Monday, 26 January 2009

Deja vu or what?

I started to write a story a couple of days ago and gave the two characters in it certain names. The story hasn't really developed very much so i put it to one side and picked up something from my work in progress file to type up. I was amazed when the characters in the old story were called exactly the same names as the ones in the story that I had tried to write earlier in the week.
How mad is that?
I don't know where the names came from or why I would choose them together more than once.
When I'm writing a story I tend to pluck the names of characters from somewhere around where I am or what I'm doing e.g. if I'm writing at work I might give a character the name of someone who is around. It's all a bit random so I think it is really weird that I should put these people together more than once.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

And what do you do?

I read a post on a blog recently and read the comments that had been left. The name of one of those leaving a comment intrigued me so I clicked on their link to have a look at them. Next to occupation they had said "freelance writer." As I'm sure you all know you can click on that link too and it will take you to all the bloggers that describe themselves in that way. There are a lot of them.
I am getting to the point trust me.
It is this. When someone asks what you do do you say "freelance writer"? (Sorry, not sure where the ? should go. Think I might have put it in the wrong place.)
I appreciate that this is blogland and maybe they wouldn't describe themselves like that in the real world.
Anyway that's irrelevant really, my question is when someone asks what you do what do you say?
I'll get the ball rolling. I say "I work for (name of company ommitted for intrigue purposes)." But then, my own mother doesn't know that I write so why would I tell a complete stranger?
Just a thought.

Was it really that long?

Has it really been a week since I blogged. If that's what the date says then it must be true. It doesn't seem that long though.
So, what have I been doing all week?
I've been in blogland a few times because I've been checking up on people and leaving messages. What else?
I tried starting a short story yesterday but that's not going so well. I had the start and I know what I wanted the final words to be but can't work out how to get there. That can't be all the writing that I've done this week. Maybe it was, I can't think of anything else.
Oh hang on I remember, there was something else.
I had an idea last weekend for a non fiction project and I was working on some ideas for that earlier in the week. I need to do some more work on that.
I honestly don't think there was anything else though.
Mmmm. Maybe I slept a lot.

Was it really a

Sunday, 18 January 2009

I wonder

I've just submitted a short story - yes I know, that's 4 this month I'm on a roll - and in my covering letter I intruduced myself and said I've had work published in this and that. That started me wondering. Do you suppose Della Galton and Christina Jones have to do that?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Nero here I come.

Remember back in December when I told you about my plan to set monthly objectives to get me where I want to be at the end of 2009?
Well I am happy to report that as of this morning I have completed my set objectives and am in a position to claim my reward. The objectives I set were:
1. Submit 3 ideas/articles/stories.
2. Edit 4 chapters of BTL.
I have just finished editing my 4th chapter after posting off my third story this morning. Well if I'm being perfectly honest it was 2 stories and a feature idea. I'm sure some of you may think that I didn't set myself enough to do but there is absolutely no point in setting unachievable goals and I am a great believer of easing oneself in gently.
In case you don't remember the reward that I said I would give myself it was half an hour in Cafe Nero's with a hot chocolate and a good book.
I'm not going to rush off a give myself the reward straight away though. I think that I shall anticipate it a little first.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Such and such

Well, I typed up the story editing as I went along and as I was doing it I thought *Hang on a minute this might interest such and such." Then, would you credit it, when I do the word count that's perfect for them too. Needless to say after a polish or two I think I'll submit it to such and such and keep my fingers crossed. Then if they decline to take it I'll tinker with it a bit and send it somewhere else.
As usual I'll let you know.

Writing for Blah magazine

Speaking as someone who had a whopping 3 yes I said 3 pieces of work accepted in 2008 I was wondering how the rest of you target your market.
Do you think "okay, today I'm going to write a story for Blah magazine," and work to their guidelines or do you come up with an idea for a story, write it and then see who you think might be interested in it. Personally I use the second method but I'm not sure if it's the best one.
I tried the former once when I came up with what I thought was an amusing idea. I wrote the story with a particular magazine in mind and wrote it to fit their style, word length etc and sent it of to them. I was devastated when they declined to take it. (Rejection is not a word for Sunday mornings.)
I liked the story though, in fact I think it probably is one of the best ones that I have ever written. I'd planned it's structure and thought it through before I even put pen to paper which is very unusual for me.
Because I liked it I didn't give up on it. I sent it out to another magazine without changing so much as a comma and they accepted it.
The story that I'm about to type up this morning (currently on 3 bits of A4 paper that's been stuffed in and out of my jacket pocket a dozen times this week) wasn't planned at all. I had the idea and I knew how I wanted it to end but I wasn't sure how I was going to get there. I have no idea yet of the length of it so I'm not sure if or who it's going to be suitable for.
I guess I'll type it up and see.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Money well spent

I sent a story to the Writers Forum Womans Weekly competition today and invested £3 in requesting a critique from Sue Moorcroft. This is a first for me. Not the competition, I've entered those before but the critique. I'm really excited by that. Even if I don't win (and obviously I am hoping that I will) I'm going to get some valuable feedback. I'm willing to bet it's the best £3 that I'll spend this week. Obviously I'll let you know what she says.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dull but true

Just thought that I would let you know that I did submit something this week, or rather I will in the morning. I've just printed it out and I will post it tomorrow.
It was while I was preparing to let you know this that I suddenly thought.
Will you be interested?
I hope so because all I can do is tell you what I'm doing. I can pass on a tip or two when I discover one but I don't feel qualified to offer advice. Obviously if someone asks me a question I can say what I think but I don't pretend to be an authority on anything.
All I can do is tell you what I've been up to with my writing and what I have done this week is edit a short story and print it.
Oh and yesterday I was looking through one of my notebooks and came across a plan for a story. I originally thought that it might be a good idea for a book but I'm not sure if it will have the legs to carry it to 70,000 words. Now I'm thinking that it could be a longer story for a fiction feast. It actually is a well thought out plan and I was really pleased with it.
That's been it though this week. Himself has been off work for a few days and we've been spending a lot of time together.
By saying what I have just said I'm not saying anything about anyone that does offer direct advice. I've learned so much from people that do. All I am saying that I don't feel that I can do this.
I suppose I'm also apologising for the fact that sometimes my blog might seem a bit dull compared to others. Dull but true.
And I thank anyone who reads what I write, I really appreciate it.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Easing back into "normal"

I love a statistic. Sorry if it makes me sad but there it is I have said it.
One of the things that I aim to do this year is to have my book (BTL) fully and finally edited and ready to be sent to agents/publishers. After much deliberation which I won't bore you with becuase God knows I could bore for England on the subject of how much to edit, I have decided to do a second edit which is what I am on now and then a final polish.
As of this morning (2 minutes ago) I am currently 43% of the way through my book's second edit. Okay so I haven't done all that since Thursday morning but it gives me a reference point of where I am and where I need to be.
I want at least another two chapters done by the end of January or the hot chocolate reward is forfeited.
I love Christmas even more than a statistic and I had a wonderful one but the tree came down this morning and it's time to get back to normal. A little light editing was my way of easing my self back into "normal." Who knows I may even submit something this week.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Non holiday holiday

Christmas/New Year is a woring time for me and I generally only get 2-3 days off. I'm not complaining because it does mean that I get to take some of my 26 days holiday when I want to rather than when the company is shut down for Christmas. The down side is that I have all the extra domestic stuff that is required over the festive season to fit in around the day job which means that, well not to put too fine a point on it I am cream crackered at the moment. Consequently there hasn't been a lot of writing done over the past two weeks. Hopefully things will get back to normal this week.
Oh, could someone please come over and finish these chocolates.