From Apathy to Determination

clip-image002

From Apathy to Determination

I wrote about apathy earlier this year because I couldn’t bring myself to write at all. I was just fed up with everything – a crappy family situation and other things not going well. I rested, I reevaluated, and I nearly lost my full-time job because of burnout. The family situation hasn’t improved, but my writing determination has. I went back to Far Flung – my work that was an online serial, but which I haven’t updated in quite a while now.

I looked carefully at it, and I took in some new inspiration. I played a bit of No Man’s Sky (I’m one of those chumps who preordered, sigh), I read the Legacy Fleet series by Nick Webb, and I started reading The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. Suddenly, Far Flung took over my consciousness again, but I found I din’t want to continue the serial without some better incentive. I simply don’t blog enough to get many readers – I find it too difficult to make good blog entries often, and I type too darn slowly. But if I had something real to show for my work – say a book on Amazon – that might be just the kick I need to revive both Write, or Else! and TCC Edwards dot com.

Just like that, I started writing. I took on Far Flung, going back to the beginning and editing the story. I’m now expanding what I already have, with the goal of producing a book between 300-400 words. I’ve set a goal to finish this draft by the end of November, with editing to follow after that. I’m considering the Inkshares program to get it edited and published.

Just as suddenly, other projects showed up on my radar.

IWSG, a group I love being part of, has a new anthology in the works. My writing group is starting another book. Writers in Daejeon, a city not too far from mine, want me to join their book. And I still have to get something on my blogs, darn it!

I have my fingers in all of these. I have a draft for IWSG in the works, but it’s a trainwreck right now. Editing it into something I’d actually want to submit could take too much of my attention away from other jobs.

I wish I could work faster!

Unfortunately, it’s looking more like I’ll scrap the IWSG project in order to keep the most important things going.

Funny, huh? I went from writing nothing to taking on more than I could handle. It’s a shame – I really did want to be in the anthology with the other IWSG folks, but I have to do a bit of project triage here. The last thing I want – the very worst thing that could happen – is to get too frustrated and find myself unable to finish the book. I need a book out there – a real novel, with my name on it, properly edited, produced, and published. I need it as soon as reasonably possible.

So that’s where I’m at! Working away on this novel and trying to keep my social presence both online and with my writing group. Having to choose carefully what I take on and in what capacity. Deciding what to do with these blogs I pay for.

Honestly, writing itself is the easy part. It’s all this decision-making and figuring out that some things just aren’t going to work that gets difficult!

Busan Writing Group, June 17 – Pitches, please!

This week we looked at pitches for stories – the 250-word summary of a story that a writer has to compose to get the attention of agents and publishers.

The Busan Writing Group first took a look at pitches written by one of our members. The stories looked awesome – some of them were ones we’ve run through our critique process before. The main difficulty with the pitches was the complexity – there was a lot going on, and it was difficult to boil down the most important info into 250 words.

We then looked over the most popular choices for Pitchapalooza 2015, over at the Book Doctors. Popular votes from readers favored the weird and offbeat. The key to gaining votes seemed to be setting up a weird or creepy situation right at the start, or to present an everyday situation and then have a quick twist that makes it weird.

Last, we looked over the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. These winning pitches were simple and to the point, clearly outlying what to expect in the story. When weirdness entered into these pitches, it was clearly integrated – we found we could easily understand how the unusual factors really affect the characters. This was key to any appreciation of the pitches – for fantasy or sci-fi elements to mean anything and sell the story, we have to know what those elements mean to the characters who have to deal with them.

My general takeaway from all this:

It’s damn hard to simplify a story and get the most important details across in a meaningful way. However, that is the exact skill needed for a great pitch – the skill of delivering major plot points, along with how they affect relatable characters, in a quick, simple way.

Easy to see why it’s so damn hard, huh?

 

Image from http://www.theinfluencebusiness.com/

Wednesday Writing Club, June 10

Wednesday Writing Club – A pitch, and a well-revised story

Just a quick one today – the Busan Writing Club had a nice little meeting tonight, and we talked about the pitch I wrote for a sci-fi serial story which I am getting in gear. My pitch was a mess – I tried hard to include details as suggested by David Henry Sterry, but I ended up cramming way too much into 250 words. Too much detail, too much complication. It all means a lot more work for me as I look for a simple, yet unique way to present the soul of my story in 250 words or fewer.

The other submission was a work by our member Clare, and wow did it ever look better than mine! She had the 8th draft of an excellent bit of literary fiction told from a young Irish girl’s point of view. It’s really amazing how the story has shaped into a compelling, melancholy tale of a girl and her father’s mental illness. All of us wish Clare good luck as she enters the story into a newspaper contest in her home country of Ireland.

Anyway, guess what the next Busan Writing Club is all about? Pitches!

Yup, our meeting on June 17 will be all about dissecting successful pitches to see what makes them tick. You can bet there’ll be an update on this very blog after the event.

Are you in Busan? Nearby? Send me a private message and let me know!

The Busan Writing Group is in Busan Haps

Just a quick one – the Busan Writing group and its book have been featured in this article on Busan Haps!

Clipboard01

Busan Haps is an entertainment magazine edited by expats in Busan, and is pretty much the magazine us expats look to when we want to know what’s going on.

I’m really glad the Haps staff were so helpful in our shameless promotion of our book!

An excerpt from “The Faces They Wore”, my part of “Nothing Too Familiar”

I’d like to share an excerpt from my work in Nothing Too Familiar – Vignettes of Korea.

More about this book can be found at the Busan Writing Group website.

This book can be bought in digital form at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, or you can get a print copy from me or any other member of the Busan Writing Group.

The Faces They Wore explores the collision of two very different worlds within Korea – that of a Korean woman whose circumstances have forced her into prostitution, and the comparatively privileged life of a foreign English teacher.

I was supposed to read this part of the story at Wordz Only on February 28, but my wife and kids were sick that night. Instead, I present it here:


Continue reading

The Busan Writing Club book is now on Kindle!

I’ve just confirmed – the group publication by the Busan Writing Group is now live and avaialable for sale through Kindle.

More information over at the Busan Writing Group:

Our First Publication!

I’m really glad to have been a part of it, and to have figured out all the formatting needed to get it looking great on Smashwords, Kindle, and in print!

My first #IWSG of 2015 – A writing club that self-publishes together!

Busan Writing Group Things are certainly heating up for the Busan writing group. We are planning out an anthology of works to publish very soon! We envision this as an annual publication by our group – we will collect stories that we have reviewed and edited together for a self-published anthology.

I’m posting this to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group this month because I think this is an option for self-publishing that is not discussed often enough in writing circles. Once you have a writing circle that you work with regualrly, one possible direction foir your group is to publish together. Editing, formatting, production, promoting, etc. – all those things could be done as a group, with members sharing the tasks.

So from the IWSG community, I’d like to know: have you done a group publication before? How did it go?

More updates on my own group’s publication are coming as soon as I can say more. I’ll only say this – I’m quite happy with the submissions we have lined up, including my own work. I feel my piece is the best and most polished work of fiction I’ve done yet.

Links:

Insecure Writer's Support Group Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Busan Writing Group Busan Writing Group