Friday, 3 May 2013

Since my last post I...

- had a birthday! I am 32. Feelin fine about this.

- didn't get longlisted for the Bath Short Story Award, but this gal did (down to the final 46 from 1127 entries - what an achievement - well done to all writers on that there list)

- have probably not been placed in the Mslexia Short Story Prize either - though their official line is 'all winners and shortlisters will be informed by the end of May'. But, seeing as the magazine is out a few days after that, I'm sure they will have informed those winners by now, to check they haven't been published elsewhere etc and to to get the issue ready for press. With this in mind... and it's not just Mslexia who do this - but I really really wish places would be more transparent about this kind of thing - to be really up front about when they've told winners. Bath have been amazing in the way they've communicated this and the respect they've shown writers.

- am experimenting with re-writing my novel-in-progress in first person instead of third. I've dabbled with this idea before but am now embracing it. Just to see where it goes. I think I held back from doing it before now for the wrong reasons. First person feels right for this story. At the moment.

- noticed how much I let my thoughts go mental when I'm writing. This happens in various unhelpful ways, for example if I have an idea I will, in the following 0-8 seconds, play out the entire life-span of the idea, seeing it grow into a story or even a book and (if it survives that far - usually I've decided around the 3 second mark that there's NO WAY I can or should write this stupid idea) then imagining all the negative reviews it'd get (if it gets that far - usually I've decided around the 6 second mark all agents and publishers will reject it) and then imagining how it'll be the end of my career and no one will respect me or think I'm any good ever so what's the stupid point doing this stupid writing thing anyway.

YES. All in 8 seconds.

But I noticed it and I'm doing less of it.

Do you have any mental thoughts you'd like to share?
(Please don't comment something like "Aren't all thoughts mental? roflol" or I won't be responsible for my actions.)


Chloe said...

I wish all competitions would be good at communication too. Some are great, but some leave you hanging for so long. You are 95% sure you haven't got anywhere, but you can't put it behind you and move on until you're 100%. So annoying!

I hope moving your novel from 3rd to 1st is exciting and wonderful for you!

Karen Jones said...

Couldn't agree more about comps and their lack of honesty re informing winners. I mentioned this on FB a wee while ago. I had a story in for the Reader's Digest 100 word comp, I asked them if winners had been informed and they came back with the 'winners will notified by end of month, can't give out any more info.' I explained that I wasn't asking for any inside info, winners names etc, just a simple yes or no re had they been notified. 'We cannot give out any info blah blah blah.'

The only reason I could think of was that they thought everyone else who'd entered would suddenly lose interest/not read the mag to find out who'd won and read the winning stories.

As I said on FB, that's nuts - do they not know writers at all? The next best thing to winning a comp is slagging off the stories that did and telling yourself (and your pals) that you and their stories were so much better.

Nobody said we're nice people. (Except you - you're lovely.)

Rachel Fenton said...

I didn't get listed for Bath, either. Not to worry. I also didn't submit my two graphic stories to Bristol - they just weren't good enough/ready. First time I've not given something a go.

But usually I get hacked off that I have a good story (even if judge of one comp didn't think so!), but have been denied a chance to submit it in another comp because the first place hung onto the news it hadn't been picked.I try to get around this by having many competition worthy stories, but, surely each story has more than one shot in it?!

So, ladybird, chin up and write on.

As for the mental talk yourself out of it before you've started - I do this - but I find Bruce Lee has wise words for all writing situations. For example, in this case, he would say, "Don't think, feeeeeeeewl".

I tell yer, wise words, mark them! And with novels, often, once you get a third into them, the notes you made originally have less importance than where the characters are taking you. So don't overanalyse that first plan - it's good enough as is and new plans can be tinkered with enroute.

Confident writing being bzzzzzzzzzd over the waves to you x

Anonymous said...

Ah, don't worry, I didn't get listed for Bath, either (and I sent in a story that had been listed by Fish -- oooeeeoooo), but Bath had a lot of entries and kept their lists reasonably short, which on balance is a good thing esp for those on it. I'll enter next year because I loved the way they treated the entrants, I'll write something new next time. Love your 8 seconds, I have something similar but longer because half way through I usually get distracted by thoughts of food.

Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Chloe - I know, that little niggling feeling that maybe - just maybe - there's been an admin glitch or sumthin - so you don't send the story elsewhere, just in case. Annoying when it can be avoided. By...

Hello Karen - ... yes, just effing say when winners have been notified. All that smoke and mirrors, no one cares, we just want cold hard facts and yes, the opportunity to slag off the winners. But you're right - I do not do that because I am lovely.

Rache - "Chin up ladybird, and write on" - I'll have that on a plaque, or a teatowel or somthin. Love it. Oh the Bruce Lee quote can go on the back! Yes. I think this is a valid business idea and believe you CAN make it happen. Thanks for your writing waves, I've got the window open specially for their arrival.

Hi Tracy - Yes, me too for next year - and probably a lot of other writers thinking the same as us. Ha - distracted by food - I can identify. Or if an idea actually feels like a good idea and I don't talk myself out of it in those 8 seconds then I think instead of doing something with it, 'oooh, I'll have a snack'.