April 2010 - Posts

Pinky Problems
Friday, April 23, 2010 10:23 AM
i ment to post yesterdy when i finished the twentieth chpter of the book (during which i crossed the threshold of 100 thousnd words, hoory) but i'm hving some typing problems. if you're wondering why my typing seems strnge nd lcking the first letter of the lphbet, it's becuse ll this typing hs mde my left pinky hurt. wierd i know. though i continue to use it while i work, (my book doesn't look like this) i decided to give it   rest when it comes to "non-essentil" writing. t first it seemed odd tht my left pinky of ll fingers would hve problems, only covering three letters, two of which ren't used too often, until i relied tht i exculsively use the left shift key, hence no cpitl letters in this blog. where my left pinky is exhusted, my right is wek. even sking it nicely to ese on over nd tp the right shift key is n ordel. it just doesn't wnt to bend tht wy. wht i need re some tiny brbells for it or some smll pendge yog. i've got two hnds so tht if one fils the other will crry the slck. it's not the left one, the hurt one, tht i'm disppointed in, it's the right one. uite shmed of tht one. incpble of ccomplishing   simple tsk while its comptriot eight fingers wy my be suffering from erly crpl tunnel.

until next time, i'm eric nd i'm n unpublished uthor.

38 dys to dedline, 20 chpters complete
by DMI | with no comments
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Don't look back now! (you'll see more if look back later)
Monday, April 19, 2010 4:31 PM
In a semi follow-up to a previous blog about the different methods of writing and constructing drafts, last week I was very very tempted to go back at take a look at past chapters. As I near the end of my book's first draft, I'm starting to see things that need changing and revising or at least further examination. However, I am planning on using the method of just writing the first draft, just getting it down on paper, and then going back for extensive revision so I resisted this temptation and trudged thought the chapter, even knowing conversations and events may need to be cut or rewritten. I have decided to finish the book before my deadline and then work on revision, not mix the process of writing and revising.

While I told myself to not look back yet, it's important to write down notes. Always. Be it an idea for a story, an anecdote or a possible revision. I choose something of the middle path then, and recorded my thoughts, instead of actually going back and rewriting, and then pressed onward. I'm making good progress, well on track to finish on time and I'm not going to turn back now, even though my progress was slowed at times last week by the urge and thoughts of revision that were worth saving for later, if not for doing right now.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished fiction writer.

42 days to deadline, 19 chapters complete.
by DMI | with no comments
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Castle: Setting the Standards Even Higher for Aspiring Writers
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 3:03 PM
If you're not familiar with the new television show Castle and you don't have a ten o'clock bed time, you might want to tune your TV to ABC next monday night at 10 (EST) and check out the awesomeness. It's yet another crime procedural, something I'm normally not interested in in the slightest, but this one appeals to me in two ways. First of all, it stars Nathan Fillion who for geeks is the coolest thing since William Shatner as he gave life to Firefly and Serenity's Malcolm Reynolds. Second, it's about a writer. The premise is Fillion's character, Richard Castle is a famous mystery novelist who, seeking inspiration for his next book series, is shadowing/helping an NYC detective, Kate Beckett (played by Stana Katic).

It's worth watching and I've become a fan but unfortunately Castle has raised the bar to unreachable heights. It's no longer enough that all my dreams come true and I become the author of best selling books. Now I have to fight crime at the same time. It was bad enough with guys like Jack London running off to Alaska and getting mixed up with oyster pirates while being a successful writer but Castle juggles girl-chasing, book-promoting, writing, crime fighting while raising a daughter by himself! Plus he really is ruggedly handsome. DAMN YOU CASTLE!

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm something or other.

48 days to deadline, 18 chapters complete.
by DMI | with no comments
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Check for E-Submissions
Friday, April 09, 2010 5:50 PM
So you've written a great story, revised it, edited it, spanked it on the butt and said it's ready for the world to see. After all that the last thing you want is to have problems with the submission process. To make life easy, always check a magazine's website before you submit. Chances are that information is going to be up to date. If not, question whether or not you want your work in that magazine. That might seem harsh to you, especially if you're older, but as a young keyboard jockey let me tell you, if a company doesn't have a good website, they don't get my business. This goes for everything from soda companies to banks and I'll be damned if I'm going to make an exception for magazines.

Anyway, that last thing you want is to get a submission returned to you with the manuscript mangled by the post office (are they employing hungry rottweilers or does PO stand for pissed off?), the stamp rendered unusable and some kind of message about an invalid address. If I don't get acceptance I want rejection. At least some body read part of what I wrote, for god's sake! Maybe the rottweiler enjoyed my quippy opening line while he ate my SASE.

Maybe this happened because you have an old copy of the magazine or an old copy of the Writer's Market (I wouldn't blame you, those suckers are expensive). Whatever the reason, if you check their website chances are  you'll find the up to date contact information and it'll even give you some guidelines about what they want and how they want. Every little bit helps, right? Also, save yourself a lot of time, hassle and money and see if they accept online submissions. This is the way to go in my opinion. Just pop them an e-mail and wait for the reply. No stamps, no printing, no tongue paper cuts! Some don't even need an e-mail. Esquire now allows you to sign in to their special submission website and upload right to them. It even gives you a constant status on your story.

Sadly this isn't the norm, especially for big name magazines, which doesn't make much sense to me because all the barely paying or not-paying-at-all e-zines have setups like this or at the very least just want an e-mail from you. That seem right to you?

Until next time, I'm Eric and if you want to get technical about it I have been published but no one's paid me more than a compliment yet!

52 days to deadline, 17 chapters complete.
by DMI | with no comments
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How a blog can help your writing
Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:46 PM
It doesn't matter if anyone reads it or how insightful you are, a blog really can help your writing and I am evidence to that point. What this blog does for me is allow me to connect with other people about what, at the moment is a very lonely and personal endeavor. I have my wife to encourage me and family or acquaintances who ask the dreaded, "how's the writing going?" (I assure you, there is no good answer to this question.) But, besides that,  without this blog, I would not have my sister in NYC or my aunt or cousin or high school friends offering words of encouragement via comments or facebook and saying that they are keeping up with what I'm doing or, as happens more often of late, asking to read my material. That's oxygen for a writer, someone who is essentially engaged in an act of communication. And much needed oxygen for a writer who isn't getting published.

Also, without my blog I would have no way to talk about what I'm doing and its good to think about your goals and projects in a critical light. 

Most importantly, however, is what I've been able to do with the deadline. I've never missed a school or project deadline in my life (unless you count not making eagle scout, my mother might but I don't, that's a different story) and having not been published at all means no one really cares about what I'm doing and no one is asking me for more. The deadline, whether true or false, has allowed me to put myself on the chopping block of the opinion of my readers, saying forcefully, "i will accomplish this!" And, whether or not any really cares, it has worked. I feel bad when I can't update my blog to say I've finished another chapter and I'm proud when I can say (like today) that I wrote an entire chapter in two days.

If you're an aspiring writer but need a kick in the butt to get to work, I have to recommend starting a blog.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished writer.

60 days to deadline, 16 chapters complete.
by DMI | with no comments
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