My Writing, Writing

Writing and Editing Resources

To begin with, I have another publication announcement this week, but fear not – resources abound too!

I just found out that I placed second runner-up in eShe’s first ever Flash Fiction Contest. The theme was ‘Women and Work’. The word count was 100. And the contest was restricted to women writers.

No fancy prizes other than a certificate and a notebook, but I’m still quite pleased as the topic is one I’m very passionate about.

Check out the winners list here.

On to the resources!

A discussion on a writing group I’m part of spurred me to make a list of sites that have useful articles for revising and editing fiction:

Nail your Novel
Novelist Roz Morris churns out a feast of useful articles on writing and editing your written work to perfection. Her book of the same name is another useful recourse.

Anne R Allen

Writer Anne R Allen maintains this blog along with bestselling author Ruth Harris. This site offers a wealth of information that helps you get your stories written and honed for submission.


Writer and Ex-Literary Agent Nathan Bransford’s blog

Nathan Bransford worked as a literary agent at Curtis Brown and has also authored the bestselling MG series Jacob Wunderbar. His book How to Write a Novel is one to add to your bookshelf.

A couple of articles specifically on editing include:

10 Things to Do Before Editing Your First Draft

Ultimate Guide: Structural Editing For Your Novel

In other writing news, I conjured up a last-minute entry to the Bath Flash Fiction Award which granted me this badge:

What have you been up to? Any writing links or resources you would like to share? Let me know in the comments!

My Writing

Open

A brief blog post today to hold the fort while I go off pandal-hopping during Durga Puja.

I’m happy to share the publication of my story Open in Spark!

This has an interesting story behind the story. I had written it long back when Orkut was decommissioned, but subsequently set it aside as I wasn’t too happy with it. The other day I was randomly browsing various literary journal submission guidelines and I came across Spark. By coincidence the theme was ‘Secrets’ and by another fantastic coincidence the theme deadline was that very day!

I spruced up my story the best I could and sent it off. It was accepted a week later and has gone through three rounds of edits (the editor helped me improve the portions that had left me unsatisfied).

The theme for their November issue is ‘The Wait’.

Check out the details here: http://www.sparkthemagazine.com/write-for-us/

Do read my story if possible and let me know what you think!

My Writing

An Even Keel

I’m pleased to share an essay of mine after quite a long gap. The HerStry blog had put out a call for submissions matching the May theme of motherhood. I sent in my submission and in ten days I got the happy news that it was accepted for publication.

You can read An Even Keel on the HerStry blog here.

Let me know what you think! If you have any work of your own to share, please drop a link in the comments below!

My Writing

The Mantoux Test

A few years ago, a sudden health scare drove me to the hospital for a couple of medical tests like an MRI and another to detect for TB. All came back negative and nothing worrying, but it did spark a story idea for me.

If a man suspected his wife of cheating on man, who could he approach to help solve his troubles? In my story he consults a godman, who suggests a slightly unconventional approach to detecting the wife’s infidelity.

The story I wrote called ‘The Mantoux Test’ was accepted for publication last year in the Transmundane Press’ Transcendent anthology.

Transmundane Press’ Transcendent Anthology

Click here to read an excerpt!

This post tells the ‘story behind the story’.

And here’s my interview with The Transmundane Press.

Do let me know what you think of the excerpt! If you’ve published anything recently, feel free to drop a link in the comments below!

My Writing

New Year, New Look!

If you’re wondering why everything’s looking different, it’s because I changed the theme again! I hope it’s not too jarring a change but the theme really caught my eye and I changed it without even really meaning to. The last such transformation happened more than a year back so it was long overdue.

Do drop me a line with your thoughts on the new theme!

My Writing, Writing

Ten Things I Hate About Being a Writer

Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, especially now, despite all the gazillion rejections streaming in on a daily basis. I am finally enjoying the process, rather than indulging in the thrills of “having written.”

However there are quite a few things I don’t like about being a writer:

  1. So much to write, so little time

This is not the fault of writing of course, but it does demand intense concentration and time. The creative gene inspires ideas but the world doesn’t grant us the time to write all of them. It also takes away time from socializing in the real word – I’ve skipped many a weekend party in favour of writing.

  1. Sometimes, the words just don’t come

After stealing all that time, when I sit down to write, the words that bombard my brain at all the wrong times retreat into a shell and need immense coaxing to draw them out.

  1. When the words come, they’re crap

The first draft of everything is crap. It may improve with practice but sometimes it’s so bad it’s better to scrap it all and start again.

  1. When we send our stuff out we get rejections

In more than five years of writing and submitting, I can count only a handful of times that a piece I sent out was accepted by the first place I sent it to. My story that won 2nd place in the On The Premises contest last year is a good example of this.

  1. When we don’t send stuff out we’re not moving forward

The fear of rejection and submitting makes us hold on to our creative efforts, but without sending it out we’re not really taking ourselves to the next level

  1. We have to believe we’re the best in order to succeed

Writers need supreme confidence in themselves and their work so they can pitch agents and publishers and plough through despite all the rejections

  1. We have to accept we’re not the best so that we can improve in order to succeed

Writers also need to turn a critical eye on themselves so they can humbly accept feedback and revise their work to near-perfection

  1. Stuff that looks perfect today looks crap the next day

The final draft is never final and even after time and distance away from it when I see it next I feel its way below par.

  1. The right word lies on the tip of the tongue and rarely ever comes out

The struggle to find the word that exactly matches what you’re thinking of is perpetual. A thesaurus makes it easier but not always.

  1. Looks easy but is very tough to do

This is the biggest problem with writing – the easiest writing that looks the most effortless is actually the hardest to do.

How do you feel about writing these days? Anything you can add to the above list? W