Sunday, 30 August 2009

Onwards and upwards

With BTL finally edited and ready to go it's time to move on to other projects. I have submitted the story from the W I P folder that I was working on and I'm now turning my attention to book number 2, NRIMH.
I want to get the first draft finished in 6 months. There are currently less than 10,000 words down on paper so here goes.

What to do now.

I am in a bit of a pickle about what to do now that I have discovered something. I had my list of agents that I was going to send my book to (lucky devils) but I have just discovered that one of them has just taken on a book that might be construed as "similar." So now I'm wondering should I even bother sending it to them. Will they think that it is too "similar"? By that same token thhough maybe that will mean that they are on the look out for this sort of thing. I mean I don't really know what they other book is about. By looking at what I saw on the "coming soon" section of their website my book and the other one have a similar setting but maybe that's all. They are also a similar genre well probably the same genre but that just means that they might be able to see where my book would "sit along side others." That was a comment before my book was vertually re-written, that they weren't sure where it would sit. Maybe these people would see that it would sit in the same section as the one that is "coming soon."
I think I should keep to the plan and send it.
Okay, so this has been another one of those posts where I'm using you all as a sounding board and once I get what's going on in my head out into the open I can see what I should do.
As always, thank you for listening.

Time for honesty

Okay, I would appreciate the truth here because it could ultimately save me a lot of pain and heartache.
I read in a magazine the other day that publishers are only interested in new writers that are "marketable" i.e. young, nubile, attractive, thin etc etc. If that is the case, then I may as well give up now or at least wait until I've dropped a few (lots) pounds and have a bit of work done.

Friday, 28 August 2009

W I P update

I have been working on one of the things that had been lounging in my W I P pile and I am happy to report that it is just about ready to be submitted. It was an easy one to work on because I could see straight away what market I would intend it for so I was able to write it accordingly. I'm not sure the others will be so easy but at least its a start.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Some people have a Work In Progress file or folder. I have a W I P dresser. Well dresser might be a bit of an exaggeration - its more of a bedside cabinet sort of thing. It has three drawers and all of them are full of notebooks and bits of paper with things written on them. Sometimes its just an idea or sometimes a full story. On occasion it is a name.
Well this evening I decided to go through it. Well the top drawer at least. I'll need to have a lie down before I can go through the next.
This is something that I've been planning to do for ages and I'm pleased that I actually got round to it. There are at least 4 or 5 things that I want to work on straight away.
Who knows what I'll have by the time that I've gone through the other 2 drawers and then the big box thats sitting in the bottom of the wardrobe not forgetting all those bits of paper that are stuffed into the top of the wardrobe.
Looking at what I've just written it's a wonder that there's any room in my wardrobe for clothes.

I slept and I did

Welcome all to my new blog "With ink from the pink pen."
I'm sure I have mentioned before that I write all my first drafts in long hand and this is the pen that I write them with.
I love this pen. Himself gave it to me so that's reason enough to love it but it also writes beautifully and has written most of the work that I have had published.
This is my homage to the pink pen.
Also you will notice that I have come out of the closet and declared to the world that I am indeed Colette McCormick but I declined to post a photograph. Wouldn't want to scare the kids. No, a picture of my pink pen is much better because that is so pretty.
I don't think that you'll notice any other changes. I'll still be talking the same rubbish that I always did.
I feel a bit like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The time is right

I'm going to sleep on it one more night but I think that I am going to change the name of my blog.
I have a name in mind which has a personal meaning to me and I think that I am ready for it. I think that it is time.
I feel like I am moving on to a new stage in my writing career so I think it is the right time to do it.
You can't hope to be a success as a writer and be a shrinking violet.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Time for a change?

Recently another "Gonna be a Writer" appeared on blogspot and they happen to be a follower of this blog. This causes a bit of confusion when the name is searched for on google so I was thinking that maybe it's time for a change.
What do you think?
Also is there a way that I'd be able to take all of you guys with me?
BTW I don't mean this as a slur against the other "Gonna be a Writer" I'm just thinking that maybe its time to make my blog a bit more personal to me.

Its done!

The editing of BTL is finished. Woohoo!
Now the hard part begins.
I'm going to start sending it out this week and I am fully prepared for a long road ahead. I mean if the first agent that I send it to wants to represent me I'm not going to say "no thanks I need to get rejected a few times," but if it takes a while I'm prepared for that. I'm in this for the long haul.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

More on "mf"

I thought that I would query the writers of the writing course that sent me the email about presenting the perfect script that included the advice to put "more follows" or "mf" on every page (about 4 posts ago.) If I get a reply from them I'll let you know.

A little bit scared

I got through quite a lot of editing today and there are about 40 pages of BTL left to go through. Just 40 pages and then it will be ready for the next stage. And I am more than a little bit scared by the prospect of sending it out to agents/publishers. But I don't know what I'm afraid of. Is it success or failure?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Inspiration where are you?

In the past few weeks I haven't done a lot of writing. I've spent some time editing BTL but that's all. The last couple of days though I have started thinking about new stuff. I worked on an article last night that I'd had rolling over in my head for a few days. It still needs editing and tweaking but I'm pretty happy with the first draft. Then tonight I have been researching another article that came to mind as Himself and Number 2 Son were watching the football.
I'm struggling to come up with ideas for short stories at the moment.
Oh well, I always said that I wanted to write more non fiction.
I'm trying really hard to write every day because I think that I use the "I'm too busy/tired etc " excuse too easily. I mean I am busy and I am tired when I come home from work but didn't I say the other day that I wanted this to happen for me even more than I had before. Well it aint going to happen if I don't write.
I just hope that the fiction inspiration comes back soon.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Foreign to me.

So far I have only had work published in magazines or books that were written in English mainly in Britain and Australia. However I have come across people that have had stories published in foreign magazines from non English speaking countries and I am thinking of Sweden and Norway here and I am wondering
a) how you go about submitting to a Swedish or Norwegian magazine?
b) how do you stop them being "too English"?


Okay, as you may know I am in the process of editing my novel (I think I might have mentioned it) so when I received an email from the people that run the writing course that I didn't finish saying "the perfect manuscript" I had a look. There's the usual stuff about 12pt Times Roman Numeral, double spacing, good margins etc. Okay so nothing new there then. However there was one thing. It still preaches, as was the case when I did the course, that you put "mf" or "more follows" at the bottom of each page (apart from the last one of course.) I thought that I'd read somewhere that that was looked upon as the mark of an amateur these days.
Or am I just making that up?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Fighting the urge

For reasons that I won't go into because they are slightly (very) petty and childish (not big and not clever) I REALLY want this writing thing to work for me now. I always wanted it to work for me but now I want it now, right now, yesterday would be better.
Anyway, that aside I have a bit of unexpected "me" time today so I've taken the opportunity to do some more editing of BTL and I'm just over a third of the way through. The urge that I am having to fight is the one to send it out now. I have barely change anything in the last four or five chapters and the editing process is coming along quite nicely thank you. I thought about twenty minutes ago and this is the one that I am fighting. "Why not send the first three chapters out now." The thought process behind this is that if (please God) someone wanted to see more I would have completed it before then.
But no, now that I've actually got that thought out into the public arena I realise how stupid that is. It has taken me longer than I had hoped to get this far mainly due to some problems at the beginning so the chances of me having gone through the rest any time soon are nil.
Stop it.
Stop it right now.
Step away from the computer.
Think I'll go and bake a cake.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A couple of questions

I would very much appreciate advice on two things which are not connected to writing but they could be. What I mean to say is that I am asking the question in connection with the day job but any advice received could maybe apply to the writing world as well. Tell you what, why don't I just shut up and ask the questions.
1. I wouldn't say that I am hopeless because that would imply that I am without hope and lets hope that I'm not but lets just say that I am very bad maybe even extremely bad at time management. There is always a lot to do and more often than not I don't get it all done. So my question is what is the key to good time management?
2. My second question possibly answers my first but here goes anyway. What is the best way to get people to help me? No hang on I know the answer to that one it is to ask them. Simple! So maybe the question is how do I get people to come out of their comfort zone and help me? I don't like asking people to do things that I know that they aren't necessarily comfortable with.
Any ideas?
Okay off to do some writing now.

Friday, 7 August 2009

A bit repetitive

I was reading a short story in a popular women's magazine yesterday which the hope of getting published in one day forbids me from naming. The exact same three words were used to describe the hero's eyes three times. When you consider that the story was only about 700 words long I thought that was a bit repetitive. Without intending to sound bitter because this story was published and I have been rejected by this magazine more than once, isn't such repitition frowned upon?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

An old baby

Today I was looking at my first attempt at a novel. It was finished over 3 years ago and fizzled out at 45,000 words. I wondered how I had ended it so I skipped to the final page and had a look. Okay I know I wrote it but I couldn't remember. I remember pretty much everything else though. Anyway I digress - the ending started me thinking about the message behind the story and I think that maybe there is still room for growth there. A best selling author was kind enough to look at it for me and they said that although they had enjoyed it and it was well written they wouldn't be sure where it could be placed. They were unsure what other books it would sit along side. Anyway having read parts of it this afternoon for the first time in three years I'm thinking that it might be worth a bit more effort.
Of course I need to finish BTL first.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Editing update

I've just popped away from the Sunday morning task of editing BTL to share a few thoughts with you. Well one really.
This is such a massive task. Or at leats it feels that way.
I look at the page counter on the bottom of the sreen and I see that there are 304 pages. I am currently "happy" (so to speak) with the first 61 pages. I've been at this for 3 weeks! The trouble is that it's a job that I only seem to be able to do properly when it is quiet and Sunday mornings are the only time that I get that is completely quite. That is if you don't count the night but I'm usually asleep then.
On a brighter note though, I have edited almost as many pages in the last hour as I have in the past 2 Sundays put together.
The first three chapters were my real hurdle and they were the ones that I had previously thought were perfect.Maybe they were a bit too perfect though. I had worked so hard and grammar etc that I had missed the point on the story flowing front.