So hop on over and read all about her writing process.
Tag Archives: Fiction
So, it’s not often you come across a group of questions that can be answered with the same phrase. In this particular case, that phrase would be:
You got me.
Along with a shoulder shrug.
But since these questions are part of the blog hop, I will give them a go.
1) What am I working on?
I’m working on a story that has been knocking around in my head for about four years now. It’s … whimsical. Also, it’s not YA. But one day, I said to myself: why not write it? Nearly 80,000 words later … I think I’m nearing the end. It’s been a lot of fun and a great exercise in third person POV. I spent last year writing a lot of first person POV, so I felt out of practice with third.
In the end, this may simply be a practice novel, but I’m having too much fun with it to care.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
You got me. Seriously. I don’t know. Anyone want to answer this one for me?
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’m tempted to answer: Because it comes out that way.
More seriously, I write what I do to fill some sort of hole. I want to hear a story this way, or see a character do that. The opposite is also true. I often write to get something out of my head (see #1 above re: the story knocking about in my head for four years). If my thoughts keep returning to a character, story, situation, it means I’m not done with it yet.
4) How does my writing process work?
I’ve been writing long enough that it’s clear (at least for me) that there is no one perfect process. Each story is different. I’m a different writer after I finish each story. The one thing, however, that is crucial is this:
It doesn’t matter so much how you finish the work, just do so. When I reviewed what I did last year with Write 1/Sub 1, my biggest regret was over the stories I didn’t finish–mainly because, at the time, I thought they were stupid or silly or not good enough.
And really, what you think about a story in the moment has little or no bearing on what it really is or what it might become. So. Finish.
That is all.
Next up is Shelli Cornelison. Shelli lives just outside of Austin with her husband, too many dogs, and just one cat. They’re occasionally graced with the presence of a college student home for the weekend in search of food and money. Shelli is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Writers’ League of Texas.
She primarily writes picture books and young adult novels, but she sometimes ventures off into a short story. Her young adult short fiction has been published in the literary journal, Sucker Literary and at Young Adult Review Network (YARN). You can find her on Twitter at: @Shelltex.
The Most Miserable Prom on Planet Earth
The first line:
My prom date is a space alien.
Despite its beginnings, it has no trace of science fiction or fantasy. Really. I scribbled down the title and that first line on Sunday, then wrote the story on Monday. I won’t say it came from nowhere, but it was unexpected. So considering how busy the week was, I got my writing and subbing in and I was quite pleased.
- The Most Miserable Prom on Planet Earth, ~ 2,000 words
- Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction assignment: 350 words on a dialogue scene
- The Madness in King’s End But! This is a rejection-plus. I didn’t win the contest I entered it in, but the story was one of two honorable mentions. This pleases me immensely, since the contest was for mystery fiction, and this story is more mysterious than mystery.
- The Madness in King’s End (and yes, I sent it right back out again)
- It Only Takes a Minute (this one too from last week)
Week 7! I’m hanging in there, although I must admit, I slowed down a lot this week, got all panicky, and then topped off my week with three rejections. However, I do feel stories and words gathering in the back of my mind. With a little luck, the ebb will soon be over.
- Lost and Found
- Poem of this title
- 100-word flash fiction of this title
Yes, it’s true. I wrote two very short, but different, pieces and gave them the same title. I. Was. Inspired. (Not.) Neither one may go out, but when I made this Write 1/Sub 1 pact with myself, I defined “write 1” as something I could potentially send out, not a scene or rambling words, or whatever. But, speaking of rambling words:
- Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction: 1,200 words on a character sketch assignment
- Just a Matter of Time
- It Only Takes a Minute
- One Good Turn
- Just a Matter of Time, back out it goes. Bye-bye!
I’ve been waiting for this week to happen, by which I mean, the week where the flood of rejections came in and my creativity was at its lowest. From looking at my submission tracker, I knew I was (over)due for this sort of rejection storm. This is what happens, of course, when you submit something every single week–they come back, sometimes all at once.
So today, The Burden of So Many Roses is live over on Kazka Press, where the theme this month is an undelivered valentine. My guess is (I haven’t read all the stories yet) that if you’re not a fan of gooey Valentine’s Day stories, you’ll be happy with the fare offered up this month.
At least, mine isn’t gooey.
It is, however, a milestone story for me. Here’s the breakdown:
1/3/2013: finished the draft
1/13/2013: sent to Kazka Press
Not only is that one of the fastest turnaround times for me, submission to acceptance, it is the fastest I’ve ever drafted/revised/polished a story and sent it out. That being said, Kazka Press has a list of prompts on their submission page, and I had that undelivered valentine fermenting in the back of my mind for the entire month of December. That probably helped.
One of my goals this year is to figure out how to maintain a steady pace of writing while dealing with the ebbs in my creativity. And ebb it does. To the point where I’m all reclined on the fainting couch, hand on forehead, and despairing, I’ll never write again!
But since I always do, I’ve stopped believing myself when I get this way. This is why Write 1/Sub 1 is such a challenge. If I don’t write one, I’ll run out of things to submit. But it’s teaching me that:
- I can write more than I think I can.
- I have more story ideas than I think I do.
- No one story concept is like another. Some tumble out like gifts, some I pick at, bit by bit.
- There’s no wrong way to draft a short story.
Sometimes, to write, you simply need to get out of your own way.
Week 4! I did take it easier this week, writing a flash story. I also worked on some revisions as well for some upcoming deadlines. Plus, I read a novel-length manuscript for a friend and provided some feedback. Have my fingers crossed for her.
- The Madness in King’s End, flash fiction, ~967 words
- Cash or Check, to another postcard fiction type site.
- Cash or Check, in what may be the world’s fastest rejection (or at least my fastest) ~ 8 hours
- Long Distance Charges May Apply, 12 days
These were both nice rejections and if I have something appropriate in the future, I’ll definitely submit to both markets again. Besides, I don’t mind fast turnarounds. It beats staring at your submission tracker and thinking, wow, that’s been out for 397 days. Is it too soon to query?
From Should Be Reading:
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you’ll read next?
- Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (in the car)
- Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein (print)
- The Driving Force by Michel Tremblay (still need to write the evaluation)
- The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander (yeah, I’ve been craving historical fiction lately)
Not sure … there’s a box of Rita books heading my way soon. I may go for something short, just so I don’t get caught reading too many things at once.