Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Big Ws

Ah yes, the who, what, when, where and why. School hammered this into all of us for our fictional or journalistic stories.

Today I invite you to use the big Ws for some self-reflection. Look at yourself as a writer…

Who are you as an artist?
Who do you write for?
Who is your audience?

Where does your need to create come from?
Where are you in your life?
Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years?

What stage of growth are you at as a writer?
What themes reappear in your work?
What is troubling about your current project?
What surprises you about your work?
What are you writing dreams? What stands in your way?
What do you need to do to finish? To make it the best novel you can?
What is at stake for you?

When do you let something sit? For how long?
When do you rewrite?

Why this project?
Why now?

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Friends of Merril Short Story Contest

Judith Merril was a science fiction author/editor and was on the board of the Toronto Public Library. In 1970 she donated her collection of science fiction and fantasy to the Lillian H. Smith library which totaled 5,000 items!

Friends of the Merril is a volunteer organization that helps promote her collection and hosts kick-a** events. They are also having a short story contest!

The contest opens tomorrow and closes February 15th. First price is $500! There will also be two honourable mentions at $50 each. There is a $5 entry fee to cover the cost of the prices. For full submission guidelines click here.

I’m entering and you should, too!

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Guest Blogger Adrian Faulkner

Welcome Adrian Faulkner! Adrian is the author of The Four Realms.

Faulkner-FourRealms_thumb[1]

He’s also into geocaching which, now that I’ve looked it up, is AWESOME!

Mr. Faulkner writes to us today about failure leading to success.

Enjoy.

Failure Is The Path To Success

Being a writer is great. I mean, you effectively get to play God. You write the stories you want to write, you can make the characters do whatever you want and no-one can arrest you for all the horrible things you do to them! You get to be your own little megalomaniac; no-one’s telling you what to do, or what you can’t do. It’s complete bliss!

But the problem comes the moment you start to show your writing to others. They’ll have opinions, some of it positive and, undoubtedly, some negative. If you want to pursue publication, you’ll submit your stories to editors, publishers and agents, and along the way you’ll get rejected.

After the hedonism of complete control this can come as quite a shock even if you feel you’ve mentally prepared for it. Usually you’ll only be afforded a stock reply. They’ll just say “not for us, thanks for sending it in” and that’ll be that.

And as a result you’ll find yourself doubting yourself and your ability. That story you loved so much, you thought so perfect, you’ll now look at with different eyes. You’ll wonder what you’ve missed. You’ll be miserable company. If you’re like me, you’ll probably eat a lot of ice cream that evening.

The problem is that rejection is all too often seen as so removed from success. There’s this view that says they’re polar opposites, that rejection is failure and failure is the polar opposite to success. But actually, not really. In fact they’re neighbours.

You see, when it comes to writing the opposite of success is giving up. Just about every writer has experienced rejection and failure, most to the point where a sane person would have long given up. Persistence is the key, and not just in the case of writing. If you don’t believe me, take virtually any successful person from any time in history, in any field of expertise you care to name and look at how much they failed before they found success.

So next time you get a rejection, know that you’re a step closer to achieving your goals; because other people – saner people – would have long given up by now, but you’re going to pick yourself up and keep on writing.

About the Author
Adrian Faulkner has never really stopped making things up since he first started writing stories at age 7. He spent a decade as a leading pop culture journalist and geek culture commentator before focusing on fiction. His debut Urban Fantasy novel, The Four Realms, was published in 2012 by Anarchy Books. Adrian lives in Berkshire, England and in his spare time is one of the country’s leading geocachers.

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Daylight Savings

59 - daylight-saving-time1

Summer used to be my favourite season. As I get older, I’m finding that fall and even winter (no, not winter!) are becoming my new favs.

I hate the cold, but with A.C blaring everywhere in the summer when do I get to be warm? Sunny weather beckons “get away from your desk and come outside!” Not very productive for a writer. Plus you’ve got all those weddings, family barbques… fun but exhausting!

In the fall I don’t have to be embarrassed that I can’t tan. I can wear my comfy clothes. I can drink hot chocolate. I can write.

The clocks may be falling back this weekend, but I’ll be springing forward.

Bring on the dark.

59 - The Dark

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