Thursday, September 29, 2011

Now I've Done It

As of today, I've taken over the job of NanoWrimo Municipal Liaison for Birmingham, Alabama. No time for cold feet now. May as well mention the NanoWrimo Boot Camp to be held by Southern Magic on October 22 at the Homewood Library. I'll be one of the speakers, and I expect that I'll go over how to use Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method of plot outlining, which I absolutely swear by.

In other news, I finished and polished that psychological suspense story in twenty days - a new record for me. Now I'm just waiting for the rejection letter, and since I've never done non-SF before, I'm not sure where I'll send it next. I guess I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Right now, I've got three weeks or less to do another story, then on to getting ready for Part 2 of the nano-novel I started last year. Somewhere in all this, I need to revise yet another chapter of The Blood Prayer.

This would be so much easier if I could quit my day job. O Winning Lottery Ticket, where are you when I need you?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Story Call for Alabama Writers

So here I am, sticking my neck out.

If you're an Alabama writer (or just a writer who happens to live in Alabama at the moment) head on over to Summer Gothic for an open story call. What I'm looking for are ghost stories - specifically, ones set in hot, sticky, wet, Southern summers. The call is open until December 15, 2011 and the story length range is 2,500-7,500 words.

Why am I doing this?

Shoot on over to the website for the full spiel, but the short version is that I've got to know many, many writers in the Birmingham area over the last few years, mostly through Write Club but also through several other organizations, and the question inevitably comes up: "Why don't we put together an anthology?" Since I'm more often than not the ringleader (or at least co-conspirator) at most of the writing meetings I go to, the question is usually directed at me. Write Club cannot do an anthology, however, since Write Club is a program of the Hoover Public Library, and the library isn't in the publishing business.

However, I says to myself, why couldn't I do it on my own? Not completely on my own, mind you: I've recruited a panel of willing participants to help me put this thing together, but for the moment they're remaining safely anonymous while I stick my literary unmentionables out in the wind.

In summary: If you're a writer, if you live in Alabama, and if you feel like you've got a ghost story in you, pop on over to Summer Gothic and see if you want to play along.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Challenge: Accepted

So here's the question I ask myself: How fast can I write a story, from idea to end of draft 1? My earlier attempt this year to get a story done in a timely manner failed miserably, partially because I tried to "wing it," part because I lacked real deadline pressure, but mostly because I'm a lazy bastard.

Today, a friend of mine pointed me to a story call for an anthology to raise funds for the Edgar Allen Poe museum in Baltimore. The deadline is only weeks away, so if I'm going to have a shot at this I've got mere days to get draft 1 on (electronic) paper. I've got most of an outline and 1,000 words already in the bank, but still no idea how the damn thing ends.

Here we go.

Update: September 23 - Apparently, a first draft takes two weeks. An improvement, but I still have to work on speeding that up. One week to the deadline, but rewrites are so much easier. Let the polishing begin!