Story Abandoned

Before Christmas, I reported that I was writing a story for an Australian magazine competition (first prize $10,000 and publication). Well, after only 1000 words I’ve decided to abandon the story I was writing. The story is too complex for less than 5000 words, and too much needs to happen and be explained. I’ve decided that the story is actually worthy of nothing less than being novel length. The preparation so far will not be wasted, because this story is “complete” in my mind. I believe it will be easy to write, and I’ll enjoy doing so, sometime in the near future.

What about the competition?

Never fear. We are experiencing terrible heat right now, so I’ve found myself sitting in cool places thinking about suitable stories. And I’ve got one. 😀

Yesterday morning, I wrote for two hours on the abandoned story (before I decided that it was too big a story for a short), and yesterday afternoon I wrote 1114 of the new story. This one is coming together really well, and I know the word limit will NOT be a problem.

I’ve been using the laptop and, because I’m able to sit in a cool room, I’m finding my writing isn’t suffering. I’ve been getting up and turning on the laptop straight away. The words are flowing nicely, and I feel good when I turn the laptop off when I go to have breakfast, because I’ve already done a lot of work. If only work would not interrupt this routine, in just over a week’s time.

Right, I’m off to research “wet seasons”. Have a great New Year’s eve, everyone.

Did you know? Advance

An advance is money paid to the author upon acceptance and contract of the manuscript. Generally half is paid at contract stage, and the other half is paid upon submission of the final manuscript. This money is given to the author against future royalties, so no more money will be paid until profits surpass the amount advanced.

Heat Wave & Revelations

I finally have time at home, time to do whatever I want – surf the internet, write, read, nap – but the heat and humidity is so high (yesterday was 42 degrees celcius in our backyard) that the computer room is the last place I want to be. You see, our house has ducted air conditioning – sounds impressive, but the stupid thing is really, really old and doesn’t work very well. Only the kitchen, lounge room and main bedroom receive the (slight) benefit, the rest of the house is boiling hot.

Ideally, my computer would be set up in the main bedroom (my room), which is something I’ve thought of, however, the internet connection is the hot end of the house. I could get “wireless”, but I’m too stingy. Besides, I do have a laptop and if I really wanted to write I can set myself up anywhere in the cool area. Thing is, here’s the problem:

I really don’t want to write. I don’t even think about it.

This is not new for me. Regulars to this site will be shaking their head and thinking “not again”. This time it’s different. Actually, it’s not really a problem as such, I’m either a writer or I’m not. To this point in my life, I thought I was, but lately I’ve found my attention drawn in other directions. In the past, when this has happened, I’ve had the comfort of, at least, thinking about my writing, about the plot at hand and that draws me back to the blank page. On this occasion I haven’t thought about writing at all. I’ve tried to make myself do so, but I find I just don’t care about it.

As I work full time, and have a family, it stands to reason that I would need time out. Now that I’m on holiday, and have met most of my obligations, I thought I’d be writing like crazy, but that’s not the case. I haven’t written a word. The week before Christmas I joined a new critique group. The first part of my children’s book is up for critique now. I don’t know how it’s going, I’ll visit later to find out, however it’s not a big concern to me either.

I’ve been saying for some time now that 2006 will be the Year of the Writer. However, there is something else about this statement that I’ve only told one person, until now, and that is that 2006 will be the “make it or break it” year for me. To date, I’ve talked about writing but haven’t done much of it. In 2006 I have to prove (to myself) that I am series, and I have to get stories written and submitted. I have to be able to be disciplined enough to write regularly, and not just talk about it. Most importantly, I have to enjoy what I’m doing. It doesn’t really matter if I don’t get anything published, although it would be nice, but if I continue on the path I’m on now, then I will call it quits and just write for myself whenever I feel the urge.

This decision isn’t a spur of the moment thing either. I’ve been thinking about this for some time. The stupid thing about all this is that if I decide to write for myself only, I know that I’ll write, write, write because I don’t have to worry about everything being perfect.

I better get the rest of my internet “stuff” done quickly, the heat is started to climb again.

Eye of the Storm

Like most people who celebrate Christmas, I’ve had a busy few weeks leading up to Christmas Day. All those presents to buy, wrap and then fret over. All the food and drink to consider. The taxi service – picking up people and dropping them off. Visiting all sides of two dysfunctional families and trying to keep everyone happy. Yes, it’s been a busy few weeks.

However, now Christmas Day and Boxing Day are over. Almost all presents have been given (and received) and we’ve managed to do everything as planned. It’s quite amazing really. I’m happy to announce that I did receive Resident Evil 4 as a present from my partner, and my eldest son bought me Silent Hill 3. I’ve got some serious zombie killing to do now. 😀

The next few days are the Eye of the Storm before the next round of hectic visiting takes place. In this time, and I’ve already started doing this, I’ll be able to spend hour after hour in front of the TV playing my new PS2 games (I actually went to bed way past my bed time last night, 2am, I haven’t done that in a very long time. No wonder my eyes feel sore and heavy).

Then, on Saturday, it’s New Year’s Eve. Party time for most, but if I get my way, we’ll be having a low key evening at home. However, living right in the middle of the city, we have front row seats to the fireworks which cannot be avoided (unless we leave home for the night). This means we will see the New Year in, we have to, but that’s fine.

New Year’s Day is a second Christmas Day for us, this year. My partner’s parents live some distance away and we’ll be making the trip to see them, and his brother (and his family). It will be a double celebration because it is also my father-in-law’s birthday. There will be more presents to give and receive, more ham off the bone to consume, and more gossip to catch up on. We’ll be by the sea, which is something I miss during the heat of summer, but I doubt there will be time for walking along the beach. We’ll have to save that luxury for another time.

Did you know?

This is a new category. I’ll be placing quick writing tips under this heading from now on. These tips will consist of a sentence or two only, which describes, or gives the meaning of, a word or phrase. Some will be common sense, but all are something you’ll need to know as you write your manuscript or when you get accepted for publication.