Tag Archives: common thread

Weekly Wednesday Writing Wrap-Up

This week started with me desperately trying to finish a 5000 word urban fantasy story that I was planning to submit to the Common Thread Short Story Competition. The competition doesn’t allow for email or online entries, so had to be posted and arrive no later than Friday 15th April. Obviously, that made for an incredibly tight deadline. I had until 5:00pm Thursday 14th to have my story completed and posted. And on the Wednesday evening, I’d written 3500 words but was only halfway through the story, and I still hadn’t decided how it was all going to end.

Wednesday afternoon involved me heading to the library to write. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of benefits to writing on the library computer, rather than at home. These include:

  • No children to distract me every 5 minutes.
  • No husband ditto ditto ditto.
  • No housework that I “need” to do right now.
  • No kitchen full of tempting treats, coffee, alcohol, etc etc etc.
  • No internet access

Essentially, there is nothing to do except sit and write. And that’s it. Without the various distractions and opportunities to procrastinate, I was able to write another 4000 words in only an hour and a half, and complete the story in a way that I was really happy with.

One small problem.

You may recall that I had to write a story that was between 3500 and 5000 words in length. However, anyone with a basic understanding of maths will realise that my completed story came in at roughly 7500 words. Welcome to Thursday night: Editing!

I was honestly not convinced that I would be able to remove 2500 words (1/3 of the work I’d done) and still have a piece of work that I would be happy with. After 3 hours of editing, I hadn’t changed my mind. Although I was down to 5800 words. I went to bed and slept on it, and then Thursday morning began the process all over again. In the end, it took me until 1:00pm Thursday to hit 4987 words. Success!

I had my husband read it, and he said that he couldn’t tell that I’d removed anything, so that was a win. I posted my entry off, and then breathed a huge sigh of relief. As deadlines go, I cut that one pretty fine. Sure, there wouldn’t have been any real negative effects to me not entering, but if I’ve set myself a deadline then I like to live up to it.

After the final rush, I then spent the next couple of days breathing deeply, and not wanting to write at all. By the time I was ready to go, I set down to start work on a 3500 word story for the Lorian Hemmingway Short Story Competition. I had a strong idea, and wrote 700 words in my first writing session. Then I went away, thought about it, and realised that I had the wrong mood. So I deleted it and started the story again. I managed to get about 200 words written, and then….. nothing.

(As a side note, may I say that if you’re looking for a way to procrastinate for hours on end, you really can’t go past the hilarity of Failbook.)

So now it’s Wednesday again, and I have a lot of writing ahead of me. Talk to you next week!

Happy Ostara!

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Weekly Wednesday Writing Wrap-up

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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