Well, not such good progress the past couple of weeks: sat down at the machine a few times, then ended up doing other stuff rather than the edit. Especially as there were a few IT issues. So I only managed to edit up to chapter 15 inclusive. But I did write a short story for a competition on a blog, The Cult of Me, which runs 500 word story comps every month, based on an image. I had looked at the competitions previously and couldn’t get “inspired”, and it was the same this time so I just started writing and a story started to unfold. It was a non story at first, with no real conclusion, then went in a slightly unexpected direction, assisted by the expressions on the faces of the audience in the illustration as they listened to the man reading from a book.
I have started doing small challenges like this lately, on SFF Chronicles to start with, and now this one. It gets the subconscious working in a different way and I think is a good idea, because you can get a bit stale when you’ve been going over and over the same MS, as I have. And this week I submitted an entry for the March SFF 75 word challenge.
Also this week I finally received the ‘thanks but no thanks’ emails I was expecting for my two entries to the Hodderscape Open Submission, which had been pending since last August. I think I didn’t do badly; after all, there were 1500 entries, and mine both hung in there after the initial sift, where the writers were all notified by 31st December. The 600 entries that remained in were all undergoing second reads, prior to whittling down once more, this time to 100 in total. So I think I did all right to have two novels pass that initial weeding out. I’m not disappointed, having decided some time ago to go down the self publishing route. It was just a last attempt at traditional publishing, considering that main publishers do not now permit unagented submissions apart from these rare open doors, and it is extremely difficult to get an agent. So it was worth having a try at it and I’m pleased that I made the effort and at least wasn’t binned out in the first tranche.
As far as getting on with the novel, I’ve signed up for CampNaNoWriMo and I’m in a cabin with two online friends so hopefully we’ll be able to spur each other on.
So the goals:
- Complete the novel edit by end March – not looking that likely now (!) but I hope to get a few more chapters done over the Easter weekend, or what’s left of it.
- Work out how to format a Kindle book including the front and end pages and what to put in those – have done a bit of reading about this; looks complicated as people say just uploading a Word document doesn’t cut it, and it might be necessary to do search/replace in the HTML version. Need to look further into it.
Apparently this is the end of Round 1 of ROW80. Anyway, here are the latest ROW80 postings:
But you’re still working at it all. That’s a success. And short story challenges can rekindle your writing passion.
Speaking of Kindle…(note the tie-in!)…It actually is easier than you might think to format. At least my short-story, text-only books have been. There’s a step-by-step Tutorial for Dummies on the Kindle Amazon Author Central site, as well as so many chatboards. You can get all nitpicky about it…”the text format works on iPhone but looks a bit odd on a tablet but then that makes it slightly wonky on this device…but if I tweak it, that could work”…but that’s a layout thing. At some point, you’ll quit fidgeting and, just like the book itself, say: “good enough, Book, I release you into the world.” You can do it!
Thanks for the comment on my blog – I left a reply there.
Sound like you’ve been off and on for this Round too, but made some good progress. That contest series on Cult of Me looks interesting – I may try it next month.