Monday, June 1, 2009

Semester Just About Done

The current assignment I'm working on has been a doozy. Create and smooth out a query letter for a novel I'm still writing. Create a synopsis for that same still-being-constructed novel and make sure the two combined don't equal more than 1500 words.

Easier said than done.

And finally add a sample chapter - well, that was easy enough. Which one of my 23 already written chapters would you like to see?

The query is kind of done. I'll gain more insight and loads of goodness when the Query Ninja has at it, but I think it's good enough for the assignment. I've also done the synopsis, which I think is poor - still. It doesn't flow as I would like , but not getting bogged down in detail and including all the relevant bits will take time. I think stepping away from it for a bit and then revising will be worthwhile, as will feedback from others. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time, so it may have to go as is. The chapter, as already stated, is done.

So this assignment is just about ready to go out the door. I feel a huge amount of sympathy for the other students in this course. At the meet and greet at the beginning of last year, very few of them admitted to being up to their armpits in trying to write a novel. If they haven't gotten seriously stuck in before this semester began, I can see them ready to hit the self destruct button by now - I was almost there about a week ago and I already knew a lot about this industry.

Now the final assignment looms on the horizon--well the final two assignments. The script has been done and is waiting for the lecturer to open up electronic submissions, but the novel writing assignment requires I find some willing readers. Thank you one and all for jumping up and down and offering, but I've already got my three in mind and will be sending them emails shortly explaining what I need and asking if they'd be willing to help out. Spread the love, or don't ask too much of too few is the catch phrase here - otherwise known as don't wear out your welcome...

And all these assignments are coming to an end just in time.

Today my reading-for-review books arrived.

On my immediate to read pile over the next 8 weeks are (in no particular order):

Sheep and Wolves by Jeremy C. Shipp
Vacation by Jeremy C. Shipp

This is not a Game by Walter Jon Williams
Ravensoul by James Barclay
The Grave Thief by Tom Lloyd (No, I haven't read the first two)
Two Jeff Lindsay books concerning Dexter (One of the books contains three stories, the other arrived in a police evidence bag - cool!)
Grants Pass Anthology (already reviewed by 'my pick for the fan writer Ditmar', Chuck. The man is a machine when it comes to reading and churning out excellent reviews. I've started reading this one already so my pale imitation of a review should be available soon. Psst, so far I agree with Chuck, this is very good!)

So, the chaos that is my writing life continues.

Oh, and lastly: David Such has written a program to help us all produce wonderful pieces of fiction. Head on over to his blog and download the beta release of his exciting new product called FlashWRITER and give it a go. You'll be able to supply feedback and give input to create exactly the type of writing program you want. No more excuses about Microsoft or any of the other Office-type programs out there not being able to do what you want. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Go and have a look and at the very least, say hello and congratulate him on a monumental effort in producing this very professional looking program.

To be honest, I'm not sure how many testers David is currently after, but it can't hurt to go over and ask if you're interested.

That's it from me for tonight. Email requests going out shortly and then I'm going to get some reading done.


  1. I have heard good things about Grant's Pass as well. I can't wait until it comes out in August.

  2. That's a handsome list. I'm thinking of gorging on some anthologies, myself. They're a good source of fiber.

  3. I have Jeremy's books, they're a bizarre but great read.

  4. Jamie - Grant's Pass is good, well worth the cash.

    Nat - when antho's are good for their fibre content, I worry about reading them. I hate spending all that time on something which gives me the shites.

    D - I look forward to discussing my review with you then