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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:03 am 
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I've been avoiding this thread because I'm scared of the kick in the pants, but SV and all the rest of you are so inspiring! Keep writing!


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:45 am 
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It's much too hot for me to kick anyone right now, vijita. No fear. ;)

Here's the official description of my new story:
“Courielle” is a genre-transcending fantasy story about a young queer woman finally leaving her shell and opening up to new people and new situations.
It’s about different forms of desire, the magic of names, shape-shifters, and the notion that communication helps solve almost anything.

...Would this make you want to read it?


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Definitely, phoenix! I am especially interested in the "genre-transcending" part as I feel like genre is a bit pigeonholish in the writing world out there (especially for what seems to be the divide between "literary" and "sci-fi/fantasy/speculative" fiction). I so rarely see speculative fiction type stories in literary mags but there are a few.

You keep writing, too, vijita! I know you have a full manuscript going so that's something to get very excited about.

Still dabbling in the same old poem I've been writing about the last few posts. Working on the last stanza last I left off. The first (two or three? I forget) stanzas are pretty much fine and that weird ending seems to have stuck--it's the lines leading up to it that are givin' me grief. If I can get to a happy place with this poem, I'll have three poems that I can possibly use to make a submission somewhere.

Although I don't want to not write my novel, I feel no inspiration whatsoever for it and I'm starting to think that come Nano November, I'll get those last 40,000 words in a monthlong blitz. Although I really wanted to avoid Nanoing any more on it (I've done two Nanos now on it) I don't know, that might be the only way to get it done and move on with it.

I also am considering writing a novella in the next little bit that I conceptualized a while back (there's a novella contest I could enter it in February 2014 which gives me a deadline and something to work toward--between 20,000 and 40,000 words). Also, the novella's characters are my novel's co-narrators and maybe delving more into them in their own story will help me understand them better in the novel manuscript for when I'm ready to turn back to that. Also, my nephew really liked how I wove history into my last short ghost story that I sent off for consideration at the end of May (won't hear back on that until November or so) and the novella is a history/comedy type thing. It would be fun to work on a comedy right now, too as they're fun to write and I laugh a lot when I work on them and I feel confident working on comedy.

Worked a bit on the disgruntled customer story which is stiill a disappointment. A promising disappiontment--meaning there's something good there in the idea but I can't seem to work it out yet. Will keep plugging away!

Anyway, still on my paid employment blitz so writing just isn't coming first for the next little while but will keep updating with whatever trickles in. I don't know if the novella's gonna happen. It's a lot of work and I'm busy and between now and February isn't much time for a lengthyish story that I can make of any quality, but we'll see. I at least have a good idea of what I want to do with it and the basic premise...just working it out scene by scene, page by page to my exacting perpetual (dis)satisfaction. Argh! Lotta work there.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:42 am 
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Ugh. Don't get me started on to-dos and not getting to do things because of other things. Hope you're getting some writing fun in-between, even if it's nothing novella-sized.

Yes, I meant genre transcending in the sense that this is the most "mainstream" thing I've written in a long time. I rarely write literary fiction, and when I do there's usually some twist that prevents it from being litfic magazine material. This one was written for a fantasy antho, so I pushed the fantastic element a bit (which would also have worked if I'd reduced it to a metaphor). So in the end, it's playing with genre(s) and categories from the other side - which in my opinion perfectly fits the plot as well. I do hope the editors are going to like it. There will be stories by really amazing (commissioned) writers in this antho, and I'd feel super honoured to join them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:17 am 
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Yay! Good luck with the submission!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:56 am 
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Thank you, sv! <3


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:49 am 
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I might have fixed the disgruntled customer story last night but I also had two beers before reading it so I might feel differently today. I felt my latest poem was resolved, too, also under the slight influence, but I usually try not to do any writing or judging under any alcoholic influence as it throws my judgement off. Anyway, even if I fixed it, I think it's still a "so-whattish?" story which, of course, is not what I want. It's also not speculative ficition-y enough for speculative fiction consideration (only vaguely implies speculative fiction) and it's not serious enough (and is probably too flippant) for literary publications. Either way, I still have a sense it's falling short.

I have an interesting new angle on a story I haven't written yet and have been kicking around ideas on it for a while. Initially, it was going to be speculative fiction (it had supernatural elements) but now it's more morphing into a literary type story idea (i.e., no supernatural elements). I think it could be very interesting if I can make it work. I'll call it my outcasts story. I still have to write it though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:40 am 
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Good luck with that, sv!

I did something vaguely scary today. Yesterday, I got an invitation to contribute a story to yet another charity antho (yay! go me!), but I didn't have anything that would fit the theme. So today I dug out a story I wrote 9 years ago (!) and edited and rewrote bits of it to improve it. I also added an introductory paragraph to strengthen the feeling of being displaced in time, which is what I needed to achieve for it to work in the antho. Currently it's being test-read by a trusted beta reader - because I'm so close to it that I can't even tell whether it's utter rubbish or not. Its pretty personal, which lots of my material used to be back in my early & mid-twenties. Luckily, I've gotten over that. On the other hand, people who don't know me might still think it's a pretty good story. (I really can't tell.) We shall see.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:11 am 
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If you have anything on TIME, Andy is still looking for contributors: http://europaoutlaw.wordpress.com/2013/ ... on-cancer/


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:03 pm 
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I don't have anything ready at the moment on time specifically, but thanks for the heads up! I always hear about spec fict anthologies but am not enough in the loop to have a chance to submit to them--I always seem to hear about them after the deadline has passed. I only have one (I think) publishable spec fic story at the ready at the moment that is not elsewhere under consideration but hopefully, I'll have more to add to my stash as time goes on! That one isn't on time though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:39 pm 
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I still think I fixed the disgruntled customer story. Here's my favorite quote on the process of writing by poet Ted Hughes:
Quote:
(Plath's) attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn't get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy.

I was hoping for a table out of this material but I'm getting a toy--and an effin Kinder surprise caliber type toy at that. What I'm saying is that the story is lightweight but at the same time, I can't help but like it for what it is. Still, when I think of the idea, I wish I could do more with it because it's rich but I've worked with it a while and I can't do anything but what I've done. I told my sister today that I was at it again and she was like "Still!?" and then she said "well, I'm glad to hear you haven't given up on it because I thought you'd parked it, and it's one of my favorite story ideas of yours thus far."

But I am starting to think that it is what it is and I might learn to love that. More time away is required but it has come together into something, for sure. It might be in the home stretch.

I think the poem I've been working on is pretty well done, too but the lines working up to the end might need more editing. Last I read it this morning, it was rhythmical but seemed maybe a bit wordy at the end--not quite yet 'the best words in their best order' sort of thing--a bit more tinkering and rearranging of what's there but I feel it's mostly finished.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Ugh hey I've been avoiding this thread because I haven't been writing. At all. And all you guys have been and I feel like a chump! Re: "Courielle"--I would definitely read it based on that description, Phoenix. And I've heard that quote about Plath before and I still really love it.

Also. I wrote a few crappy poems that went nowhere in the past week or so, and then today--BAM--got the idea for and finished a working draft of a poem that I am SO PUMPED about. I really miss having a workshop to go to because I'm not sure how clear the poem is to anyone but me. But man. I haven't been this excited about something I'm working on in a while. Also it's the first poem I've written and considered sharing with other humans that uses, y'know, foul language. Swear words. Two of them!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:00 am 
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Haha, yay, kilgore! It's such a great feeling when you've written something that makes you feel good about your talent.

Some days ago I rummaged through a box of old things and mementos because an internet friend had discovered an exercise book full of stories he wrote at the age of 10-14, and he'd asked me whether I still had any of my own childhood writings... I didn't find the notebook I was looking for (not sure whether I still have it after moving house a bazillion times) - but I found three of four texts I'd considered lost in my last big hard disk crash! They're from my humorous "Question Reality" series (written some time between, uh, 1999 and 2001, I guess) which used to be a huge success at poetry slams and the like. Now I have a new backup scan of the three pieces, and I've been thinking... I wrote them in German, but they don't necessarily have to be in German in order to work. Maybe I'll sit down and try to translate them one day.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Yay! Keep writing, kilgore! Producing crepe is part of the apprenticeship or rite of passage to come to produce things to get excited about!

I love unearthing old, promising things that I once dismissed!

I have nothing to get excited about at the moment just chipping away at things. Typed up the latest edits to the disgruntled customer story (last typewritten edits were from around May 26--long time ago) and tons of handwritten edits since then. So now I have a clean new copy to tear apart.

Typed up the latest poem edits. Nearly together, though not quite.

Keep writing, everyone! <3 <3 <3 One day at a time...

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Haven't done any writing yet today (Thursdays I usually can't write in the morning due to employment obligations) but out on my run earlier, I was trying to formulate another short story that I've been thinking about and has been evolving in my head (the outcasts story I've mentioned earlier). I think I have a scheme/plot for it now. It's pretty basic and not intimidating and will hopefully translate effectively to the page. I haven't written it yet, just in the thinking stages but thinking about it for a long time--like some months. It's set in the Victorian era so I have to do a little research for atmosphere, manner, etc to get that right. I've been feeling discouraged about the quality of my writing lately and know I have to make a breakthrough in translating the deeper emotions of my characters and connecting with that if I want to progress any further and I feel like this is a good story with a strong personal emotional connection for me (the story deals with grief and alienation) and maybe this would be a good place to really focus on character development more than trying to create an entertaining and lightweight story as I have mostly been doing when I work on fiction. While I started planning this as a speculative fiction when I first thought of it, I have switched it to literary fiction and dropped the supernatural elements. Now it's about people and a relationship and a situation. And art!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:52 am 
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Researched a few aspects of my latest short story topic for three hours Friday and made pertinent notes. Discussed basic premise with my nephew yesterday. He finds it eerie and says he likes it. He says I have the beginning and ending worked out but not the middle, which is true, though I have ideas for the middle and figure it will come as I work as it often does. Plan to write the first draft of latest story hopefully tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:22 am 
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I've signed up for a writing course and I'm super excited! Hopefully this will be the kick in the pants that I need to move forward with my writing. I know I can do it, I just need the right tools.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Yippee, Love Child! You can do it!!! Keep us posted. My experiences with writing courses in the past has been very inspiring. Also, it's nice if it's a workshop situation as I love hearing the ideas of others and seeing how one influences the other's writing during the course of seminar, etc.

I wrote three full pages of my new short story--so the intro, more or less, the characters are literally knocking at a door where I'll pick it up next I work on it. Gonna write lots of stuff--make the first draft long and very descriptive and kind of full of everything I can possibly think of on this topic then cut, cut, cut. And then cut some more. And so on.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Will do! All I know is that it's a published novelist who's teaching the course and that we're supposed to read what we've written to each other. That last part is so scary because I'm incredibly sensitive to criticism. But I guess that's why it could be a good thing.

It's really inspiring to read about how you guys write. I have zero experience with writing longer stuff and being organized in my writing, I've only written a few short stories (I won a short story competition once, I still live on that). Very helpful!


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Love Child wrote:
Will do! All I know is that it's a published novelist who's teaching the course and that we're supposed to read what we've written to each other. That last part is so scary because I'm incredibly sensitive to criticism. But I guess that's why it could be a good thing.

It's really inspiring to read about how you guys write. I have zero experience with writing longer stuff and being organized in my writing, I've only written a few short stories (I won a short story competition once, I still live on that). Very helpful!

It is scary at first to workshop and I've never been at a workshop where someone has escaped criticism but it's a good exercise because you can see how someone who's not in your head is reading/interpreting your writing and, to me, that helps clarify things in future drafts or projects. For me, the benefit of workshops is seeing what an audience of differing backgrounds, education, life experience, etc is reading into your work--that's always been the main takeaway for me. You'll develop a thicker skin as you get used to the process and no one, to me anyway, has ever been mean or hurtful in their criticism. The novelist will be there to moderate, too and you'll hopefully learn from their experience.

Yay on winning a contest! That's an excellent start.

I moved ever so slightly forward today on my latest short story. Mostly edited the four pages I wrote yesterday and removed a lot of description that I thought was unnecessary. I wrote maybe as much as one page or a few new paragraphs to add to the existing material. My characters are still on the same doorstep as they were yesterday but now a conversation has taken place that wasn't there yesterday before the door is answered. Movin' forward! Just sticking my head in the topic for an hour or so every day and working with the material until I finish is what I'm doing now. I honestly thought I'd finish the first draft in one go but that didn't happen but then again, I'm not worried because I have a stronger sense than usual going in of what's going to happen in this story so Imma just chipping away at it. I hope to have a first draft completed by sometime next week to work with and start whittling down. Also, I still have to focus on my paid work for the next while so I'm finding less time than usual for my writing but still trying to use the lesser time I can put into it to get something going.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Okay, my characters have moved from the front door to inside in the latest story. And action is beginning to happen. Progress! Baby steps!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:52 pm 
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Worked an hour on my latest story last night before bed. Stealing time when I can on it. I was pooped from working like a dog all day but I was also craving throwing words artfully together somehow, as I do, because I really miss it when I don't, so tapped away on my laptop at it until I was too tired to think anymore. I think the opening is pretty good on this one (my nephew said a weakness on my last one was the beginning wasn't strong enough but it redeemed itself as it went along--so forgiveable in the end--but beginnings are so important in short stories because there's no time to waste!) and the beginning here is startling (I think, anyway) although the wording/sentence structure needs refinement but I haven't even finished the effin story so time for all that later. Rewrote the front porch conversation entirely and tried to eke a little more forward with the action. Will try to steal more time on it maybe this evening or maybe not till Monday--we'll see! Anyway, I'm thinking about it a lot--but the chasm between thinking and doing in writing is...I dunno....massive. Doing is always much better than thinking even though it's about a thousand times more disappointing, honestly, especially in the formulation/early stages...

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:09 pm 
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so i have been afraid to come in here.
like SV I have had an avalanche of paid work for quite a while and writing is the last thing i can do after translating all day.
but the things are trying to get out.
i dream that i have a sentence, and in my dream i am thinking "this is the perfect first sentence for a story." Sometimes I wake up, but usually it's in a dream.
I am starting to become obsessed with catching these dream sentences, and have been keeping a pen and paper next to the bed, just in case, but haven't managed to get anything down yet.
I wake up in the morning with the most profound sense of loss, knowing that there was a little nugget, the core of a perfect story, that slipped through my fingers and went down the drain without my having even gotten a good idea of its shape and its texture.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Add me to the list of people who have avoided this thread.

I have always just written what and when I want. But now, I have things that have to get done.
Including a poetry book. So I have decided to write (or try to) one a day for at least a month.

HELP! This is overwhelming and terrifying. Is it supposed to be so scary?

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:21 pm 
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i have found lots of "method" ideas (which i mean to implement someday) in.... mindpicking? brainpicking. cf http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... s-writers/
caveat is that that site is a GREAT place to fall down the rabbit hole when you're supposed to be working and six hours later are still on the computer with an empty bottle of wine next to you and not a word written.

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