1. The Land of Miu, 2. The King's Riddle, 3. The Lion Gods, Collaboration Story, Marlinor Archives, Mirror Image, My Writing:, Other Projects, Suicide: A Mother's Story

My Writing Past

Previously, I’ve mainly written fantasy. I have manuscripts suitable for all ages. However, I specifically concentrated on children’s books – 8 to 12 years of age – over recent years. The only time I ventured into other genres were for short stories, although one of my first novel length manuscripts is romance (but even that has a fantasy setting).

In order to gauge where I’m heading, I have to know what I have to work with. Here’s a list of all my manuscripts, excluding short stories as I don’t intend to write them in the future.

List of Novel Length Manuscripts

Kingdom of Marlinor Trilogy
(fantasy for adults – needs planning as a trilogy and rewriting)

Book 1 – Whispering Caves
Book 2 – Windy Plains
Book 3 – Butterweed Fever

People of Miu Series
(fantasy for children aged 8 to 12 years – first two books written and edited; book 3 needs planning)

Book 1 – Cat’s Eyes
Book 2 – Cat’s Paws
Book 3 – Cat’s Whiskers

Stand Alone Manuscripts

Blood Red, White Fire (fantasy for young adults) – 22 chapters written of first draft

Isle of Cotti (romance for adults) – complete, 10 chapters rewritten in edit stage, second half needs replanning

Westmore Castle (fantasy for adults) – only four chapters written, needs complete planning and rewriting

The World of Jaishree (fantasy for young adults) – written as a short story that should have been a novel, needs replanning and rewriting

Mid-Summer’s Day (science fiction for adults) – fully planned, but not written

Sam & Arden (fantasy for young adults) – 4 chapters written, needs proper planning

Mirror Image (paranormal/horror for adults) – about 10,000 words of first draft left to write

Non-Fiction Manuscripts

Suicide: A Mother’s Story

Now that I know what manuscripts are in the system, I can decide what I intend to do from this point on. That, however, will be discussed in another post. Right now, I have some thinking to do.

1. The Land of Miu, 2. The King's Riddle, 3. The Lion Gods, Anthology Stories, Collaboration Story, Marlinor Archives, Mirror Image, My Writing:, Other Projects

Sorting the Weeds and the Flowers

Following two hours of sorting through my Writing folder, I think I’m close to knowing which of my stories can can be called “weeds” and which are beautiful “flowers”. Unfortunately, the number of flowers in my vase are few. 😀

At the moment, I’m taking a short break, sipping a cup of tea and … writing this post! I will return to my sorting in a few minutes, at which time I will go into phase two of my plan – reading the flowers one more time and making minute changes if necessary. When I am satisfied that these flowers are perfect, I will turn my mind to publishers. No less than five markets will be listed for each flower, and this will be added to regularly.

Next week, I intend to parcel each flower carefully and send it off to the first publisher on its list. How could a publisher turn away a beautiful flower? I wonder if I can make those flowers blossom? Maybe it would be a good idea to visit an old haunt called Critique Circle and see what can be done in that department.

2007 will be the Year of Submissions for this writer. It’s time to step up to the mark and get my work out there.

1. The Land of Miu, 2. The King's Riddle, 3. The Lion Gods, Anthology Stories, Collaboration Story, Marlinor Archives, Mirror Image, My Planning, My Submissions, My Writing:, Other Projects

Year of the Writer Comes to an End

At the end of last year, I said 2006 was going to be the Year of the Writer. Besides wanting to see publication for many of my internet writing friends, and for myself, I made a list of goals. I’ve just been reading the list and … I can’t believe it, even though I didn’t come close to the dates provided, I did complete everything on the list. I’m shocked! I thought I would have failed miserably. That has given me a little spurt of confidence. 😀

The Year of the Writer is coming to an end. I don’t think anyone I know actually got published in a big way, but I do know a few people who are within touching distance of this happening.

For me, 2006 was not what I wanted it to be and the year will be forever etched in my mind. The Year of the Writer ended in May when I lost my beloved son. I did, however, finish editing Book 1 in my children’s series and I wrote Book 2 of the series, so it wasn’t all bad.

I’ve been thinking about my options lately. And I’ve also been thinking about my lack of “movement”. Something has to change, and that something is me. I need a plan.

Firstly, however, I need to know what I have to plan with. What stories are finished and polished? Which of these are already “tied up”? Which are free to submit? What stories need more planning or editing? Which stories need to be rewritten from the beginning?

Here’s my current list of manuscripts, in their various stages of development:

Novels

Isle of Cotti (romance for adults) – (complete, 10 chapters rewritten in edit stage, second half needs replanning)

Kingdom of Marlinor Trilogy (fantasy for adults)
1. Whispering Caves (complete, but needs replanning and rewriting)
2. Windy Plains (in planning stages)
3. Butterweed Fever (in planning stages)

Westmore Castle (fantasy for adults) – (4 chapters written, needs proper planning)

Blood Red, White Fire (fantasy for young adults) – (22 chapters written of first draft)

The World of Jaishree (fantasy for young adults) – (written as a short story that should have been a novel, needs replanning and rewriting)

Sam & Arden (fantasy for young adults) – (4 chapters written, needs proper planning)

Mid Summer’s Day (science fiction for adults) – (fully planned, but not written)

The People of Miu Series (fantasy for children aged 8 to 12 years)
1. Cat’s Eyes (100% complete)
2. Cat’s Paw (complete in first draft)
3. Cat’s Whiskers (in planning stages)

Short Stories

Help Wanted! (general women’s fiction) – (complete)

Journey to Freedom (fantasy for adults) – (complete, but I’m still not happy with it, so it needs another edit)

Guards Mustering (fantasy for adults) – (complete)

Wynter Boundaries (fantasy for adults) – (complete)

Putting this list together has helped me in more ways than one. For starters it shows me that I have a lot of unfinished projects. I can safely say this is because in the early days of writing I didn’t plan, which meant I quickly ran out of steam, or cornered myself or just didn’t know where the story was heading and wrote in circles. And because these projects are from the “early” days, it also means that my writing skills were not the best. I’ve improved tenfold since then and all the stories need to be properly planned and rewritten from the beginning (even the finished projects).

The list also shows me that I’m unorganised because I don’t have many manuscripts polished and ready for submission. As a writer this is bad and I intend to change this.

For the moment, I only really have one novel manuscript which is 100% ready for submission and that is currently with a publisher in Sydney, so it’s not free for submission elsewhere.

I only have four short stories. I’ve never been keen on writing short stories. All my stories seem to turn into full length novels. Obviously, I can’t think small! Anyway, two of these are “tied up” with anthology projects and I must be patient with those, but I expect one of them to be released soon. The other two are free to submit now.

So what are my plans for 2007?

  • To edit Cat’s Paw and get it ready for submission.
  • To write and edit Cat’s Whiskers and get it ready for submission.
  • To finish Blood Red, White Fire. I only have approx. 4 chapters to go for heaven’s sake!
  • Plan all three books of The Kingdom of Marlinor trilogy.
  • Re-edit the story Journey to Freedom until I’m happy with it.
  • Query and submit all “free” short stories until they are accepted.
  • Write and edit two new short stories.
  • To read at least three writing “how to” books from cover to cover, which is something I’ve never done. At least one of these books must be on self-editing.

That sounds a lot, doesn’t it? But I’ve done my sums and I feel certain that this goal is not unachievable and it’s time I tried to stretch myself.

I challenge the readers of this blog to make their own list of manuscripts (for private use), but to make their 2007 writing goals public.

Anthology Stories, Collaboration Story, Marlinor Archives, My Writing:, Other Projects

Getting Back On Track

The end of the month is fast approaching, and it’s time for me to make a decision. I listed my options on 12th May. They were:

1) Work on my Sam novel. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

2) Continue with the collaborative novel. Chapter 20 has been completed, which is a stones throw from the climax.

3) Plot out Book 2 in the trilogy. I know what the story will be about and several chapters have been written but it needs a thorough overhaul.

4) Write some more short stories until the edited verson of Book 1 comes back.

However, I have another option to add to this list.

5) Continue on with a romance manuscript that I started a few years ago.

Here are my thoughts on the above. It’s always encouraging to have options, it means I won’t be drying up (running out of things to do) any time soon. However, there are only so many hours in a day and since I work full time and do have a family, my time is limited. I want to use my time wisely.

Options 1, 4 and 5 can wait. Besides, with number 4 I might find time at work to write a short story.

Option 2 is so close to being finished that I feel I should take this option but the climax of this story is a huge battle scene that I’m actually fearful of writing (my collaborative partner was going to write this scene but has since decided to give up writing). I should tackle it but I know I will procrastinate in a big way with this one.

Option 3 is my preference but I really would prefer to wait for the comments from the editor on book 1 before I move on to the second installment.

So…this shows clearly which option I should take. Am I able to write that battle scene? That’s the big question!

Anthology Stories, Collaboration Story, Marlinor Archives, My Writing:, Other Projects

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything to do with my own writing and I guess you’re wondering what’s going on.

As I reported a week or so ago, I’ve finished the rewrite of Book 1 in my triology and that has been sent off to the editor for a work over. I don’t expect to get anything back for a few weeks, at least, perhaps even longer. I know he’s extremely busy at the moment.

There are other projects I could go on with but May is a busy month where the 2005 anthology is concerned. The first workshop is in progress and I have four stories to read and crit by the end of the month. This doesn’t sound difficult but I’m a very slow reader and I want to give a detailed crit, so it does take many hours to do each crit each week.

What will I do when I’ve done them?

There are several options:

1) Work on my Sam novel. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

2) Continue with the collaborative novel. Chapter 20 has been completed, which is a stones throw from the climax.

3) Plot out Book 2 in the trilogy. I know what the story will be about and several chapters have been written but it needs a thorough overhaul.

4) Write some more short stories until the edited verson of Book 1 comes back.

Hmmm…I’m not sure what I’ll do. I need to give it more thought.

Collaboration Story, My Writing:, Resources, Writing:

Legal Issues for Writers

Due to recent events with my collaborative novel, I found myself searching the internet for easy to read (and understand) legal issue pages for writers.

Julie Kenner’s article on legal issues fits that description. Each section is short and to the point, with everyday examples to help settle the information into the brain.

I didn’t find the information I’m looking for there, but that’s beside the point.

Collaboration Story, My Writing:, Writing:

Collaborative Writing

What follows are thoughts that have been whirling around in my head lately, and after much consideration I have decided to put those thoughts here so that writers thinking about entering a collaborative project have something to think about.

Obviously, I’m part of a collaborative work. My writing partner lives on the other side of the world and I’ve never actually met him but he was a part of my online writing group. He approached me about writing a fantasy novel together but it was not something I jumped into without thought.

The positive side – the story might be written, refined, and accepted for publication. This might be my foot in the door for my own work.

The negative side – he could pull a swifty and get the work published without me knowing. If I found out about anything like this, a lengthy court case would follow because I honestly could not rest otherwise.

There is a risk involved when writing with someone else. I’m usually not a risk taker but on this occasion the benefits lured me. Publication is my dream and I really didn’t want to kick myself in later years for not giving this a go.

However, there are other things to collaborative writing that I never considered. For instance, I have no control over the amount of time between chapters. This is very frustrating. It wouldn’t be so bad if the other person kept me informed (I’m a person who needs to know what’s happening) but he doesn’t. I send emails and he doesn’t reply. This is making me angry.

In 2003, I sent off a chapter and didn’t hear from him for 12 months. That’s right, 12 months. He then contacted me and said he’d been offered a contract for three of his own books and had to meet rewriting deadlines so our project was put on the back burner. That’s fine but why didn’t he let me know? Why did he leave me hanging for 12 months?

Six months ago we picked up where we left off. Again, communications have not been satisfactory and the chapters are taking too long to get to me. Now, I haven’t heard from him in over two months and again, my emails are not being answered.

My reaction to this:
I’m sick of the lack of communication and the long delay between chapters. I’m sick of receiving chapters so far apart that they mean nothing to me and I have to reread the manuscript to get back into the flow. This wouldn’t happen if he got his chapters back to me in a timely fashion. I’m finding the whole process stressful, and I don’t need stress in my life. Because of this, I am thinking of pulling out but what would happen then? The manuscript is three quarters of the way through, we were working steadily to the climax and the finale. If I gave this away now, then that puts an end to a great story. Or would it? What if he finishes it and gets it published without giving me the credit I deserve?

These are the thoughts whirling around in my mind. Doomed if I do, doomed if I don’t. I can’t make him write the chapters; and, getting angry is not good for my well being. I’m finding that my emails to him are starting to get curt and abrupt, which only makes things worse. My next email will probably spill over into nasty!

Do I cut my loses or do I struggle on? It wasn’t meant to be like this, and if you’re thinking of doing a collaborative piece, I’d be very careful. Don’t rush into anything, and set up rules beforehand. Better still…don’t do it!!!

Collaboration Story, My Writing:

Collaborative Update: Chapter 22 finished

Surprisingly, this was a short chapter but it took me a week to write. Yes, it had a bit of a battle scene in it and anyone who knows me, knows I hate writing them.

I wrote it then edited it, then tried to make it active instead of passive. I think I did OK. Sounded good to me but it’s the first draft and I guess we can liven it up a bit if need be in the rewrite/edit.

The good news is – I finished my chapters and have emailed them to Ali, which means I can now return to my novel. Yay!

Collaboration Story, My Writing:

What am I doing?

Yes, I’ve been quiet for a few days. It’s not that I’ve been particularly busy, or slack, it’s because I had to allow my brain to simmer the next two scenes of the Collaborative novel. One day wasn’t enough.

Last night, I actually completed chapter 21. It’s only a short chapter but it gives some back story that will pivot the story into the next sector – the climb to the climax.

Today, I started chapter 22, after much procrastination in the morning. I had planned to get up early and do some writing while everyone else was still asleep. That plan didn’t happen. I got caught in the “I’ll just do …….. (insert any number of odd jobs around the house from having breakfast, washing up, doing the washing, feeding the animals)” and before I knew it, it was 11am and I hadn’t written a single word. 😦

I promptly decided that I had to change that because I didn’t want the day to disappear and still have nothing written. So I sat at the computer with a blank screen and I typed a word…then another word…and another. It was like having teeth pulled but I managed to write a little under a 1000 words (but it took me all day to do it).

It’s a start, and I’ll allow the scene to simmer some more between now and my next writing session tomorrow. But for now, I think I’ve done enough and it’s time to relax and do … whatever!

Collaboration Story, My Writing:

Collaboration Project

A couple of years ago, a member of my Email Writing Group and I decided to write a novel together. We write a chapter or so each, then pass it over to the other person. There was a long period last year (actually, it was almost the whole year) when we didn’t work on this manuscript at all. We both had our reasons but have since picked up the pieces and will now endeavour to finish it. We are up to chapter 21.

At the moment, we are trying to pull the strings together and we’ll soon be at the climax. It’s exciting and the story is great. It’s only the first draft, so we’ll have our work cut out for us in the editing stage but I can see the end is in sight.

Anyway, my co-writer forwarded me the latest chapters and I’ve only just finished reading them. I know what I have to write but I want to think it over until tomorrow night and then I will put the scene until that big, white screen. Fun.

This is my third writing project. I can only work on one project at a time, so why have I got three projects going?