Sunday, January 17, 2010

So Far, So Good

I had an inspiration and renamed my science fiction western from "Petroleum Sunset" to "Once Upon a Gas Tank". I think it is a much greater indication of the mood of the story! I just submitted it to another pro market, one I've never submitted to before.

I went through the whole thing and read it allowed while speaking with the kind of dialect that I was hoping to emulate in the story. I hope it helped. If I can't sell this one, I'm just going to post it on my website. It might be almost impossible to find someone to buy a story that is written in dialect. But I have a lot of markets to go before I give up.

A third story, "Riven", is being beta-read. I like this one very much and it's a fantasy, which is different for me. For some reason when I write short stories, I tend to write science fiction. And when I write novels, they're anything but.

My progress on everything is slow but sure. I can only expect to be able to write so fast because of demands on my time at home. But I'm happy with a little bit of progress. If I ever do manage to sell a novel, I'll have to re-prioritize a bunch of stuff, including Debuts & Reviews. In the meantime, once I get all these short stories polished as well as I'd like them, then I'll have nothing to do with them but submit them here and there. So far, two stories have graduated from my short story file on my iPod touch. Riven will be the third. Then I'll be playing with those stories that I never quite finished, but with concepts that I still think are promising.

Here's a question for you. When you are writing a scene that proves to be difficult, do you:
  • a) scratch the scene. Obviously my muse is telling me something.
  • b) work with it. Difficult scenes are worth the angst.
  • c) something else?


  1. Since you asked, when a scene or story has me stumped, I usually wait until I figure out what's wrong. I often switch to some other project until that happens. Sometimes I'll have worked on several before I get back to the stuck one. The point is, when I do go back, it isn't so stuck. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. I've definitely taken that approach before. I'd like to get this DONE, but I know that the muse cannot be forced.

    Or can it?

  3. It depends on what stage in the writing process I'm at.

    In the first draft, I try to push myself to write the scene anyway, because it doesn't matter if it's crap; I'll clean it up later. And besides, you never know. Sometimes when you give your muse that kick in the pants, it shows you just what great things it can do.

    But with revision, I don't push as hard if the scene isn't coming to me. If I'm stumped, I get out my writing journal and brainstorm my way through the problem as best I can, then give it a few hours to work itself out in my brain. If that doesn't work, I figure my muse needs to take a break from the novel, and I either write something else--preferably nonfiction--or go do something else. Something else I try is thinking of books with scenes which are similar to the one I'm struggling with, and then I flip through those books to those model scenes and try to puzzle out why they work so well.

  4. Some people claim they've found ways to force their muses. They usually seem harder than switching stories for a while, tho. As long as switching is easier, I'd rather do that. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin


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