Friday 23 March 2012

The Glorious 300

With eight sales last week, I noticed that I passed the 300 sales mark. I count everything, stories, poems, tweets, reprints even the odd bit of non fiction. If you're interested you can check them out on my side pages. They might not add up to 300, but it's true. This makes me happy. 

It also makes me wonder, where should I go from here? Shall I keep on trucking?  I've completed my first draft of my novel, 'Infected Heart of Tilda Skerritt." Well I call it a novel, it's 50K. I'm sure I could pad it out a bit.

I rather feel that I ought to have some kind of plan. In fact, I do have one: write a lot of short stories, get good and then have a novel waiting in the wings, just in case anyone asks.

A fine plan.
What's your plan?

Also for the poetry fans, I've got a couple of new-ish works, 'Epona Matins' at Eternal Haunted Summer and 'The Great Whore' at Mirror Dance. 

Thursday 8 March 2012

Rocket Science Anthology: Full Steam Ahead

The Rocket Science anthology is at the printers and will be launched at Eastercon in London a few weeks.

I'm going to be at the launch reading from my story, 'The Sea of Maternity.' And I'm going to be on a panel discussing the science behind the anthology. This is going to be my first conference, so I'm jumping straight in.

Thanks to Ian Sales the editor for pulling this together.

Anyone else going to Eastercon?

Monday 5 March 2012

Going from Good to Great: An Experiment

I wrote a good story the other day during a weekend challenge. (How very vain of me to say so). But this time I got it critiqued. The feedback was that people liked it, but it left them confused, especially at the beginning.

So, this month, I'm investigating how to take a good story and make it great. I'm not one for reworking stories much, but I do like to experiment.

I'm taking advice from two very good writers: Christine Yant (who drew upon her Lightspeed slushing experience) and a related post from Carrie Vaughn.  

I'm going to take two approaches:

First: Trying to fix the current story as is.
Second: Starting again. I might have chosen the wrong point of view. And although I don't fancy writing the story from scratch, I'll have a stab.

 Christine Yant defined three elements that separated the good story from the great: structure, voice and meaning. I would say that the structure of the story is the weakest:

Quoting Carrie Vaughan:

"Structure:  Can you identify the beats in your story?  The important scenes and pivotal moments?  Are they building toward a climax?  Or do things just happen?  Have you trimmed everything that doesn’t contribute to the story’s meaning?  Can you identify a reason for every single element of the story to be there?"

Well, no.  I'm not entirely sure what a beat is. Oh, the shame. Looks like I've got my work cut out. 

I'll let you know how I get on.