Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 27 update-instruction

          Finished writing a story that was supposed to be done last Sunday. It is quite  a bit longer then expected but what really slowed me was moving a lot of my wife’s craft stuff then helping to put it back. And some playing around Monday night. 

      The story was part of a mini challenge for the writer’s forum at WotF. Two days of writing--a story a day. I got my first tale done Saturday evening but as I said not the second Sunday. 

Both stories are what I call Urban Alchemy. I now have four stories with the same Alchemist set in current times. Different MCs though. Well, I said four but I am still working on one at work. I take my laptop to work and write during breaks, lunch and before work if I get there early enough. I know there is a fifth some place. It might be on paper, if so I hope I can find it. It’s flash as is one of the four. I thought all of them would be but I added a try-fail cycles __which is good for stories__ and the five human senses__ which is also good for stories__ and some clarification. One story is 4,200 and some words. Another is in the 3,300 range. The one I am working will probably be over 3,000 maybe even over 4,400.  Oh, I just found the missing story. I have been sending it out. Oops. That one is 2,100 words or so. Which means there is only one flash story after all. Unless I add to it and get it over 1,000 words. Oops, just checked it is over 1,200 words. Oh well, no flash there. 

I am thinking of putting them in a set for E-publishing. But I will probably send a couple out a few times before I do that though.  Had fun doing them even if one is late.

Right now I am about to start the next revision of my Q3 WotF story.  From what the first two critiquers said it needs more help than I hoped. It doesn’t look good for that story. I think I will redo one plot point. I magnified it and changed the location of one short scene because I thought David at WotF would like more emotional angst, but Dean Wesley Smith says Do Not Second Guess and Trust Your Instincts. He’s not the only one either. So I undid that change. I also with the help of one certain Critiquer tightened the story. I kept over half of what he suggested to cut bit I also cut some things on my own. So far one more crit to go through--supposedly I will have two more soon. But it doesn’t look good for that story either. 

I have not worked on either of my novels for two weeks at least. I thought I could revise my stories and crit other stories for WotF and still revise at least one novel but so far it isn’t working. Of course I have been writing short stories and revising other stories too--gotta stop that for a week or three. 

My vacation is coming up at the end of June and I want to get one maybe two sets of five stories ready for e-publishing. But I may have to spend that time on the novels. 

I didn’t send a story to Fantasy and Science Fiction this week, Scott P. is probably relieved. This was so because of two reasons. First I ran out of brown clasp envelopes and kept forgetting to get more. Second even though I have one story done and I hope mostly revised, I decided I didn’t want to rush through spell and proofreader check and getting it formatted correctly. 

So next week then, and send out two others too. The number of snail mail submissions is down to those three I believe. 

Oh, I have mentioned Try-fail cycles. According to a certain story structure format. I can’t recall the name right now though. I need to find my notes. Anyway, it says that all stories need at least one Try-fail cycle. Where the MC tries to do what he-she-it needs to but fails. David Farland over at WotF likes three or four. 

Another point a story needs is the problem that needs solving. 

And a hero of some type.

And he-she-it solves the problem. 

There are a couple of other points but I can’t recall right now those either...when I find my notes I will get back with them all. I may have a post with them all already.

I also mentioned the Five human senses. I’m sure I have mentioned these a time or three but to rehash. Dean Wesley Smith encourages writers to do all five senses every two pages instead of worrying about Show. Other writers, like his wife, agree with him. 

Speaking of his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a column in WotF 28 talking about writing. It alone would be worth getting the book. 

And while I’m at it I will add that in case you haven’t heard already the Main Character has to change in a story. It can be a small change but readers will be disappointed if they don’t. I wonder about that last but more than one editor has stated it.  I didn’t know that for a couple of years and it surprised me when I heard it.  Personally I wonder how they know and if it is really true but it is counted as an established fact. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

'nother April 5 update PS

Just finally finished a story I wrote a few weeks ago. I mean totally finished, revised, spell proofreader checked, double checked certain words I sometimes interchange, ready to go.

It's a 10,000--just under--word Horror, Relationship, Paranormal-Urban Fantasy tale.

I think I feel proud of it. Which is strange for me. I haven't even sent it out yet, it's my writing--no reason to feel pride.
But on second thought maybe there is a reason. No matter how well-or not-it is written, the story is what I wanted it to be, it explores my MC's emotion, it has the five human senses, it shows her feelings and it has all the scenes I wanted. It could still have too much Tell--in the wrong places--and not all the commas might be used correctly and it probably has other problems but as I said it is what I wanted it to be in every way.

It goes out tomorrow to Fantasy&Science Fiction. I kinda of want to send it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies but as I understand their guidelines they don't want paranormal-UF.

I also sort of want to send it to WotF next quarter. Who knows down the road I might.

It's the first story I did right after Dean Wesley Smith's Essentials online workshop Look Here

He liked the seven openings I did for the workshop and I tried to do this one like he said to do those.

(Shoulder shrug) I don't know if it worked. It didn't with one other story evidently.

One thing about my inspiration--many times I see things and get inspired. This story came from a cover. More on this idea in another post I'm planning.  But I think I have already explained the cover here somewhere.

I also have another story to finish this weekend. Another of my Urban Alchemist series. Most of which are flash or under 1,000 words. I've sent a couple out but some are still on paper and I think one needs revising...make that at least one. But this one is half on paper half in my mind. I want to type it all out this weekend. It might be under 1,000 words or just over not quite sure yet.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Update on WotF

For those new here that is Writers of the Future contest. HERE

For those who may not know:
They have four contests per year one every quarter.

They give out rejections--the big R--Honorable Mentions, Sliver HMs, semi-finalist, finalist and First, Second, Third winner each quarter. The first three get certificates finalists and maybe SF get a full critique   the three place winners get cash and get in the yearly anthology they put out. We are working on number 30 right now.

I have received four HMs over four years. The rest were rejections.

So I am working with two writing forums whose members send in stories. Hatrake  and WotF

So all that to say:

I think mine is good writing--maybe not my best but close-but I've thought that before. Once one critter agreed with me even though an editor hasn't yet.

It has try-fail cycles, setting, the five human senses--even though evidently David thinks there seven of them--a clear problem and hopefully a fine conclusion. And maybe that extra something that makes it great writing--we shall see though.

But speaking of best writing I am critting one story for a fellow and it could be his best. It needs a little tweaking but it's great. Just the type of story they want too. It has a different setting--well developed. Which is all I will say about it. After that last book coming out I suspect they will be receiving even more stories with unique settings so nothing there for them to see. In either case I am very glad I read it and I want more there whatever they think of it. In fact I threatened to write my own story in that world if he didn't and since my writing isn't up to his that is a threat.

David is the first judge he decides which ones are finalists which go to a group of pros writers who make the final call. So to impress him first and he decides one HMs etc.

Oh he thinks my term will come.

Maybe he thinks I should go into politics?????

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 5 update PS

Still close enough to my last update to be a PS, for me.


I started a new story yesterday at work. Git a little bored with my two novels, thought of a short first sentence and went with it. I did 162 words in it yesterday,

Just under 1000 words today--another of my Urban Alchemist tales. This makes four I believe, all about the same guy and all with different MCs. None are him. Two or three are flash but this one and one with a plague of gnomes are significantly over. Well, that last one will be when I get around to typing it out. It's hand written on note paper now. I've thought seriously about putting them all in a set for E-publishing. 

Of course nothing on the publishing front. Lost a micro contest, not sure what I did wrong. My story didn't seem that much worse than the two that won. Probably just too mediocre.

One other writer said my turn will come--sounded almost like Dean Wesley Smith but.,.. I have improved but just can't get past that mediocre stage.

Good thing I like writing-- I won't give it up even if I decide to stop sending them in. At least now  I have another option..e-publishing.  Before it was just putting them up on the free sites, I know a few readers will like my stories. 

Been working less on my novel revisions again. I needed to revise two stories--one for WotF and thought I could do both but so far only worked on the stories. Oh, also reading and critting a couple other stories by other writers. At least I can help them win at WotF. 

I'm forgetting something and it's late so there could be another PS soon. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Music PS

I forgot to do this in my last note. These are links to the band and singer I mentioned in my last post. The links lead to the iTunes store and if you are interested in hearing any samples of their music you will probably have to sign up to iTunes.


Jeremy Camp

While I was at it I also listed these three. Degarmo and Key is my second favorite not together band, They are definitely rock even though a different style than Petra.
Degarmo & Key

Third day is what I think of as a fusion of Country and Rock or Rock with a country flavor. Very nice.
Third Day

I think this group is listed as more or less rock even though not quite like the first two groups I linked to. The new Newsboys--new lead singer with two albums--are to me a fusion of rock and Urban. I don't know what the official definition is but I love this new style they have. Their older stuff is not bad at all but for me these last two albums are their best. Not counting "In The Hands Of God" which is suppose to be more like 70s rock and roll.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Something different-Music

Just something different here.

Sometimes I mention my music--that is what I like, I don’t play--even though most of the time I discuss writing. 

I spent an evening last week looking through Petra’s music on iTunes. I noticed I have three different songs by them that talk about Jesus being the Rock and I hoped to find more. I didn’t but I did end up buying six songs. Niice, a couple I don’t recall ever hearing before. And I have another two or three albums to go through..someday.

I’ve listened to them for years-decades and love their style of rock. They are my all time favorite band.  Sometimes I say they are my favorite  No Longer Together band but it’s really my all time favorite. Casting Crowns are my still together top favorite but as good as they sing and their songs are they don’t have Petra’s style. 

Of course I don’t like all Petra’s songs but most have just the right style for my tastes. And what they sing about is great too. For a while they were producing albums like crazy, sometimes two or three a year. I got to see half of one of their concerts once. It was a concert with two other singers and I had to leave early so I got maybe half of their normal concert. Better than nothing. I keep praying though that they will have a reunion tour and come here. 

A few months ago I upgraded one singer to one of my favorites. Jeremy Camp I’ve heard his stuff on the radio for years but never really put it all together. Nice singer and I liked one album I bought. Finally though I bought his “I still Believe: The Number Ones Collection”. 16 of his Number One hits. Which is why it really is “Number Ones”. His singing on most of them were great. Definite rock but at the same time some of his songs have a heavy metal flavor. I usually don’t go for heavy metal but those songs of Camp’s are my favorites. The way he sings them and the words fuse to make something really good.  His newest album, “Reckless” is great too, I love it. 

So he is now my favorite single singer. I missed a concert he had here too. UGH. But he was with eight other bands and I just didn’t have the time to take a whole evening off to see them all. I would have had to get there at least two hours before to get a half way decent seat and the concert probably took at least five hours with nine singers.  One bad thing about being an adult.  :)  

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5 update

Not a good couple of weeks for my writing. But that isn't unusual.

The writing part is good made headway in my two WIPs, revised a couple of stories to send out but the writing isn't good.

I think I said in an earlier post that I entered a micro fiction contest. The results came out...nothing. They don't say but most probably didn't come close.

The last rejection from Beneath Ceaseless Skies implies I was middle at best. They usually say a line or two of what was wrong with the story. What they said this time and how they said speaks more than the words.

Four out of four critiquers for the long story I was going to send to Fantasy and Science Fiction say I did everything wrong. Not in those words but there were so many statements when you put them all together it says that. Thought I did it the same way I did the four openings that Dean Wesley Smith liked during his online workshop but I blew it big time.

The comment I finally got from Scott P. at S&SF-I did post that comment-shows I blew the story not even a "You got close".

The story I put on Universe Annex over at the Baen Bar even though not lousy still wasn't good.

So still trapped on that level half way up a certain mountain.  More on that later.