the entries, and a website for the call for papers. Meanwhile, I don't even know where I'll be living on a month to month basis... (grrr....)
I've been working on a novel/screenplay about a few black men in a secret society... so far it's pretty exciting.
I have an idea for the next screenplay/novel... but it's not really developed yet... We'll see...
LheaJLove, you might not have to pay for the website - you can set this up in Google Pages, pages.google.com/ for free. And as long as people can submit by email, you wouldn't need the PO Box either.
Your writing plans sound exciting - I hope they work out for you.
Good point, Great points...actually.
I guess the problem is: As a reader I prefer to read work on the printed page, rather than electronic. I would much rather have paper submissions in front of me. Then, I was going to contact the writers whose submissions have been accepted and have them submit electronically through the website.
On the contrary, as a writer I prefer to send electronic submissions. I've been hunting for the perfect agent... and I've only submitted my queries/book proposals electronically. So, I am reconsidering the snail mail submissions... because if I was submitting to the anthology, I would rather submit online.
I'll check out Google Pages. Maybe I'll use it, and even if I do purchase the website that I want to.. perhaps I'll just redirect...
#92: I also prefer to read on the printed page, but I've recently guest-edited an issue of a literary magazine here in New Zealand (Issue 26 of JAAM magazine - see http://www.myspace.com/jaammagazine), and I found that it was much easier to organise and keep track of the electronic submissions, and to send acceptances and rejections by email, than it was to deal with the paper submissions.
All the submissions for JAAM were under 4000 words, with most much shorter - if I'd had to read material in the 10,000 word plus range, on the other hand, I'd definitely have preferred those on paper.
I'm working on a short story about a young boy who realizes that his neighbor has very likely murdered his wife, and he is the only one who even suspects. In fact, the neighbor has, for all intents and purposes, gotten away with it. I would like the appeal of the story to be in the details, the eerie moment of realization, the atmosphere surrounding the fact that he has the knowledge, and the question of what he should do with it, whether anybody would actually believe it, whether he is sure enough of the fact himself, rather than the crime itself. Hope that makes sense. It is a challenge because it must be only 1500 words. I enjoy the challenge though.
I like your story. Have you read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon?
Your story could be completely different, but this came to mind. Does the boy have a pet rat? I've been reading about that lately. Is this a new trend? I am finishing Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and she had a pet rat too.
Whatever happened to the nice domestic cat or dog?
#94: The boy sounds like he could be a very compelling character. The neighbor would also have to be charming and smart—likable on the surface, anyway.
I'm writing a serialized novel online. It's YA fantasy about vampires, werewolves, and demons in high school. It's been a lot of fun because that was what I wrote about when I first started writing as a teen (buffy fan) and this is the first time i've re-visited the genre in six or seven years. If anyone is interested, the link is in my profile...
Funny, I have never read "Curious Incident..." but I'm sure it is not an uncommon premise. It was based on a picture prompt. I have actually submitted it at this point. Can I have a collective crossing of fingers? There are no pets involved, no, actually, it is a very sensory type of story, where certain natural events bring memories flooding back and the boy realizes that the neighbor makes him uncomfortable with good reason. It is just under 1500 words and it was a great challenge to remove some lines that I thought were ever so artsy. But it ultimately lends itself to a tight story to have a word limit. The neighbor by the way is not charming at all, and only has one small line of dialogue. It is his presence at the boy's home the night of his wife's death that is the catalyst for the rest of the story.
Notes. Lots of notes.
I hope to write a series of novella-length YA stories about kids in the town I'm staying in currently, in the post-war era. I've got plenty of plot bunnies hopping about on my paper, but not quite enough info about the area, itself. Off to the archives!
I'm trying to get my head out of the research so I can do more toward writing novel #3.
i write poetry as well, i have actually been looking into entering some sort of contest. i havent signed up for any, but will submit something for the Multnomah County Poetry and Prose one. im hoping to do well, because i know that im good at it. but.....well who knows........
anyway about the "everyone writing horror fantasy and SciFI" well heres a first. I dont. I enjoy writing more realistic, and non-ficiton.
I've got a nearly complete draft of a book-length project for a freelance job. It's prayers and rituals related to adoption for the Episcopal Church USA.
I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting for feedback on the draft so I can start making some revisions.
And I have about 5 interesting possible outlets for essays that I could write if I didn't have two knee-biters to chase and be chased by, all day long.
Babies! Them and their needs to eat and be changed, and protected from deadly accidents!
Thats really cool. :)
Have fun with it, and hopefully you'll get good feedback. Its good that someone is writing something interesting and meaningful for a change. (no offense to those fantasy writers). ;)
Thanks, go-green! Still waiting..
Oh, and I have less meaningful things in my hopper, don't worry! Lesbian Y/A romance, for example.
very different choice of topic, in my opinion, but it's your writing. :)
by the way what is a hopper?
A few questions have been asked about getting published in magazines. My articles are published in dozens of magazines and most everyone agrees that in publishing you must face rejection, dust off the query, improve it, and send it out again to another magazine, or book publisher.
A well published writer I respect once said at a writers conference that his magazine article proposals have been rejected hundreds of times; he had a kind of wry pride in announcing that.
Study magazines you like, the current book Writers Markets, and for Christian writers the Christiam Writers Markets.
Just joined the group.
Congratulations on your acceptances.
Currently I am 2/3rds into the first draft of the sequel of my historical novel set in 17th century Spain and Amsterdam that will be released end of September or in October of this year. The sequel takes place in Amsterdam. I am also polishing a WWII novel about fighter aces.
I have a poem "For all the times that might have been the last tine" on UpTheStaircase.org, the spring issue & a poem "Ice storm" on (I don;t know how to give links)mcv.Mainchannel voices.com
The Spring issue
There are some wonderful writing and reading opportunities in Second Life (www.secondlife.com) - I belong to a couple of groups there, and there are two regular weekly events : one the Written Word group where writers can read aloud and others listen; the other an improv meeting very much in the style of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?".
I just finished a book about the Pilgrims (Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America) and swore I'd never attempt another history, but now I'm writing a history of a nation of escaped slaves that was in Brazil for all of the 17th century. Very tough to research. All the information is in archaic Portuguese that even Brazilians have trouble understanding. This will DEFINITELY be the last history I write.
I am into the 3rd draft of my sequel to ROCAMORA, a novel of 17th century Spain and Amsterdam, which takes place mostly in Amsterdam.
Please see www.donaldmichaelplatt.com for more information.
I'm doing the final edits on my novel CASE CLOSED, soon to be published, dealing with the FBI's pathetic failure to solve the 2001 anthrax case, and also working on the sequel to my historical novel THE HERETIC.
I'm new here, so I'd like to say hi to everyone.
I am working to two projects. One is my dream book, a fictional account of the lives of Bonnie and Clyde. And the other is a Christian historical novel set in the 1930's, about a widow struggling to keep her family together.
Congrats on the publication.
As for what I'm writing, it depends on my mood.
I am writing magazine articles about Christmas, and submitting them as queries.
Some magazines need holiday articles one year in advance! Others have shorter deadlines so those are the mags I am querying.
These articles promote my book in my bio at the end of the article. My book is Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts : Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday.
My next contracted article is about bats in the garden.
"bats in the garden"
My nephews have those. My sister can never get them to abandon their game of cricket and come in for their meal.
I began a writing-reading blog a couple of weeks ago and have been faithful in my updates; prior to that, most of my writing energy was dedicated to school.
My partner picked up the latest issue of Writer's Digest for me yesterday, and it has really inspired me to make time for writing, and not to just squeeze it in if and when I can. I may even be tempted to give fiction a go for the first time since high school... Though I probably won't tell anyone if I do, in case it's as terrible as I've come to fear, which is what has kept me from writing it in the first place. Ah, the delightful cycle of self-doubt!
I'm rewriting a sci-fi novel at the moment. Nothing else on my plate right now.
I have several projects in the works right now, a few short stories, one novella and a full-length historical. I'm amazed at the variety of writing here, from blogging to writing for magazines to sci-fi and contests. Fascinating.
Oh, and the person who's writing the 1,500 word story about the boy who suspects his neighbor killed his wife -- I'm intrigued. Good luck on that. Sounds great.
I was currently writing a story about street life with a friend of mine but he's on hiatus at the moment so I'm taking a break. I'm thinking of writing out a little bit about one of my older originals to see if I can make anything of it. It's also a street piece.
To those of you who write magazine articles, how do you go about submitting them and deciding what to write on?
Hi, I often submit short stories to magazines. You can use the book "The Writer's Market," but also you can pick up a magazine like "The Writer", "Poets and Writer's," "Writer's Digest," etc and they always have contests or competitions that they offer. They give the rules and tell you where to send your story, with deadlines and word counts. I have subscriptions to several magazines for that reason. You can probably find these magazines in a local bookseller in addition to your local library. Hope that helped. MB
C, My suggestion would be to find a book that provides prompts for writers. You can probably find one at your local library , but most certainly at a bookstore. Often there are books that have a prompt a day kind of thing, and it helps to get the creative juices flowing. Of course, one of my favorite ways to get writing is to use the style of one of my favorite writers and try to copy it. Now, I do not mean to copy word for word, no plagiarizing please, but one of the stories I wrote that received an honorable mention in a contest that made that category so they could award it to me (David Huddle was the judge), was my attempt at using the style of Virginia Woolf. It gave me something to focus on, and I have to admit it is one of my favorite stories (written by me), too. Hope that helps. MB
Have a look through a few magazines at your newsagent and see if there is one (or a few) you feel you could write for. Then buy a copy (-ies) and go home and read them through : you will quickly pick up an idea of the sort of things they publish.
Then you can email or phone the editor and say you have an article in mind, are they interested, and if so what are their rates?
At the moment, the only thing I'm actively working on is a post in the Writers-readers group on LT. (Corniest joke ever, but I couldn't resist...)
Aside from that, I have nine out-lined novels in the hopper, waiting for me to sink my teeth into them. A few of them have a few pages worth of dialogue, some with a few pages worth of notes, but most just have an outline. :(
Unfortunately, I'm finding it difficult to decide which one to focus on. I have so many ideas running through my melon-head for each of the novels that I can't even have just one of them opened on my laptop at any given time. Instead, I seem to be forced to have all of them open so I can switch through easily and make notes as the various competing muses inspire me. I feel like I'm playing one of those "hit the gopher" arcade games with my novels.
The novels are almost entirely of a different genre each, ranging from an epic pirate adventure story used as a framework for political and philosophical dialogue, to a horror story which I'm hesitant to write because it scares the crap out of me, (and I'm worried that the idea has already been taken...), to a black humor novel which is disturbing, disgusting, and hilarious; not to mention a perfect backdrop for a specific criticism I have of Western society: the deifying - or at least idolizing - of celebrities. And that's only three of nine. :(
I can't say I'm big into fantasy. I've only read a sparse few fantasy novels, and can't picture myself ever writing one, unlike the obvious vast number of fantasy writers here. Of all the genres contained within my nine un-written novels, fantasy is not one of them. Horror is one, as I mentioned. (Shivers.) Science fiction is one also, though I didn't mention that above because if I gave a description of that particular novel I'm worried somebody might "borrow" my idea, (it's pretty clever, I think.)
Anyway, I'm juggling nine barely-started novels and a pile of books five hundred strong waiting to be read, not to mention the responsibilities of being an adult in American society these days, (blech!) In other words, I'm basically not getting any writing done. :( Soon enough, though. I have to get these nine novels done some time before I die, and preferably before I come up with some other hair-brained scheme of a novel.
Wow burningbooks - can I suggest a way out of your quandary? Sounds like you have a volume of short stories right at your fingertips ...
Sound and prudent advice, which I will be imprudently - but graciously - ignoring. :p
Brevity is not one of my strong points, and the plots and subplots contained in my stories are too many-layered and deep to be contained in a short story. The other problem is that I've never really cared for short stories. I enjoy getting to know the characters deeply, and that's hard to do in a short story. I've read very few short stories that I really cared much for. A full-length novel gives so much more freedom to allow the author to develop a relationship between the readers and the characters.
Mostly I just talk to much, or write rather, though. Appreciate the suggestion, though! And I don't mind the challenge so much; in fact, I'm sure once I actually finish a novel I'll be immensely disappointed it's over. But I have nine to write at the moment, so it shouldn't hurt for long!
#130 "I enjoy getting to know the characters deeply, and that's hard to do in a short story"
May I recommend Not The End Of The World by Kate Atkinson ? She has an uncanny way of running multiple threads through her short stories, and an unbelievable way of getting under a character's skin.
She can make you see layers of personality within 30 pages, that some writers can't do in 550 pages of superficial banality.
I'll check her out sometime, thanks for the recommendation! As I said, though, character development isn't the only snag. I build pretty big scenarios and pack a lot into my stories. Some are possibly spilling over into the realm of a series, though I told myself I never wanted to write anything in serial. I want my novels to be standalone. But I will check out some short stories by Atkinson, if for no other reason than to see how she did the character development. Thanks again!
Hello! I'm new to LT, but I found this group right away and glad about it too.
The problem I have is that I have to many stories I want to write at the moment. They range from science fiction, fantasy (usually apocalyptic) and horror.
However, I decided to stay rooted to one of these stories until September 15th. I figure a little self discipline would be good for me. So this one is about, er, vampires. I wouldn't categorize it as a YA vampire novel though, due to its violence, etc. Pretty much I created a world where the vampires are the superior race and humans are seen as disposable whenever they get annoying. I was heavily inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" for this book, since the story deals more with the royal regime and the backstabbing.
Gosh, I'm horrible at describing my story. I'll need to work on better summaries.
"The royal regime and the backstabbing..." I'm laughing out loud and yet, I'm not sure why. I haven't read Hamlet or Macbeth since high school. I could probably stand to reread them both.
I just finished a short story and an essay. I'm proud of both. Though they both need quite a bit of work. I think I may keep writing short stories and essays for now...
I'm supposed to be working on longer works, but I haven't been able to get a good momentum going.
Well good luck to all of the LibraryThing writers... stay encouraged.
I've been at it so long that I trust my experience so follow my whims. (Don't misconstrue that: I'm not tall enough to be older than 18, so can't possibly be the age I actually am.)
I've not read fiction -- except much poetry in recent years -- since the mid-1970s. (For those too young to know the context: fiction had just been invented, thanks to the recent inventions of trees, paper-making, berry-juice, bird feathers, alphabets, and head-scratching. Page-numbering had to wait for the invention of counting on one's fingers.) So what began as replacing video cassettes with DVDs became an immersion in film, from doing that replacing to buying films I've always wanted, to buying new discoveries (and surround system, and LCD HDTV).
Buying new discoveries began with, on whim, "Memoirs of a Geisha" (the novel had piqued my interest when published, with all the publicity noise around it, but I don't read fiction . . .). I loved the film (though the script writer needs to learn to write before attempting another; knowing someone who knows someone isn't the needed talent and skill), and was blown away by lead actress Zhang Ziyi -- both performance and stunning beauty, Suzuki Ohgo (the brightly adorable little one who played Chiyo as a child), and Michelle Yeoh.
I'd never heard of any of them before, but was sufficiently interested to look for more of their films. That led to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (both Zhang and Yeoh, plus Chow Yun-Fat, who I knew from "Anna and the King"), which a friend had recommended when first released in 2000. (It stuck in mind, but I didn't bother because I don't "do" fiction, and "martial arts" fighting isn't my fare.)
The first two viewings didn't impress: I was confused, and it felt a bit long. But once I realized that the desert scenes are flashbacks it all fell together, and I've since lost count of how many times I've watched it for the impressive writing/character develpment and story, and how many times I've wished it were longer. And, of course, the terrific "martial arts" fights. Of interest is that Yeoh's and Chow's play the main characters -- but Zhang Ziyi's somewhat unsympathetic character, who causes problems for everyone, actually drives the story. (And Zhang gives the performance of a lifetime; but see "The Road Home" and "2046".)
That led me next to such as Zhang Ziyi's first film, the delightful, moving, visually astonishing gem "The Road Home". (If you've not seen it, you won't be allowed into Heaven when that job interview comes up on your calendar.) And to most others with her as a cast member (her heartbreaking performance in "2064" is amazing).
And that led to evaluating the work of directors Zhang Yimou ("The Road Home"; also "House of Flying Daggers" and "Hero" with Zhang Ziyi) and Ang Lee. Yimou, alas, often appears to consider a story an unavoidable necessary detail as excuse to film a visually spectacular "show".
By contrast, Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"; the wonderful, poignant comedy "Eat Drink Man Woman"; the amazing, even beautiful -- story, character development, performances -- "Lust, Caution") focuses on character, character, and character, and having a substantial, multi-layered story. Whereas Yimou can feel cold (the emotionless paper-thin walking-dead Jet Li in "Hero" as the lead named "Nameless"!?), Ang Lee is warm-humored and -- especially in his drama/thriller "Lust, Caution" -- compassionate toward his characters, the results being complex three-dimensionality; thus the evil Mr. Yee is also sympathetic. (Even Ang's "lesser" characters are fully developed: the bandit "Lo" in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" turns out to be more central -- and complex -- than initially appears.)
So I've not been getting any actual writing done -- though from experience I know that "immersion" study (my style) is leading to a freshened "vision" and probably a change in writing approach, perhaps to include fiction (other than poetry). I know such study is actually so essential a dimension of writing as to also be writing.
That style of "study" always begins by following whim, without asking oneself (too often), "What is this about? Shouldn't I be doing something productive?" It begins viscerally, slowly becomes "intuitional," then eventually "reveals" the "why" as conscious realization and insight -- and that motivates action, "actual" writing.
Though I always obey such urgings, I'm always somewhat anxious by going with such whims, as where such lead can't be predicted as concerns "productivity". And I'm always nagged by the burdensome guilt inflicted by the hateful, underhanded busy who do actual work. But I recently formulated a new rationalization which, though it doesn't entirely succeed in suppressing the anxiety, does enable me to keep it at arms' length by making faces at it:
My job is to be lazy. To do the hard work of avoiding doing work, while at the same time engaged in the exhausting task (which risks going over the line into actual work) of fending off the efforts by the busy to coerce me into doing actual work. (Admit it: You too hate interruptions of your pointless daydreaming by busybody work-ethic-ideologic reformers.)
Laziness does have a bad -- -mouthed -- reputation, but someone must do it, else those who do work would have nothing against which to contrast their efforts. The problem is, of course, that everyone else has the excuse of being too damned busy to do it, so the responsibility to pick up the slack by being a slacker inevitably falls to me.
". . . the royal regime and the backstabbing".
There is a Zhang Ziyi film, "The Banquet" aka "Legend of the Black Scorpion," in which Zhang plays the evil empress, and which is said to be "loosely based" on "Hamlet". (At the end there's a banquet, at which all of the principals kill and be killed. Last standing is Zhang, until the moment she decides to change to being good. Alas, while she was studying others' backs for the best entry points for her backstabbings, someone else was studying her back for the best entry . . .)
I usually work on poetry and lyrics, but lately I have been trying my hand at short stories. I am surprised at myself at what comes out. I love treating different genres as different forms to try.
I bounce back and forth between short stories based on passersby, and poetry comprised of imagery I see and observations I make.
Wow! There's certainly some amazing and varied writing going on here. I'm glad to know there's an equal amount of procrastination, which is my bane.
I just finished (FINISHED!) my first children's picture book. I've been poking at it for a year and finally just sat down and got it done. Now to find a publisher... I have another children's book half written and three more ideas.
I'm also working on a memoir, so to speak, about my father. He passed away two years ago, and I promised my family I would document some of his legendary stories and antics. It's very difficult to do and very slow going.
Also, I have my day job which is writing business cases for new electronic payments rules. Just finished one on mobile payments.
On top of that, I'm contemplating NaNoWriMo. I know whatever I write would be total crap, but at least there would be a lot of it! :-)
I am currently working on several short stories. The most recent one finished is something like urband dark fantasy/ghost story kind of :)
The next four are all science fiction although not "hard" more social/political and adventure.
One is for my writing group which I've called The Cola Factory and the assignment I've given everyone is to write a story that uses cola in the theme and the title.
We're hoping to turn this into a small anthology to give away at a convention next year.
I also have a novel in the works but still in early stages, I've written two draft chapters and a skeleton outline but I need to flesh out the structure with more detail. It's basically science fiction probably in the space-opera category although I really don't like this term as it sounds too much like Star Wars. My story does encompass several planets and faster-than-light space travel, some political intrigue etc but it's nothing like most of the other space-opera I've read and certainly not like Star Wars but it's not the worst comparison that could be made I guess.
I also write science fiction reviews for a couple of online magazines/review sites and I'm a bit behind with the reading and the reviewing.
I have way too much on the go at the moment. I've nearly finished a space opera novella. I'm working on a short story and a novelette. I've also got to finish the 3rd and final draft of my novel for my agent, and knock up some synopses I'd promised him...
I was made redundant in late June, which I took as an opportunity to write full-time for a few months - hence the synopses - but then I ended up starting a new job in early August. It's only three days a week, so I have much more time to write than I did previously. Which is good. I just need to use that extra time effectively...
#143 I'm right there with you about managing your time. I work part time 5hrs a day so have several hours a day to write but don't always use the time effectively.
The most useful thing I found was scheduling my time in Project Planning software that I've essentially "booked" the time range when I need to write/complete/workshop and then submit and re-submit my stories.
It's worked so far, I've fallen down a little with illness recently but I did build some extended time in just because I know myself all too well.
For me it just seems to work to keep me motivated as I feel compelled to tick up the milestones in a timely fashion.
Hi, Wasting time is all too easy, isn't it? I write historical fiction and so take many sideways trips researching. Fun, but not necessarily productive. I'm about a third of the way through a novel about a friendship between two mid-19th century prostitues. It's going well so far. ~ Johanna Moran
My main focus is on my novel but I saw the ad in Writer's Digest about the short story contest and can feel a little scratching at the back of my mind. Who knows, maybe I'll spit out a 1500 words or less story in the next month.
I dropped the short stories for the moment and I'm concentrating exclusively on the nove. Writing the outline in October and hoping to get the draft at least partly done through NaNoWriMo (November) and then I'll spend several months revising it I am sure.
How do we get involved in NaNoWriMo? I am going for it this year. I have a plot that I have never wavered on so it is time to write it, since it haunts my dreams.
all you have to do is create an account at NaNoWriMo.org and then on Nov1 start writing and uploading your word count. Everything is explained on the site.
You may have to keep checking the site as they are doing things to it at the moment in preparation.
I'm going for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, too! (I'm nervous!)
It's the Autumn Writers Exhibition in Second Life - for those SL'ers among us, log in and look for Cookie using your Map, then Teleport there. I have one of the exhibit tents! See you there ...
For NaNo-Do we write the novel in our word processing program-Microsoft Word or whatever we happen to have on our pc? And then we just report our word count to the NaNo site? I have signed up but I could not figure that out after reading over much of the rules and regs for the event. I can ask there but you guys are always so helpful and I seem to understand your answers more easily. Anybody? Thanks, MB
In order to "win" NaNoWriMo, you "must," at the end, submit the text of your story to the NaNoWriMo counter-bot, which counts the words ONLY and then forgets it ever saw your MS. However, they do have recommendations, like saving a copy of your MS, and doing a find-replace on several letters (like, making all letters E, for example). Since you know you did it, and the bots don't care, it's still a victory, moral and otherwise.
But we write the MS in whatever our word-processing program is on our PC? There is not a place on the NANo site for writing it? I know it sounds like such a stupid question but...I guess then we would submit the MS from there. For the weekly word count do you submit what you have written to date?
Correct. You write it outside of NaNoWriMo.org. But the site does allow you to update your cumulative word count on the honor system, by entering it into a field. The final, winning, word count, though, must be a copy-paste of some body of text isomorphic to your own.
#154 - Second Life hosts NaNoWriMo concurrently with the real world, so I thought I'd mention our Autumn Writers Exhibition too :-)
Thank you for the help aethercowboy and the response Tid. As always LT comes through for me. I have been playing around with the outline and character names and plot, I really must jot it down before I lose it. I have recently had several ideas for articles and there is a short story contest with a 12/01/09 deadline I would like to enter. That may be the one too many thing that I take on. With the economy the way it is, I don't anticipate much holiday shopping. I am so glad my children are older. MB
A lot of people doing the NaNoWrimo. I'm not a very focused person but when given a challenge I get charged up to do it. I'm working on a couple more humor books which most readers (including myself) don't consider writing. But they are fun and keep me out of trouble. Will be interesting to see if I can get a novel done. Good luck to you all.
This month is Sheffield's Off the Shelf literary festival. So our writing group is having an open evening, where we each read out a flash fiction piece. I've posted the one I'll be reading out on one of my blogs - it's space alt history and is titled 'The Old Man of the Sea of Dreams'; it's here. Enjoy.
I'm working on a Fantasy novel, just broke 10 page point!
I'm writing poetry for the SL Autumn Writers' Exhibition, and an article for same (sponsored by the LSJ).
Since I'm doing the NaNoWriMo,I am not doing much writing now, but more planning. I have written a few pieces about a local internet cafe, and would like to follow through with that and submit it to some local papers as a resident food critic. I'm trying to come up with a personality or theme,maybe a husband and wife team, or some quirky bag lady,IDK! Quite a bit of reading lately,though.
I just wrote the first two pages of a novel I've had in my head for a few years. I've been playing with it for a while but now that they cut back hours at work and I'm only taking one class this semester (my last one!) I can finally sit down and WRITE without interruption.
I'd been hoping to move away from a recently completed project with a completely new story, but the old story has dragged me back screaming and I'm 40,000 words into a sequel. Maybe if I just finish this one, I'll be free!
I'm going to try NaNoWriMo... considering that the month has already begun, I better get started.
Yay, you can catch up. Don't forget to look for local NaNo write-ins. They make it fun. Good Luck!
Well, I'm currently working in 1899 in the third of 3 volumes of my main work, _Mark Twain Day By Day_. Volume 3 covers 1897-1910, his final years. I have about 600 pages now of what will be about 1,400 or 1,500 pages.
Interestingly, I occasionally suspend work to write or revise one of several pieces of fiction--the past couple were stories written about real events in my teen years that I have always wondered what-ifs about. So, I wrote those events as I later wished they might be! I find it a challenge, good self-therapy, and a nice break from historical research and reference writing.
Massive NaNoFAILURE as soon as Nov1 hit I had a load of other things to do and never really got started. It's ok though I've been working on my outline more, there have been some significant story changes so I'm actually happy that I didn't try and write a first draft yet because it would all just have to change. It's coming along nicely. Gonna spend some time over the holidays laying down the first chapters of the novel.
I'm working on two novels (none of them horror/fantasy/science-fiction :) ). The first one is easy, fluffy, chick-lit-y, the other one is a bit more ambitious (only a bit !), but I'm having trouble building a coherent story, with realistic characters. It's about manipulation and hate, and very far from my own personnality !
I usually write "as it comes", and it's OK with the first novel. I reread it to check awkwardnesses and spelling, but otherwise it flows.
But, as far as the second one is concerned, I'm beginning to realise that I'll have to a bit of research and thinking-out before jumping on my keyboard and typing away.
Anyway, I'm not a good writer, I just have a vivid imagination and like to tell stories, so I won't publish any of them (self-publish of course, pro publishers are not even in the picture). Maybe I'll put them somewhere on the net, midly hoping to catch some readers, and let them gather dust there :)
A story titled Quasimodo, about a guy who idolized the literary bell ringer to the point that he became the hunchback, even deforming his own body. It's about alienation in modern society. It will be at least a novella, maybe a full novel. Time will tell.
I have detoured from writing my second novel (six completed chapters thus far) to continue contributing near weekly articles to a Sixties website as well as writing ezine articles pertaining to my state of Rhode Island which is the setting of my first novel.
What is this sixties website, Eva, if you don't mind divulging it? I did write a book situated in 1967, so the era is of interest to me.
I'm working on 1902 and am in March of that year, for my "Magnum Opus," _Mark Twain Day By Day_ (now on vol. 3).
I note that Duke University along with Princeton University bought both completed volumes yesterday. Part compiling, part research, part drafting and revising, this work's gonna kill me yet. After 1200 and 1400 pages and a few million words, it looks like the last volume will exceed 1600 pages and weigh in at 8lbs. I sould offer it as a stairstep for those who wish to stay in shape whilst reading history. Clemens would have liked that approach; he was a great marketer.
I'm rewriting my first novel, which is a dark epic fantasy.
Interesting note about the epic fantasy element is that I realized a few months ago that I hate epic fantasy with something of a passion. I tried to read a bunch of those classic epic fantasy novels, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, RA Salvatore and I found myself snoozing after two pages, not believing the stories and going yawn yawn yawn.
I hate the monologuing in those stories, and the over describing everything. I don't really need to know when the character unzipped their pants, and whipped out their you know what and pissed in the grass. I really don't, there is such a thing as TMI.
So I went back to my story and pretty much looked at all the stuff I had written a few years ago when I began it and just scratched it all because it wasn't mysterious enough, it was starting off with this premise of classic epic fantasy which is not even interesting to me, and frankly, if I won't read my own damned book, how can I expect anyone else to?
Okay, ranting is over . . .
Thanks for asking about what we are writing. I am writing a book on gardening, and want to find a publisher for it.
I also write for magazines which is a good discipline. Anyone who has ideas for an article, I suggest that you consult the current year's Writer's Market, which has the guidelines for submitting articles to thousands of magazines, and book publishers.
Just started a competition entry for a magazine in UK. True life, which I'm not good at.
Then to try to carry on with my third novel.
Hubby is baking a cake - is there something wrong here?
I've been working on a bloomin' bouk (as Ringo says in Hard Days Night). Two years of labor, completed this morning: 35 chapters, including the epilogue, 110,000 words, which would translate in published form into 300 or so pages. To be called Digging Deeper, A Memoir of the Seventies, a sequel of sorts to I Think, Therefore Who Am I?, Memoir of a Psychedelic Year.
>182 copyedit52: Well done! Being able to say "I've finished" is a great moment.
Yes, it is. Thanks for the congrats. Now I've got to place this thing. I already got in touch with two outfits, one that you suggested to me, and another here in the States, via e-mail. A guy from the latter called me within an hour, his salesman's voice so oily smooth I could've added it to salad dressing. How the hell did he get my phone number?
I am working on two things. Background material for my first novel and a sequel.
Well, I've recently just finished editing my fantasy story 'The Unborn' about my version of a half-vampire who falls for an angel's spirit trapped in a crystal (I started it just as the Twilight craze hit NZ, completely unaware of it's popularity overseas).
I'm currently working on 'Aelfah'. I suppose you'd loosely call it a science fiction (I've alwasy been hazy about fantasy and sci-fi genres). It centers around Scen, a centaur-like being fleeing his homeworld and its cold traditions, and Aly, the human he rescues and, eventually, marries.
In the wings is another book and its sequel, but they've been on the back burner for a while now and are old enough to wait a little longer.
Writing the second draft of my second novel after my first effort A Heart to mend was published last year. Hope to complete it soon and start editing.
I'm a self-published author of a series called "Free-Roamers" and have recently put up my first story "Mourning Grove" for sale. It's fantasy/epoch/youngadult/anthropomorphic. Don't get me wrong either when I say "anthropomorphic", I'm not writing about big cow things that strut around on their hind legs wearing clothes and driving cars and whatnot; I use a mixture realism (through extensive research I suppose you could say) to protray believable animals with humansitic traits while using fantasy as well. A few examples of books along the same lines would be "Watership Down" by Richard Adams, "The Sight" by David Clement-Davies, the "Named" series by Clare Bell, the original "Bambi" book by Felix Salten, all of these wonderful stories are similar to mine because I was inspired to write my own from them.
For those who are curious here's my site: http://freeroamersseries.weebly.com/
I've been thinking of taking a writing holiday to finish at least one of my two WiPs. Both have reached the point where though I really enjoy writing them, I'm so fuzzy on the climax of the story that I'm unable to reach it; the middles are getting longer and longer without an end in sight. I know I can finish them, I just need to set aside time to do it without interruptions like work and sleeping and eating. Once finished, I get to do the bit I far prefer, editing.
Tease (erotic romance, m/m, myth-inspired) is coming out with Loose Id in August. Got the first cover proof yesterday, which is gorgeous! Can't wait til it's up for sale.
I sat down last night to write some f/f erotic horror about a mermaid. Only, I find I kinda like my tomboyish lesbian mermaid. I think I might have two stories here; a cute romance about a mammalian mermaid and a young woman, and a horror story about a fishy mermaid and an older woman. The first will be easier to sell at least, since erotic horror is an unexpectedly small market (well, if you want money for it!).
My local writer's workshop group sponsors a quarterly writing contest. Every quarter they issue a challenge to write and submit something. Sometimes poetry, sometimes fiction, it varies.
So, I submitted a short (very short - 500 word limit) fiction story to the latest challenge. This is a first for me, because I've only ever let my wife and one other person read anything I wrote - fiction-wise. The challenge was to write a story that included a man or a boy as a character, a pair of scissors, and a dog. I used an idea for a story that I already had sort of roughed out.
I am new here but i thought this a perfect way to start out. I am working on my first novel (I'm 13). It is based on a short story writin in class last year, I am expanding, BIG time!!! At the moment it is 24,000 words and i am very excited about it! It will be the first in a series of three, the books will include everything from romance to horror and new creations! There is still a long way to go but it is my passion to write!
Well done Believer99 - that's a great achievement! Keep up the good work.
I'm working on the sketching-and-planning stage of the sequel to a book just released, Yin Yang Tattoo, published by Sandstone Press in the U.K.
Yin Yang Tattoo was always intended as the first in a series of crime thrillers set in different Asian capitals familiar to me from my years wandering the region as a photographer/photojournalist. Now comes the hard part, putting together the sequel - which will take place mostly in Thailand, where I am now.
That is great!
Do you have any teachers that support your work? You should ask them to edit and critique your short stories... and then start sending your stories, articles and/or poems to Teen publications.
Keep working on the novel... but maybe try to get a few published works under your belt while you are young!
I've been writing a science fiction novella inspired by The Ebony Frame by E. Nesbit, about a man in an arranged marriage on a world where there are no women. (That doesn't sound much like Nesbit's story but there is a connection, and it has nothing to do with bewitching spooky paintings.)
If the narrator cooperates this year's 3 Day Novel Contest novel will be set on the same world.
Absolutely, been there done that. No worries :) Well unless it is in book form.....
I'm in a kind of gloomy mood so i'm writing a short story that has a nostalgic mood !
I'm writing what will hopefully end up being a YA novel about an angry 17 year old girl in a consensual incestuous relationship with her brother. I also have a few short story ideas, but they are on hold until I finish the first draft of this.
Giving 'Aelfah' a break for now to work on tightening up 'The Rogue King' mostly the descriptions and the sub-plots (especially where the enemy is leading two of my main characters down the wrong paths), and the love interest of the much-younger third MC. Have around 145,000 words on this one and I'm not yet finished adding. Might get to 160,000 by the end of it all.
I'm writing Deviations: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery. It's a sequel to Big Sick Heart, which was published this summer. I'm serializing Deviations on Scribd, one chapter at at time. It's getting a respectable number of reads, which is encouraging me. Have any of you tried this strategy of trying to drum up interest in a book before trying to get it published?
I'm writing, though this is just for pleasure, a story about a hostage negotiator who's family members and best friend have been kidnapped and how he has to start weighing his options and discovers how difficult things are when they actually concern you. Actually, I'm still in the idea stage, still developing the full plot and organizing what goes where. Still developing a title.
Oh, also a science fiction thing. Post-apocalyptic dream like world which I have just realized reminds me a bit of Inception. It's entitled 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of' as of the moment, though really hoping that a new title will come to me.
I put this up on a site which I share with a bunch of friends. Hope people will check it out: http://www.wanderlustforwriting.weebly.com It's not pro or anything, but it's the best we can do!
I'm writing the fourth book in the Adam Cranford series - young adult adventure fiction. At the same time I'm preparing a highly technical presentation on "Efficient energy use on modern trading floors" for a presentation in Hong Kong later this month. It is both ends of the scale really. In one I have exploding teddy bears, in the other I'm writing about metered intelligent desktop power sockets. Aaargh!
While waiting for my book Digging Deeper to come out, I got restless, so I began another book, beginning where that one left off, which itself begins where I Think, Therefore Who Am I? ended. I've finished seven chapters and will start on the next chapter tonight.
Isn't that the truth! The gap between writing a book and seeing it in print is depressing. My books should arrive today but I've been filling in the time writing short stories and entering competitions. It's nothing like as satisfying as writing a novel but until I get passionate about something or someone else that's all I can do.
Now that I got my first book published this month (thus gettin' it out of my system), I am diving head first into the next one - a fast-paced thriller with a writer playing the main character, and a hopefully healthy balance between present events and flashbacks into the past which will step by step let you in on how and why things are as they are in the now. Don't want to give too much away though!
Currently I'm on page 24 or so. Many more to come, otherwise that thriller would have been too fast for its own good :-D !
I'm editing my next book, Drinking from the Fishbowl...I truly enjoy the process, and it feels good to be hard at work doing something I love very much.
Right now, I'm editing my second book--Book 2 of my Draconia series, Fractured Dream.
I'm also a quarter of the way through Book 3, Rehatching.
I'm about to begin editing my fourth novel, second to be published.
Just as soon as I drag myself off old LibraryThing conversations.
ooh, that's not good! Unless you just finished something major, fjhansen?
Thanks for the invite to share a bit about what I'm doing. Just joined this group a minute ago, sooo...
I started off writing action/adventure of a superhero genre (For six books), but after writing my first vampire novel (Forever Undead) a short while ago I then wrote "Darkness in the Light". All my stories are eBooks on Smashwords.com, so they can be found in all the eBook distributorships, as well as Amazon.
I am currently writing the sequel to "Forever Undead", titled, "Forever the Dark Grave". This picks up the day after the first one ends.
After this I will be writing the sequel to "Darkness in the Light", which will be titled, "Darkness in the Draca Legacy", picking up a day or two after that one ends and then I intend on writing a tie-in novel so the two worlds (Did I mention these are two separate vampire realms in parallel dimensions? So the vamps in each one are slightly different) together in a book entitled, "Forever Darkness".
I am nine chapters into this book and it is flowing smoothly for me. I will be writing more when I get done dinkering around on here tonight.
So, that is what I've been doing.
How about you?
Jake := (My rendition of a happy vampire)
I understand your drift on the spark going out. I tend to write feverishly on one story and then if I hit a snag (doesn't always happen) I work on writing another novel. Currently I have three novels started that I have placed on hiatus, but only because I really want to write these vampire novels I am busy with. Finished my latest "Darkness in the Light" in a short time and have written the first nine chapters of this current book in the last week, taking this long only because I have to work a mundane job, too.
As soon as I am done with the books of these two series I will be returning to the other books, unless I decide to write a collection of shorts on vampires based on my "Darkness" series, entitled, "Vampir Sange: Dark Tales From the Blood Bar". I already have an inkling what those shorts will be based upon, since the "blood bar", Vampir Sange (Romanian for Vampire Blood) already exists in the setting for "Darkness in the Light".
Have a great time writing,
It's funny. I started out in my reading life on sci-fi and fantasy, but I have read very little of either for the past few years, basically reading mysteries/cop dramas. But the only thing I write is fantasy on different levels. Some is horror, some sci-fi/fantasy, some pure fantasy, some erotica. Like that. Weird, eh?
Pursue writing with a deep passion,
Kudos on the sitcom pilot. I've written some screenplays, but never got anywhere with them, mainly 'cause I don't live in or around LA (Washington state) and I've always been told that if you don't live where the movies are made it's virtually impossible to get your screenplays in there to be read. Don't know if that's true, but anyway I'm so busy writing and publishing my novels that I don't have time for my screenplays.
My best to those who can get in the door on TV.
Excellent idea. And here those of us who are so many years removed from HS think we can't learn from high school, eh? Maybe that's just me, after all I did grow up on a song that had as one part:
"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder I can think at all"
Thanks for the tidbit. It's well worth it.
I noticed half way through these posts that they were three years out of date. The first one was Dec. 11, so how was I supposed to know? I didn't notice the year. DOH!
TO: KDSarge -
I meant the ones at the top where everyone starts reading. I was brand new to this place when I began reading this thread and didn't realize how long ago some of these topics started. Now I know.
Write even if no is reading your work,
Thank you LheaJLove for asking. Having published the book I am taking a little breather, this time doing some fun poetry. See here;
Trying to just do a last read through and polish of an old novel, A Bittersweet Science, I had sitting on my computer for a few years and release it as an ebook by the end of the spring. It’s an epic look at the world of big time boxing, which I’ve been privy to as a sports writer. Unfortunately, between that and promoting my current book, Pascal’s Wager, I have no time for any new writing other than posting on my blog once a week. Does anyone else feel all their writing time is going to marketing?
At the moment, I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on a collection of short stories that I wrote a few years back. They'd been sitting on my PC for a while, not doing anything, and I finally decided that I really wanted to do something with them.
Congrats on the acceptance.
I'm currently in the first rewrite stage of my novella Enter Night. Editing a novel and fleshing out some of the sub-plots, as well as writing a short story for an anthology with a 5-31 deadline. On top of all that I'm also doing some marketing for my current novel Shadows of the Past. When it first came out my writing suffered because all I was doing was marketing before I realized the best thing I could do now was get more work out there.
I'm working on finishing up the sixth book in a series featuring Chief of Police Joe Silva, in the Mellingham series. I finished the book a few months ago and then set it aside. When I went back to look at it I realized that it needed a stronger opening to explain the central concern of the book (a near murder from 30 years earlier).
lately I've been writing poems... and essays. I have no idea how narrative works. Or, how to revise.
I wrote a poem a couple of weeks ago...the first one in a long long time...and I finished revising my manuscript "Drinking from the Fishbowl", which has been an ongoing project for well over a year. I'm looking forward to working on something else for a little while before I go back to it to edit it...I'm hoping that this round of editing will not be as brutal as it was in 2007, when I threw away whole chapters, and pages were bleeding red ink. I want to believe that it's very close to done. Funny how I'm happy to have "finished" this phase of the manuscript, but I'm feeling a little lost, almost like having withdrawals. (I do enjoy the process of writing, revising, editing, proofreading...the whole gig...it takes a lot of patience.)
I am going to write something about ethics/ need any suggestion.
Working on a post-apocalyptic adventure sprinkled liberally with the Wild West. I actually wrote it ages ago, but it's stuck with me and right now I'm working at getting it into shape.
I'm currently working on the sequel to my debut young adult fantasy title, Talisman Of El. It's going well. I haven't decided on a title yet, but it should be coming out in 2013. Book one came out on May 20th, 2012.
I'm working on a crime novel set in India, and have been doing events for another book that just came out last month. The Wrath of Shiva: An Anita Ray Mystery is the second in the series and has had pretty good reviews, including a starred review from Library Journal. It's up on Amazon and in bookstores now.
I am currently finishing up my second book, "Drool Baby." This is the sequel to A Shot in the Bark These are mysteries set in my local dog park (Cincinnati). I've had good customer reviews, no external reviews yet.
I'm working on the first of a six-book fiction series. I love the story. It's been developing for the past 3 to 4 years as something to think about while trying to fall asleep, but now I'm taking it more seriously and hope to have it ready to be published within the next year or so :)
A poem I wrote called "Explosion in the Afternoon" is up this week over at "The Camel Saloon." www.thecamelsaloon.com
I wrote an essay for Red Lemonade about Free Will and Determinism, "East of Your Elbow", it just went live yesterday morning...writing it was a nice break from working on novels...
Another poem I wrote called "Still crazy after all these years" is up at the Camel Saloon.
I'm working on a novel I'll probably call "Profane Fire at the Altar of the Lord." Historic fiction with a twist of irony: Three adventurers seek fame and fortune in 16th century Europe.
I’m a fantasy author and a few months ago I published my debut novel named Love lines. Now it’s available on Amazon .com in both Kindle and Paperback editions
If anyone is looking for a fun, easy read that blends all elements of comedy, romance and sports, this is the perfect book for you!
Rio's World by Rayna Felicia
Just got through editing a 1000-page manuscript, a historical novel I call the New Zealand Monster: ten years in it.
It's now 812 virtual pages (no trees were harmed) that should publish at about 650 pages— ready to go to my agent.
I have been writing invitations to my book launch on April 30th - listing all the folks who might come - with the realisation that I usually get one in ten!
Still, with it being in a pub/restaurant that might attract a few more.
Just published my first book "Tannion'. New to the group and learning the ropes. Nice to be here.
I recently celebrated the anniversary of my first novel's publication. It's called Without Bloodshed. I meant to start work on the sequel, Blackened Phoenix, right away. Instead, I'm working on a prequel starring the heroine of Without Bloodshed called Silent Clarion. My publisher's serializing it on their website.
I just published "Warzone: Nemesis" Fourth Edition on Amazon. It is a work of military science fiction. Free giveaway on Amazon Jan 2-6.
I've been finishing up my first novel. I have about 450 pages written so far. Almost finished.
I'm halfway through my third poetry book.
I'm 100 pages into my memoir.
10% through the second instalment of my Librarian Gladiator series. Yes that's right...a dorky librarian who happens to be a badass medieval gladiator.
Also, I am struggling mightily to write it. *Punches main character in his dork face*
If you want to sell and make money just look at the amazon top sellers and the book fairs- Romance and sex sell in over the 50% of book sales. But for me, it's sci-fi, fantasy, or horror... I guess I'll just be a poor but happy author. Although there's always the story of humanoid robots forced into the galactic sex trade business...
I'm re-writing a story I wrote 12 years ago, which follows Earth's first starship on her maiden voyage. In the original story, the ship is pulled into an anomaly and sent into the distant past into the middle of a war. I'm re-working the whole plot and having the ship visit more time periods. There will be four time periods, each more-or-less a self-contained story.
I finally finished my first novel! It's 130,000 words. It took me about 9 years to complete.
Oh, I also finished my third poetry book.
I'm still 100 pages into my memoir... I guess I'll tackle that next.
Just finished my second historical romance (A Gentleman's Surrender) which will be released January 1, 2016. I'm currently working on a contemporary romance set in Central Florida where I live.
I love reading all kinds of genres, though romance and action adventure are my favorites.
I'm currently trying to revise a book I wrote about my dog, Jack. Everyone says that writing from your own experience is easier, but I'm finding it difficult even the second time around and the subject is just too close to my heart!!
Also sometimes, does anyone think the more you revise content the energy of the life it once had kind of goes?
>254 GGreen: "Also sometimes, does anyone think the more you revise content the energy of the life it once had kind of goes?"
Yes, that's a known phenomenon. I've heard professional editors claiming they can always tell when a book has been "workshopped to death.
But no revision at all is usually a mistake also, so as a writer you need to learn when to persevere and when to let it be. (Writing is sort of like life, that way. Oh, wait, writing IS life!) ;)
"Also sometimes, does anyone think the more you revise content the energy of the life it once had kind of goes?"
In my experience, the story does not lose energy as it's revised, but rather gains it.
Again, I can only speak from my own experience, but when I go to proof-read, I have to find that "voice" reading "out loud" inside my mind. Maybe it's the voice of the author, maybe it's the voice of the story that I'm writing, but I have to find that voice. Once I do find that voice the proof-reading process becomes plain - because after the third or fourth revision, the voice flows more readily, and I find that there's nothing else that needs to be changed in the story. The more clear and steady that the voice of the story speaks, the closer I know that it is to perfection.
Hope that helps.
The final tally of writing for 2015 was 2 novels, 3 novellas and 32 short stories.
Almost 400,000 words in total so far and about equal with my most productive year previously. I had planned a quiet year…
On the publications front in 2015 I had
- a novel, THE DUNFIELD TERROR at DarkFuse,
- 6 novellas ( the 3 Holmes novellas in THE LONDON TERRORS and THE HOUSE ON THE MOOR at Dark Renaissance, TORMENTOR and PENTACLE at DarkFuse),
- 2 story collections (CARNACKI: THE WATCHER AT THE GATE at Dark Renaissance and MYTHS AND MONSTERS at Knightwatch Press,
- 14 other short stories in print, the personal highlights for me being another story in Nature Futures, and two appearances in the ‘MAMMOTH BOOK OF’ series of anthologies with stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper – a wee dream I’ve had for a while that came true.
Details of all of this at my website for anyone interested
2016 looks like it’s going to continue the good run – I have 2 more novels coming from DarkFuse (FUNGOID and SONGS OF DREAMING GODS), a new Sherlock Holmes short novel from Dark Renaissance (THE DREAMING MAN) and some other very nice (but currently secret) projects lined up. Alongside that I have 20 short stories sold and awaiting publication, including some where I’m sharing page space with some of my writing heroes.
Alongside all of that, I’ve got a small bundle of about a dozen story submissions currently out and waiting for reply. Fingers, toes and tentacles crossed.
On the actual writing front for 2016, I have another novel, my last in the current contract, to write for DarkFuse, 2 novellas to do for other publishers, and, currently, 3 stories to write for anthologies that I’ve been invited to. It’s a bit strange to have so much work in hand after years of submitting blind, but I’m not complaining…
Onward and upward
To infinity and beyond.
I'm about halfway through my current WIP, a novelization of the Irish myth of the Children of Lir. It's set in Ireland circa 500 BCE, of the Tuatha de Dannan. Four children are turned into swans by their stepmother (it's always the stepmother, isn't it?) for 900 years. NOT a happy ending story, but it symbolizes the Irish emergence from British rule.
The agents HATED my novel. Okay, okay... maybe hate is too strong of a word.
But everyone in New York thought that I should rewrite the whole damn novel and make it better. So, that's what I'm doing.
I finished the poetry book... But so far, no one wants to publish it.
I finished the memoir... I haven't even tried to get an agent.
So, now I'm rewriting the novel. I have a long, long way to go. I'm only 50 pages in...
OK, I finished The Enchanted Swans WIP, and edited it, and Alpha, and edited again, and it's in the hands of Betas now.
I'm currently beta reading someone else's novel now, about halfway through. Once that's done... I have Epic Novel List to start on.
See, I've just published the second book in my Druid's Brooch series, and the publisher already has the third, on contract and submitted. Due out in January. She expressed interest in more, so I proposed two more trilogies, each going further back into the history and origins of the brooch. She loved the idea.
So now I've got six more novels to write! I've written up the basic premise of each (just a sentenceon each) and the main characters/themes. And she mentioned we could release each one every six months. Yikes! I've got my work cut out for me. Gotta get writing!
Recently completed a five book science fiction series and have started a new WIP that I'm not sure can be squarely fit into either science fiction or fantasy. Either way, it's been fun to write, so far.
I am 26 chapters into my novel about the Algonquians of Roanoke 1583-1584 ending with the English taking two natives -- Wanchese and Manteo -- back to England. See my blog site: http://authorharoldtitus.blogspot.com
I just started the actual writing of my next novel. I wrote up the synopsis, character profiles and scene list, as well as lots of research (all in all about 20 hours of work so far).
Now I get to start writing the actual book! Book 4 in Druid's Brooch, Misfortune of Vision. Set in 12th century northwestern Ireland (Ulster).
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.