Tag Archives: writing

So This Was August…

3 Sep

We’ve already reached the end of the eighth month of 2018.

I’ll start with an apology. There was no “So This Was July…” because I was taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo (and absolutely destroying it!) which was my only priority. I’m sorry. I was dedicating myself to hitting a new goal of 60,000 words or more which I managed. We now return you to your normally programming.

So what’s happened so far?

SALES:- I’ve made 4 sales so far, to Third Flatiron; “The Doomsday Machine Retires” for their Monstrosities anthology, to WolfSinger Publications; “Muse” for their Cat Tails anthology, to Mythic Magazine; “Not According To Design” and most recently “The Girl On Platform Two” to Jouth Anthology.

SUBMISSIONS:- I’ve already submitted 187 stories this year.

REJECTIONS:- I’ve had 169 rejections so far.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:- Insignia Volume 5 is now on sale. “Not According To Design” will appear in issue #7 of Mythic Magazine, there’s no official date on that yet. I’ll update you as soon as I hear anything.

My latest credit will go up onto ISFDB once it’s released.

My total of new stories written this year so far is now 70. (Thanks, Camp Nano!)

I’m really pleased to have made my most recent sale, I was literally on the verge of burning my entire writing career to the ground and walking away forever. I’ve been pulled back from the brink, but I got incredibly close to that abyss this time.

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Summing up Camp NaNo July 2018

27 Jul

This month I decided to set my official goal at 50,000 words, reaching it by writing various different short stories. Here’s how I got on!

Day 01 – Daily word count 4724, total word count 4724.
Day 02 – Daily word count 2120, total word count 6844.
Day 03 – Daily word count 2668, total word count 9512.
Day 04 – Daily word count 3850, total word count 13362.
Day 05 – Daily word count 5301, total word count 18663.
Day 06 – Daily word count 3253, total word count 21916.
Day 07 – Daily word count 4247, total word count 26163. Broke halfway point!
Day 08 – Daily word count 2020, total word count 28183.
Day 09 – Daily word count 1947, total word count 30130.
Day 10 – Daily word count 2670, total word count 32800.
Day 11 – Daily word count 4542, total word count 37342. Added 84 words to day 6 story.Total=37426 words.
Day 12 – Daily word count 2688, total word count 40114.
Day 13 – Daily word count 4468, total word count 44582. Added 79 words to yesterdays count.
Day 14 – Daily word count 1286, total word count 45868.
Day 15 – Daily word count 2058, total word count 47926.
Day 16 – Daily word count 3330, total word count 51256. Win on day 16!
Day 17 – Daily word count 1818, total word count 53074. Unofficial new target now 60,000 words.
Day 18 – Daily word count 1022, total word count 54096. 1 like from #Pit2Pub
Day 19 – Daily word count 1208, total word count 55384.
Day 20 – Daily word count 1600, total word count 56984. Win claimed!
Day 21 – Daily word count 1363, total word count 58347.
Day 22 – Daily word count 1498, total word count 59845.
Day 23 – Daily word count 712, total word count 60557. Unofficial goal reached!
Day 24 – Daily word count 1378, total word count 61935.

Claimed end of camp on day 25, no writing took place that day.

I wrote and completed 27 new stories. I’d stand by all bar 3 of them to be saleable.

I managed to write something every day, despite this being the hottest July on record. One of my novels is currently being read by a publisher.

I did okay this month.

So This Was June…

1 Jul

We’ve already reached the end of the sixth month of 2018.

So what’s happened so far?

SALES:- I’ve made 3 sales so far, to Third Flatiron; “The Doomsday Machine Retires” for their Monstrosities anthology, to WolfSinger Publications; “Muse” for their Cat Tails anthology and finally to Mythic Magazine; “Not According To Design”.

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to be able to announce that, I had to respect my publisher and wait until he said it was okay.

SUBMISSIONS:- I’ve already submitted 156 stories this year.

REJECTIONS:- I’ve had 137 rejections so far.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:- I’ve had word back about “Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” from Insignia. The publisher has sent out proofs, I’ve already sent mine back. She’s hoping to gear up to publication any day soon. Insignia Volume 5 will be sold through Smashwords.

“Not According To Design” will appear in issue #7 of Mythic Magazine, there’s no official date on that yet. I’ll update you as soon as I hear anything.

My two latest credits will go up onto ISFDB once the titles are released. Both publishers have previous entries so I’ll be able to add those on.

My total of new stories written this year so far is now 41.

I’m hoping to get as many subs out as possible this month and I’m hoping to get a few more answers back before the end of the month too. Fingers crossed for more sales.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 Rules

15 Jun

To have a little order, I need to establish rules and guidelines, these are they.

OBJECT:- To write at least 50,000 words (or more) in 31 days.

This does NOT mean that I have to write 1 story every day.

Not writing a story each day WILL NOT deem the challenge to have been failed.

Failure is to not write at least 50,000 words in the entire 31 day period.

There is no daily goal, just a goal for the whole month.
But more than 1667 words each day would be a good idea.

Between the period of midnight July 1st 2018 and July 31th 2018 23;59:59 I MUST write at least 50,000 words.

If by August 1st 2018 I have not done this, I have failed.

I am allowed to write stories longer than 1000 words, there is no upper word limit.
I am allowed to write several stories in one day. There is no daily word count to reach.

Stories can come from image prompts or word prompts.
I can use prewritten outlines, as long as they aren’t actually started stories.
I cannot use stories I have already started & merely type them up or finish them unless they were created in the above time period.

Stories do not need to be spellchecked or proofed.

These are the rules, to ensure fair play and no cheating.

Let’s Talk About Novels

11 Jun

As my 2nd novel is currently being read by an agent (thankyou #Pitmad!), I thought I’d take a bit of time to talk about my other novel and the ones I’ve either never finished or never started.

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Successful novel #1 was The Impossible Lean. Written during Camp NaNoWriMo of April 2016 (despite not knowing it actually existed!), this was the first novel I actually finished, and also did it in under 30 days.

Impossible Lean is a YA survivalism spec-fic piece set on a distant human colony where the occupants struggle to survive. It’s still in edits, and if I’m honest, it’s probably always will be.

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Obviously, Impossible Lean wasn’t my first attempt to write a novel. The first attempt started WAY back in 1986 before a lot of people reading this were even born. And I’m actually still writing it. Sort of.

The first novel was actually a Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy fan-fic piece called “Don’t Panic!” The story was my idea, it was written before the 5th Adams book came out. It was an attempt to combine TV, radio & books into one definitive world. I created a few new characters and used existing ones in new ways than they’d been seen before.

It still exists, it lives on my old blog.

http://allaboutanythingatall.blogspot.com/2008/06/dont-panic-my-hhgttg-fan-fic.html

It’s there, if you feel like reading it. I had an idea for an end too. I just never finished the whole thing.

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My second attempt at a novel started while I was in the RAF. I owned an electric typewriter and I started getting back into writing seriously. I wrote at least 1 poem most days, normally more.

The second attempt was a fantasy/SF cross-over (this genre didn’t even exist in 1992, when I started writing it) called The Saga Of The Invisible Knight. It’s set about 1000 yrs after a nuclear war where the remnants of society have reverted to a medieval style existance. I typed some of it, I handwrote some of it. There’s an absolute shit ton of notes for it. I was lucky, in that I found it when we were moving house having thought I’d lost it many years ago. I could literally pick it up tomorrow and start writing it as an actual novel.

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My next idea for a novel came off a short story I wrote about 4 years ago, The Space Museum. It’s a story about being the last American woman left alive after a global war/pandemic. I hadn’t decided which. There is a brief outline that exists, I’m not sure if I’ll ever write it.

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My last attempt to write a novel failed 3 days into the task, that was another try during NaNoWriMo of 2016. It was a story of someone who ran aground on what he thought was an island that turns out not to be. I wrote about 6000 words but it died on its arse because I couldn’t sustain the plot with only one chararacter. I’ve still got what I wrote, and I might finish it as a short novella or novelette one day.

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There’s one last collection of notes and ideas that exist almost as an outline, which I’m considering writing for this years NaNoWriMo. It’s more a dramatic piece, with a little dystopian twist. I don’t want to give away too many details as it’s a good idea that would be easy for anyone to write themselves.

So there you go. The novels I started, or didn’t start, or gave up on.

#Pitmad, Lessons Learned

8 Jun

So I took part in my first #Pitmad on twitter yesterday.

I made plenty of mistakes, which I’m going to share here so you can avoid making them when or if you decide to try it for yourself.

Mistake #1 – I didn’t know #Pitmad was even taking place that day!

I spotted the event fairly late in the day. #Pitmad only runs for for a 12 hour period, if you are going to take part and want to have your pitch seen for the longest possible time, be ready to get in when it starts. Mark your calender!

Mistake #2 – I didn’t have a pitch in place.

I literally had to find my novel query, and massively tailor that to fit in a tweet with the hashtags. If you know #Pitmad is taking place, have your pitch ready & waiting.

Mistake #3 – I didn’t nail my pitch down on the first tweet.

I made a comment to someone about my novel, I felt it sounded better, more of a hook. That actually turned out to not be the case.

Mistake #4 – Know what to do if you get an agent like.

As it’s my first rodeo, I had NO CLUE what to do when I got a like from an agent. Luckily for me, the agent had posted instructions on their profile.

Mistake #5 -Send the agent your FINISHED novel.

Oh yes, I did that. I made the mistake of sending the first 50 pages of an earlier revision. I had to dig myself out of that hole by apologising for my mistake and sending the first 50 pages of the finished version.

These were my mistakes, and I hope you don’t make them when you decide to try #Pitmad for yourself. Either make your own mistakes, or learn from mine and don’t make any at all.

I’ve made a spreadsheet!

1 Jun

Earlier this week, I took about an hour to create  a spreadsheet to keep my “out in submission” details on. It’s a lot easier to use than the current text based system which involved a lot of manual renumbering on my part every time a new rejection came in.

I inputted all my old entries, and am now solely using it to track new subs also. The old text system will be phased out after the last entry on it is accepted or rejected, whenever that is.

I’ve already used it to remove a rejected piece and I’m happy to say it worked EXACTLY as I had hoped it would. No more laborious manula renumbering for this guy, frees me up to write.