M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Writing Success x 2

The Read ...
Writing success is rewarded a second way from getting your back list re-published.  You get your short stories reprinted ... by "traditional" publishers.  Got reminded about this aspect when I dug into the pile of unread books I bought last summer.  Had great fun reading a bunch of short stories by Leigh Brackett and Mercedes Lackey.

For a writer, short story collections help you see how a writer has developed ... provided they didn't rewrite every story in the collection.  The Lackey collection, Fiddler Fair, was published in 1998 and contains some of her earlier ... maybe as far back as when she wrote on a 286 computer while holding down a full-time job with an airlines. 

A comment from Lackey's introduction in case you ever wonder about finding ideas. -- "As for finding ideas, I can only say that finding them is easy; they come all the time.  Deciding which ones are worth developing is the difficult part."

Leigh Brackett has been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her John Stark novels -- written long before the space program destroyed our fantasies about the solar system being habitable without massive technological intervention.  Whatever, I still enjoy the stories even though the space program proved them impossible.

The introduction to The Best of Leigh Brackett written by her husband, Edmond Hamilton, gives an insight on how writing hasn't changed.  "We found, when we first began working together, that we had quite different ways of doing a story.  I was used to writing a synopsis of the plot first, and then working from that.  To my astonishment, when Leigh was working on a story and I asked her, 'Where is your plot?' she answered, 'There isn't any ... I just start writing the first page and let it grow.'"

And that was in the days of typewriters!  I wonder what her revisions looked like. 

[I wrote then too (... and published some non-fiction).  I can remember the stapled re-write  pages, some 5 inches long and other 24+ inches long ... and some typewritten and other pieces in pen on binder paper.  For variety, I taped pieces together into a similar mess.] 

Web and Other Stuff ...
Okay, the distinction over MG (tween) and YA has my head swiveling because of There Be Demons falling through the gap.  Michael Stearn at the Upstart Crow Agency has come to my rescue (sort of) in his blog:  Middle Grade?  Teen?  Where Do You Draw the Line?.

[I'm still confused about my writing.  I think my stuff is too old for kids but too young for teens.  Maybe that's why I'm playing with the Half-Elven again.]

Curious about what happens when you get The Call (from an agent) or any call for that matter.  Roni Loren at Fiction Groupie shares her experience here.

Perhaps a great idea?  Via Coleen Lindsay on Twitter, an article on a British site that's linking individual writers into support/critique groups --  Quilliant.com.  If you're a loner, you might want to check them out.   I think it's interesting if you want a brilliant quill ... or computer.

[I'm fortunate.  The Northern Colorado Writers and AW Water Cooler mostly meet my needs here.]

Progress ...
Well, I did get my one lonely picture up.  Felt like getting trapped in a black hole.  And, I've got promises of more artwork to come.  Maybe, I won't spend forever getting the next batches up.  Glad I didn't have to pay someone else to do it.

Also, have my outline for the new Mariah novellette/novella/whatever as done as it's going to get. Tonight I start writing.  :-)  *heh*,  *heh* 

Next, now that my critiquing is almost done ... I need to decide what I'm going to revise.  The decision?  Probably, give Dark Solstice  a once over since it was rejected ... again.  I'm trying for e-publishers but can't quite separate out whether or not they want romance with their fantasy.  DS comes after the HEA has disintegrated and in need of reconciliation. 

[Oh, there are other real hurdles to jump over ... but one of them is that the kind of book I wrote would fit into the 1970s easier than it would now.

Trivia ...
One of my favorite fantasies is finding a new C. L. Moore or Leigh Brackett book/story that I haven't read before -- while standing around in dusty used bookstores waiting for the old man to check out the folklore etc. sections.  If I'm lucky, the stores have chairs for spouses to sit in.

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