Sunday, September 30, 2007

A new market consideration

We are writers - we love to write. Some of us prefer to write exclusively in a single genre, most of us dream of retiring early and just making a good living from our words.

More often than not sacrifices have to be made to pay the bills. You've all read that I've dabbled or am at least trying to dabble in the adult markets. There's good money to be made there. I've been let in on another one. Online adult newsletters for adult sex and clothing shops. A lot of them include stories to promote their gear and they're after writers to write it for them. Very lucrative to.

Have a search around some of the online shops that sell the saucy underwear and other like minded places of commerce.

It could be worth your while. Just remember that regardless of the market you write for, you must follow the same rules of good writing. Check all submission guidelines and respect your target audience.

Good luck with your submissions and keep on writing.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Another submission Voodoo galore

I have submitted my piece for the current On The Premise competition. The competition is titled Disguised so the entry must have a character who uses a disguise that is important to the story - not just a quick one paragraph mention.

My story involves a woman traumatised by a sexual assault who looses the ability to have children because of it. She goes on to use the disguise of a nurse with stolen credentials to kidnap a new born from the hospital where she's been receiving counselling from for her assault.

It goes through many levels and over a six month period. I also has a lot of scene breaks in it - way more than recommended for a short story of only 4000 words but there was no other way to tell the story I wanted and with the necessary details without them.

I had my crit buddy go over it and she agreed. The story was sound but the scene breaks are a problem.

The entry had to come in under 5000 words. To play out this story without the scene breaks, a conservative guess would put the length closer to 7000 words - way too many.

I like it the way it is - it's different - let's hope the judges like something different too.

On the new works front - I seriously got stuck into my Voodoo story last night. It currently sits at 1656 words, one woman and two chickens dead. A second woman was being lined up as I finished writing at some ungodly hour last night.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your own submissions.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Rejection

This was another piece I'd done sometime ago and jumped the gun when I sent it in. Fey Island Contract was originally written to help me fill in a sub plot I needed to know about within my novel Tiger's Eye.

One of the characters carries some serious magical weaponry and I wanted to explain how he came by them for my own benefit as much as anyone else. So I wrote the short story of his finding his weapons - I have since gone back and looked at what I submitted - very green and very much a first or second draft at best.

So yet another of my original works commences the process of growing up. Again the story idea is sound so it's purely a mechanics thing. The tightening up of structure and dialogue, contractions and pacing. In another 4 or 5 rewrites, I'm sure it will be ready to go back out and face the world.

Above all - never get discouraged. If you polish something long enough, someone will see the gem beneath and accept your baby for publication, somewhere.

Keep on writing and keep on submitting.

Best of luck and thanks for reading.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


Hi all from a very nervous man. Before you go on to read this blog - go here and watch the movie.

Warning - some of the images are very graphic and the concepts are very disturbing - they're supposed to be. Provoking free thought from today's apathetic population is hard work! Honestly - we're trained not to have it - don't believe me - watch the movie.

It is something you should watch if you want to be fully informed of what "may" be happening in our world!!!!!

The "facts" and the submissions put forward are extremely thought provoking, to say the least. I've had some very strange thoughts leap into my head after watching this that I intend to research further before airing those concerns in the public domain - stay tuned.

For a comprehensive definition of Zeitgeist, have a look here.

If nothing else - for those of you that visit here and are writers (All of you I hope) it will provide a huge amount of stimulation of your muse.


On the writing front - EULA was rejected today but I gained some useful and encouraging comments back from the reader. I seem to get the same lady to read my submissions at this particular publication and she is very helpful with her comments. The comments as received are:

"Not bad, conspiracy pieces can be fun but this one doesn't quite hit the mark. The science doesn't seem quite right here, a society advanced enough to colonise Mars should be able to create cloned organs from an individual.
This aside, it's well-paced and entertaining but the ending doesn't deliver the payoff generated by the lengthy build-up.

Hope that's of some help, and better luck next time!"

So now I need to revisit the idea of introducing the Mars colony and dragging back some of the other technology so it's not so "out there" - should be relatively easy to do. Then it will need to be critiqued again and then sent to a new market.

On the bright side, she did say it was well-paced and entertaining so I'm getting better at the mechanics of writing (and story telling)which is very rewarding and encouraging. Past comments on this story have ranged from "What the..." to "I guessed it in paragraph 2."

I've mentioned before that this piece was the first serious piece I worked on over 3000 words and has become a love/hate type of thing. I will sell it somewhere - its just a matter of time and placement. There is a market for every idea somewhere - writers just have to keep submitting until we find it - and I will find EULA's home eventually.

Fiction Factor goes HTML! The very good and informative Fiction Factor (FF) newsletter is going HTML for the first time in its 7 and a half year history. Most writers sites die soon after conception. A very few continue to grow through the consistent good advise and content they host within their pages. Rarely, some continue to stick like the proverbial mud they peddle. I'm huge fan of FF because they have good advise from proven writers. Check their warnings page for the unethical arseholes out there. To get the good oil on writing, make sure you subscribe to this very worthwhile newsletter!

Ok - that's it from me for now - Go back to the top of this blog and click the link for Zeitgeist - if you're too lazy - click here instead :) If you were too lazy to bother doing either than the culprits who are targeted in the movie have already got you! Don't believe me - WATCH THE MOVIE!

OK - I think I've made the point.

Good luck with your writing and keep on submitting that work. (and watch the movie)

Friday, September 21, 2007

A strange idea

Hi all

I've been generally paying lip service to my writing recently due to family issues. Of an evening I open my stories and do some editing and occasional rewriting but apart from three sessions of sitting down and writing erotica, I've written very little new stuff.

I did an outline for an idea I have based around the Egyptian goddess of Hathor but haven't gone any further on that one yet. Today another idea struck me.

I was sitting down in the cafeteria with my work colleagues, waiting for our morning coffees to be served up. The topic of conversation was the recent meteor that hit Peru and the zombie craze that seems to have followed it.

Hmmm - a story on zombies from bacteria carried to earth on a meteorite. Not bad but sounded like something that's been done to death back in the slasher days of the 1980's. So I went a researched some more and followed my nose to end up reading about Haitian Mythology and Voodoo. Now this is cool and has a whole heap of inspirational stuff.

From the plains of Africa to Haiti to New Orleans and onto unthought of Voodoo haunts like England, France and Poland.

Some major idea's floating to the top now. If I can just rein in my time and tie down my muse, this should be good.

I'll let you know....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Minor updates

I've done some minor updates on the website - in particular to the details of works in progress, where bits have been submitted, that kind of thing.

I've written what'll be the first three chapters of my first effort in erotica. It needs work to be any good in regards to a written piece of work, but I have it from another source (an open minded female friend) that the content isn't an issue ;)

I think I'm flying solo for a while in regards to having my work judged, which isn't a good thing. My normal critique buddy has undertaken a great deal of work outside of writing and has now become extremely swamped. I have no wish to nag this good friend so it's time to march alone for a while.

Currently the links to Holly's books are broken on the website. I can't fix that from here so I'll get to it when I get home.

I post a lot on the Fiction Factor forum which is starting to seriously take off as a place for writers from all over the world to gather. The moderators there have just created a password protected Critique Site for members to post their work. I'll start throwing my work up there for comments. I'll also be heavily into critiquing others work to do my bit in helping the community thrive. If you have some spare time - and lets face it, if you're reading this, you have the spare time - then head on over and have a look. I hope to see you there soon.

All the best with your writing!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back in the saddle but way off the mark

I've been playing with the idea's stirred by the new anthology market I found. I've written an outline of what I'm thinking of but its already drifted away from the guidelines laid down for the anthology market. Too bad - I like my idea - I'll look somewhere else. It currently has no title and no conflict - it's just a setting. Not even a specific character or POV.

It's Egyptian based, something I've never written a fictional story about before, so I'm excited. It has subdued adult content but that is due to the central setting. The main characters will have at least one female priestess of Hathor who is the daughter of Ra and supposedly the title holder of "The Eye Of Ra."

It will be very dark as that was the type of goddess she was before being subdued with red beer. It has all sorts of potential. I'm seriously considering making this my new major work, especially if I get selected to do the course I want next year - the ideas floating around in my head are fairly epic in proportion.

In other news - Grimoire was sent back out and then yesterday I found a market that could be ideal for it. I can't send it though due to the no multiple submissions rule. I sent it to a market that has anywhere up to a 3 month response time although I've been told they normally get back to you within a few weeks normally. Unfortunately the new market I found has a deadline of two weeks - if the first market doesn't respond in time then I guess it was never meant to be.

System Failure has gone back for one last look over by my critique friend. I've made a few additional changes on top of her minor suggested ones. It is a very complexly braided story with multiple layers. I don''t think it will work for a few people but I like it and I can't see any other way of presenting the plot I'm conveying. We'll see.

I hope your writing is proceeding just as well. Above all else, keep on writing and keep on submitting.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dreaded Writers Block

The man with so much on the go he'll never experience a shortage of ideas - has hit a wall.

I've been revising a lot of the work I'd completed over the last 4-6 weeks, completing competition entries and generally clearing the decks. With some major family issues at home, I was distracted from writing and now suddenly I have one competition piece I'm working on that isn't due until next year and my novel (which I'm still stuck on!) - and my erotica piece that is still in formulation and had now struck a snag (to do with scene placement as opposed to content ;) - I need to go visit a few fine restaurants - the things we do for art!)

So I went in search of muse for the last few days to find something new to write. She's gone missing!!

If you see a beautiful blue haired woman, sitting around doing very little, then smack her on the wrist and send her back to me please.

I went through some old notes I'd jotted down about possible ideas, and none of them have stirred the slightest bit of a plot. So I looked around further. I have the smallest inclining of a possible line for a serial killer so I need to do some research.

I've found the ultimate resource for such plots - the Bureau of Statistics!

Cool place. Go have a look at your countries Office of stat gatherers. They have some really strange stuff if you look hard enough. Right in the middle of researching strange drownings and odd homicides, an email for Duotrope landed in my inbox.

Within the listings of markets, I find a new anthology I didn't know about. It gives me a picture and a couple of words. The guidelines then request I create a 6000 or so word story based on them.

The muse sees the competition displayed by the woman on the cover art and surges to the fore with visions of mayhem and chaos revolving around her!

Ha - excellent - I'm back in the saddle!

Good luck over coming your own writers block whenever it should strike.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Ha - that got you looking didn't it?

I've been toying with the idea of writing some pieces in the erotic markets. I see you all begin to shy away with thoughts of - this guy obviously isn't a real writer if he's considering writing porn!


I read an article recently that aptly described what erotica isn't - "Writing erotica isn't just about getting tab A into slot B (or slot C, for that matter)." What's Your Pleasure? by Emma MacNeil (You can find the article here)

Take the time to read it. Honestly. There are no gratuitous sex scenes in it. A couple of interesting anecdotes but no hot and heavy stuff.

This article, along with a number of others I've read in my research, has made one thing abundantly clear - it doesn't matter what the words are or the topic in hand (so to speak) - if you write badly - its bad - and no-one will want to read it, let alone buy it.

Frame your conflicts with wonderful prose, punctuate and spell correctly, pace it well, build believable characters and you may just sell your piece. Isn't that what you try to do for "mainstream" fiction markets? Well the same goes here. And the adult markets pay heaps better than most normal - so called normal - markets for short fiction.

And most people have a huge store of research data already available. Use your own experiences, speak to your friends, go to a club with a clipboard and pen and make believe you're doing a survey - you'd be surprised at how many people are happy to talk about their exploits. You'll be changing the names to protect the innocent anyway.

Added benefits: you bet there are added benefits. You will learn all sorts of things and when it comes to this area of an individuals education - a lot of us are found to be deficient. Unfortunately it's our women who put up with the majority of our failings here. Imagine the shock you're significant other will get when you suddenly begin to push "buttons" she thought you knew nothing about. Trust me - most men (and some women) have no idea what these buttons are, let alone where they are and how to press them.

How will writing about your experiences teach you new things? It won't. Reading your market to research what sells - will! All the guidelines found in the mainstream markets scream about it. "If you're not sure what we want, have a look through one of our issues in archive" - don't believe me - go have a look on Duotrope - the links on the right side of the page - Why should writing for the adult markets be any different.

Read, enjoy - practise - write. ;)

Remember, writing is supposed to be fun as well as a calling.

One last comment - never instigate anything new with your significant other without discussion and without gaining their permission first. If you can't be honest and ask then maybe you're not open minded enough to write for these markets to start with.

Have fun and be safe - and if you cant be safe, be careful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Time flies

I am yet again sorry for the days that have passed without me updating.

I've had some family issues here which has taken me away from my writing. What's happened (in my writing) -

Monday night: I went to a course information session in regards to "Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing)"

Interesting session. 25 or so people turned up including me. I have never seen such a diverse group of individuals who call themselves writers - including me. There were people from a young girl still in high school, through to a couple of candidates for grandmothers and one grandfather. A young lady who could do promotional work for any product she wished to (I have a friend who also used to be in that line of work and she is a very talented and intelligent woman - so I mean nothing by it). A fella who looked as if he would be at home behind the wheel of a long-haul truck, a clean shaven beat-nick and many in between.

We were asked to do an exercise in character creation and the creation of conflict between two characters.

As an IT guy I'm required to be contactable at all times so my mobile was on vibrate - of course just as I was about to settle into this exercise - it rang. By the time I got out of the class - it stopped.

I got a whole five minutes to pen my character outline:

Janice is a 19 year old ecologist fresh out of uni. Shy around people, she is passionate about the planet, but particularly about Madagascan Lemurs. She doesn't drink or smoke but enjoys naturalism to the point of embarrassing her younger brother and sister. She has signed up on an expedition to combat recent poaching problems.

That's as far as I got - still it's an idea. I also couldn't get the thought of all these writers in this one classroom applying for the limited places in the course on offer. I thought of a reception area outside of God's office with wannabe script writers applying for a job to write "The Days of Our Real Lives" - weird but I think there's a story in that.

When I got home I critiqued a very early draft of a cool piece my friend is working on. Can't wait to see that one finished - very cool concept.

Tuesday - not a good day. Tuesday night I sequestered myself away and finished two pieces - and sent them off for critiquing.

Wednesday - another decidedly average day. Tonight - I finished another piece and sent for critiquing. My friend who does this for me will take out a restraining order at this rate. If I can get into the course than maybe I can increase my circle of writer friends. I also gave comment on another piece for her - more just general comment on a group of ideas she has and the way she intends to portray them.

And lastly I blogged :)

I have a few other pieces I am playing with and there's always my novel to get back to rewriting. It's nearly half way through it's fourth rewrite but I've hit a wall. That's OK as I have plenty to go on with and my Muse just isn't going to help with Tigers Eye right now.

So tonight I'll play with some bits and nudge around a few other things.

As long as you try to write at least something each and every day.

Have fun and be good - but if you can't be good then be safe ;)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Double Whammy

The first short story I wrote that I really liked - got rejected by Aurealis today - I expected it as I wrote EULA back in May.

It was the third short I'd ever done. It was the first one over 1000 words - 3125 to be precise.

Through critiques - after I'd sent it in (I think I've spotted a flaw in the process here) - it was unanimous that I needed a better ending, I needed to add a couple of scenes and kill a few others.

So tonight I did all that.

I now have quite the political statement of how governments may run in the future if we're not careful about what we do now - with undertones of black market organ transplants, political manoeuvrings and the greed for power all playing a part.

Total death count is 2 in 5174 words.

Yep it grew too.

Second reject off the bat wasn't such a painful one.

Grimoire was written specifically for an anthology but with future marketing in mind. The market only had a very limited call for submissions from unknown writers like me so I figured my chances weren't great.

Surprisingly I got good feedback from the editor though.

Comments like: "I found the story entertaining and likeable" were nice and enough to make me think a renaming of the town would be enough to market it elsewhere.

I have posted a call for town name suggestions here:

If you think you can help then please fire off some suggestions.

Fiction Factor is also a great writers site and forum you should check out anyway.

EULA has been resub'd after changes I'd already been working on before this rejection - like I said - I was expecting it.

Grimoire will be going out once I've decided on the new town name.

Remember - keep on writing and keep on submitting - a very wise writer once told me that there's a market for everything out there. If you don't submit - you won't find it.

Good luck with your submissions.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Hi all

Sorry its been a while since I updated this. I have been in extreme revision mode all week, when I haven't been at work creating a huge project development document - really dry stuff but it pays the bills.

So I, with a lot of help from a friend, have done a full five revisions of "What Price Salvation" - my unicorn story. It's growing, evolving, becoming a much more saleable piece.

I've ear marked a number of possible markets for "Terminal Thoughts", so that'll be going out the door shortly.

I've written a new piece on "The Art of Critiquing" - which is currently being critiqued.

I still haven't heard anything back on the anthology submission which could be a good thing. If they were attempting to clear out the slush pile by the 28th of last month and succeeded, then logic suggests that I've made it through to the next level. No news could be good news in this case - fingers remain crossed.

Still working on two more competition pieces and have three pieces out for critique.

Oh - and still working on the website. The link is on the top right of this blog page - have a gander. There's plenty of new and free stuff to find there.

One last thing: my friends at Fiction Factor are looking to grow their forum. They have some really cool stuff planned as both the website and the forum continue to expand., so go have a look.

That's it for now - keep on writing.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I have just received a rejection for "What Price Salvation", a little fantasy story I wrote concerning the last surviving herd of unicorns. I originally started to write it for my little girl but when the first unicorn died a horrible death, I figured I'd better write something different for her.

So this piece evolved into more of a dark fantasy piece set in Herculean times. When I received the rejection email I opened up the story to recheck it before sending it out again. I wrote this story a few months ago and I can see why they rejected it. The story itself is sound I think, the death scenes are OK but there are issues with POV and some of the dialogue is very stilted.

My writing has evolved and I think - improved. I am now trying to completely rework this piece before happily sending it out again.

The thing to remember when a rejection arrives is to have a subjective look at your work, make any changes that you deem necessary and then - importantly - send it back out!

Remember that a rejection only means that the market you sent it to wasn't the right one at the right time. There is a market for everything somewhere. Sometimes it just takes time to find it.

Good luck with your submissions and keep on writing!