My Copyright registered & protected

20 October 2010


I'll Be Back on Track Soon
Family matters mean I'm a little behind with my blogs and writing projects at the moment so please bear with me. Will be catching up very soon, with lots of news on the writing front...

Don't Think Just Write

6 October 2010


The Flip Side of the Coin
As regular readers will know (I like to think that there are some at least...) Writers Abroad is supporting National Short Story Week. We put out a call for submissions of short stories for an anthology that we plan to release in November in conjuction with this event. The theme of the short stories was Expat life, based on the fact that all of us are expat writers.  We have had a number of submissions and with the deadline only just over a week away, I am expecting (fingers and toes duly crossed) that we will get a flurry leading upto the 15 October. That's how I work (and many WA members I have learnt), always flying by the seat of my pants. 

The one thing this experience has taught me so far is that the life of an editor is not an easy one. I've read this statement more than once and always thought how bad could it be reading stories for a living? Well if the stories are well written, that's fine. And I'm not saying that all of the submissions so far have been bad. But when you've read another submission which you either don't understand, or the story is clearly a ramble of real life and not fictionalised you start to become a little frustrated. 

I cringe when I think of the stories I sent out in my early writing life. We've all done it, that's how we learn and develop our craft. I would dare any writer to claim that they were perfect from day one and many of us will never be perfect. That's not the point. Writing is about exploring our style, improving our presentation, learning new ways of saying old things and if we all were so wonderful, it would be a very odd place to be. What is clear is that there is always some good writing and there will always be that which isn't so good. If everyone stopped writing just because an editor thought their submission was crap then there wouldn't be any books or stories to read. The key skill for an editor is to be able to convert 'crap' into some kind of constructive criticism.
So next time I submit something, I'm going to view it from the editors eye before pressing send, in the knowledge that this might be the umpteenth manuscript that they've read that day, and challenge them to find something positive in my words.

Don't Think Just Write

1 October 2010


In Just Thirty Days
Can't be done I hear you say? Well, I beg to differ but it can and thousands do every year during November. National Write A Novel in a Month (NaNoWriMo for short) kicks off in four weeks time. This increasingly popular event invites writers to write a first draft (and draft it will be) in a month. They set the word count target at 50,000 which some might challenge its qualification as a novel, but all the same its a heck of a lot of words. This will be the third year I've participated and the second year I've actually joined the site to do so. The first time I used it to complete a story I'd started, then put down and picked up again. I'm still working on it now, check out my progress at my blog 'Writer in Progress' . Last year I wrote in excess of 70,000 words on my second novel. This year I'm planning to a little more preparation in terms of plot and characters, so on Day One I'm ready to dive into my creative pool and immerse myself for the month.
For those of you who throw your hands up in the air and say it can't be done, well, of course it can. If you divide the word count over thirty days it works out at around 1600 words (and a bit) a day. It's like the old project management adage 'you can't eat an elephant in one day' but you can if you break it up into sizeable chunks.
Let me know if you're going to take up the challenge and we can become 'buddies' on site and spur each other on and have a toast at the end - for one thing is for sure - you will have written something at the end of it...
Don't Think Just Write