Friday, January 18, 2013

Hot or Iced?

Good mornin'.
Time for your second cup of coffee, and sage advice from Jewell's gleamings.
Which do you prefer, hot or iced? Today I'm going with the iced, here the weather has warmed a bit. How is it where you live?


 “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
                                                                        -- Stephen King

 This Week’s Gleaming’s:
1.   Most writers are embarrassed by their first book.
I have been embarrassed by my first book It’s Hard to Stay on A Horse While You’re Unconscious, so I was happy to see that I’m not the only one.
But without the first there will never be a second or a third. We ought to put our work out there, if we fail, try again. Practice, practice, practice.
2.   For writers who wonder about word count:
10,000 words = a pamphlet
20,000 words = short eBook or print book
40,000-50,000 words = a longer nonfiction book
80,000-100,000 words = a typical novel length.
When I first sent a query to an agent for my up-coming book, The Island, she said to bring it up to the “Sweet Zone.” That is 85,000 to 90,000 words.
 I thought it was complete at 45,000 words. On top of that I didn’t know there was a “sweet zone.”
So I did what the Disney Imagineers do when presented with a seemingly insurmountable problem. I sat down, beat my bead against my desk, then did it.
 I looked at my manuscript with new eyes, rubbed my hands together, and said, “Oh goody. Now I can talk about what I really wanted to talk about—how life works.”

By the time I was finished that agent had retired.
3. Staying motivated
By Jeff Goins:
Ship. No matter what, finish the book. Send it to the publisher, release it on Amazon, do whatever you need to do to get it in front of people. Just don’t put it in your drawer.
Embrace failure.Know that this will be hard and you will mess up. Be okay with it. Give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you, not your high standards of perfection.
“ When you only have an hour to write it's a lot harder to procrastinate and fritter away the time than when you have all day to write.”
Reprinted from "Martha Alderson's Blockbuster Plots for Writers Plot Tips eZine." Subscribe at http://www.blockbusterplots.collm/contact.html
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

 How often can you win an award for writing something terrible? That’s exactly the challenge offered up by the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It’s time you write something so bad, it’s good.

 It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Announcing the 2012 Lyttoniad Contest Winners

The rules to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are childishly simple:

Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. (One fellow once submitted over 3,000 entries.)

Sentences may be of any length but we strongly recommend that entries not go beyond 50 or 60 words. Entries must be “original” (as it were) and previously unpublished.

Surface mail entries should be submitted on index cards, the sentence on one side and the entrant's name, address, and phone number on the other.

E-mail entries should be in the body of the message, not in an attachment (and it would be really swell if you submitted your entries in Arial 12 font). One e-mail may contain multiple entries.

Entries will be judged by categories, from “general” to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. There will be overall winners as well as category winners.

The official deadline is April 15 (a date that Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories). The actual deadline is June 30.

The contest accepts submissions every day of the livelong year.

Wild Card Rule: Resist the temptation to work with puns like “It was a stark and dormy night.”

Finally, in keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive … a pittance.

You may inflict your entries either by electronic or surface mail.

Yes, seeking writing advice can be daunting--don't despair, don't give up, we are in this together.

Charge Ahead!