Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Discipline

Tonight, I wanted to work on East of Yesterday. Things are really coming together in my mind. However, I was disciplined and I opened my file for Forging a Legend instead. Nighttime writing time is for revisions. I can draft on the weekends, using my Neo.

I'm really trying to be more disciplined about not hopping from work to work. I recently finished a novella and a short story, and they are in simmer mode, where they will stay for another week or so. Once I started working on each of them, I made sure I finished. I'm trying to be better about this.

I also need to be better about submissions. I do fine for novels -- I query dozens of agents, then I revise, then I query dozens more. I don't seem to ever give up (except for the trunk novel). But for short stories, I fizzle out at about five submissions. Which just about gets me through the pro magazines, where I have almost zero chance of acceptance anyway. I really have to force myself to keep submitting. But honestly, I wonder if I shouldn't just display the short stories on my website and forget about trying to sell them. At least that way, some people will probably read them. But as far as novels go, I think my plan of drafting one work on the Neo and polishing another work on my computer might satisfy my apparent need for variety.

I started working on Forging a Legend in 2004. That makes it five years, now. But in the same amount of time, I wrote another novel, a handful of short stories, one novella and 20,000 words of two additional novels (East of Yesterday and A Hollywood Miracle), both of which I do want to finish. A third novel start, Any Woman, is trunked, probably permanently.

There must be some reason I keep going back to Forging a Legend. And the biggest reason I can think of is I really want to finish it. I love Abriel, and I love the story that I've come up with for her. Book 2 -- if I can ever get the chance to write it -- really ends with a bang and it's got twists and turns you'd never expect. Wait till you get to meet Husband #2! And Book 3 is where I finally get to tie up the many plot threads that I laid the foundations for in Forging a Legend.

Have you ever written anything that has stayed with you like this, and resisted all your attempts to set it aside?

6 comments:

  1. {thoughtful look}

    May I suggest a more deliberate approach with submitting stories? {Smile}

    Sit down with the story's word count in clear print, a calculator at hand, and typical pay rates firmly in mind. Start multiplying the word count by the pay-per-word rate. When I do that, I find a break point where I stare at the number, a moment, and think "That is not worth it." I think it makes sense to submit to places that pay more than that as long as I like their terms. (I can't imagine selling all rights forever; I want to get my story back eventually!) {Smile}

    I find that point is different for each length of story. My shortest stories have just under 300 words; I don't know of any place that pays enough to make submitting worth the bother, so those go straight to my LiveJournal. As the word count goes up, the number of places that pay enough to seem worth it goes up too, at least up past 8000 words or so. Somewhere after that, my writing speed goes down enough, I begin wondering if submitting is worth the bother again. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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  2. Anne, that's pretty much what I do. I estimate that the pro magazines would pay about 100 to 500 for a short story, depending on length. After you go through the pro markets, the semipro markets usually don't pay more than the cost of a dinner out. With them, it's more the writing credit that I'm after. If I'd ever actually submit!

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  3. Tia- Forging a Legend, and it's sequel - demands to be published, it's why it begs so frequently for your attention!

    It's a fantastic story - I find myself wondering what happens next,then I remember it isn't officially published yet - sigh.
    Completely baffles me that it hasn't been scooped up!

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  4. Thank you again, Lisa! And again, and again! I just got new incentive to work on Forging a Legend - a hot query lead - so I'll be going on Blog Hiatus and will be working on it during all my spare time for the next two weeks, at least, until it is DONE.

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  5. I happened across this comment while checking old flags:

    Anne, that's pretty much what I do. I estimate that the pro magazines would pay about 100 to 500 for a short story, depending on length.

    Either you're writing particularly short stories, or you're breaking pro from semi-pro differently than the sites I'm familiar with do. I don't think it's the former from what you've said elsewhere. If it's the latter, I wonder how you find so few pro markets to submit to. Even if you don't trust the online lists of publishers, I'd think you could find more pro markets for fantasy thru the Writer's Market printed books alone. (If you only want pro, look for 2010 Writer's Market, or the most recent year you find. If you're considering semi-pro, 2009 Novel and Short Stories Writer's Market may have a more complete list.) Usually those can be found at a local library, which is nice when updates come out yearly. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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