A More Organised Writer…?

Did you guys make any writing related New Year’s Resolutions? We’re almost a month in to 2020, so how have you been getting on?

This year, I chose to focus on streamlining my writing process with a view to keeping my stress-levels low and my productivity high. So far, it seems to be working. I filled a diary with upcoming submission calls for short stories, and the two that stood out with deadlines at the end of January are almost complete. Having the diary has helped me to focus my attention on where it is needed, instead of constantly having ideas floating around my head without any order!

In between submission calls, I’m looking at working more methodically on my novels and full-length scripts. There are a couple of works that require some editing or plot-development before I can take them any further, so I’m blocking out time in between deadlines to work on those. When I have them mapped into my diary, I can forget all about them in the meantime, which is definitely preventing me from panicking or experiencing plot overload!

In terms of my horror novel, I am still plot mapping at the moment. I’ve drafted a few of the key chapters, but want to make sure I have the full structure worked out before I take it any further. I’ve been working to the Save the Cat plotting method which was developed by Blake Snyder, and found that his structure pretty much fit my basic plot plan for this particular work in progress. Having the template in front of me is helping me to focus my ideas and stick to the most important elements of the story. I was pleased to find that I was on the right track according to Snyders development plan, and so it was surprisingly positive to shift from being a complete pantser to a plotter! I’m going to book a solid week or two off work later in the year to finalise the finished draft. Knowing that I’ll have that time in a few months to worry about the finer details is helping me to take a steadier pace this time around. I am training myself to stop charging through the process, and I have to say I am enjoying the change of tack.

I hope that if you made any writing resolutions that they are working out well for you so far. If you did but haven’t been able to utilise them for whatever reason, I hope it’s given you a helpful insight into what may work for you in the future. If you hate making resolutions and already had a positive writing structure going for you, then long may it continue into 2020! And, finally, if you hate making resolutions but still don’t have a writing schedule that works for you, don’t give up on yourself. It will come in time.

Wishing all my fellow writers a positive and productive year ahead.


Summer Submissions

I am loving the variety of submission call themes that have been released this summer! As usual, signing up to the Author’s Publish newsletter has been invaluable, and I’ve got a few publications on my list that I’m hoping to sway!

Cohesion Press/SNAFU are looking for military or mercenary stories on the theme of The Last Stand. This publication is a huge draw for me as the introduction will be written by Tim Miller, director of Deadpool, new Terminator & Love, Death & Robots. Now, I am coming from a Marvel obsessed household. As I write, there are about twenty Pop Vinyl’s staring back at me, and I have a giant X-Men print on the wall behind my head. My husband rocks around in a Deadpool dressing gown every night, so you can imagine what a huge deal it would be to make it to final selection. Needless to say, I am working hard on this submission!

I have enjoyed writing a story for Michael A. Ventrella & Randee Dawn’s Across the Universe alternative Beatles fiction compilation. They are looking for Beatles ‘What If…’ submissions, and judging by the information they have offered up already, it should be set to be an extremely fun read. I went through a mad Beatles phase when I was a child, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that my What If tale is good enough to make the final cut. I am slightly concerned that my laptop seems to despise converting to rtf. and it alters all of the layout formatting upon sending, which may hinder my efforts. But, fingers crossed! All we can do is try, sheepishly explain, and try again…(welcome to my morning).

Another upcoming submission is for the Jolly Horror Accursed object anthology. This is right up my street, and I’m just putting the finishing touches to a nasty little tale featuring a bunch of pranksters. I am a sucker for gruesome horror, so giving this one a try has made me smile this week!

I also have a new mantra, with my upcoming WIP amendments and huge edits in mind. It’s Not Everest! We’ve got this, you guys.