Sunday, August 23, 2009

Goals for September

When it comes to writing, I like to create goals each year and each month. Sort of like deadlines, but if I don't make one then I just change it for a later date. It gives me a deadline to work with and a goal to work towards. What this gives me is focus, which is a part that I have struggles because I work on too many projects at once.

I was surprised when I discovered that I'm actually doing well with the ones I set up for myself in January. I had to redo the teen book goal a couple of times, but at last I'm going to succeed. Here is an example of goals that I give myself:


BP - 15,000 words

Horror SS - Rewrite Not So Funny

Sci-Fi SS - Write Clone One

Fantasy SS - Write Elves with Technology

Pre-writing on Mom's novel

10 freelance works

I will report progress on here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Children - Inspiration

This might be surprising for some, but children are a great source of inspiration for me. Not my adult stories, of course, but my enjoyment in creating and telling stories. I started young, not with the writing, but with the making up stories. Even though we had enough toys, we had more fun making up games than using them correctly. Such as skateboards. We didn't know how to skateboard, not one bit, but we sure had fun playing with them. From that experience I came up with a quote and even had someone ask permission to use it, which was neat. The quote is:

"The greatest toy a child can have is an imagination."

And even now I think this is true. With all the toys children have, the electronics and computer stuff along with the other toys, an imagination makes things even better. I noticed this with my cousins.

We write books but they are more than a source of story telling for kids. They can make games with the books, much like they can make games with the box the toy came from. My little cousins were using the books as stepping blocks. The red book was blood and if they stepped on it they would die. The green one was hay (as they were horses and unicorns) and the book with Mickey Mouse and the Giant was where the monster lived.

It's amazing what kids can do with their imagination and I think what helps us writers is that we maintain some of that imagination. Some say it is gone with age, but for those that are "creative" it is still a part of our lives. Maybe some people can "stay gold" after all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Write Every Day?

(Some ideas for posts will come from "The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists" by Andrew McAleer.)

This is a topic that I struggle with. I can understand the idea behind trying to write every day but sometimes it seems a little more than necessary. Even if we consider writing to be our jobs, most jobs aren't 7 days a week. Having one day off can have a positive affect on a person's writing. However, in McAleer's book, all the authors quoted say to write every single day.

S. J. Rozan
"Write every day. Every day. But not like you're on a diet, where as soon as you goof up, you figure yourself for a miserable failure and give up, and you do this three times a year, with new and useless resolve each time.
No, write every day the way an athlete practices a sport, or a musician an instrument. You're doing the same thing: not just producing pages in your manuscript, but even more important, keeping fit, keeping toned, keeping in practice. Do this for the rest of your life. Or at least, the rest of your writer life."

I do believe in having realistic writing goals, but for me: I am not sure if I'm at a place where I can write on novels every single day. Sometimes I do a poem one day, others work on a story. But there are times when I don't write. Then again, I'm just starting out in this business. Maybe in the near future I'll post saying everyone should write every day.

For now, I agree with Mur Lafferty. Do what works best for you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Publisher Requirements

While the submission process is something that I don't have much experience in, I thought that this would be a good topic. After my last rejection, I found a new magazine to send the story out to only this one isn't an online submission. But what spurred this topic is that the publisher had more than a postal requirement. They wanted the stories to be printed on bond paper (50lb +). I went to an office supply store and even the people working there had never heard of bond paper. People I tell the requirement too have actually asked me why and for that I don't have an answer because the truth is we don't need to know why it is required, just have to find a way to follow the rules. I found linen cover stock (65lb) and printed out the story. It is in the mail now.

Make sure to check what the publisher requires in a submission. A few things to check for:
1. Word Count or Line Count requirements
2. Email submissions allowed or not
3. Do they want a cover letter with it or no
4. Are multiple submission accepted (more than one by the author to the same location)
5. Do they allow simultaneous submissions (meaning same story to different publishers)
6. Are they even accepting submissions at that time. (not all will be)

There are so many reasons a publisher can reject a story. By making sure to follow their requirements that at least gets your story into there hands and gives it a shot. Because if their rules aren't followed there is little chance the story/poems/etc will even be considered. It pays to pay attention.