glitter_n_gore: (Default)
First, an update on my progress, now that November is nearly over:

My two complete short stories, "Doppelganger" and "Early Risers," have been submitted and subsequently rejected. Moving on to the next markets for each now.

My two novel-sized WIPs, "Demigeists" and the expanded version of "Early Risers," are at 11,000 and 5,000 words, respectively. Not quite where I wanted to be right now, but slow and steady.

My in-progress short story, "The Candelabrum," is almost finished at 3,000 words, and I'm now struggling with whether I want to kill off my MC entirely, or let her go with a lifelong cloud of guilt hanging over her. It's a toss-up. I'm one scene from finished. (Maybe one and a half.)

So, about short stories versus novels--the submission process isn't wildly different, but different enough that I've discovered some pros and cons of each. Since short stories are what I'm submitting at the moment, I'll go with that process.

Pros:

-No query-writing. At most, magazines, ezines and anthologies ask for a brief cover letter, which is so simple it feels like cheating. All you need is something like, "Dear Editor, enclosed is My Story, it is X words long and in X genre. Thank you for reading!" And if it's a paper submission, an SASE enclosed as well. That's it.

-No synopsis. I feel I don't need to explain this one.

-Lower printer/ink costs. Because they're, well, shorter. Less paper, you see.

Cons:

-Slower response times. This took me by surprise, actually, but many magazines and ezines keep you waiting for a matter of months. The longest I've seen is a projected 10 month wait time. On the other hand, the shortest was just two weeks, so maybe this isn't as bad as I imagine it to be.

-No simultaneous submissions. With rare exceptions, what this means is you stay waiting with one story in the queue, and until you hear back from that publisher, you can't send it anywhere else. This might be why the wait time feels slower to me, since you aren't hearing back from multiple places on the same manuscript like you would with novels and agents.

The lack of synopsis is a HUGE plus. But so far, it hasn't gotten me picked up by anyone yet.

Onward!

NaNo 2011!

Nov. 8th, 2011 03:26 pm
glitter_n_gore: (hyde)
So I'm not doing NaNo this year, exactly, but I do have a number of projects currently underway so I figured I might as well use this space to track my progress. If nothing else, it'll give me something to blog about, because seriously, I need to update more often.

Here's the score so far:

Short Stories:

Doppelganger--supernatural horror, clocking in at 6500 words. Longish for the markets I'm looking at, but not too long, hopefully. Ready to sub, at least as ready as I can make it with the help of five betas and one personalized rejection.

Early Risers--zombie short, horror-comedy, 1290 words. Submitted to Publisher A, no word back yet. It's been about a month since I sent it, but their kill date is 60 days, so I'm not worried. (Yet.)

The Candelabrum--good ol' fashioned haunted house story, no word count yet as it's all longhand. Inspired by the October Prompt on AW.

Novels:

Early Risers--same zombie short, expanding into a novel against my better judgment. (The first "chapter" is what I'm pitching as a short story, and I still think it works rather nicely as a standalone piece.) I'm also taking some of the pieces I couldn't make work from "Dusty" and trying them here instead. Progress so far: 4500 words.

Demigeists--YA horror/urban fantasy/magic realism. I put all those in there because it's still cooking and I'm not sure what it'll look like once it's done. I've taken one of my own nightmares, the random infestation of crows that popped up 'round these parts over summer, mixed in some characters from a trunk novel, and enrolled them in a prep school next to a graveyard. Progress so far: 5000 words.

Total rejections so far: 6 (1 personalized)

Full requests: 1
glitter_n_gore: (cheryl)
First, I want to give a shout-out to my friend Jenna Pittman, whose story "The Language of Bones" is currently appearing in Blood Bound Books' Rock and Roll is Dead anthology, which was released this summer. I know I mentioned this before, but I bring it up again because the current issue of Rue Morgue Magazine--the one with the original Fright Night poster on the cover--has reviewed the anthology and spoke very highly of Jenna's story in particular. So, good job, Jen! Go check out the issue--there's always lots to savor in Rue Morgue.

Second, we have a situation.

In the space of less than a week, the East Coast--the ENTIRE East Coast, just about--experienced a seismic event unlike any most of us can remember; and then we found Irene getting cozy down south and preparing to crash this weekend. Keep in mind as well that the Dismal Swamp is still on fire.

Now, I'm not saying we're in for a zombie apocalypse or anything, but the plot bunnies are having a field day. And you have to admit, the timing is a bit odd.

Diane Dooley and Luke Walker have put together a top ten list of the best zombie movies ever made here: Here There Be Zombies! It's always great to see how the rules differ from one story to the next, and how they're similar is well.

Batten down the hatches, get your duct tape, bottled water, plywood, and hand-crank flashlights, but it couldn't hurt to sharpen a machete or two also. No harm in being prepared, is all I'm saying.

And speaking of being prepared, I myself am hammering out some finishing touches to "Doppelganger," which I'm hoping to submit to an anthology later this week. Well, the deadline is later this week, but I'm trying to put it in the queue a little earlier just in case we lose power.

More on that later. Stay tuned!
glitter_n_gore: (samara)
Let's hear it for fellow horror hound, Diane Dooley, who has not just one, but two stories out as of this past month: "A Womb of One's Own", her first print publication which is out in this summer's issue of Golden Visions Magazine--read more about it here; and "Served", a short, nasty piece about waiting tables (kind of) which you can read here. (Scroll down to the end, but be warned--it is NOT for the faint of heart. Mature audiences ONLY.)

Also there's a great conversation/interview up on her blog with Fiona Dodwell, on the perceptions and difficulties of being not just a horror writer, but a female horror writer: "Most people who find I enjoy horror are shocked – they usually respond by saying, “But you’re such a girly, feminine woman!”, as if being into horror means I have to grow horns and wear black all day! Really, I’m a happy, contented woman, but I like to explore darkness from a safe place – and for me that is through the medium of writing." Read the rest of the interview here.


As for myself, progress is slow but steady on my various projects. I am four pages and one last edit away from finished with "Doppelganger," the horror short I've been working on with the writer's group here, and have signed up to do a reading with them in September. It's a first-come, first-served sign up list, so hopefully I'll be able to get in there. Even if it's full, there's usually at least one person who can't show up due to some emergency or other, so I'm hopeful. Stay tuned--I will tell you when and where for anyone who wants to come.

The rest of my projects are, as usual, getting eaten by plot bunnies. I got one more rejection back for "Hoppers," which I hate to admit probably needs another rewrite--or at least a fresh beta reader to tell me what needs fixing. I'm torn between the voice that says "Put it away and deal with it later, when you stop hating it," which is probably the best; and the one that says, "But it's YA dystopia--if we don't find a buyer now, people are going to be sick of them! It'll be vampires all over again!" although I know, I know, that's my impatience talking. The market is unpredictable--dystopias will come back around, or not, and there's nothing I can do about it, so there's no use worrying about that.

"Dusty" has a mind of its own and won't do what I tell it, although I think the first chapter is pretty good. A first chapter does not a good novel make, but it's a start, and it's better than what I had before. I think I might just be taking this project too seriously, because--apart from the vampires--it's about a topic that's very close to home for me, and that's making it exceedingly difficult to write.

I have several more on the backburner, but right now my focus is mostly on "Doppelganger." Having a critique group to report to makes things go so much more smoothly.

As for the plot bunnies, I'm just going to throw a dart and see where it lands.

Last book read: Spindle's End by Robin McKinley.

Yearly total: 38
glitter_n_gore: (sleepy hollow)
I have a decidedly love/hate relationship with the editing process. I imagine most writers are like this. For me, it's because it's more in the realm of Work than Fun. I love writing--I really, really do--but certain things about it do make one want to shove one's head through nearest wall and be done with it.

For example: I mentioned last time that there's a purple prose prologue that I'm trying to get rid of for "The Carrion Girl." (If you're not familiar, this is purple prose.) The problem is I dropped some essential scene work and information into that prologue, so what I've been trying to do is figure out how to work that information into someplace else in the novel, so as not to lose it entirely. I know where to put it now. This is a good thing, and decent progress. HOWEVER. What it means is I'm now faced with the task of rewriting an ENTIRE chapter, and just thinking about it makes me tired. This particular chapter took ages to crank out the first time I did it, and still needs some work on its own, but just....blah! It's gonna take some time.

In better news: "Doppelganger" is flowing along quite nicely. I'm 2000 words in now (which translates to about four pages, single-spaced, in 12 pt. Times New Roman font) and my first plot point has been flung. I'm aiming for short story/novella with this one, so 2000 is farther along in the plot than it would be if this were a novel. I have to do some research for this scene though--I know song lyrics are heavily copyrighted and a HUGE pain to use if you go that route, but I'm not sure what the rules are for song titles--but that's something to deal with after Draft 1 is finished.

Back to work!
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
Hello there!

Most of the folks reading this already know me (I think), but as this is an introductory post, I'll introduce myself: My name is Laurel, alias "Rhoda Nightingale" in most internet places, and I am a writer. I started this blog for the very simple reason that most published authors--and many amateurs, like myself--have them, and since I blog a lot about writing anyhow, I might as well make it official. I also wanted to create a space where my friends and family can keep track of what I'm up to, since I can't make myself do the FaceBook thing no matter how much they nag me. (No offense, I just can't stand the format.) Apparently there's a widget that cross-posts everything here to my Wall, so I'll see if I can figure that out at some point.

So, what am I up to right now, writing wise? I have two prominent WIP's cooking simultaneously--that's "Work In Progress" if you don't know the vernacular--one further along than the other. "The Carrion Girl" began life as a NaNoWriMo experiment, and I liked the result so much I decided to keep it and flesh it out properly. It's still only 50k at the moment, which is on the slim side for a real live novel, so that's why I'm putting it through a second draft. I'm three chapters into that process, and I think I've worked out a way to get rid of the godawful purple prose introduction/prologue thing I opened it with. (You have to start somewhere, right?) The premise is a twenty-something young man is driving his girlfriend home when they get stuck in a traffic jam, then quickly waylaid by zombies. It's not what you think. It takes a sharp left midway through.

Then there's "Doppelganger," which is significantly darker, but just as much fun. This is one is about a young college student who joins a rock band that turns out to be fronted by someone who's not quite human. I wrote an outline for it first, which I almost never do, so it has a very different shape in my mind than most of my projects. I already know exactly where it's going and how it's going to end. That's....unusual for me. It's an odd feeling. But good, I think. My biggest concern with this one is not rushing it, because there's a horror anthology taking submissions until October 31st and I really really really want to send it in, but I don't want to sell it short by trying to churn out something too quickly.

Lastly, I'm on acne medication that's drying me out like whoa--my arms from elbows to wrists are all dry and scaly, an account of getting sunburned in my car of all places. I mention this because it's giving me mad plot bunnies for a novel that I trunked a year or so ago. I showed an early draft of it to a cousin, and she mentioned something that I realized only several months later was absolutely right: I had too many creatures, too many storylines, and too many characters for one book. However, one of those characters is a young girl who's part dragon, and I imagined her with scales on her arms, from elbows to fingertips. She has to wear opera-length gloves to cover them, lest anyone find out her secret. I think I might have a way to write a story just about her. Or maybe do a series. We'll see how that goes.

That'll do for an introductory post, won't it? I'll be back to report my progress later!


--L

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