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Posts Tagged ‘novels’

A mid-November update on NaNoWriMo and new short stories

November 15, 2014 10 comments

I’m smack dab in the middle of yet another NaNoWriMo, right along with all those thousands of others brave enough (or foolish enough) to dive headfirst into this annual frenetic activity. For NaNo this year, I chose to do something a little different in November. Instead of writing something completely new, I decided I would take a “completed” draft from a previous NaNoWriMo (2011, to be exact) and spend the month working on revision. I figured if I could get a minimum of 50K words or 30 chapters edited over the course of the month, I’d consider that a win. So far, progress has been great, and my novel is moving another step closer to becoming a finished product. While it’s far from perfect at this point, it’s improving with each revised chapter.

On the short story front … first, thanks to all of you who took the time to read my last story and leave a comment. I appreciate your support, encouragement, and feedback. Second, I’ve got two different short stories I’m working on right now, though the pressures of November writing might make it hard to finish them as soon on time. One hasn’t even been started, but it needs to be finished and polished up by the end of the month. Ooops. Timing for the other is a bit more open-ended, which is nice. I have a partially written story from years ago already in place, so I hope to expand and complete it in time for that submission. Both should be fun projects.

Hope everyone’s having a wonderful November, filled with plans for the upcoming holidays. My favorite time of year …

–dp

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Throwback Thursday: unseen posts from the past

January 9, 2014 9 comments

Ok … I’ve finally given in. For a while now, I’ve been seeing “throwback Thursday” blog posts fly by here, as well as on Facebook. So, I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon. In my case, though, I don’t plan on posting old pictures of myself (because, let’s admit it, who really cares about those), but rather, throw out some old blog posts. Most of you out there following me now are relatively new, say within the last year. Since I’ve been blogging off and on for pretty much for 5 years now, I thought it would be fun to share some of the (hopefully) better posts from years gone by.

First up is something I wrote back in August of 2011. It’s all about rediscovering a dream. Hope you enjoy.

Throwback Thursday post.

–dp

On blogging: to post our writing or not redux

December 23, 2013 1 comment

Ok, the first of two short posts today.

For anyone interested, my son sent me this link to an article about what is considered previously published writing. It’s a nice follow-up to one of my earlier posts about this subject, which you can find here. It’s a worthwhile read even though it basically confirms the conclusion reached in the comments/discussion of my older post.

–dp

Why do you write?

November 20, 2013 23 comments

onwriting

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
Stephen King

Can’t say it a whole lot better than that … Someday, when I publish my first book, I will be absolutely thrilled if even only one person reads it and likes it. If no one reads it, well, I’ll still be happy, just because I finished it. Still, wouldn’t mind getting that one like 🙂

Why do you write?

–dp

On blogging: to post our writing or not

November 13, 2013 29 comments

To post or not to post, that is the question.

You see, I’m confused. I seem to have gathered conflicting advice on what to do with what I’ve written. Some say never post anything, some say post what you want. So what is it? Is it ok to post just flash fiction? Or short stories? Maybe excerpts from our novels? Or chapters? The whole book? Or maybe this kind of stuff belongs somewhere else, like Scribophile?

Part of me wants to post my writing so I can get some feedback, and to see if anyone actually likes what I write. But the other part of me is worried that by posting anything, I will lose the opportunity to submit to publications who restrict themselves to unpublished work, where unpublished means it can’t even have appeared in my own blog.

Anyone have thoughts one way or the other on this subject? Any experience with posting your own writing, either positive or negative? Using online writing groups, like Scribophile?

–dp

On writing: slow down to speed up

September 18, 2013 25 comments

Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Write slower to write more. Yeah, didn’t seem reasonable to me, either … at first. But, after reading The Secret to Writing Faster, I thought a bit more about the proposition. And you know what? It makes sense.

If you didn’t go and read the article, I can summarize it by saying the author, Karen Dionne, believes that writing longhand can actually be faster, in the end, than using a computer. Pretty outlandish, huh? Well, not necessarily. Many years ago, I wrote a fair amount of my first novel by hand (I mention this briefly in an old blog post My first novel: a retrospective – part I) Though I didn’t expound much on the experience in the older post, I can say now that I did see some of the two main advantages Dionne describes in her article. She said that

My sentences are also cleaner. Because I write more slowly by hand than I can type, I give more thought to what I’m writing, and am thus more careful about what I put on page.

and

… that’s the corollary to writing faster. Slow down. Think about the words before you put them to paper, and the words you write are more likely to be ones that will stay.

Looking back, I can say I think this was true for me as well. Yes, I bemoaned the need for typing in all those well-crafted words after having already written them in notebooks, but I think overall the sentences and the story were better for having been written by hand. Now to be fair, even though I believe what I just said, I haven’t, as of yet, given up my MacBook and Scrivener.

Where I write

My Desk

It should be noted that the idea of writing slower can also be applied even when sitting in front of a computer and keyboard. It’s just harder, that’s all 🙂

So, anyone out there like to do things old-school? Done it before and hated it? Loved it? Never going to give up on the computer?

–dp

On writing: my plans for 2013

December 29, 2012 10 comments

This year, I’ve decided to be approach my writing and the upcoming new year differently. In the past, I’ve pretty much just barreled into the year headlong, with no forethought and no clue to what I wanted to accomplish with my writing other than knowing that I wanted to write. All well and good, but I figured this year I’d try something that would help keep me focused and help me track my progress.

So here, in no particular order (that’s for you, DJ), are my writing goals for 2013:

  • Write a novel in a new genre (I’m a dark fiction/horror person typically).

  • Which one you might ask? Why a romance/love story, of course. What provoked me to stray so far away from my comfort zone? Well, in the past, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt compelled to write very short pieces of fiction (flash fiction to be exact) that were centered around love (check one out here and the other here if interested). But the real inspiration for this idea came to me over the last year as I spent time with my folks while my dad was ill. Sitting around with them and talking about their lives and how they met and all that happened over the years, it just seemed to lend itself to a beautiful love story. I have no idea if it will work, but I feel it strongly enough to give it a try.

  • Complete and edit Whispers.

  • This is a novel I started during NaNoWriMo 2010 and mostly finished during the months that followed. It’s a story about a young couple, their son, and an evil secret that forces them to face an ancient and malevolent force.

  • Write one new short story.

  • I’ve got many ideas, but I’m not sure which one I’ll choose, yet. I suspect I’ll just sit down and let inspiration take over.

  • Complete and edit The Last Descent,

  • This novel is about 2/3 complete and was written back in 1989/1990. I wrote it while I was waiting to hear back from publishers about my first book, The Light. (I talked about this way back here). It’s an apocalyptic story, one of those “end of the world” books, where people make some big mistakes and end up setting evil loose on unsuspecting world. It’s got a lot of great potential. My biggest obstacle so far has been trying to get my mind wrapped around the story as currently written so that I can figure out exactly where I was trying to go at the time. It will be a challenge, but if I can get it done I think it can be a great book.

  • Submit some of my work for publication.

  • My first attempt will be with Cemetery Dance Magazine, which is currently accepting unsolicited short story submissions. I have a few I think are pretty good, so I thought I would give it a try. I haven’t collected any rejection letters recently, so why not 🙂 Wish me luck!


Yes, these are pretty ambitious goals, but I figure the only way I’m going to get some serious writing done is if I set the bar high. If I don’t accomplish them all, well that will be okay, because even if I only accomplish a few of them I’ll have made tremendous progress. So, I plan to revisit these goals throughout the year and comment on how I’m doing. The prospect of doing so will, I hope, encourage me to do more of what I really want to do: write.

Anyone else setting goals for their writing next year?

–dp