Sunday, 25 September 2011

I've started, so I'll finish

Eeek, well my story is now published in Writers' Forum. It's really nice seeing something you've written in print, in an actual magazine which people actually pay for. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

In other news, I've found a home for my amazing title. It isn't for a story, but for a collection of stories (most of which are currently not in existence, or in some form of first draft limbo, or worse, incomplete first draft limbo). Anyway, I've formulated a plan. It goes a little something like this...

  • finish all the stories I've started

  • use NaNoWriMo to write more stories (I know it's technically a bit cheaty, but I figure that if I can write 50,000 words of short stories that I then look at and edit and do something with, it is better than writing 50,000 word of novel that is so jumbled and frightening that I don't know where to begin and therefore never look at it again)

  • pull all this together into some semblence of order and send it off to New Writing North for their Northern Writers Awards

  • send all stories off to competitions (with optional feedback) and make them the best they can be

  • enter the collection in the Scott Prize for short stories

So, if I follow this plan it gives me about a year to do all this, which is do-able. I need to think about the stories as an all-together and not just as stories, but I've had some ideas on how I can do this, which is nice.

I've been reading a lot of short stories recently (helped in no small part by the fact that Salt Publishing are selling collections of stories for 86p for the Kindle. Yes, that's right, eighty-six-freaking-pence. It's all kinds of awesome). So I've been reading a lot of short stories and have realised something - I really need to up my game. Like, seriously. So imagine an appendix to plan A...

  • practice, practice, practice

  • don't be too scared to do brave things with my writing

  • just be better, generally

One story that's stuck in my head is called Darling and it's by a lady called Padrika Tarrant and it's amazing. Absolutely make me feel a little bit sick with envy amazing. You should read it, it's very good.

Anyway, that's about it really. The husband has fixed it so I can now comment on my blog again, but the little icon where I can add a link and make it look like words has disappeared. I guess a girl can't have everything.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

What's in a name?

So I'm in the process of changing my name. I'm going from Miss Something to Mrs Something-Something (yes, I'm double barrelled now, I could have been triple barrelled if I'd kept my old name too but I decided that would be a bit too much). Anyway, it's weird. And there is a lot to do. I never thought about how many organisations have my details and now they keep popping into my office, TV license, I have to tell everyone? Does it  matter if I forget some?

On a slight tangent...I've realised recently that one of my areas for improvement is finding interesting titles for stories. I'm just not very good at it. I'm always The Something-to-do-with-the-story, which just aint disco, apparently. How do people think of good titles? Titles that are clever but relevant? I think this is the next thing I'm going to really work on and try to improve. Saying that, a brilliant title popped into my head the other day, so I now have a title that I love but no story to go with it. Apparently, this is how Ian Rankin writes, but its all new to me. My title is probably only so fantastic because it isn't attached to anything, like a really amazing photo where the subject has been caught at the only angle they look any good at, and when you see them in real life you think, oh. Was that you? Its a struggle at work too, as I have to give everything headlines and it is really hard - I wish I thought in witty captions, I really do...mind, when you're essentially writing the same stories over and over it is hard to be original. Ah, the dizzy heights of corporate journalism! Speaking of which, I must really get up and get ready to go to the office...bye!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


You are still feeling a bit out of sorts since getting back from Vegas. Sleep is inconsistent. You didn't make any time to write whilst you were away and now have stories that you want to put on paper. Since your recent success, you have decided that you really like writing in the second person. You are going to write all stories in the second person from now on, although you are confident that this will just be a phase and you will return to third and first eventually. You are going to experiment, and push boundaries. It is somehow freeing, you like this. You are reading more widely now, reading books that make you gasp, make you cover your mouth because you can't believe how beautiful the words are, how clever. This is what you want, this is the dream.