The title of this entry is possibly a little confusing, considering that this is the first Writing Wrap-Up that I’ve written. But habits have to start somewhere, and this is the beginning of one.
Last night I went to a meeting of the Strathpine LIbrary Writer’s Group. It’s several years since I was last involved with a writing group, and I really enjoyed the experience. It’s nice to spend some time in a room talking abotu writing with other writers. It’s a quite small group, but full of interesting people with years of experience in writing, and at least one person who has finished a novel & is looking for an agent and publication. The group meets once a month, and I’m looking forward to being able to share my work with other writers for feedback & critiquing.
At the meeting, one of the ladies shared one of her favourite inspriational books with us – How I Got Published, edited by Ray White and Duane Lindsay. (Thanks to Sue!) The book is a compilation of over 80 authors sharing their publication stories. Sue shared the story of Marion Keyes, which I found fascinating as an example of how luck and timing play such a big part in being published. One thing that stood out to me in this story was Marion’s statement (and this is from memory, so the quote may not be completely accurate) that she’s the only author she knows who doesn’t have an underwear drawer full of half-finished novels.
This statement got me thinking about my own novel-writing “career”. Really, I don’t have a lot of unfinished novels to speak of. I’ve got 3 that are still going around in my head:
- On Raven’s Wing – A sword & sorcery style fantasy novel based around Raven, a mercenary/tinker who is prophecied to be the greatest mage in the land, and his friendship with the mysterious Marcus, a naive nobleman’s son. I wrote 60,000 words of a first draft before realising that there was some serious plotting issues and restarting the story using the same characters and meta-plot. I’m about 10,000 words into a second draft that makes more sense.
- Darkest Winter, Brightest Light – A vaguely historically-based novel about a widowed woman on the edge of the expanding Roman empire being captured by a group of Vikings, and the changing world around them as Christianity sweeps through the land. I haven’t written much more than an outline for this novel, and I need to do a lot more research if it’s going to work.
- Tempest in the Night – A vampire novel set in Brisbane, about a centuries-old vampire named Gabriel and his young protege Tempest as they deal with a threat from a competing vampiric threat. I’ve written 2 chapters and have a full outline, and plenty of background material. I was really excited about this idea… and then Twilight hit epic proportions a few years ago, and the thought of being comparied to ridiculous sparkling vampires killed any desire that I had to finish my story.
Really, I do still like all three ideas, and they’re all things that I may come back to “one day”. But what I really want to do at the moment is focus on something completely different. And I finally have something in mind. Urban fantasy is where my interest lies at the moment, so that’s where I’m going to focus my attention. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
At the moment, my focus is on short story writing, however. I’m just finishing a piece entitled Storm Warning, which I’m writing for a writing competition that closes on Friday. (I know – nothing like leaving it until the last minute.) The competition is the Common Thread Short Story Competition. The story is an urban fantasy with the opening:
I should have left town the day the goblins stole my keys. That would have been the smart thing to do.
Once that’s finished, I’m going to begin work on a story for the Lorian Hemmingway Short Story Competition, which closes on the 1st of May. I will also need to consider a piece to write for the writing group, which needs to be inspired by the lyrics of a song. If at all possible, I will try to write the one story that will serve both of these purposes.
Wish me luck!