I’m actually doing it. (And I’m not sure I like this.)
I wrote up a synopsis, took my first forty pages, wrote a cover letter (that sucks, just because I’m a nobody but oh well) and addressed an envelope to myself. All of these things got put into a pretty envelope and is just steps away from being sealed forever. Well, at least until some editor in New York opens it and reads the story I have to offer.
That’s right. I actually am going to send out a manuscript to a real life publisher. This is bigger than submitting a short story. This is huge.
I’m somewhat a combination of this:
and some of this.
But mainly, I’m just a lot of this.
Nor do I even get to find out until this summer, which is probably going to be at best that they want to see my full manuscript, and even then, they probably won’t even take it.
After all, one of my goals this year was to get a rejection letter. Now I’m going to get two. Hopefully, I’ll get more. If I look at them as one step closer to getting actually published, then it’s a good thing. After all, have you ever heard of a published writer who didn’t get a few rejection letters first? (Though, honestly, I’m offering to be the first one there! Not a problem with that.)
Anyway, seeing how it’s currently Sunday night, and I need packing tape to actually seal the package, It won’t get sent out until tomorrow. Until then, I have a chapter thirty-six to plot through and a paper on my math history to write.
Mermaids versus no mermaids.
If you’ve been around here a while, you probably know that I’m working on a novel about mermaids. At least, that was my plan. Just Trust Me is the prelude to this novel and I started writing it this month.
However… I’m running into some problems. Mainly, mermaids are *2!%!%!%^! hard to write about!
This leads me to question if I should write it on mermaids. The reasons are as follows.
Why I want to write Mermaids:
- Mermaids are awesome.
- I’ve discovered a few twists with mermaids that I’d like to play along with.
- One of the main components of my story is the fact that the mermaids are “rescuing” humans, and the humans are living under the sea as mermaids. I can’t figure out a situation that involves that.
- All of my houses and town arrangements involve a 3D layout of the towns. I’m not sure how to change that (besides making them able to fly.)
- I have heard rumors of mermaids possibly being the next thing after vampires.
Why I don’t want to write mermaids:
- One of my components is the fact that mermaids and humans can produce offspring. I can’t figure out how they could do reconstructive surgery and still keep the private areas in tack enough.
- I can’t figure out how or what they can eat or drink. Particularly eat. And while I’m on that, what about smoking?
- Movement is difficult to describe. Sitting, standing, walking, ect.
- I can’t figure out how to do furniture either.
- Sometimes too unique of an environment throws readers. I’m here to tell a good story, not show how good I am at creating an environment.
So, I have three options.
A) Keep it as it is and figure all this out. After all, I’m a writer. I should be able to.
B) Create an air pocket under the sea, so they generally walk around on two legs, like the Irish mermaids can, add extra buoyancy which not only allows them to have a 3D movement but then they can jump up, and, if desired, they can swim through the water well and rescue humans. Then also, they can eat easier.
C) Create a world that involves flying “mermaids,” so I maintain the 3D movement aspect, make it easier for them to eat, keep the legs, so we have no problem with reproducing, and movement is the best. The problem with this is: what are the humans in this scenario?
Three stories, five books and not enough time
I realized today that I have actually started three separate books. I’m stunned. And worse, I don’t know what to write.
- Mermaids: This story revolves around a political turmoil in a mermaid world. Nessa is the youngest daughter of the king but wants to be queen. Under their government, she can be elected as queen. However, it is only through the Adamahs, humans who have been changed to mermaids, that she can do this. In this I have the election, and the result afterwards, and it’s really awesome. :)
- Intentional Accidents: This story revolves around two characters, a pirate and an assassin. They’re stories interweaves into smiliar threads and storylines but I only know about the pirate. She is feeling lonely, hurt and wants off the pirate ship but doesn’t see a way to get off. A police man unknowingly gets on the pirate ship and encourages her to find her own way. The assassin is also tired of her life, wants out, but doesn’t know how to leave. I haven’t dealt with the assassin much, focusing on developing the pirate story, then the assassin, then merging them at the end.
- Mindskill: In mindskill, a doctor develops telepathy as an implant. He implanted his daughter without her knowledge, understanding that soon it would be a necessary skill to survive. He dies though before he can tell her, in an “accident” and she must discover the truth for herself, along with a plot to take over the world and a plan to keep those with this skill safe. This was going to be my shot at writing a trilogy (Which is a huge task, let me tell you.)
I’ve written 36 words of Intentional Accidents (9,455 words), 93 pages of mindskill (25,000) and 61 pages (16,000 words) of mermaids.
Here’s the problem: I like them all. I stopped mindskill because I needed to develop it more. I stopped Intentional Accidents because I needed to skim and I didn’t know how to. (I’m playing around writing the ending scene to that.) And I’m currently writing mermaids (which may not end up being mermaids, which makes me sad, but that is fact.)
I have every intention of finishing all of these. All of them are probably good. But how? I’m mean, seriously, I probably have enough to write about for three years (at least), not to mention that I need to write synopses to send these books out, and I want to write Sagi’s tragedy (short story), and I’d really like to write one of the stories my friend and I write out (novel), and I’d like to edit Hope (or at least make a logical decision whether to toss it), and edit Giant’s Wife and–
*stops for breath*
I just have too many ideas I think. How do I choose?
I have talked some about reactive writing. In short, reactive writing is where you don’t let things wash over a person, but instead have the character react, or something bad happen, at every possible moment. This takes a lot of work and a lot of skill, but it is effective at writing a really good piece eventually.
Yesterday, I watched an episode of Caprica, which you can find here, The best thing about it is that you don’t really need to know what is going on in the story to see what I mean, except that the holobands (the bands they have around their head, brings people into a virtual word. Zoey, the daughter, is really a computer generated representative of their daughter who has a personality of her own.
What you really need to look at, however, is Clarice’s rule in the story, along with the two guys. Here you find a good example of how many things can go wrong.
- They have a plan. Break in, block transmissions out, cut power. No big deal. In and out in no time.
- They break in. Discover a robot servant. They shoot robot servant but robot servant calls 911.
- They head towards where Greystones are, only to have a security door fall in place.
- They try to bypass the security door, but the genius person is having some problems since it isn’t like he’s ever experienced before.
- They open the security door, only to find another door.
- Guy starts to bypass second door, puts in some kind of explosion and gets his hand caught on fire.
- They get the door open, and capture the people. Finally things are looking up. However, the robot comes back to life and takes a swing at the people. The people run. Plan fails.
Now, as I’m writing this I’m realize there isn’t a lot of reaction on the robbers part, but there is still a lot of reaction or things going wrong.
My sister commented on that with one story I wrote called Miles’ Love. No. It’s not here. I haven’t edited it enough yet because I don’t like it. However, in it Miles gets captured and escapes with his girlfriend. However, nothing bad happens once they escape. They walk a lot, yes, but that’s it. No last minute chase. No need for Miles to shoot someone. Nothing. They just escape and live happily ever after.
Hopefully this helps point you in the direction of how to get a clue about writing reactively. I could give you some more examples from my own writing, both how it works well and when it hasn’t worked out well, but a) a lot of them come from my mermaid novel and b) I don’t want to bore you.
Will you READ it already?!
This past week in my life has been almost a literal whirlwind. In short, I was dropped from the nursing program at school and that sent me on a quest to find a new career goal between runs to the business office, professors, financial aid, and fighting off waves of sadness. Currently, I’m thinking education and I’m stuck between English for secondary ed or elementary ed. I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need to decide at this second, but that’s hard.
When my teachers first told me they needed to dismiss me, one thing they brought up is that I mentioned to someone I like writing. Obviously, I love writing. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t write the blog. However, I kinda dismissed that suggestion because a) my school doesn’t have the creative writing program I would like and b) it’s too competitive a field for a career and c) I’m too nice of a person.
All fine and good. I move on.
Then I discussed my mermaid paper with my professor, Dr. D. In spite of his doubts on my topic, he likes it. It has actually rather impressed him and Dr. D has, once again, mentioned publishing. I’m kinda like, “Okay, whatever. That might be cool.” I’m still staring at the chapter three section and trying to figure what to write exactly. Or even outline!
Moving on to announcing my dismissal on facebook and telling my nursing partners. (Obviously, some are shocked, because as someone put it, I dominated the tests.) Someone in all of this asked me if I’m going to change my major to writing.
After that, I posted Just Trust Me with the hopes that people would read it. I got one person liking it and two people at least clicked on it. But no comments otherwise. Nothing.
Then I go back for this final nursing thing about administer withdrawal to protect my GPA and such. Blahblahblah. Anyway, I just mentioned to my teachers that I was writing a paper comparing mermaid folklore across the world. They asked me how I came upon this idea and I explained that I wrote the story for the writing contest at my school (no clue how I placed yet) and I decided to write it as a novel. I wanted to do some research about it first though. They thought it was awesome.
Then the provost of my school (less than 800 students) has never met me before. No big deal. But she recongized me AND she made comments about how I have really made a difference in the TRiO writing center and that Dr. D has said that I write really well.
I only write for the student newspaper at school and to be honest, I’m not pleased with how my articles are coming out. I really wish I had someone to help me just iron out the little things and let me brainstorm with them. But I keep hearing about how good of a writer I am, or if I’m going to go into writing, but you know what?
But no one has read my fiction!
I think I write good fiction. I have come a long way in the eight years that I’ve been writing. And while some of my stories may not be up to the standards I would like, and I am a little on the slow side when it comes to editing, I really like the stories I have.
I even randomly started reading the ending of one of my stories that I haven’t touched in over a year because I randomly thought of it.
Everyone else knows that I write fiction too. Almost everyone understands that this is a passion of mine.
But no one reads it!
For once, just once, I want someone who has read what i have written in fiction to tell me that I’m a good writer, or ask me if I am going to look into writing, or something like that, I don’t want these people who don’t even know I wrote a novel to be suggesting I write as a career. Because for all they know, my writing stinks!
As it is, because I mentioned that I want my mermaid story to become an novel, I have now promised my nursing department a signed copy of it when it is published. I suppose it should be if, but I prefer to be optimistic.
The ban of a writer’s existence: the synopsis
I wrote a novel a while back. I edited it really carefully. I think it’s good. I don’t know, but I think.
The problem that I’m having is I need to write a synopsis for this novel in order to do anything with it. That leaves me confuzzled. I do searches and I can’t seem to learn a lot.
Which brings me to this week’s question.
Do you know if any good websites or tips for writing really good synopses?
Maybe, in view of this question, I should make it my goal this year to get my first rejection letter. (Ouch. That’s tough. But a good plan in my head.)
Where to start with world building.
One of my favorite elements, and I’ll admit, the hardest element as well, of writing science fiction is the chance that I have to create a world. It is just awesome to be able to put all the ideas I have of how society can develop into a little place all my own, without having to live in it. (There are some of my worlds that I don’t really want to live in.)
However, that’s all blah, blah, blah. The important thing is how to build it. Like I said, this is one of the hardest parts. I start to write a novel, stop half way through, or worse all the way through, realize that something pivotal doesn’t work, and so have to fix that up or figure out how it works. That’s just plain frustrating.
But perhaps I have figured out a solution.
See, I just wrote a story which has been running around here with a couple names; mostly you’ll know it by Ethical or mermaids. Now the title is Just Trust Me and should be appearing here shortly.
This story, although a short story, can be expanded so this is the prologue of a novel. It’s just set up for that. At first I thought that I will never write her story. However, the more I began rewriting it, and polishing it up, and making this world a decent world, the more I wanted to write it into a novel.
See, it’s a lot easier to write something tiny. I’m only playing around at the moment with 8500 words. That doesn’t take that much time to work through. However, by creating the world at the moment, and figuring out how it can function in a reasonable way, I happen to have myself set up for a very good novel world with not that much difficulty.
Not only that but I already know four of the main characters in the novel, enough that I think they’ll start to speak to me on the first draft.
Now, I don’t think this novel is going to show up in bookstores any time soon. I probably won’t even start writing it until July or August. But–I also think that it does work to write a short story about all of your main characters before you write the novel. Not only does it give you something smaller to work on, but it lets you know their world and their thoughts.
Have you ever tried to do this? How’d it turn out?
It’s always an uphill battle.
What is the hardest part for you in writing stories?
I’m not quite sure who said this, but I saw this somewhere. She basically said that no one can write and edit at the same time. Allow me to paraphrase.
Write first; edit later.
The logic behind that is if we are so caught up in if we have the right tense of the word, or the right spelling of the word, or anything like that, we very often tend to lose our train of thought and can’t write much of anything. So don’t correct things that can be corrected when you edit. Don’t even think about it.
I oftentimes will write something and realize I placed the word “was” in my sentence. Now, if you know me, you know I hate the word “was.” However, I let it stay, because oftentimes if I try to write my sentence without was in it, I lose everything I intended to say later on. So keep this in mind, no matter what you’re writing.
To be carried along downstream, or to fight against the rocks, branches, and everything else
I’ve been thinking a lot about reactive writing. See, I read that in general, a story can be made up of three basic crises, and each one with the possible exception of the first one caused by the character reacting to the previous crisis, and thus causing the next one.
Initially, I thought that was ridiculous. You don’t need a few good crises tossed in to make a story. You need complications.
But what is complication?
Allow a momentary side note on my part. I quoted someone who said that your life doesn’t make a good life story. This is true, and I’m going to explain the reason why this relates.
In writing, we can’t just let the problems and complications wash over the hero, and the hero does nothing. That’s why writing a story about my time n school doesn’t work. Yes–things happen. But I don’t react strongly enough to how they react. So I don’t have the money for tuition this semester, well, I’ll take out a loan. So now I get a chance at a special scholarship, well, I’ll submit the papers and see what happens. I don’t decide to cheat on the applications in hopes that no one else will notice, or sneak into the office and steal the other applications.
This is also why journeys don’t work well in writing. In general, a journey has things happen, but they don’t have things that the character can react to happening.
So my new name for this is reactive writing. A story can’t just be about how something happy happened. It has to be how something happened in which a character overreacted and caused even more of a problem.
Unfortunately, I’m not doing so well at this in something I’m writing now, but hopefully with much editing it will come out.
So, how reactive is your writing?