Weekend Writing Warriors – Crossed Wires 5

October 26, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Still sharing snippets of the new stories I wrote this summer. This was also inspired by one of my A-Z challenge ideas: Neural Rewiring. Nathan is the leader of a stunt aerobatics flying team, and the team was practicing, but Nathan misjudged a landing.

wewriwa

Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3 Snippet 3

“How many of you feel that way?” Nathan asked. “Let’s make it a proper vote.”

“Okay, all in favour of looking for a replacement for Nathan as soon as possible,” Seth said, and stuck his hand in the air. Pilar put her hand up right away, and so did Liz after a moment, as if she had to check to make sure that she wouldn’t be the one who cast the majority vote.

“All against?” Karen said. All seven of them either dropped or raised a hand. “Motion fails, by three to four. And since we’re doing team votes-all in favor of opening the position of flight leader?”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/

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Weekend Writing Warriors – Crossed Wires 4

October 19, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Still sharing snippets of the new stories I wrote this summer. This was also inspired by one of my A-Z challenge ideas: Neural Rewiring. Nathan is the leader of a stunt aerobatics flying team, and the team is practicing.

wewriwa

Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3

It took him half a minute to get the shudders under control before he climbed out of his bird.

They were all waiting for him when he got down to the tarmac. “We can’t go on like this, Nathan.” Karen said.

“You want to change the routine?” he offered weakly. His routines were the pride and joy of his life, but even that would be easier than…”

“Hell no,” Seth muttered darkly. “The routine’s amazing, buddy. We just need to find another pilot who can fly them.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


Weekend Writing Warriors – Crossed Wires 3

October 12, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Okay, I’m going to switch to another of the new stories I wrote this summer. This was also inspired by one of my A-Z challenge ideas: Neural Rewiring. Nathan is the leader of a stunt aerobatics flying team, and the team is practicing.

wewriwa

Snippet 1 Snippet 2

Liz’s plane roared and seemed to jerk upward, maintaining altitude and putting on speed as it roared above the runway.

Nathan watched as she looped around to the end of the line and landed after Seth, not really as close as the others had been but if there had been an audience, they might not have noticed the difference. “Liz, as thrilling as that variation is, I’m not sure it’ll be a crowd-pleaser.”

“You were the one crowding her, Nathan!” Karen shot back. She’d been in the plane in front of Nathan for the landing, so she would know. Nathan’s stomach sank a little. If he’d been too far back from Karen’s plane, Liz wouldn’t have been able to come in for a safe landing without passing the danger on to Niko, and so on. It had been a split-second emergency, she’d made the right call, and Nathan hadn’t even noticed.

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


Duotrope for the win, and other submissions stuff

December 31, 2010

So, one of the items I mentioned on my December goals list was ‘submit two short stories to publishers,’ and I’ve been putting that off. So I finally sat down to do it this afternoon after I got home from work, and I remembered that Elizabeth Twist had mentioned something about a new way to find markets in the Hamilton Nanowrimo lounge. (As well as Ralan, which may be very complete, but just always makes my eyes hurt to spend much time on.)

So – Duotrope! This is a very nifty little writer’s market site, with a submission tracker that lets you state where you’ve submitted what stories, what the response was and how long it took – and a search engine that lets you say what kind of story you’re looking for a market for and it comes back with a list of possibilities. The two of them are integrated, as well, so that you can tell the search engine to order results based on a good acceptance rate or quick response time, and it’ll use stats from other writer’s trackers to give you those results. Very cool.

I submitted the new rewrites of “The Landing” and “Wolves of Wyoming” to places with decent acceptance rates, and spent some time working on getting the formatting right for each of them. And then I came upon something else – this little article at sfwa about the proper way to calculate a word count.

Now, there’s some very good points to this. It makes sense to me that the ‘word count’ that an editor would be interested in would have very little to do with words as we understand them, but more with the characters/6 metric that they were using since back before there were computerized word counters. I hadn’t thought of the extra fudge factor designed to take account for short lines of dialog and estimate how many lines worth the text will cover – though of course that metric will vary based on how many characters per line you can fit in with your font and margins.

The ridiculous thing, to me, is the notion that we should still have to tote this magic number up by hand in the 21st century!

It seems like it should be possible to get an MSword macro to do all the logic for me – but I’m not quite sure if it can actually be done or how, because you’d need to make MSword VBA aware of the way the text is actually broken up into lines on the page. Is there actually some function or property for that?

Happy New year, everybody, and wishing us all great creative energy and focus (not to mention plenty of time,) in 2011.


Rewriting a story in four days.

September 10, 2010

I’ve been wanting to get back to talking about writing here on the blog, so here’s a good bit to blather on about, I think. Rewriting an incomplete story idea from scratch.

I’ve had the idea for this ‘alien landing’ story for going on a year now, I think – I did a starting paragraph for it based on a challenge at Stringing Words in October of 2009, (wow, didn’t realize it was that long until I looked it up,) and I started my first draft in May of this year. It was going pretty well – four scenes, 3200 words, and then it just kind of ran into the ground at the point that the alien attacked the human soldiers.

The basic premise, by the way, is that an alien ship lands on Earth, damaged from a battle with other aliens – they need help to fix the ship, but they’ve still got powerful weapons that can hold their own against anything the Army throws against them, so both sides are forced to bargain in the end.

I asked other writers for feedback on what I had so far – I read it for the Hamilton Writers’ group on June 1st, I think, and got some interesting perspectives, including how soldiers should talk in a much grittier and fouler fashion, and some encouragement, but I still wasn’t sure how to continue, and put it aside to focus on other things, like the CreateSpace draft of ‘The Long Way Home’, JulNoWrimo… and starting my blog.

In August, I submitted the two longer scenes in CritMo, and the crits that I got managed to perfectly clarify what I needed to go. Over and over again, they kept repeating, ‘I like Doctor Juddman, I like the alien, I like the language stuff, I don’t care about the two army commanders butting heads.’

So I did a page one rewrite, telling the entire story in Doctor Juddman’s point of view, how he was whisked out of his office at UBC to go talk to an alien, and what happened after the alien attacked him and held him captive for nearly 24 hours in his spaceship.

It’s still a rough draft at this point, 5400 words, but it’s a complete first draft, and I’m happy about it. Thinking about taking this one to Hamilton Writers this week, to see what they think of the difference.

Do any of you readers have a story to share about rewriting stories quickly?

And thank you very much for the awards, Brittany. I’ll talk more about those soon – hopefully Saturday.


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