Tag Archives: publication

Ideas and the life of them

Having lots of story ideas is an author’s dream, well I guess I have the dream creative life then, because I have more ideas than I can handle!

But it is not nice to be like this, having more ideas than I can reasonably write!  How do I manage being like this?  I have noticed there is not much literature on people who are overloaded with ideas, but there is plenty literature on how to try and get them! 

For me personally, I have learned that I can’t write enough to get every idea down on paper, even writing more than one paragraph about the idea is a challenge at times! 

How I manage the best ideas;

I keep a bullet point journal about the general ideas; usually just one sentence per idea as a trigger to remembering, so that later on in the day, usually just before I go to sleep, I write a further paragraph or two in an ideas folder.

I have to say, I am often brutal with my ideas, ideas come and go quite quickly for me and not all of them are worthy of note!  Weirdly enough most of the ideas come when I am on the toilet, in the bath or at a busy café!

I have ideas that are not even for my favourite genres to write, many times I discard ideas because I feel that their plots are too complicated for me or requires much more research than I am willing to do on a new subject I know nothing about!  Believe me, I am not in any need for further research material, I read mostly non-fiction these days as it is!

This past week alone I have had six entirely new ideas come and so far, only two have survived further summaries.  Those two were of the genre I write, three of the others were not of my genre and one other was way too technological – as we all know technology is not my strong point!

The ideas that remained were another dragon story and a comedy vampire story. 

The ideas I discarded were an Italian romance story, a story based on the life of a rabbit, a story that seemed too similar to the plot of a recent book review I watched on YouTube and the complicated story was a space opera.

You can’t hoard all these ideas if you are sure you are not going to write them!

I firmly believe in Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea in Big Magic; ideas are alive, they have souls, they are like ghosts of stories that want to exist, they flow from person to person seeing who’d write them and if they decide not to write them, they flow onto people they know who might.

This doesn’t mean that a person steals another person’s idea; most of the time people don’t even know that those ideas are in people’s heads – because a lot of creative people are closely guarded by what they merely think about.  Especially if they do not know that they are not going use those ideas. 

But it is strange how many times a person has claimed that a story their friend has wrote, was weirdly an idea that they had had for a long time but didn’t take the plunge.  I too, have found this! 

In fact the more creative friends I make, the more ideas I seem to get and it is not because of a feedback of ideas they talk about (because most of them don’t), it is usually about the ones they don’t talk about!  Elizabeth Gilbert explains this phenomenon in Big Magic, if you haven’t read the book I strongly recommend it!

Because of this book, I have learned not to get so uppity and upset when people write things I wanted to write, but didn’t – it’s not copyright theft if they really genuinely didn’t know that you thought of it first – the ideas just got fed up waiting on you as an agent for their life!

However in the past I have got upset over this, purely because ideas were shared with trusted members of the family and they were literally sold to the highest bidder – usually for a crate of wine or a new computer and then I get to see my books on film after all a couple of years later.  Missing out all of the time, Bitter?  Of course, because it happened a lot through that relative!  Some of those ideas were actually near the point of being sent to agents, it was the last draft when I discovered the damage that happened yet again.

Thankfully those people are out of my life, but unfortunately it has made me afraid to share too much with anyone.  I say only vaguely what my stories are about, but I am not inclined to go to writers clubs anymore, in case strangers do the same thing.  I can’t lose my hard work again and again, it is soul destroying!

My ideas folder is thicker than a dictionary. 

I get ideas flooding me at intervals that happen as frequent as every six months on average, they come for two or three weeks completely disrupting my life like some violent storm and they can come at first in around five the first week and blow up to be as many as twenty near the end of their flow, generally totalling around forty to fifty ideas by the end of the event. 

How many of those ideas do I actually write? 

I write towards approximately six to ten stories a season, but finish them entirely, usually not… I tend to pause for a year or two at chapter seventeen; there is something about chapter seventeen that seems to do that to me.  Because my pauses are lengthy, most stories take an average of three years to write, because pauses like that are necessary for me. 

There was one very rare occasion, I think it was 2017 – 2018 NaNoWriMo, I can’t remember which, where I was approximately five chapters away from finishing a novel in a month, that for me, was record timing!

It is a habit I am trying to get into, have been trying to get into since 2016.  I want to write all of my novels in one month, they need life.

I feel like some sort of literary Dr Frankenstein, these books must have life, life you hear!  LIFE!

I haven’t recounted my unfinished works since 2017, back then my unfinished works were seventy six with a further two hundred un-started, synopsis stage other works.

At present there are four near to finished works and two finished works that are pending an extensive review and potential rewrite. 

I am far more organised than I used to be and funnily enough, I believe that I am becoming a faster writer when I do write. 

I haven’t written much lately because I am beginning to get apathetic about everything regarding life as there are some serious health problems cropping up where I am unsure of my future at present.

I am determined to do NaNoWriMo this year for my sanities sake, but I can’t tell what will happen until those emergency hospital appointments are done and dusted and another health problem is confirmed or denied… hopefully denied, or else, well… let’s just say; I won’t have much of a career in writing if it’s confirmed.

Happy reading everyone!

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You can survive NaNoWriMo

 

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, this is going to be my first proper attempt at NaNoWriMo this year.  I have researched this a lot and I have been preparing for it a lot in the last three weeks, so I am more than raring to go!

I have a whole novel mapped out and planned to precision, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too many blocked moments.

The aim of NaNoWriMo is that from the 1st of November to the end of November (the 30th) you aim to write 50,000 towards your first draft – it encourages you to actually complete your work.  You will receive lots of help and make lots of new friends that help encourage your on you way to completing your 50,000 words.  The concept is that this is how a successful best-selling working writer lives, they accomplish on an average around 50,000 words of something a month.  It’s to get you realising what life as a best-selling author is going to be like, if you wish to be someone as prolific as say Stephen King.  Now to accomplish 50,000 words in just one month, you will need to write 1,670 words per day.  Stephen King claims he doesn’t leave his writing den before he has finished writing six pages in any one day – that equates to about the same length we’re expected to write at NaNoWriMo and I must also say, his minimum is just six pages, it’s not what he does every day, he admits sometimes he writes more, but six pages is his daily goal.

Now for someone who is new to the idea of becoming a writer, or for someone who struggles putting pen to paper and is intimidated by that fearsome blank page, this idea can be very daunting – but hang in there!  NaNoWriMo members are there to talk you through it, give you tips on how to survive this and what’s more, it will help make you feel like you’ve achieved something.  Your first draft isn’t meant to be perfect, some authors have to redraft their work twenty times before it’s prime enough for publication – don’t be too hard on yourself, or your first draft or baby you won’t survive.

Simple tip for getting 50,000 words at NaNoWriMo, just write, forget editing, just write – it’s your first draft, it’s not meant to be perfect!

 

 

 

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Realise you are published if you have a blog

Just sit and write if you want to be a writer.  Guess what?  When you publish anything on your blog you are a published writer, did you know that?  As stupid as it sounds, I never knew this until a friend told me this online earlier today.

Yes, anything you put on your blog is considered “published”, so you must congratulate yourself right now for being a published writer already.  Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t fully understand the ways that the internet can assist someone to actually make a career for themselves.

If you have followers, you shouldn’t look at them as mere readers, they are your fans and you should take care of your fan base and make sure that they don’t get bored by waiting for new material for too long.  All of this has been said to me by a good creative/artist friend, things I had never thought of myself and believed them.

I am motivated by the fact that I have hundreds of followers, I am very sad for them that I’ve neglected to give them more material that they obviously loved enough to follow my blog.

I feel ashamed of myself for letting them down.

The wakeup call I got from my friend today has made me realise how popular I am and how much I have succeeded just by simply having a blog.

It is my duty to my followers (my fans) to give them regular new material as often as possible.

As a writer we are entertainers, it is our duty to keep our fans entertained, if we fail to do this, we fail them and even more so ourselves because we will then lose that vital fan base.  So keep your blog active.  This is something I am definitely going to do now and this awakening is so important to me that I am seriously thinking about printing this post out and putting it on my wall next to my desk!

I hope that this post has helped other bloggers realise how successful they’ve become too, without realising it.

 

 

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Old to new fairytale

I think I have finally lost my marbles, given the idea I’ve had about a fairy-tale; I’ve though up my own dark fantasy version of Jack and the Beanstalk and this idea is so great and exciting for me that I am leaving all my other projects aside so I can write this, I suspect it will be a novella size – but whatever, I think it will be hilarious.

Unfortunately I won’t be posting the story on my blog when I’ve finished because I don’t know how that will affect me in regards to getting it published or winning a competition.  I’ve got great faith that this story will be popular and if I win it via competition before getting it published, I will post it here… but before then, I can’t.

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Anthologies

If an unpublished writer sent an anthology of short stories to either a publisher or an authors agent, would that be too presumptuous?

I am thinking about compiling about twenty short stories in my own anthology and then giving the whole thing to an authors agent, but I am a little worried that could be writing career suicide, what’s your thoughts please?

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Filed under About my work