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Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

It’s like they were reading my heart when they posted this.

You have been working at the literary coalface for months. Your second draft has taken far longer than you expected. At times working on your second draft has felt more like going to war than embarking on a wonderful journey of creative discovery. You know far too much about your characters and after spending an […]

via The Benefits of Taking a Break From Novel Writing to Craft Short Stories #MondayBlogs #Writer #ShortStories — BlondeWriteMore

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There hasn’t been a lot to update lately.

I just got back from a short trip to Kansas where I finished most of my book. I am literally on the last couple paragraphs and am having a bit of a difficult time getting the words out – not so much because I don’t know what to say but because I’m not sure I am ready for it to end. This may have ended up being the most fun/easy book I’ve ever written. Which is ironic since it encompasses everything I try to avoid (thanks, Abby, for daring me to write a modern, sappy, cliché romance). Then again, it is also possibly my shortest book at just about 55,000 words. Ethrill and Picture of the Past are both at about 100,000 words.

I think once I pen that last paragraph, though, I will be happy that I have actually completed a book in a reasonable amount of time and my mind has been floating back to Picture of the Past more and more lately so I think I am ready to get back to editing it. I’ve taken a pretty long break.

I’ve also been thinking it is time to get serious about churning out some short stories. I get so caught up writing books I rarely make time for them, but sometimes I feel like they are my most powerful works – though I may be biased. 😛 Either way, I know it is good practice and helps build my repertoire, which may be useful in the future.

I’ve also been getting more comfortable talking about writing – the more I write and read about writing the more I want to talk about it. The coworker who joined me on this trip finally found out that I write, after we’ve been working together for 3 1/2 years. Of course, she gave the typical response that she has started several books but not finished them. And that her mom is writing a book. But then she was kind enough to follow it up with stating admiration for people who do actually finish them, because she knows it must be difficult.

So progress is being made! I’ve also reconnected with someone from college (author of The River Rebellion) who is also a writer and have been crashing at her house on a semi-regular basis while our husbands play games. It has been really nice to visit and write with another writer, especially one who shares her work on a regular basis! I think that has helped me break out of my writing shell and opened me up to sharing more.

So that’s my current writing life! And, in general, life. 🙂

 

 

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So, I officially got my first rejection letter this summer. As well as my first rejection “damned with faint praise”, which was made slightly less painful by my association of that with Emily of New Moon. Slightly. You can read all the magazines and books in the world “prepping” you for rejections by the hundreds, but there is still nothing like casting your eyes over those words, trying to gently tell you that your work sucks via a – well, what would have been a typewritten slip at one point and is now a generalized email.

This means I have officially reached a new status, though, right? That I have submitted to “official” enough places to actually get a rejection? Anyway. I have had more than one person tell me this story is good, so I am going to try again. . . only, I realized I am probably not trying for the right audience. I was pitching it as a literary piece, but it has definite Christian undertones (being, after all, a Christian) and, further to its condemnation in the eyes of the world right now, it ends happily. You know that everyone likes the dark pieces right now that give you shivers and make you feel kind of ugly inside and like you can never look at humans the same way again. I don’t get that trend at all. I like to feel uplifted after reading, even bittersweet if it is a sad ending. But I digress. So I realized I should be submitting it to Christian short story magazines.

Want to know something I didn’t know until this week? THERE ARE NO CHRISTIAN FICTION SHORT STORY MAGAZINES! At least, none that I can find. There are tons of Christian or spiritual blogs and magazines in general – but they all want inspirational articles of true stories, devotionals, or whatnot. Fiction? Psh. Apparently they think it is  a waste of time. So I am a little at a loss and mildly considering starting my own Christian fiction magazine.

If any of you all can help me find a place to submit my short stories, I would be quite grateful.

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So, almost needless to say, I did not reach my goal of editing the entire book by the end of April. However, I did get done with the first part of it. Sent it off to my friend to read, as promised. And .  . . haven’t touched the book since. It is just SO MUCH WORK to edit a historical novel. I mean, how can one even possibly get that much information into one’s head to make sure it is accurate? It is super overwhelming.

I have worked on short stories a little. I even edited one and sent it to three magazines for publication. I know – the chances of it actually being published are like – nil. But – it is the first time I have ever sent anything to a REAL magazine, so it is a big step for me.

I am now trying to get over my fear of failure (as per usual) and start editing again. But part of me just wants to work on Ethrill instead because that is still being created. Do all writers struggle this much with actually finishing a product?

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One more day to NaNoWriMo!!! Am I scared, you ask? Why yes, yes I am. Terrified that I am going to sit in front of my keyboard and have absolutely  nothing to say. But I’ve won NaNo twice in a row now, and I am determined to make it a third! And if there is anyone more determined than me – it is my husband. Yup. He insists (as you will also see if you visit Once Upon a Story) that I am going to do it, and that I am going to actually keep up on my wordcount this year so I am not trying to cram 5,000 words a day in the last week of the month. He has grand plans for how to accomplish this too – apparently, he is going to play video games every evening after dinner until I finish my word count so that I can’t be distracted by him. And he knows how much I hate to feel ignored when he plays video games for an extended amount of time. So it will probably work. Oooh, and I came up with a great way to get ideas for short stories, since I’m kind of drawing a blank right now, but you’ll have to visit Once Upon a Story to see it, because I don’t feel like typing it all out again. 😛

Daniel and I did a photo shoot yesterday! A mutual friend (someone from college) has decided to go into photography (is there anyone left who hasn’t?) and asked us to model for her to help build her portfolio. In exchange we will get a few free pictures and have the option to purchase the rest at a flat fee. Even if we just stick with the few free pictures, I think it will be nice. We had fun shooting pictures, too – at least until a sudden storm sent us scurrying into the underground mall, cutting it short.

Oh, and you should be proud of me – I already ordered our Christmas cards for the year! I know. So ahead of schedule. Let’s hope I get them out on time now that I worked so hard to order them in time.

And in case anyone is still reading this and curious about my progress on Ethrill. . .I am unfortunately not going to make it to 100,000 words before tomorrow. I gave it a good go, though, and am at 88,000. My hope is to make it to at least 90,000 and then I will feel like I actually wrote a decent amount and will probably have to split it into two books anyway – so it counts as finishing, right? As nervous as I am to start the short story series for NaNo, I am that excited to start editing Picture of the Past- I know – who would have imagined excitement to EDIT your book? But I am so eager to have a finished book – and I know it will be way more work than I think it will be right now – but I think it will be worth it. Plus, I do like having an excuse to research historical fashion and events – and this not only gives me the opportunity, but further ingrains it into my memory because I’ll have to implement it into the book. The main thing I need to do, I know, is to integrate one or two other story lines into it so the book isn’t so completely focused on Elizabeth. I need more depth. I’m kind of nervous to figure out how to do that, but I’ll give it a good try.

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