Thursday, January 29, 2015

Setting Up Some Writerly Things


I think I need a break from my novel, despite not having really written anything for a week.
One of the local writer's groups that I'm part of on Facebook shared a writing contest for a magazine from our neighbours across the ditch. I had a look at it, being the curious person I am, but decided I'm probably not cut out for what they're looking for (political and cultural themes - things that only apply in my fantasy world but that I don't dabble in much otherwise).

It got me thinking, however.

So I scrolled down the group page some more and found that someone had shared a link to another writing group called 'Aerogramme Writers' Studio'. I hopped on over and opened Pandora's Box.

I've signed myself up for a few writing competitions:

~ Becoming a Teacher article for In Fact Books (creative non-fiction)
Deadline: 9th March 2015
[Note: I'm an Education Support Worker for children with special/extra needs]

~ Fables and Folklore Short Story for Papercuts
Max: 3-3.5k
Deadline: 15 March 2015

~ New, unpublished stories only for the Bristol Short Story Prize ( £8.00 per entry)
Max: 4k
Prize: Get published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8 (and a lot of pounds and some vouchers)
Deadline: 30 April 2015

~ Short story for Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Contest
Prize: $
Submissions Open: 1 July 2015
More details to come.

And once I've got my Nano 2014 draft complete, rewritten, scrutinized on Scribophile, revised and proofread and edited to my best ability, I'll be submitting it for digital publishing to Momentum.

I figured that since it's a kids' writing contest that got me into writing in the first place, I should pick up the habit again and start sending my work in. Maybe I'll get lucky and get published, maybe I won't, either way, at least I'll be doing something productive.

Happy writing, my friends!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Listening to: BF4 replays
Mood: Curious and hungry
Reading: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Writing: Chronicles of Derenvere - Black & White (Book 1)

I thought I'd write a quick update on what's happened (and not happened) since December.
I haven't finished my Nano novel. I've only barely scraped the surface of chapter seven at the moment. Not that it's a case of writers' block or anything like that, but things have been going on that have kept me from knuckling down and writing. You know, things like LIFE, in all its unexpected glory. 

That doesn't mean I've run dry on ideas, though. I've done a very rough edit of what I've got so far and uploaded it online for friends and family (and possibly total strangers) to have a read through. I can go into the excuses of it's just the first draft, I haven't put much editorial work into it yet, yadiyada, but at this stage since I'm still in the throes of writing the whole story down, it's more the ideas and concepts' feedback that I'm curious to hear, rather than the nitty-gritty like pacing and voice and grammar. Thus far the feedback has been positive and motivating.

I've dotted down the outline for chapter seven (for the second time) and will be merging it with the original outline I've got in my notes, which I didn't have handy at the time. You know how it goes: you plot and bullet-point outline what needs to happen in this chapter, until you actually get to that chapter and stop to reconsider because x, y and z has spontaneously occurred in the previous chapter and you need to keep unwinding those little threads into the next chapters, to keep the story intact. The outline changes, maybe only slightly, maybe a lot, and you go with it until the next chapter.

I'm a natural pantser, ie. I follow the story rather than having the story follow me. So I prefer to write without notes; I always saw them as unnecessary since I could easily plunge back into the different stories and worlds I'd created and remember the details as I went along. Now I feel lost without my notes; I have to comb through my work at least twice just to make sure I haven't mixed up some detail like names or eye colours. Notes are very handy things to have. I need them, for this novel anyway, to help me lay out the stepping stones for what's to come.

I am, actually, just rambling. There's no real point to this post other than saying 'hey, I haven't made my deadline but I'm still working on it!' I've got all my books and notes (books full of notes?) spread out around me and all I've been doing for the past hour is staring at the outline for chapter seven and writing this blog post, just to be writing SOMETHING. It's not a case of not being able to write. I could, quite easily.

The problem comes when I have to call it a night. I know it would be like I blink and it'll be 2am in the morning. Unfortunately that won't do, not with three kids who get up way too early to demand their breakfast and a full on day ahead. So I could write, I could pull an all-nighter if I really wanted to. But this time, the fact that I'd be a zombie and terrible company and have an hour's (or two) drive waiting for me tomorrow, on top of already struggling to find energy during the day (like I said, life things happen), far outweighs my need for sleep than my inspired muse trying to suck me back into writing.