Sunday, 24 October 2010

Resources For Short Story Writers

I've had some lovely rejections of my memoir. Excerpts include:

'I was very impressed with the professional way you present this material and I enjoyed the chapters too.'
I do like your title and I do like what you've sent me so thank you.'
'You write well and have an appealing, warm style.'

So far, so encouraging, but there's always a 'but', and it's usually that they don't feel confident of being able to place the book with a publisher. So I've decided to see whether I can do that myself. As a result, I've been researching publishers to see who might be interested. Yesterday I was checking out Tindal Street Press (fiction only, boo hoo) and I discovered a page on their site with resources for writers of short stories. Ten of their authors have each produced a short essay, covering an aspect of short story writing, which are free to download. I've read them all and they're good: well-written, readable, informative. The only thing I didn't like is that they call them 'masterclasses' which seems a bit poncy. There aren't that many how-to books which cover short stories, so I was pleased to find these essays. They seem to be aimed at literary writers, but the advice they contain is equally relevant to commercial stories. Here's the link: if you're interested, go look!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Edited Highlights

The last two weeks have seen me in something close to perpetual motion, but what stays with me are a few moments of stillness. Looking at spiderwebs in my garden one morning:

Taking five minutes to have a shower at my parents' house, and appreciating the view (I do like a shower with a view):

Walking in the Lake District on a beautiful sunny autumn day:

Edinburgh is a visual feast, with its beautiful buildings, alleys, bridges, castle and hills, but I didn't take my camera. My strongest memory is walking over the bridge where Inverleith Row crosses the Water of Leith. I glanced over the parapet at the river. To my surprise, only a few yards away, standing in the water was a grey heron. Seeing this beautiful wild creature in the middle of the city was an astonishing experience.

Another good moment was when I hit 50K on the novel yesterday. Halfway!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Where Did That Week Go?

I can't believe it's a week since I posted about writing 1K a day - and then I made no progress for the rest of that week! I wrote a short story, though. It seems I can't do both at once, at least not when I'm at the first draft stage of the novel; I can only invent one set of characters and their situation at a time. This is a continual dilemma as I long to keep going with the novel but I also enjoy, and learn so much from, writing shorties and getting feedback from my wonderful online critique group. Anyway, I'm back on the novel today, and this will definitely be a 5K week. I'm off up north this morning to spend time with my family till Friday afternoon, so I may not be around much on the interwebs, but I'll read and comment on all your blogs whenever I get the chance. Have a good week, y'all!