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Writing Update

Looking back at my archives and seeing how my last post was October ’09 I’d very much like to blame Nanowrimo for my failure to update but that would be unfair and untrue.  It definitely contributed to a lack of posting in November (that wonderfully hectic bliss that is Nano) but after that was all me.

Not to fear it hasn’t been an unproductive year!

So without further delay here is an update since last year:

  • 4 finished stories
  • several more being worked on
  • 9  story submissions
  • 7 form rejections (may your work find a home elsewhere)
  • 2 rejections with personalized feedback (We liked it enough to tell you what we didn’t like, submit again)
  • 45 poems in various stages of editing (probably a third or less are polished)
  • 2 poetry submissions

I’m pretty proud of myself!

Nano ’09 Update

I completed 2009 Nanowrimo successfully.  However unlike 2008 my story wasn’t finished in 50,000 words.  I take it as a good sign that my story writing is becoming more complex.  That I’m able to sustain a richer world and plot that requires more meat on the bones of my idea.   Or I got better at padding.   I haven’t looked at last years novel since November ended but I don’t regret leaving it incomplete.

Nano ’09 was a sequel to Nano ’08 and before I could write the sequel I had to go back and look the first.  And it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.  There was some good things going on.  Sure, it needed work and a lot of it, but it could be good with a little love and surgery.  So Nano ’09 will go unfinished until Nano ’08 gets it’s due because who knows what a rewrite will do to the world and the plot and especially the characters.  The ideas in the sequel will still be there ready to be saved or discarded when I’m ready.

Nano 2010!

Here it is coming up on November 2010 and I’m looking forward to it like never before.  I have a real idea!  In the past I’ve begun the first day of Nano not knowing what I would write.  I just sat down and started putting word to page.  It was exciting!  It taught me so many things about writing and about myself.  I certainly don’t regret my past Nano novels but they were spontaneous in a way that made it hard to make them cohesive.

This year I have an idea, a plan, a plot even.  I’ve been developing it using the snowflake method.  It seems really simple but it’s not, trust me.  When he says you take an hour to do the first step he’s not kidding.  An hour to write a sentence?  Impossibly pull-your-hair-out frustrating but completely worth it for the focus it gives to the project.  I’ll admit I dashed out a 15 word sentence and thought “Ha, simple.” Except then I read it again and saw how vague it was.  So I tried to tweak it, tighten it up, say more with less.  I sharpened the vague idea drifting in my mind into something strong and concrete.  An hour was barely enough for that one sentence.

So my prep for Nano this year is going to be to continue building my snowflake.   I already know it’s going to be difficult because fleshing out the details of a novel can be difficult and I’ll be trying to do the heavy work all at once.  The payoff will be when I get to hammer out my nano with ease because I’ve made myself a detailed road map to get me to the end.

Will it work?  I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out.  Either way this is going to be great!

A Note On Poetry

Under accomplishments poetry is definitely new this year and a real change for me.

I used to write poetry regularly but I stopped in high school because, honestly, it was terrible stuff.  Teenage poetry thy name is angst and cliche.   I still enjoyed reading it but only from a book, preferably by someone I never had to meet.  A good poet can create much with little.  A good poem is full of raw expression; it can be evocative and inspirational.  I’m a little too shy to share myself so openly so poetry reading was done in secret.

Then I met a poet and we got to reading some poetry together.  I had a poetry partner if you will and I was not just okay reading other people’s poetry in public and sharing that enjoyment but reading my friends poetry and discussing it with them.  It was a revelation and I loved it!  It was short step to writing my own poetry again.  Words became so much more fun.  I have a bunch now that are finished and I believe decent but will never see the light of day because of their personal nature.  It can be a cathartic endeavor.   Much better are the poems, coming more and more frequently, that are more than just veiled therapy.  I’ve shared some and I’ve had some really positive responses .

I’ve started putting together a collection.  I try not to write love poems or breakup poems but they happen and some are even clever and fun so I’m going to get them out of the way.  It’s working title is Because the World Needs Another Volume of Bitter Love Poetry but that’s kind of unwieldy so I’m looking for something a little more pithy.  It will be interesting to see what comes of this endeavor.

Wrap up

So that about brings us up to date.  I’ve got some good ideas brewing and some good ideas on page waiting to be brought to life.  I have some plans for eclectophilia too.  I’m looking to share some work here, snippets and teasers, maybe the occasional poem.  So I’ll be back soon.

Ta.

A.

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