Sunday, 26 July 2009

Which 3?

So my editing of BTL is progressing. I am now "happy" with the first seven chapters - only another 35 to go. Anyway, I am going through my list of agents/publishers that are going to get first crack at this epic and I see that one of them wants "three sample chapters." Is that the first three, the last three or a mixture of the two. My inclination would be to send the first three but I don't know if that's write. I'm trying to make sure that I send everyone exactly what it is that they require.
Just out of interest. Those of you who have had books published, how many times was the book rejected before it was accepted. That of course will have no bearing on the length of time that I will have to spend trying to find someone to take my book on, I know that. I am just curious.

update on more

Okay, so it's morning now and I've ha a chance to look through the bits of paper with ideas etc written on them that i found in a carrier bag that was stuffed under the bed. It was a mixed bunch. There were a couple of good starts to stories, one in particular that I liked. Sadly they aren't complete because I guess that I didn't know where I was going with them. Something to think about though. Some of the other bits are worth a thought or two. There are however a couple of things that are probably only good for the B file. That is B for Bin.
Oh well.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


When I get an idea pop into my head (as long as it is day time because when it happens at night I rely on remembering it in the morning - bad move) I have the habit of writing whatever the idea is down on a piece of paper and stuffing it in a pocket or similar recepticle. I have dozens, nay hundreds of bits of paper all over the place. This morning a carrier bag caught my eye and when I pulled it from where it had been stuffed under the bed I discovered that there are about another 20 pieces of paper with this and that written on them. Some are ideas some are partial stories and it looks like there might be a complete story in there.
Note to self - sort them out.
Advise on how to be more organised would be more than gratefully received.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A new plan

Okay, so the wait is over. Eight weeks have gone by and I can once again turn my eye to my novel, which I did this morning.
I was looking at it with a relatively fresh pair of eyes.
Imagine my horror then when I realised that I really wasn't happy with the first three chapters. I have always thought that they were perfect before but not today. I wondered if it was because I was reading it from a computer screen that it just didn't seem to flow properly.
I was so dejected.
But maybe it's because I know the story so well having gone through it about 5 times in the last couple of years.
Anyway, I've had a chance to think about it this afternoon and I have decided that i need to look at one chapter at a time. Like I said I pretty much know what is coming so I don't so much have to worry about plot but I do make to sure that it flows.
I am happy to report that I am now much happier with chapter one. There wasn't much to change to make it work better just the occasional "and" to "but" or similar. I took out the odd unnecessary sentence.
I don't know if it's the right plan but at least it is one.

Me by any other name.

I was reading Olivia Ryan's news about how she's been able to come out of the closet so to speak and declare that she is indeed Sheila Norton. I am happy to know both of them.
Anyhoo Olivia/Sheila got me thinking about pseudonyms.
Someone else asked me recently if I thought that they should write under their own name and I said that I thought that they should if for no other reason than to avoid confusion when an editor wants to send you a cheque (or other form of payment.)
As some of you know I have been known to write erotic fiction under a not very well hidden pseudonym which Himself chose for me. The reason I do that is just in case my mum ever came across one of them. I don't mind the world at large to know but not my mum.
Having said that, I have seen editions of magazines that I actually have work in sitting on the table in front of my family members and they have never asked if it's me. I think that they probably think that it's someone who shares my name. Like I said in one of my very first posts, writing for publication is not something that someone from my back ground did - in the eyes of my extended family anyway. How little they know me.
I once wrote a children's book which I still dream of getting published one day under a different name. I had the notion that there would be a whole series of them and I wanted them to be published in my grandmother's name.
Maybe one day.
Oh and just one mor ething. To the person that asked me about pseudonyms the other day, thank you. It made me feel great that someone actually asked my opinion on something writing connected.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Thank you editor

I proposed an article to a magazine last week and they replied very quickly saying that they were interested in it but that it would need adapting because they had recently changed they way that they were dealing with such pieces, The editor sent me three recent copies of the magazine to study so that I could adapt my article and asked me to resubmit around Christmas because they thought that it would be more suitable to a summer edition. Of course I am more than happy to do that and am studying the magazines so that I can hopefully get it right next time.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you how excited I was that the editor took the time to do this for me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

I week to go

I have just one week left of my self imposed non touching of BTL. I haven't even opened a single page of it for seven weeks and now there is just one to go. To be honest I haven't even thought about it for about 6 weeks so hopefully by the time that I do read it again it will be with a fresh pair of eyes.
If there's not too much final tweaking to be done then I might even have it off to agents etc by the end of August. My plan for it was to have it off to agents/publishers by the end of the year so I've got a bit to play with.
But not much. Can you believe it's the middle of July already? There'll be Christmas cards in the shops in few weeks.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Where have you all gone?

I hope someone can help.
I noticed the other day that the pictures of my followers have disappeared from my blog and I don't know where they have gone. More importantly, I don't know how to get them back.
Can anyone help?
Okay now I'm confused. I've just visited s couple of blogs and their followers pictures are missing too.
Is this computer on the blink now?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Elementary mathematics

There's a hec of a row going on over at womag's blog about one thing and another and one of the things is that "names" get published more than the rest of us.
That started me thinking.
The full time writers that I know say that being a "name" doesn't guarantee doesn't guarantee that every story they submit will be accepted. I believe them. I mean after all even the books that they write aren't right all the time. However I'm sure that their strike rate is better than mine. God help them if it's not because if they only get the % of work submitted/accepted (currently about 5% of submissions accepted) that I do they must write a million words a year.
I commented on womag's blog that maybe the reason that they appear more regularly in mags than the rest of us mortals is not only that they write/submit more but also because they have more experience their stories are better.
I think that the lesson to us all is that if we want to be published more, we submit more. If we are to submit more we must write more.
It's a simple equation
writing = submissions = possible publication. Even if you don't get to publication straight away at least it will be experience.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Batteries recharged

I haven't written anything as such other than the shopping list for two weeks now. As I was taking a break from the day job I thought that I'd take a break from the second job as well. Tonight I am feeling ready to get back to both
Watch this space.
On the different note of things already written, I did receive a contributers copy of a magazine the other day which is always nice and I have a story due for publication tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Another kick required

Are there ever times when you could kick yourself? Well I had one of those moments today.
Last night I had an idea which just popped into my head. However I am blowed if I can remember what the idea was. I know that I should have written it down and normally I was but I was so tired last night and it was so hot that I didn't. Well I'm regretting that decision now.
Maybe yesterday was just one of those days because when I was talking to Himself and Number 2 son I said "I think," I couldn't get any further. in the space of two words I had forgotten what it was that I thought.
Is there any hope for me?