Thursday, April 14, 2005

It is Another Beautiful Day, My Chiklits

Picked up some writing music yesterday, as work on my stand-alone novel (was "Jihad," now is the more all-inclusive "God's War") petered out earlier this year and needs to get back on track so I can have a finished book by year's end.

Going through the library catalogue to get more research books. There's jack shit at the public library, but Jenn's got access to the Northwestern U library, which is a great resource.

Also typing up a story I've started working on longhand, which I'd like to get in the mail at the end of the month. I've gotta get some new stuff out. I feel like I'm drowning, and I know a lot of my low-feeling the last few months has to do with the fact that not much fiction's getting written while my job's been throwing me around the country and the rejection slips have been piling up. Creating new worlds, running through stories, I just feel a hell of a lot better when I'm doing it. I've gotten sidetracked, discouraged, and it's time to get better.

I think getting the second agent reject for the fantasy novel (only two actually asked for the 50 pages - the rest were flat rejects) really bit me. Sometimes, you just want to stay low for awhile, clear out your system, before you start again. I've been losing a lot of my self confidence.

And still, I write. And submit.

Cause if I'm gonna do it anyway, I want to get paid for it.

6 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Bless you K, you Do write out stories longhand! I've got to the point where I can almost do as well at the keyboard, but I'm still faster with the pen or pencil. All my grad school work was done on yellow legal pads. My speed has not improved with my reliance on the keyboard, neither has my spelling. I still think very much in longhand.

So do see what you can get from the Univ. of IL & others from interlibrary loan. It might take awhile, but it'll get there eventually. Failing this, a visit to the U of Chicago might do wonders too.

And remember, if ALL else fails, there's always romance novels. They have some of the highest acceptance rates of any form of writing. I know, you're better than that, but plenty of musty English Prof's actually write for these syndicates, and make a decent living at it. It's a thought. I never thought that Elizabethan or Edwardian/Stewart period pieces were in any sort of demand, but damn if they are not selling such curiosities in the guise of 'romance novels'. And I hear they're all swell gals too. NPR's/APR's {This American Life} also had a longish piece on the romance writing industry recently. And really, is there anything more silly than some of the hookups in SF? At least we're talking about realistic flesh and blood women here! Good Luck!  

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

I do do a lot of writing longhand - mostly because it's easier to tote around a notepad than a laptop, still, and also because I can do a lot more freeflow stuff that way. Facing a computer screen makes the words more permanent, and when I'm dealing with a story/novel in its infancy, most of the preliminary writing, and a lot of story first drafts and some chapter first drafts are written in yellow legal pads. I've got stacks of them. Before that, I used bound journals, which is what everybody got me for Christmas and birthdays until I was, like, 18 (when they switched to money or just cards).

As for making a living romance writing... bah. If you're getting paid to write stuff you don't want to write, that's just like getting paid for uploading pictures you have no interest in uploading and working on projects you could care less about... it's sorta like, "heh, well, what's the point?"

But yes, I know a bit about the romance genre, and if I was poor and starving, I wouldn't put it past myself to go on and try to belt out a few. Problem is, I don't know that I'd call romance fiction women any more real than some of the old-school SF women. They've got to be written to a strict formula, after all.

Something tells me romance isn't the genre for me... ha. 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

Good point K, but they've gotten really err... liberal with the newer interpretations old staid forumlas. I was surprised myself. But the romance part you've got to impart to dear Tess or else the rest of the dressage bits are not going to work. I think it's still the best selling fiction genre by far, and they are constantly hungry for new talent. Me mum consumed them like water...

But it's good to know we're still producing real writers who know how to work a legal pad. I imagine it's a slow day in Chicagoland?  

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks, and really love your writing style. I'd love to read a longer piece.

If there's a piece you love that isn't getting published by the big publishing houses, you could always self-publish until the big publisher picks it up. Over at they doa fairly good job, print on demand, yada yada. You could even pick up extra cash editing other ppl's manuscripts. Maybe get out of the rat race.

Just a thought. 

Posted by Mush

Anonymous said...

Hey Mush, glad to have you here. I've pretty much decided the route I'm going to go - a lot of making a living at writing is sheer hard work and persistence, and a lot of luck. You just keep hoping the luck pays off.

Right place, right time, finding the right people who like you're stuff - or, getting a wide enough audience for your stuff that people who pick out what gets published realize they can make money off you.

It's a business, like anything else. At this point, I don't have much interest in self-publishing. Too much money, too much vanity. I'll wait it out.

I believe in what I'm writing, I think it's just a perserverance game.

And lots of hard work.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

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