Monday, 15 August 2011

Criticism and Competitions

When you're trying to be a published author, as much as you eat, breath, sleep and sweat YOUR story, you have to know how to adapt.  Because at some point you're going to give that story to an audience, whether it's friends, family, strangers or editors, and your story will have to fulfil their needs (especially the editors, if you want to get published!)  Therefore you have to be willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, you are not the only person invested in your characters and that others may have valid and, dare I say it, an even better idea of your story's failings than you do.

Now I'm certainly not saying everything they say will be right, or indeed warranted.  What I am saying is that you need to keep an open mind, gain some perspective and steel your yourself for the rough times ahead.  Because as much as we'd like our stories to be bought as is, without alterations, the likelihood of that happening is, I'm guessing, fairly close to nil! (Though I've heard of at least one exception.)

As for me, I pigeon holed myself into thinking I was going to be purely paranormal, well guess what, I'm attempting my first contemporary story, and if that wasn't enough I'm going to enter it into a competition!  Mills and Boon's New Voices.  I'm adapting a story I'd barely started, and one was originally going to be paranormal.  It's going to be an interesting endeavour, in regards to how well I'll handle the criticism and how I'll manage to write not only a novel (my first) but also one without any paranormal elements.

I'm hoping my little experiment is a success, not necessarily in terms of the competition, but in proving to myself, that I can go beyond what I thought I was capable of.  Wish me luck.

Monday, 8 August 2011

When you CAN'T write

I didn't get any writing done this weekend, much to my annoyance.  Though I can't complain too much because writing (especially at the unpublished stage) isn't seen by others, as being of any credit.  Now if I was making any money from this my husband would be far more willing to let me do it, knowing it was of benefit to the family.  Currently it is just a form of 'me time' as far as he is concerned.  (I don't know this for a fact, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.)  What I'm saying is, any time I can write without listening to complaints about neglecting my family, is a good time to write.

So why am I not complaining about not getting to write this weekend.  Well, I got to be an immensely proud Mummy instead and nothing, not even writing a best-seller can beat that!

My beautiful (and often wilful) four year old daughter, did a dance show (it was actually a dress rehearsal for a show she's doing on Tuesday for some elderly people).  Her dance class is wonderful, it places importance on the children enjoying themselves (especially the under fives) rather than being technically brilliant or having perfect hair.  Fortunate really, as my girl has a mane of untamed curls.  Anyway at the end of the show all the kids came out on stage and one from each class got given a trophy, it was for things like always wearing their uniform and their attitude etc.  Well my little darling got it because in November she broke her leg!  By the time she went back to dancing, two weeks after the removal of the cast, she was back into the swing.

So what can I say, I missed a weekend of writing, for a moment of my daughters reflected glory, and that is worth gold! x M

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Kia ora and Welcome

Hi, I've decided to bite the bullet and attempt to write a blog.  For a person who wants to write I'm completely crap at this kind of thing.  I could never keep a diary as a kid, I don't tweet very well, and my social networking is passable.  But here I am to give this a go.

A bit about me.  I'm a Kiwi (New Zealander) living in the UK with my husband and two young children.  I decided at the end of last year that I'd like to give writing a go.  I made a half-arsed attempt many years ago, but like I say it was half-arsed!  I grew up reading my Mum's Agatha Christie's though I wouldn't call myself an avid reader, even though I enjoy it very much.  

I was a TV addict growing up, it was mysteries and action shows when I was a kid, Hart to Hart, The A-Team, Knightrider, that kind of thing.  As a teen I loved vampire things, read Dracula, loved The Lost Boys, watched Fright Night a few times, though I in no way was a fan of horror!  In my early twenties Buffy the Vampire Slayer arrived (on tv) and I LOVED it.

Thirteen years down the line, married, two kids and I decide to write a story, 'but what about?' I ask myself.  Hmm 'paranormal romance' I answer.  I've always had a thing for vamps, but damn they've been done to death, so for a first attempt I decided on shape-shifters, everyone makes up their own rules/lore these days anyway, why don't I.

I then found (stalked) a wonderful author, Serenity Woods, who offered to look at my story.  She gave me some great constructive criticism and kept me in fits of laughter with her comments like 'Yum' about my hero.  So thanks to Serenity's influence and the other wonderful women I've met via her at TMAS, I am hopefully learning to be a better writer.  If you'd like to see a snippet of my work check out my website by clicking on the picture of me with two wonderful Buffy (amongst many other things) actors, Brian Thompson and James Marsters.