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Facing Several Frontiers

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Jun. 14th, 2008 | 08:54 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

At the moment, I'm trying to sort out a jumble of priorities, writing-wise. Happily, I've made progress on one of them: I edited two short stories and submitted both to magazines. It somewhat surprised me, but pleased me, to see that the one I'd written for Professor Robbins' class last semester needed much less editing than the one I'd written at my study-abroad writing program last summer. The surprise came from the fact that I'd thought of that story as being rather good. I'd edited it at least once, probably two or three times. It was good, I think - just fluffy with unnecessary adjectives and sometimes a bit awkward of phrase. I did what I should do much more often - read it aloud. This worked wonders. Phrases just fell into place, much smoother and more natural-sounding. I'm going to try to edit all of my writing that way. (I have been saying this for some time, but I become more determined every time I actually do read a piece aloud and see the difference.) Anyway, those two went to magazines that are quite big within the sci-fi/fantasy market, and at least one seems like a long shot, but if it comes back I'll just turn it around and send it somewhere else. I really ought to submit things more frequently. It's fun!

Besides that, I face a dilemma of, as I said, priorities. I should edit Dragons Over London to begin podcasting it. I should edit Rabbit and Cougar to submit to a second round of agents and, possibly, to send the whole thing to a publisher that reads manuscripts from its slush pile - Daw Books does, and I believe Tor does, also. I should edit Lord of the Dark Downs for a first round of agent submissions. I will do all of these things - but which to do first? Besides that, I have the website itself to work on, a short story that I plan to soon rewrite, and of course my continuing work on The Dogwatchers. The website is important and time-sensitive in a broad way, insomuch as I want it ready in time to add the address to my author-description when Reynard's Menagerie asks for it. The other things are important insomuch as I will not get a novel published if I'm not submitting my novels to people. For what it's worth, the work I've actually started editing this summer is Dragons Over London.

Of course, the upside to all this is that, no matter which of these things I do, I'm getting something done that needs doing. And I enjoy editing. Yes, it can be frustrating at times. I don't often edit the piece I'm currently writing, but I recently took out a piece of The Dogwatchers, the piece for which I needed the dead rat mentioned in earlier posts. :P But it's so much fun to see my work improve!

One last note, tangentially writing-related: my favorite author, Diana Wynne Jones, had a book come out June 10. It's called House of Many Ways, and I just finished reading it. It always inspires me (in the you-can-do-it way, not the I-steal-your-ideas way) to read awesome books, especially in my own genre. Hurrah!

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"Also, I can kill you with my brain."

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from: toastedcheese
date: Jun. 15th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
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Speaking of DWJ, reading two of her books in two weeks has totally infected my writing. Everything is much looser and British at the moment. I'm sure Professor Robbins is having seizures somewhere every time I use the word "rather" or connect sentences with unnecessary conjunctions, but it's actually kind of therapeutic, since this one character I've been having trouble with works a lot better if I write her at a more leisurely pace. I can always tighten it up later.

Also, I keep wanting to steal her themes - "I know! My main character should have irresponsible parents!" - but am stopping myself. :)

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