Monday, May 23, 2011

Yes, I Have No Shame + Switching Directions

Why does my lack of shame only come up now? This:

The wonderful Lyle at Rainstorm Press ( http://www.rainstormpress.com ) is putting together a lovely anthology for the lovely folks of SETI ( http://www.seti.org ).

Why should you care?

Well, aside from the fact that it's to help us find extra-terrestrial life (go check out the SETI site - it'll explain), yours truly has a story in there as well as my neighbor *waves out of window* Frances Pauli ( http://francespauli.blogspot.com ). Now, if you want to buy it (of course you do - why wouldn't you?) there is a lovely little link ( http://www.rainstormpress.com/p/books-ebooks.html ) that will bring you straight to the pre-order (okay, there may or may not be another step or two...I'm not sure...but it can't possibly be that difficult).

Now, if you'd like to have your name thrown in there (and a story), then you can check it out here ( http://www.rainstormpress.com/p/charity-anthology-submissions.html ). I'd love to see this thing jam-packed with stories of awesomeness, so get those little fingers down to bloody stumps to type those tales up.

No, stop! Don't work to real bloody stumps! It's not worth it! At least...not usually...maybe if you were prying open the jaw of a rabid coyote to get your leg out I'd approve of bloody stumps...but I digress.



Now, as for switching directions, let me spin for you all a little yarn:

I was strolling along Ye Olde information highway one morning before class and, lo and behold, I found the lovely "Trigger Reflex" anthology open for submissions at Pill Hill Press. I did think to myself then, "Well dag-flabbit, I could write a monster hunting short! I shall commence Ye Olde story writing with immediacy!

I then sat there and bemoaned my lack of ideas for a week before finally sitting down with a bare inkling of a story - if that - and typed up the story in two days.

I had every intention of handing over this fresh, newborn life to Pill Hill Press, until I came to the realization that it was no longer a story about monster hunting - or even fae hunting, which was the subject of the story. I ended up writing a lovely tale about a deal gone wrong, et cetera, et cetera, but just a bare bit had anything to do with hunting down the damn sidhe. So, I switched my gears over and hopped over to Duotrope's Digest, stuck in my information, and found a handful of places that would take it as well as a tangent for another story that deserves to be told, but was posted for free somewhere else.

Follow the bloody tangent! Your story doesn't want to follow the plan you set out 9 times out of 10 - and it doesn't have to. This is your story, but it can only be your good story if you let it breathe a little.

Peace out,
Voss

Thursday, May 12, 2011

That First Sentence

"The dancing would kill her eventually."
A Moth in Darkness by Frances Pauli

The first line of the book has to be intriguing enough to grab your reader by the you know whats and drag them to the end of your plot. Look at the great books in history - they all do it. Something in every line of every book that anyone has ever like ever in the history of ever does just that. I promise it's true. It's as true as the need for editing.

I wish I had a bunch of books right here that I could just grab and look into to get the first line, but i don't, so you'll have to take my word for it. You can probably go look, though.

Ciao for now,
Voss

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The First Week - Week of Fire

Aloha! Well, it's been, I think, a week since my last post to this blog. For those that don't know (not that any of my followers read this bloody thing), I'm taking on the crafting of a third novel. Why the week of fire? Because week one lights a fire under your *ss, therefore there is no better title. Okay, there may be a better title, but let's all pretend there isn't, just for today.

I can't say I hvae a lot to report on the wririntg. It's coming along at a fair pace. I might be able to pump out another thousand or two tonight, so that looks pretty okay.

Aside from it, but still related - got to work past evil and deadly emotions one day (I'll probably put up a post about something like that at some later date), went to Fracnes Pauli's book signing for her first ever print book, "A Moth in Darkness." on Saturday, and found out a lovely bit of information about Tor Publishing (one of the single most famous New York publishing houses in the business, at least for speculative fiction).

Are you ready?

They take unsolicited manuscripts! No agent, just your work mailed direct to them and, 4-6 months later, a response! Weeeeeee!

Apart from all of that...nothing?

I wish I could spend some more time with y'all, but alas, I can't, so I bid you adieu,
Voss

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Staying Active During a Writing Project

When you throw yourself into a big old writing project you'll find it considerably easier to forget that you have a body (unless, of course, you have arthritis/beginning carpal tunnel like I do). That's not a good thing. It's less than good. It's just bad. Now, aside from resting and stretching for the things you stress out during writing (back stretches, wrist stretches, eye rests, etc.), you need to work out your other bits of body, too. It seems really hard because all you want to do is curl up with ye olde laptop and type out your ninja lesbian steampunk stripper romance.

Resist the urge. You need to make sure you do something for your body. The easiest way I've found is, since we're so obsessed with getting to our writing, make yourself do your exercising before you can touch that manuscript. Whether you go walking, hop on an exercise bie, do twenty rounds of shadow-boxing, or hop on the DDR pad (like yours truly), make sure you do it. I reccoment anywhere from half an hour on up, but even five minutes of exercise is better than not doing anything.

I've also found that it's quite a bit easier to fix your diet a bit if you have at least a month-long project. Bored eating is a huge thing when it comes to overt eating. By having this project to fall back on when you're ored you can stop that binge eating in its tracks. Now, that's not all it'll take, mind you. You'll still need will power to change this drastically, but having this project is not going to hurt your chances.

Also, you can change your snacks up a bit. Grab an actual strawberry (they're really good this time of year) or slap a Pink Lady past your gums. Don't do it a lot, but...well, you know how it goes.

Aside from all of that, changing your diet will make you feel better and write better and the exercise will give you plenty of time to think through your story issues. Besides, repetetive physical activity frees up your brain cells.

Be merry this month and keep going strong in whatever writing you may or may not be doing,
Voss