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Do you really want to be published?
Do you really want to be published? If anyone ever asks me that question, then the answer is obvious. Of course! Yes! I’ve been trying for ten years!
But within the last couple of days I’ve really had to question that. How much do I want the ultimate prize?
Enough to join the Word Cloud for help? Absolutely!
Enough to pay hundreds for a critique? Yes!
What about saving up for years to go to York? Of course, still saving!
Enough to hand over a picture of yourself, to be included alongside your work?
Well … erm…. I’m not sure.
That’s the crux question. Does your reluctance represent a desire to remain hidden from view?
And did you really think in this day and age that successful writers, could reap in the cash and retain their anonymity?
Many people have no problem splashing their selfies and private life all over the internet. But for some, like me, this is a hard thing for do.
So for all those out there who hide behind your little cloudie icon, like me, I challenge you to change your picture.
I’m probably going to build up gradually, perhaps a photo of me in the garden, close up of me wearing a paper bag over my head, then the ultimate close up to see the wrinkles picture.
It raises another question, do authors need an image? And what should it be?
So think of this Cloudies, if you are reluctant to hand over your picture, what are you telling the universe? Are you really ready?
This is just a quick nosy blog. Does anyone else make notes in the middle of the night, say 5 a.m. after nipping to the loo? I’m finding it a splendid time of the daily-night. The brain is nicely rested and ready for some contemplation. It may be that it’s slid into nocturnal alpha rhythms, or maybe the latest queries and ideas have been getting themselves played with in dreamland, but whatever the reason I generally find some of the best insights are of a 5 a.m. variety.
That new chapter, that linking section, that character’s motivation – somehow all these issues seem a lot clearer in the small hours than the big ones. Of course, it helps to have pen and notebook available, because you can bet all that splendid clarity will be distinctly vague by next morning. And maybe you need to wander off into the lounge to jot everything down: it’s not every sleeping friend who’ll remain friendly if you plonk the bedroom light on, saying “Scuse me, won’t be long.”
Then next morning, what a delight. Pick up the notebook, give it read, go “Wow, I’d forgotten that.” So off you go to the trusty pooter and log on with the happy thought that you’ve a good start on your next section. Well, anyway, that’s how it is with me nowanights. Is it like that with you?
It's spring. Ewe bleteth after lamb / Loweth after calve cow / Bulloc sterteth, bucke farteth and, if cuckoos hadn't disappeared from the face of the earth, no doubt they'd be hollering "cuckoo" for all they're worth.
So, in keeping with this seasonal stirring, we're sprucing up. We've got the painters-decorators in. We are buying petunias and agonising over fabic swatches. We are, in short, renovating the Entire Website. That process starts this evening and may last as long as 48 hours.
On the Word Cloud itself, you'll see a new header at the top. Still a sensible blue, with the WW logo there, and those nice little coloured boxes. The same thing, just a bit cleaner and tidier. Also the "bold oyster" (Confident mushroom? Pinky beige?) of the background is going to give way to something a little less obtrusive. None of the Word Cloud functionality or layout will change, however. All content etc will be completely unaffected.
You may notice some strange things happening as we roll out the changes, but don't worry. Just view these manifestations as wondrous but temporay syzygies of the Cloud. Everything will settle again soon enough.
And of course, the real benefits will be visible on the broader WW website itself. The site has great content, but (A) it's become increasingly cluttered as we've shoved new stuff into it, and (B) it's not very tablet friendly. The new site is going to look so gorgeous you'll want to kiss it - then take it home to meet your mother.
And - how frabjous is this? - the whole facelift happens just days before Easter and the launch of the 2014 WW Festival of Writing? I'm so excited, my feet are tickling.
My journey as a writer has moved between genres, and now I may be adapting it even further. I’m not one to prescribe that you should stick to one genre throughout your life; experimentation is advised for who knows what gem might be uncovered?
However, by sticking to Science Fiction I’ve found weaknesses and strengths, and a ways of building a reputation within the genre. If I had written/released a Romance, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Paranormal, Chick Lit, Erotica, then I could be accused of confusing my readership. Again – I’m not saying that this is wrong – but for me it would have been a bad move.
Let’s take a trip back into time.
In 2007 I started writing again – properly – and not pencilling a few sentences every few weeks. I wanted to write. Fantasy became my genre of choice. No dragons. No knights. Just a struggle between forces amidst fear of a prophecy coming true. Eyes rolling cliche you may think, but it was different.
In 2011, I adapted the genre to be more Techno-Fantasy because of the technological influences in the novel.
And that’s when it hit me.
From 1982 (aged 4, when I first saw Star Wars: Episode IV) my passion has always been Science Fiction. Sure the Hobbit (aged 8) and The Lord of the Rings (aged 10) thrust me into fantasy and opened my eyes to epic worlds by hundreds of authors, but deep down, I was always a ‘droids’ person.
Since 2011, the next 8 novels have been Science Fiction – aimed at the YA Market. My protagonists are around the 15-17 age bracket. From a character point of view, as well as their development/arc, I like to think that I have them well formed.
So for the last 3 years I’ve tried to keep the complexity of the novels low so that they’re accessible by teenagers (and adults). I never wanted them to be up to there with the high-level Science Fiction novels. Dystopian romance. Mind control. Parallel universes. Human-reincarnated androids. Comas as an access point to another dimension. Etc.
Except I heard something 4 times in the last 12 months.
Something that has made me reconsider my genre.
The plots are good. Fresh. Different. Innovative. And complex.
What! Huh? But … I tried to stop them being that … I did …. I think … Damn … Now, I’m doubting myself.
My last 3 novels have had welcome comments by agents – but the complexity of the plot for the market held me back.
Time will tell if I need to do more, but for starters, I’ll increase the age of my current from 17 years to 19 years. With that comes a change in behaviour, language, and experiences for the character. Maybe now they won’t be timid with a female, and instead, more adventurous. Who knows?
In some ways I may be coming full circle.
The Science Fiction novels that I read as a child weren’t YA. They were adult Science Fiction with serious issues addressed or rumours extrapolated into supernovas.
I’m about to bring out my passion for Science Fiction in a slightly more grittier way without the bows or niceties of days gone by. Novel 8 (to be redrafted) + 9 (WIP) + 10 (starting Oct) will be adult Sci Fi.
And when the plot deserves it, I’ll do some YA too.
I've been thinking about the word, 'supposed' - its meanings and pronunciations. I don't know if it's just me and my northern roots but in the sentence, 'You were supposed to have been here at ten with everybody else; your lateness was noticed,' I pronounce 'supposed' meaning 'intended' or 'meant' to rhyme with 'post'.
Whereas in the similar sentence, 'You were supposed to have been here at ten with everybody else; your lateness wasn't noticed,' with 'supposed' meaning 'assumed' or 'thought' I pronounce it to rhyme with 'disposed.'
Is this pronunciation distinction between the two meanings common? correct? unique? none of the above?
I have noticed that there are no bad comments about the course from alumni and I have been around here long enough to know that no editing of a negative post would ever happen so I am sold on the product.
The staff, Debi and Emma are both personally successful in the trade and despite being almost polar opposite in genre to the stuff I beat out, seem to be wordly enough to understand as much as anyone(s) what I am splashing about in my shorts.
The course seems to be novel based but I am ok with that. I think that I will get my monies worth out of it even though I don't have a novel.
Due to time restrictions, travel plans, an absurd working calander and my procrastination factor, I need to start preparing now.
So to all grads. I ask;
1. What crayons and paper should I bring?
2. Do they serve lunch and if so, what are the choices?
3. Is there a bar?
4. How do we work out room assinments? Biological imperitives? Auctions?
5. What would you do differently in your preparations to improve your out take from the course?
and 6. Do we get hats?
I'm not downcast, truly, because I've been here before, many times, as I'm sure we all have ... but that's how it is today. It's on http://sandra-linesofcommunication.blogspot.co.uk/
Like Squidge, I've been blogging away. This week it's about where
I was this time last year having had rejections galore and why I
kept going :-)