Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Projects Timeline

For some time now I have been planning a timeline of my forthcoming writing projects. Since I first drafted this things have already slipped a bit so I have had to revise the dates! Life, eh? My priority is to rewrite and polish things that already exist in draft, then move on to new projects where I can experiment with fresh styles and structures. I like variety, which is why the subject matter changes from work to work.

Turner
An action-horror novel set on a remote Welsh island. I planned to have it finished and published by January 2012. I kept to the deadline!

Cold Fusion 2000
A story about a science-obsessed yet childish man changing his life for the better. First draft of a blurb here. I planned to finish this by July 2012, it is now likely to be September 2012.

People Stories
A collection of short stories about relationships. I already have the collection written, so this would be a re-write and selection exercise. There may be enough material with my new short stories to lead to a second collection at some point. Stories include an unwilling mother dealing with pregnancy; the gradual realisation that a relationship is over; and a three-in-a-bed swing session that doesn't go as planned.
September 2012 - February 2013.

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Monday, 21 May 2012

E-book lending and libraries


The Society of Authors recently wrote to Ed Vaizey (MP; Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) to pass on their views about e-book lending by public libraries.

As an author I didn't feel that their views represented mine in this matter; and as a librarian I was concerned about the subtext of their message. As a result I also wrote to Ed Vaizey to add some additional information to the debate. I will reproduce my letter below.

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Cold Fusion 2000

I realise that I haven't mentioned my current writing project on this blog. Part of the problem is that I have a folder containing about 100 ideas for blog posts, and most of them are about writing and publishing in general, rather than my own work. However, I don't want people thinking that I'm not writing and editing so I'll use the space today to talk about my current novel.

Recently I recommended the Query Shark for advice on creating a query letter to tempt an agent. The query letter can often be edited into blurb for the back of a book, since the aims are the same: to entice someone to read the work. Below is my first attempt at creating this kind of blurb for my new novel. It needs some work, but as a starter it catches the essence of the thing. Maybe I'll submit it to the Shark at some point and see if it bites.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Query Shark


You have a novel written. It is fantastic. The characterisation is spot on; the plot takes you from one electrifying scene to the next; you've even worked out how to employ Robert McKee's advice on creating a gap between expectation and result. This will sell! However, many publishers are only interested in work submitted to them by an agent. So you buy a copy of the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook, browse the agents who accept submissions from unpublished writers, narrow it down to those who work in your genre, and start to put together a query letter.

The query letter is more important than you think. It is the agent's first view of the way you use words, their first impression of you. A badly-written one might lead to the agent not even bothering to look at your work.

You will find general advice on writing them in many places, including the aforementioned Yearbook, so I won't repeat that. However there is a really useful and interesting source of advice which I do want to mention - Query Shark.

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