PDA

View Full Version : Grand master Plan


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2 3 4

Jacquin
January 22nd, 2005, 05:09 AM
How seriously do you take writing? Are you determined to get published? Are you following a master plan or simply seeing how it works out? If you are what is it? How far along are you?

I ask this for a couple of reasons, firstly because the debates in the "Elements a story must contain" thread made me realise that some people desparately want to be published and some don't seem to care...

I desparately want to be, I always have, but until recently I haven't really done anything about it. I suppose the fear of failure always gave me pause and stopped me from really trying. I mean if I haven't even tried then I haven't failed when nothing comes of it right?

Getting a story accepted at Andromeda changed my mind. I know it is a small thing but it had a big impact on me. Something I had written was snapped up (and I mean snapped up, it didn't even appear on their progress site before I had an email from them telling me when it would be published if I was in agreement). It made me think a little differently. I suppose it actually made me realise that I could do this. It made the fear of failure less of a problem.

So here is my plan. I will work on my novel, (or possibly start a new one) whilst submitting short stories to paying magazines. Once I have a decent number (somewhere between 6 and 10 depending on what they are) I will start approaching agents. If I have no success there I will start approaching publishers directly.

I give it two to three years. :D

J

JamesL
January 22nd, 2005, 05:48 AM
I suppose the fear of failure always gave me pause and stopped me from really trying. I mean if I haven't even tried then I haven't failed when nothing comes of it right?

Orson Scott Card mentions this same situation; someone wanting to be a writer but not wanting to fail. For as long as Writer X holds onto his manuscript/doesn't write, then he knows that one day he might be published. :rolleyes: The answer? Get out there and write! What is the worst that can happen? Either you'll have some success or you won't. If you don't, then at the very least you can keep trying and get on with the rest of your life (if you can handle not writing :( )


Getting a story accepted at Andromeda changed my mind.

Congrats - that is great! :)




So here is my plan. I will work on my novel, (or possibly start a new one) whilst submitting short stories to paying magazines.

This is pretty much the same as my plan for world domination. ;)




I give it two to three years. :D

Give it as long as it takes. Few people find success straight away. Harry Potter was rejected something like 14 times. The Beatles were rejected by practically every record company in England. Rejection happens. But the important thing to remember is that rejection doesn't mean you are a bad writer. Sure, it may well do, but it can also mean that your work is not what a publisher is looking to publish at that moment in time.

So stop worrying and go write! :D

Dawnstorm
January 22nd, 2005, 06:16 AM
I write, because it's something I do. No master plan attached. In my life I only once submitted a story, and that was an experiment.

I submitted a story written in German (award show for the suicide of the year) to the New Worlds series of anthologies edited by Dave Garnett. My sister said I should submit something, and so I did; chose the story that was most likely to fit within their mag (Garnett said he was looking for foreign submissions in an editorial) and went with it. I received a reply from Garnett. He said it was difficult to assess non-English submissions, he showed it to a German speaking friend and from his comments concluded that it was "not a New Worlds story". He concratulated me on my query letter ("Your letter, however, was better than many I receive in this country.") and wished me luck with my story. In a word, I got farther than I thought I would. If I had been serious about publishing that would have definitely been an encouraging reply. However, I never again submitted anything. Not out of fear of being turned down. It just didn't occur to me.

The next story of mine that got out into the public is the one thing I submitted to this site. I did that for feedback in the forum (thanx Jac); again because I was curious what would come from this.

Most of what I write, nobody ever gets to see. I don't archive most of my stuff. For example, of my contributions to the Excercises not a single one remains on disk or drive or paper. If the board crashes and disappears, they're gone for good. There may even be some friends left who don't know I write.

Whenever I show my stuff to people, the feedback is often positive (I watch them while their reading; that tells you more than what they say afterwards, though how they say it is also quite telling). I'm still surprised when people like my stuff. (But then I may have a hand for showing the right stories to the right people...)

Anyway, sorry, there's no master plan or anything. I shove ideas around in my brain, and occasionly some of them get written down, and most of them are forgotten, until I find them years later, and think "wow, I wrote that?" or "Argh, what was I thinking?"

Jacquin
January 22nd, 2005, 07:24 AM
Anyway, sorry, there's no master plan or anything. I shove ideas around in my brain, and occasionly some of them get written down, and most of them are forgotten, until I find them years later, and think "wow, I wrote that?" or "Argh, what was I thinking?"

Then you my friend are wasting your not inconsiderable talent. I almost never read something by you and don't enjoy it.

Is it because you don't want to write more? Or do you just not care about readers?

J

Holbrook
January 22nd, 2005, 08:22 AM
I think I said most of what I feel on the aforementioned thread.

I used to think getting published would prove the point that I could write, and write well. So I wrote, submitted and wrote more, submitted more. It got to be circle, a treadmill that I began to hate.

The comments I have had over the years on my rejections of all things have strangely proved I can write. I have editors like my work, like my style of writing, but regretfully rejecting it because it wasn't suitable at that time or they couldn't place it etc...Etc...

Also being ill as I have brought it home to me, no point in a grand master plan if I am not going to be here next week. Best write and live now, not worry about if I get there, when I get there, the worrying is wasting the time I have: simple.

A large part of my change of heart was and is to do with one story. I wrote it then put it away because as I got into the "does and don'ts" of writing, it had more don'ts than does. But the story never went away. Every now and then I would drag it out and edit it, fiddle and alter it.

After six years I chanced it with an agent, who was familiar with my work. They asked for the whole manuscript. And there it stands. I don't know if the agent will reject it or accept it and me. To be honest I am not losing sleep or worrying about it. If it happens it does. The more I have talked about this obsession, this one story and my drive to write, the more the obsession has dropped away and strangely my desire to write, which had been swamped under the does and don'ts has come back.

This has more or less set in my mind since Christmas. I am writing like I used too and enjoying it, there is no demon sitting on my shoulder anymore telling I must do this or that to "get published". So the creative part has come back with a bang.

I want now to write the best stories I can, if they get published then it is the icing on the cake, if not then I will have enjoyed creating them.

If the book now with the agent gets taken up I will enjoy the event and make the most of it, but if it doesn't, no worries I will continue to enjoy my life and write.

kater
January 22nd, 2005, 12:23 PM
The Grand Super-Duper Over-riding Master King and God Plan :D is to write three books in my lifetime. If I can write the Ghost series I will be more than happy, I'll hawk it around and if no-one bites I will go through Mr Erebus and Equilibirum books if they'll have me :) Thats it. Simple. He says .....

Drew
January 22nd, 2005, 01:20 PM
I write because it is fun. I would like to be published sometime, and of course, it would be a blessing to be the next Stephen King, but I doubt that.

However, I am not sacrificing my story to a predetermined story element or plot skeleton just so I can see my name in the TOC of a cheap magazine. :p

Solaar
January 22nd, 2005, 01:28 PM
I must be one of those rare breeds.

I KNOW i can write. I KNOW I've got it in me.

I just lack the sheer enthusiasm to GET OFF MY ASS!!!

Saying that, it's been rekindled lately and I'm banging out page after page of THE NOVEL again.

Solaar
wonders how many CAPITALS he can get in one post

mistri
January 22nd, 2005, 02:36 PM
My 'master plan' is pretty much the same as some other people's.

I do want to be published, although it isn't the be all and end all of my writing.

To (hopefully) get published I am writing the odd short story and submitting it to magazines to try and build up some credits. I'm not writing as many as I did before because I tend to lose focus on my novel when I do so, but I still write them when I get blocked/bored/inspired.

The main thing I need to do is actually finish a novel. And that's it really. I don't attempt to write what I *think* publishers want - I just write what I want. Saying that, I'm not writing anything that out of the ordinary - I'm not sure what I'd do if I came up with something that I felt was truly unmarketable.

JamesL
January 22nd, 2005, 03:17 PM
I must be one of those rare breeds.

I KNOW i can write. I KNOW I've got it in me.

I just lack the sheer enthusiasm to GET OFF MY ASS!!!

Saying that, it's been rekindled lately and I'm banging out page after page of THE NOVEL again.

Um, are you me? ;)