Monday, October 27, 2008

Long Evening

It seemed to take a long time for me to actually make it to the computer this evening. By the time I did, I didn't have a huge amount of energy or enthusiasm for the task at hand, but I did it anyway.

Module 2, assignment 7 has been done. It turned out to be a large one too. I began with a 908 word supplied piece which needed to be edited into a tighter version, improving the flow as I went. This is very much like my critiquing process where I try to tighten things but not interrupt or influence the original writers voice or meaning. I managed to get it down to 565 words and convey a stronger message, while maintaining the focus of the article.

Then I had to dig out an article I'd done earlier for the diploma or another article I'd submitted elsewhere. Well, I've only done one article in full for the diploma - everything else has been outlined. So I turned to articles I'd written for SA50s+. All but one fell below the requested 750 words - my article on the World Tennis Challenge scheduled for Memorial Drive in January.

After refreshing my memory on the contents of the 803 word article, I found some areas where the teachings of unit 7 would make the article tighter. However I went a step further and removed bits and tightened the delivery of the article, turning it from a casual sales pitch to an older demographic, into a more considered and articulate article espousing the virtues of attending the approaching spectacle. The edited article now stands at a mere 629 words - my editor would have preferred that size I think (she'll shoot me if she reads this).

Because there was so much more in this assignment submission than I realised, I'll let it sit another day and reread my prepared submission before sending - just to be sure.

That will leave me with one last assignment to do - and it's another two part assignment. I need to come up with a new idea for an article, target a publication, and write a query letter outlining my article to the editor - I need to submit the letter and an explanation as to the formulation of the idea as part one of the assessment.

Part 2 is choosing two additional publications that could be interested in my idea and outline how I would alter the article to fit into the new publications. I need to submit the names and addresses of the publications and 150 word explanations of the changes and why.

This could take a bit of thinking and I'm way too tired tonight to worry over it.

Before I go I have one last thing to share.

Two new ideas popped into my head today. A colleague was doing the rounds at work and asking people if they were interested in joining a union - bang - idea number one came into existence and I rattled off the first three pages and an outline right then and there while the guy was outlining the benefits of joining. He left looking at me rather strangely. I was pretty pleased with myself. So I was a happy chappy when I got in the car to go home. Turning the ignition, the radio came on and the DJ was talking about a new competition based on a popular theme from a movie first shown a while ago now - one I haven't seen.

Wouldn't matter even if I had seen it because I understand what it was about - bang - idea number two came into existence - this time it's just the idea, a vague outline. I fish into my bag and pull out my Dictaphone. I record my idea and transcribe it later on into the ideas file for later use. It isn't the same as the movie - it's a different take on a play on words the DJ used in his segue to introducing the competition. Complicated thought process - welcome to my world...

Both of these ideas will be turned into short stories after I've finished with the diploma this year. I also need to start thinking about pieces for next years contests. They're not that far away when you need to include initial writing, rewrites, edits, beta readers, polishing and then submission.

I was saying I couldn't have drawn out the writing of Wamphyri for 5 months back in July (I think). It didn't quite take me that long to get it to a stage I really like, but it was only about six weeks off. On a good night I can rattle off 3-4000 words. The original version of Wamphyri was 4300 words which I wrote in a night. It is now 3999 (I think) and much of the original work is still there, but the quality is in the details. One beta reader has commented that it could be the best thing I've written so far. We'll see what the market thinks once it's been graded.

Okay - that's more than enough for this post. Time for bed.

Best of luck with all your writing endeavours.



  1. Hey Brendan - I got your message on my blog - am trying to resolve the website contact issue. I don't want to leave my e mail on a public space - can you contact me through Facebook, maybe, or let me know how I can reach you? Thanks!

    Alexandra Sokoloff

  2. Don't I feel chuffed that a published author would take the time to comment on my blog. I've since sent an email to Alex - hopefully I'll soon be reviewing her books for Australian readers - very cool.

  3. So I still haven't gotten an e mail and am wondering if the problem is somehow on your end.

    I'm getting mail fine at alex @ alexandrasokoloff DOT com

  4. Hmm - I've sent another one to that address, but from my work email instead.

    Home email has been working fine as far as I know, but then anything's possible. Has the issue been resolved with your website contact page? I could try there again.