I had resolved to make the second of January my launch day for drafting my short novel, Dwarves of Seven–but I forgot! The year is beginning from the first day with brainstorming, note-taking, and drafting a new page for the story.
While working on the opening lines, I could already see gaps from autumn’s research. I know of writers who leave most of their research, world-building, and character designs for last. That’s not my way. Filling in the gaps as they’re noticed helps make scenes flow smoothly.
Anyway, what’s happening is that I am now officially drafting this novel!
This week’s writing soundtrack is Carmina Burana, based on the medieval texts compiled under the same name.
1st Place – Patrick O’Sullivan from Virginia
2nd Place – Jeffrey Lyman from New York
3rd Place – Adam Perin from Virginia
That’s right; Patrick O’Sullivan took first place! Congratulations to the three winners, and again to the others who placed. May all the finalists, semifinalists, and HMs quickly find a home for their entries.
Critiques of my current draft for the 2011 Q2 contest have me flummoxed. My intention is for readers to dislike the story’s concluding situation, and that didn’t come across well–readers simply dislike the way the conclusion is written. Several people suggested that I add action to make the ending more inevitable and thereby increase satisfaction; however, there’s little room in the story for action that’s external. Adding introspection rarely helps in my drafts, so what can I do?
Too bad I’m out of decision-making time if I’d like to keep to my critique group’s schedule.
Finding information on the Internet about nearby conferences, conventions, and workshops for speculative fiction writers can be a pain. I’m creating my own list but thought other writers might appreciate a look at some of the options.
Below are ten events in the U.S.A. that will either take place this season or have application deadlines in the next couple months.
The estimated cost is for Admission or Membership fee(s) for an adult and does not include travel or other discretionary expenses.
Many conventions are as inexpensive as a new book on writing, if you exclude travel costs. Conferences and large workshops are harder on one’s bank account.
To view any of the event Websites in the list in a new window or tab, right click on the link. Otherwise, the new page will replace this post.
Half of these are science fiction conventions. Are you wondering what a convention is and why you might want to attend one? Clarion graduate Paula L. Fleming explains in her article on Attending a Speculative Fiction Convention.
Because this was the first quarter in which I entered a story, I’m paying closer attention to the results. Yes, the gatekeeping judge rejected my entry; however, a few more Hatrackers managed to please her.
For readers who don’t know, each Writers of the Future entrant who isn’t flat-out rejected is either an Honorable Mention, Semifinalist, Finalist, or Winner.
All winning stories are published in the year’s anthology. Some finalists are also published. Semifinalists receive a critique from the Coordinating Judge, KD Wentworth. Those who receive honorable mentions (an estimated 5 to 15 percent of entrants) get the satisfaction of knowing they impressed Ms. Wentworth.
So, how did I do? Not very well. For my first entry into the contest, I received a rejection.
The story I’m working on now for the Second Quarter (Q2) of 2011 will likely be rejected, because it breaks several writing guidelines. Perhaps I’ll see my name on a list for Q3.
Another Hatracker is on the list of Finalists! I didn’t recognize Patrick O’Sullivan of Virginia the other day, but I wish him the best of luck.
Since my last post, I said good-bye to my wonderful coworkers at my temporary job, agonized through a week and a half of unemployment, and then accepted a permanent full-time job–directly across the street from my previous office.
Thanksgiving Day Guests and Thoughts
My mom, aunt, sister, and brother-in-law visited for Thanksgiving Day and related activities.
While they were here, they reminded me that all of the house is usable space. Certain areas such as the “living room” are rarely used. Guests want to see and use every area they can, but we usually stuck to the four most important rooms: the “library”, kitchen, bathroom, and primary bedroom.
Oddly, we don’t own a large home; we just spend most of our time on the computer or out of the house. For example, I’m away for my paying job more than I’m at home, even counting hours of sleep.
Relief and Accolade from the SCA
I enthusiastically handed my position in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) over to a friend. Later that day, my baron and baroness (the ceremonial heads of our local group) awarded me for “outstanding service to the barony, above and beyond that normally expected.”
‘Tis the Season
My pets got sick from an annual trip to the vets, I got sick from my new coworkers, and my husband is currently dealing with a cold. Treat this as a reminder to stay healthy, please!
The free writing software yWriter is helping me to identify and correct the gaps in DeCo. Look here for my review of yWriter in a few weeks.
Short stories went on the back burner this month. I only managed to produce a couple pages for a fantasy undergoing a rewrite. My goal is to complete the current version this week and immediately give it to a test reader. Maybe it will make the 2011 first quarter deadline for the Writers of the Future (WOTF) contest.
By the way, the contest director probably won’t start announcing the WOTF fourth quarter results until after New Year’s.