So my school last a writing contest every year. The first year, I really bombed it. My story wasn’t really that great (I didn’t realize that at the time.) and much too long.
This year I worked even harder, because I wanted to win something. I submitted Just Trust Me into the contest.
And I came in third.
Now, you may think that, “Abigail, seriously, that’s just third. That’s–$50. If you’re lucky.”
I’m thinking, “Abigail. You got in third. That’s better than last year. And you still have a couple more chances.”
Moreover, I suspect Ariel, who won, is actually a more detailed writer than I am. Not sure if that’s good or not. Just a fact.
Anyway, that’s my life. This is awesome! Now you have a reason to go read it.
Oh, right, and this is the prelude (I think) to my new novel that I wrote 40 (font size 18) over spring break.
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.
It’s not that I have no ideas, though I have suffered from that before at the beginning of a semester. I have a zillion ideas actually.
I came up with one that involved a take-off of Cinderella, where although Cinderella does go to the ball, and she is the most beautiful woman, the prince is already in love with someone else. Stuck on whose POV to write it in.
I have a story that I wrote that I’m questioning now, because I can see people having a problem with a man giving up his allegiance to his country so easily. But I wrote it, so I probably should look at editing it. There has to be something good in there.
I have another story that I need to fix up, because I think I’m going to submit it to the writing contest at school. I had doubts, then a lot of the reviews came back positive, so I might.
Lastly, I want to proofread my mermaid story (Just Trust Me), because that one is being submitted to the writing contest for sure. I’m also basing my topic for my giant research paper this semester on that story, so why not?
Oh, and I am suppose to be working on a novel that will be cool but I have serious writer’s block on, because I have to skim. (I hate skimming)
On top of all that, I have to critique someone’s story because I said I would. I pretty much vanished for her off of the face of the planet because of sickness and school so she is probably wondering where I am. That I will do Saturday night.
And I should write some blog posts, so you don’t just get me rambling since I know you didn’t subscribe for that. :)
So I have things to do. And I have a three-day weekend waiting for me. But none of these options appeal to me. They are all just so… blah. Well, not that blah. I really do like the stories. It’s just that I don’t even know what I want to do exactly. Maybe there are just too many options.
On the plus side for me, one of the teachers at my school is saying we might finally have enough people interested in doing a writing group. So I’ll have some accountability soon and hopefully someone to bounce good ideas off of. Then I’ll know without submitting it to a bunch of people who see all the grammar mistakes I didn’t if it might be good.
And I started writing for the newspaper at school. My first article I copied from my post about bus travel that I wrote for this blog. I suppose I could get a lot of articles if I looked here actually, but I don’t think I will.
So I’m hoping my day off tomorrow will help, because I have been kinda looking forward to this three-day weekend and I don’t want to blow it. I’d rather it in February since I have more to do then, but January isn’t all that bad. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be so motivated I’ll tackle one of the rewrites I have planned to do “some day” after I work on my two stories for my writing contest.
What do you all do for motivation?
Since science fiction is all about the “what ifs,” this should be perfect for many people?
What is one invention that you can’t wait for? Have you written a story about it?
And yes, this is a total steal from the contest on Critters, but I won’t steal any of your ideas, though I honestly shouldn’t be telling you about it either, because then it’s more competition for me. :)
So I posted a few weeks ago my goals for my writing. And I have managed to successfully fail at them. Well, at least one.
See, one of my goals was to send Time of the Dragon Slayers into a writing contest. I decided against that. Partly because I’m so tired, partly because it costs lots of money (okay $5 but…), and partly because I gave it to someone to edit.
Now, I don’t know if she is really going to edit it or not. Or how much she will is more correct. But, I’m hoping to get her evaluation of it back tomorrow at work. And, in a way, it makes sense to wait. I’ll send it in next time. (When is that? June 30th I think.)
Now, maybe I should have send When Darkness Swallows in instead but like I said, I’ve been tired and it takes a lot of work to prep a manuscript. Also, I have no clue how that stands besides that it lost the writing contest at school. If it lost that one, surely it will lose the other one.
On another note, I mentioned, I think about two months ago, my plot for arranged marriages. Well, good news and bad news. Good news is that I finished the first draft and it’s bout twenty-six pages. BAd news is that it is really bad.
Not terribly bad. I understand the characters at least. But I’ve been so tired while writing it and such that the writing isn’t good.
So if anyone as any tips on how to write tension or on how to write action scenes, that would be of great help when I go to edit it.
AS a note, working title for that story is now “Miles’ Love.”
I”m honestly trying to be upbeat about this. But it’s so hard. It really is honestly hard.
See, if you remember I entered the Agnes Hyde writing contest last January with the story “When Darkness Swallows“. I also entered an autobiographical essay. IN all honesty, I was really, really excited and curious. I was also hoping that this might be a way that I can get money for a clinical I have in May.
Well, the results of the contest are in, and not only did I not even win first place, I didn’t win anything. Nada. Just, poof! No Abigail entries.
I know that it wasn’t that great. When Darkness Swallows was rather long and not that great. But I had hopes for Flashes of Inspiration. I mean–my English teacher thought it was good!
But apparently not good enough.
Alas, I’m sad. I was hoping that I’d be able to post that I won and all instead of posting that I lost.
Well, at least I finally lost a writing contest that I tried for. I just wish he’d give me comments on my story.
This being spring break, of course I have goals. I’ve been looking forward it too much for there not to be goals involved.
That being said, I think that I should outline my goals, so anyone who wants to can check in on me and see how well I did when I say in May that I failed.
First off, with Dragon Slayers. I know, you haven’t read it. There are some parts of it that are really…. erm, yeah, but I’m going to finish that hopefully today (Tuesday) and give it to an English teacher at my school who I work with for her to read and comment on. If she comments on that quickly enough, I’ll input her commentary. If not, well, I’m going to do this anyway. At the end of the month I’m going to send it to Writers of the Future contest. I don’t think anything will happen with that, to be quite honest, because it isn’t fantasy enough, but I’m going to give it a try anyway so I can say that I submitted something somewhere.
Also, I’d like to seriously get into editing Shad. But that doesn’t happen until….
April 30th is actually the end of my semester and with it, when I want to be completely done with Shad. I might have more people read it but with a) this being so soon and b) I don’t have anyone to read it really, I’ll probably just let it be. But April is when I finish my first novel completely and totally.
I don’t think I’m going to have much time in May, because I have summer classes. However, I’m going to write a synopsis of Shad and that I will get proofread. The reason why is I need that to submit Shad to a publisher.
I’m sending Shad off. Obviously, it won’t be titled Shad by then but I have to do something. I keep writing and writing and writing and nothing ever happens. At least once I send it off, I have something to say that I did. It’s not a case of, “I wrote a book, just like the thousand of millions of other Americans who want to write a book but get distracted after the first draft is finished with ten thousand plot holes involved,” but “I wrote book that I thought to be good enough to send to a publisher and guess what? I got rejected. But at least I did something. ”
I can do this. I like Shad, a lot. It’s not because it’s the first novel I wrote either, because I wrote Hope before Shad and I know that Hope is bad on so many levels. I like it because when I read parts of it, I get excited. I like it because the characters are good, the plot is good, and the ending is unexpected.
So, that’s my goals. We’ll see together if I get them accomplished. I haven’t heard from the writing contest either at school. I wish they at least gave me a clue about when they would be done judging them.
It’s official. I am entered into the writing contest at my school. I actually entered in two stories, but in two different categories. I entered in one of them because my English teacher from last semester told me to enter it in essay and then I entered my story for the fiction section.
As it turned out, I was spelling the writing contest all wrong. It’s actually spelled Agnes Hyde. I will fix that soon.
Of course, things couldn’t go completely right for me. I was trying to print it last night and my printer was giving me a little gray line down the side of it. I’m not sure why. My dad, the ex-computer tech repair person doesn’t know why. He told me to shake the cartridge and so I did but that didn’t help, so I had to print it at school. Luckily, that was no big deal. (I also mailed a copy of my story to my grandma, because I figured she’d like it to get a nice big package from us.)
Problem now is, I don’t know when it’ll be over. I honestly don’t. They didn’t us a good idea. But maybe it won’t be too far down the road.
At least now I done with When Darkness Swallows and I can devote myself more to Dragon Slayers (which is probably going to be named Time of the Dragon Slayers but I’m too lazy to write that all out.) and hopefully tomorrow night after shabbat I’ll be able to edit another story called Samuel Brakborn and post it here too. I already did the paper edit.
Anyway, until tomorrow or Sunday. Enjoy your weekend.
I might as well mention this, since I did post that other thing earlier.
I work in the TRIO writing center at school, which is basically a place where students, with certain qualifications, can get assistance with their writing. If a student comes in, I help them; if no student comes in, I don’t have to do anything.
As it would happen, I didn’t have anyone come in today. So the whole entire time I worked on my story for the writing contest. And, I finished. *little party* Oh, and I did post the updated version here. There are a few fixes that were really important, but nothing that wonderful.
Now, in all honesty, I’m not as excited as I think I should be. I wish I knew why. I think part of that I think it is way too long still. Another complication I’ve had is I don’t know if I have a real climax and if I do, if it is technically in the right place.
Or perhaps I’m just completely insecure about my writing and don’t like not knowing what to expect. Before, I had a clue. Now… I’m not sure.
I also don’t like the title. I don’t have enough of an elusion to the idea that he got swallowed up by space. But I also don’t have any better ideas. It’s not like something else I wrote where a guy’s name made sense. (Samuel Brakborn, you’ll see that soon hopefully.)
So I’ll admit it; I’m scared. I’m scared I missed something while editing it or that I messed up or anything. But as I said, it’s basically due tomorrow and so I don’t have a choice but to let it be. So I’m done, I’ll go home tonight, print two copies, send one to my grandma and bring the other one to school tomorrow and deliver it at lunch time. It’s probably best for me to do it like that.
Obviously, there are much better times to write this so I will probably be quick.. Why do I procrastinate so? Yesterday, I was going to basically have the whole house to myself. My mom went to church, my sister and brother went to youth (at another church actually), my brother was working and my dead disappears into the basement, so I would basically be alone. Did I work on writing things (since I don’t have that much homework)? No. I read comics, then I got distracted reading another website, then my mom came home and we started talking. So guess who didn’t write last night?
Why do I do this to myself though? The writing contest is basically due as far as I know tomorrow. They say it is January 31st but I don’t know how to deliver my manuscript before then. I edited all of it on paper so all I need to do is enter it into the computer, run a spell check and that’s pretty much all I can do. (Now, it is 20 pages of things to enter in but still, it isn’t that bad. i’ve done much worse.)
Instead, I’m getting distracted by every single thing imaginable, from stupid websites to writing blog posts to answering e-mails I actually need to answer. Worse thing is that I work from 12-1 (horrid times, I know.) and I want to eat lunch or some semblance of lunch (maybe I’ll bring a snack with me too.) before I leave. I just hope I don’t do something stupid and wait too long to enter. (Read Flashes of Imagination to understand my problems with procrastination more.)