I know I’ve been quiet lately. At least blog quiet. I’ve taken a long break from the submission process for Cheater, but plan to start up again this month. And the most important thing is this: I have been writing. A lot. I’ve found a great rhythm and balance between working part time and writing part time, and have been happily delving into a YA novel I wrote as a 13 year old. It needs a lot of work – but the bones are good. It’s been fun (yet angst inducing) to return to the teenage world. Mostly fun. And I have to say, I love the voice I’ve found, and it is so easy, scarily easy, to slip into my inner teenager. This character is flowing over with potential, and I can see myself writing many, many stories with her. Changing my focus from searching for an agent back to craft has been rejuvenating. Just what I needed to do some revising on Cheater and jump back into the toil of the querying process!
Goals 2009 January 16, 2009
Tis the season to set goals, and I have several for writing. I’m being general here, but my specific goals are S.M.A.R.T. – as discussed in a previous post – and pinned over my desk!
•My biggest goal is to find an agent for CHEATER. I love this book, and I really believe it has a good shot at finding a place in the market.
•I’m calling this the “year of rough drafts.” I have so many ideas floating around in my head. Some of them I like more than others, but many of them have potential. They are in different genres: Contemporary Fantasy, General Fiction, YA, YA Fantasy, and Travel Writing. Which doesn’t bode well for starting a career, I know. I’ll have to pick something and stick with it for a while if I really want to succeed in the published market. But I’m still, in some ways, finding myself as a writer. Aren’t we all, to some extent? I want to take time to experiment in different genres, different voices, different story lengths. I’ve set some specific goals for which ideas I want to make into rough drafts of both short and novel length stories. I write roughs pretty fast, so I think I can complete several this year.
•Enter some contests. There are some great ones out there. I’ve got my eye on the Golden Heart, and I’m researching some others.
•Blog 2-3 times a week.
•Continue to study the craft through books, classes, conferences, and continuing with my two critique groups.
Now they are out there. There’s no turning back!
Fantasy Writers Research, Too August 13, 2008
Yep – we may create our own worlds and our own rules, but that doesn’t exempt us from research.
Here is a list of some of the things I researched while writing my urban fantasy, CHEATER:
• Traditional and contemporary beliefs about death, the gods and angels of death, and the afterlife, including Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Norse, Aztec, and Christian.
• Con artists and their “art”, famous cons and schemes, famous con artists
• The Grim Reaper – folklore, history, and portrayal in literature and film
• Death and mortality rates
• Traditionally held beliefs about Limbo
• All sorts of cool techy stuff like hacking into computers, tiny digital cameras, internet scams…
• Slot machines
• Las Vegas and Death Valley – that was a fun trip!
• The Lake Havasu region
• Several locales around sweet home San Diego
• Casinos, their rules, their layout
• The Etch A Sketch
• My jobs, that have offered wonderful insight to the inner workings of a bureaucracy (including a nice collection of memos that served as inspiration…)
• Charles Babbage, his Difference Engine, and his Analytical Engine
While 95% of what I learned didn’t make it into the book (sometimes 10 hours of research becomes 1 line of text), most of these things play a role. Are you intrigued yet?