Blogging about the April meeting (which we had a week early to avoid Easter) over at Vision Writers. Head over to check it out.
I’ve just posted another writing prompt on the Vision Writers website. If you’d like to check it out, click over and see what you can do with ‘Retronomicon‘.
I’ve come to a point in editing Written By The Stars where I have to decide whether or not to pull out a cool plot point.
The concept of this part of the plot is awesome and it would be a great way to show the differences between Fanta’s home world (our own) and the world she ends up in. On the other hand the only way to solve it in this book is to either change a part of the story’s climax I don’t want to change, or make it part of the driving source for a sequel novel.
I’ve idly toyed with the idea of a sequel to Written By The Stars almost since its completion, but have never had a strong enough plot idea to make me want to commit to it.
Now I haven’t got a choice. If I keep this plot thread in, I need to resolve it in the second book (because all first book resolution options make me want to barf for entirely non-pregnancy related reasons), or I need to remove all mention of it and stick with a stand-alone fantasy novel. This means I have to pause in editing to see if I can make a plot outline worth committing to.
Which is a pity since my editing momentum has been great the last few weeks since I restarted working on this revision back at the writers retreat.
For such a short month I was surprisingly busy, but at least I managed to get a lot done.
For goal #1 (being a good president to my writer’s group) we’ve commenced work on an anthology to celebrate 20 years of Vision Writers writing and critiquing one another. The anniversary is next year, but as most people who know about publishing are aware it’s not as simple as snap your fingers and done, so we’ve a long road.
I also organised and ran my first writers retreat. It was all Vision Writers members, but it wasn’t an official Vision event. We all had a great time and you can find out a little more about it here if you’re interested. I would like to do it again, but not any time too soon – not with baby on the way ;p There’s so much organisation that you might not realise is involved.
In regards to goal #2 (final revision and editing for Storybook Perfect) I still haven’t started it, but that’s because I only want to revise one book at a time, and I’m working on goal #3 which is the revision of Written By The Stars. I’ve been using holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course to help me get as much done in one pass as possible. For most of last year I was stymied by the massive world building lesson, lesson 7, but I finally defeated the daunting lesson and moved through another 6, I’m almost finished
Regarding goal #4 (writing and submitting more short fiction) as usual I killed it. I think I’m very much in love with short fiction, which is funny considering one of my very early posts about finding them difficult ;p
I wrote an extra 3000 words in ‘Foxworth'(previously known as Tubby) based on the group’s feedback, and according to those who gave the story a second read through made it even better. I also finished ‘Couples Counselling’ at a total of 3358 words and submitted it to my writers group for critique. Then I wrote a new flash fiction piece called Ella’s Baby (500 words) and did some editing on the novella ‘The Troll’s Toll’. Because of The Troll’s Toll’s larger length I’m seriously considering self publishing it as it’s length makes it a hard sell to just about every market I know of.
I’ve been working towards goal#5(starting a mailing list) too – finally! I have formatted two ebooks and made my first cover, all working towards the freebie for signing up. I’m repackaging a competition winning story that’s now out of print. You’ll see the results very soon.
Goal #6 (keep learning), well I learned lots through goals 1, 3 and 5 and even (as you always do from good feedback) some from goal 4, so still chugging along.
On wonderful, but slightly less goal orientated notes, I enjoyed my 3 year blogiversary and I added Goodreads buttons all over the website
How’d you go with the shortest month of the year?
Blogging about today’s meeting over on VisionWriters.net about one of the biggest take aways from today’s feedback: using tropes to your advantage while avoiding cliches that make your readers roll their eyes.
It’s been three years since my first post ‘Starting In Medias Res‘ and to celebrate three years of blogging here on Storybookperfect.com I’m going to share with you some of the ways I’ve changed over the last three years.
Well of course, first up I’ve been published. I’ve won a local writing competition, been a finalist in a national award, and have an honourable mention in an international competition. I’ve also racked up plenty of rejections too.
I remember I used to read all the spam comments to check and see if a legit person had been erroneously filtered in. Now if I went through and read the 600 odd comments that appear daily I’d have another 100 to read by the time I went through them. If the filter took your comment sorry, but she’s gone ;p
I’ve discovered the ‘joys’ of spending twenty minutes tinkering with a widget or a page improving it in ways that most people probably will never notice.
And for the start of my fourth year here’s four things I promise never to do:
- Those stupid ads, positioned right beside a link you need to click so you accidentally click the ad thus giving me money and you frustration(and maybe a virus to top it off).
- Speaking of ads, those ones where Google algorithms try to tailor the ad that appears to what you’ve looked at recently, but only ever seems to show a website you just visited.
- Spreading information (or gags) across multiple pages so you have to click next to keep reading the one article. This is a cheap tactic used to get more hits per day so Google ranks you higher
- Make my mailing list sign-up form appear as a pop-up mini-window over my website. These annoy me because even when I have signed up to the mailing list, when I visit the site again later it prompts me again. If you want to join my mailing list I’ll be setting it up very soon (still working on the freebie), and it will always and ever live in my sidebar, never in pop up windows.
Well. Here’s to three years done and a multitude more yet to come
I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at ludicrous o’clock in the morning and my brain was all ‘Hey Gurl, let’s get up and do something’. There’s no point even trying to sleep at that point because my suddenly active brain will start to dwell on less pleasant things if I don’t get up and do something with the unexpected/unwanted energy.
So I decided to do another read-thru edit of The Troll’s Toll. By the time I finished I was tired enough to go to bed, and excited enough to dream myself into the world and the futures of Lilly and Gramble.
Today, doing some catch up TV viewing I watched the most recent episode of Face Off (which you know I love thanks to this post) and what’s this weeks challenge?
And even better it featured Doug Jones (who played Abraham Sapien from Hellboy among many other wonderful creature roles).
None of the make-ups quite looked like Gramble to me, but there were quite a few that I almost want to make him into.
All this makes me feel really excited about The Troll’s Toll again. Which is awesome, but I kind of need to be striving towards my primary goals with my baby deadline so close. Ah, the troubles of a creative life ;p
I’ve already mentioned this, but I suppose it was more in passing in a goals round-up than in a big way. So let me rectify that.
Last year my (still not yet published) short story, Charming, received an honourable mention in the fourth quarter of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future contest.
An honoruable mention nets me a nice certificate to commemorate the achievement. And it just arrived in the mail
Now I’ll be putting it beside my lovely Redlitzer trophy and my ‘published author’ plaque/desk stand thing. I’m starting to get a nice little collection going.
If you’d like to know a little more about Charming this is the one sentence summary I have for it on my ‘Current Projects’ page:
To keep his small kingdom from bankruptcy Prince James sells his services to worried parents and lazy lovers to rescue their princesses for them. His latest mission however, is proving to be his most difficult.
Charming is still out there shopping for a home and has a couple of sequels at various developmental stages too. I’ll keep you updated on its progress.
I’m blogging over at VisionWriters.net again today. This time it’s a writing prompt for Valentines day that encourages you to match a pair of personal ads with hilarious results.
There should be a ‘belated’ in brackets at the start of that title ;p
As mentioned yesterday I not only went on a writers retreat but organised the whole damn thing(including lunches and dinners), so the end week of January was a crazy rush for me – hence utterly forgetting to do my goals round-up.
I sent out only a couple of stories (most of my polished ones were sent out at the end of last year so are still awaitng acceptance/rejection), but I did do a crazy massive edit on Glass Bones to make it an acceptable word count for a particular magazine running a theme I thought it very apt for. I took Glass Bones from 8,400 words to 6,000. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but somehow I did(I might post about that more soon).
I wrote a new short story ‘Tubby’ based on the writing prompt I created for the Vision Writers website. Tubby came in at 2,300 words and I submitted it to my writers group for critique. I also got back to work on Couples Counselling(an idea I had last year) and wrote an additional 1,800 words in it. So goal #4 is chugging along quite nicely.
As far as goal #1, being a good president to my writers group I think I’ve been doing well. This is based on a lack of hate mail and no one throwing rocks at the back of my head ;p . No, really, I’ve based that on me getting to work on the Vision Writers website, updating pages, getting the start of a regular blogging schedule underway – including making up (what I hope are) new and original writing prompts. Not to mention the writers retreat (despite it not being an official group event I’m sure it fostered happiness within the group), lots of organising for that!
While I didn’t touch #2 or #3, number three did get a thorough going through at the retreat, but since this is a January round up we can’t count work done in February.
All up, a good, but very busy start to the year