Progress So Far

  • Romance writer - Historical. Contemporary and Intrigue
  • 2 books written for HarperImpulse

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Super quick "R"!

Boo! Hiss! I've had another "R" for one of my short stories today.

I sent it on the 19th of July and had a nice rejection letter dated the 30th of July. That's got to be a record turnaround IMHO.

Hey ho! Best get writing and send some more "out there..."

Hope everyone in blogland is OK? I'm blogging about enjoying all the coverage from the RWA conference in Orlando. You never know one day I might get there myself.

Have a good weekend (what's left of it). Caroline x

Sunday, 18 July 2010

What I've learnt about....

....writing short stories over the past couple of months...

1. First off I'd thought I couldn't write "short", but with a bit of planning and just actually knuckling down and writing one, I found out that I could!

2. You type "The End" a heck of a lot sooner than when writing a book! This is obvious really, but it does focus the mind somewhat and gives you a much needed boost to reach the end I can tell you - especially when the current ms is on a "go slow".

3. Less is more. You really have to make sure the story is well constructed from the beginning to the end. There is no going off tangent etc. I tend to write 1000 word stories so you don't have a lot of words to play with.

4. Grammar and punctuation have to be spot on. Editors will just disregard a poorly written story.

5. The opening hook *really* has to hook the reader/editor into your story.

6. Don't introduce too many characters. 4 is usually regarded as the absolute maximum. Too many, and you confuse the readers.

7. Show don't tell. It's normally a 70/30 dialogue/narration split - with the dialogue pushing the story onwards the whole time. (Although I have read some stories that do buck this trend and have been almost 100% narration - but this is the exception rather than the rule.) Writing dialogue for my short stories has really helped my book writing. I'm finding my characters appear more human and not so stilted on the page now (I hope!) Although there is a slight difference, as I write historical so dialogue like "Chillax mum" don't quite fit into my historical MS's!

8. The short story market is ferocious. There are very few publications taking short stories and the competition is fierce.

9. You still get "R's". I've had one so far. But somehow a short story "R" doesn't seem as bad (well for me anyway!) as getting a form "R" for a book that's taken me a whole year to write. At least with a short story you can lick your wounds for a couple of hours, the maybe the next day just forget about it as you've written another short story that (IYHO) is better than the last one. Also you can always re-sub the rejected SS to another publication in a matter of hours as well.

10. Idea's for short stories are all around you. I often find that "real life " stories and news items can often be used/adapted for a short story. My latest short story was inspired by an article in a magazine about how school cooks "disguise" vegetables in order to get children to eat their "5 a day".

Well there you go. Caroline's insight into short story writing. On the other side of the coin - the latest WIP is nearly finished/edited and will be winging its way to the NWS at the RNA. Caroline x

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Am I green.......

.......with envy? Yup! Why? 'Cos I wish I was going to the RNA Conference In Greenwich that's why!!! (Pause for MEGA *sigh*)

There has been furore in blogland recently regarding the RNA's upcoming conference at Greenwich which starts tomorrow. It sounds fab, and I *so* wish I was going. But a wedding this year (mine if you didn't know) has wiped out the funds somewhat. Never mind, maybe next year!

But in the spirit of goodness I just want to say to all of you who are going/are there I hope you have a GREAT time! Enjoy the workshops (especially Kate Walkers and Kate Hardy's - I bet they will be fun); enjoy the socialising and general smooziness of the event, but most of all I hope you all come back enthused with the writing bug!

To those of you who can't get there, here's hoping blogland will be full of lots of lovely photo's (especially of the shoes/outfits) when everyone gets back at their respective desks so we can have a right old nosey!

Enjoy! Caroline xxxx