Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Pen Is Creating Splotches On The Paper

That's not much of a much.---catch phrase I created for myself in my younger days

The above sentence about sums up my calendar week (Wednesday to Wednesday) in all things related to writing.

I touched upon a whole bunch of things, but like a kid with ADD in a toy store, I was too overstimulated to see anything through to completion.

Note, if you're thinking I'm insulting everyone with ADD, you're probably right. However, as one who was diagnosed using the old-fashioned term "hyperactivity" and went through all the drugged out nonsense when he was younger (Ritalin. Is. Good), I think I've more than earned the right. So there.

Anyways, among the things I touched upon and didn't really complete were these brainless top heavy cuties:

1} Short Story. I got to thinking about some of the completed short stories that I got sitting on my computer gathering dust, so I decided to take a crack at finding a few magazines that I might be able to submit them to. However, before doing that, I spent some time tweaking the content to a couple of them. Satisfied at a job averagely done, I went off on my search and destroy at the Duotrope website. Didn't quite find a good one that I wanted for one particular story of mine called "A Troubled Conscience" (story about revenge with some elements of Heaven and Hell woven into it), but because I set the search terms incorrectly, I found a few adult publishers that I might consider submitting my book to. Another one that I tweaked, was one that was originally posted here in blogland about year ago, so I'm looking for a home for that as well.

2} Line 21. Speaking of the book, I haven't made a lick of progress on any more submissions. I guess it boils down to playing by the rules set forth by the various publishing entities/literary agents out there, so patience, which has never been a virtue (good or bad) with me, is something I'm getting used to having. However, I do think that my best shot at getting published would be to concentrate on the small to medium size presses, only because I don't think that my book is the type that any agent would take on. Unless somehow I turned it into a YA fantasy, then they'll jump all over it, because as you know YA is the hottest and most overly saturated market on the planet, thus there's always room for one more dead title.

2a} YA. Yeah, I just insulted YA and YA writers and agents who specialize in YA. However, it's not that hard to come to the conclusion that the market is both extremely hot and extremely saturated. It seems that every success story I come across (and I've come across quite a few) features a YA writer landing an agent or a YA writer getting published.

Small hint people: YA is not the be all to end all. If you keep pushing one particular genre down the collective throat of the reading public, you're gonna wind up turning off an important and necessary segment of the reading public that you will need in order to keep all of those retail functions that are out there viable. What segment? Why, the ones who actually buy the books to begin with.

3} Dandelion Tears. Why is it that whenver you get stuck as a writer, the only way you can get unstuck is to write something so far out of your comfort zone that more often than not it helps move the story along? For me, it seems that whenever I get stuck while writing this latest project, two things usually happen. One, I start writing the story by hand. Tedious I know, but it works because it forces me to concentrate on what I'm thinking about for a plot and what I'm deciding to write for either dialogue or scene. Two, I write a scene that is far and beyond my comfort zone. With this story, I opened and closed the previous chapter with a scene that is far and beyond my comfort zone, and I opened the next chapter also with that same type of scene. In all honesty, I'm never comfortable reading about that particular scene nor am I comfortable writing about that as well, but apparently it did the trick as I'm starting not only to make decent progress with the story, but I'm outlining a little bit as well.

I originally wrote this post to be published two week ago, but as many of you know, I had a short story of mine accepted since then, plus a few other ideas cropped up (one of which I'd elaborated on in the previous week that is briefly touched upon in point #3) that caused this post to be pushed back to the end of the month. So, it's sort of accurate, because I'm still doing the same thing two weeks later what I originally wrote about two weeks ago.


  1. I think you're right on the comfort zone thing. breaking out of it is a good way to move forward at times.

  2. I'm glad to hear that YA is such a hot genre at the moment. It's nice to know that young people are still reading and not spending all their waking hours texting and playing video games.

  3. I love the phrase "Dandelion Tears". Can I steal it for a song title? :-) I agree with no. 3. I find myself energized when I write something out of my comfort zone. It's like priming the pump.

    Georgie, keep on splotching. I think it's great that you have your fingers in many pots!!

  4. Charles: It was a lesson that I originally learned after I wrote my first novel, so for the past few years, I concentrated on not going to those extremes. I agree though that going out of your comfort zone can often be the spark needed to carry on.

    S.R.: I agree its a good thing to see that kids are reading, but it seems to me that the YA market is becoming dangerously oversaturated. Too many choices for too few readers out there result in some worthy books biting the proverbial dust.

    Jewel: You have my permission to creatively acquire the title for a song if you so desire. :D

    I enjoy having my fingers in lots of pots, so long as I can them the proper attention that they deserve.

  5. Another vote for #3 Dandelion Tears here. Whenever a project, or manuscript, needs a kickstart, trying something completely new, or coming at a scene from an unexpected place, always gets the words going.

    And somewhere in these splotches I saw mention of getting a short story accepted, congrats on your good news!

  6. Joanne: Most definitely. With this particularly unappetizing scene I wrote, it managed to help me make substantial progress towards the initial climax of the story.

    And thanks. I had a quirky short story called "Red Stripe" accepted at a bi-monthtly e-zine called The Cynic, which will be published around June 1st.

  7. YA has pretty much morphed into something that sucks. With fangs.

  8. R: I would agree. However, I do try to play nice when it comes to YA because I have a few writer friends on FB who are coming out with YA stuff either later this year and early next year, and I don't want to disrespect their acheivements.

    But, I play nice to a point, and only to a point.

  9. I like Dandelion Tears. I think we all need to jump way out of our comfort zone often to keep it all creatively going.

  10. Kelly: The way that I jumped out of my comfort zone is hopefully something that I won't make a habit of. It's okay to do it once in a while, but you have to be careful on particular type of vehicle you choose to use to begin with.


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