New Year’s Resolutions

I feel like I might finally be getting somewhere with this whole “writing” thing — like I might finally be getting in the rhythm of producing stuff.

Still a long way to go, but I’m on my way.

So with that in mind, I’m sharing some of my goals for 2016, mostly so I’ll have some accountability. Someone to shame me when I fail at them.

In the interest of not driving myself nuts, I’m  going to limit these resolutions to the kinds of things I can control (so “publish a short story” is not a good resolution; “finish five short stories” is better).

Here goes: Continue reading

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The First Rejection

Between Facebook and Twitter, I’m fairly certain all of my regular readers have heard this news already. However, I’m going to take a moment to repeat it here, because this blog is supposedly a place to chronicle my writing journey and this is an important milestone in it.

I got my first rejection.

And lest you fret, gentle reader, imagining my reaction to such a thing, I hasten to assure you: I’m actually pretty excited.

Am I disappointed that my story wasn’t accepted? Sure. I mean, the whole goal of this process is to end up with something in print. And I wouldn’t have submitted the story to the magazine unless I wanted it to be published there. But it’s a little piece of confirmation that yes, I am actually doing this author thing — even if the result isn’t ideal.

So now that we’re on the subject, let’s talk a little bit about rejections. Continue reading

Housekeeping, and Announcements

No Friday Fiction today — instead, some announcements.

The Hiatus

That last long hiatus? Was because of exams. Somehow, despite this semester appearing to be fairly light, I ended up with ridiculous amounts of work at the end of the term. (Seriously: FOUR TERM PAPERS, plus a final exam paper, three final exams, a stats project, and the 15-page summary of an 800 page textbook).

And now I’m done. Continue reading

IT’S DONE

FIRST DRAFT DOWN.

This story, this thing that started as a really bizarre dream and ended as a pretty bizarre short story, is D-O-N-E.

Well. I still have to go back and clean up the bits left in brackets, but that’s a piece of cake compared to the trial of setting down words on a blank white screen.

And then there’s editing, and rewriting, and all that jazz.

But for now?

IT’S DONE.

To Begin at the Beginning

It’s sort of an odd thing, really, that I’m writing a novel. I mean when I’m in the thick of it, when I’m smithing sentences and dancing my fingers across a keyboard (or dragging my hand through the ink till it’s black – ain’t it great to be a lefty?) it seems like the most natural thing in the world…but it wasn’t. Not for me.

The Question

Somewhere in my daily round of procrastination, as I trolled through the blogosphere to avoid doing something more productive, I cam across a post that asked a very simple question.

“What is your first memory of writing?” Continue reading

Princess Update, “Princess” Edition

Last night I finished something, and I decided something.

Chapters and Parts

In a published book, you’ve got lots of divisions you can make. “Chapters” are fairly obvious and widely used; sometimes a book is divided into “Parts” or “Books”, either numbered (Book One, or Part Two) or named (Random fantasy book off the shelf – The Dragonbone Chair – part one is titled “Simon Mooncalf”) (Or Mistborn is another example). There are also scenes, which are more of a hidden division. Sometimes one scene is a chapter; sometimes a chapter contains several scenes. I’m not going to go into what a scene is, as this post is long and other people have done it better.

So far, I’ve been writing Princess scene by scene. This is good for me – it keeps me focused on what has to happen to move the plot forward, and there’s a defined beginning middle and end so I stay on track. And although many of the scenes I’ve written will be fleshed out with more description in draft 1.5, they’re still on the shortish side to be chapters in their own right (often hovering just over 1k words).

So I’ve been thinking, as I write – not with any seriousness, don’t freak out, not getting ahead of myself – just idly, about where I would break up chapters. What scene endings have that powerful punch that will keep my readers racing on through the next chapter. (Not having a lot of luck, by the way)

And then I sort of thought about my “Act” divisions.

The Four-Act Story Arc Continue reading