I haven’t posted in a while. To be honest, that’s unlikely to change for a while longer. It’s not so much writer’s block – I’ve got no problem coming up with ideas. It’s more a shortage of passion. The stories in my last two projects, Spiritus and Corpus, burned. I couldn’t think of anything but them. They woke me up in the middle of the night, interrupted thought and work. The protagonists were real people to me, and their emotions punched me in the brain.
Since finishing the last round of edits on Corpus, I have attempt to start three new novels. I knew the stories and protagonists for each. There was a message in each one that interested me. But none of them burned. I’ve managed to get a couple of short stories out but that length of arc is about as far as my attention span will stretch at the moment. It sucks, quite frankly, but I’m too tired to do much about it.
Here, then, is the lesson for this post. It’s not just about having the idea, or the character, or the technical skill. The fourth key component is the emotional energy, the internal resources to live your protagonist’s feelings and world. Currently, I don’t.
To make up for the absent words of wisdom, here’s a list of three current story competitions:
And for London-based types (or those within easy reach), these stellar-looking workshops are coming up. If anyone else is planning to attend the one on 26th June, let me know and I’ll see you there!
It’s in the papers, it must be official…
I know I only just said that things were winding down to one post a week, but this is a special feature. Because, well, because I’m a teensy bit excited. A short story of mine has been featured on a website by someone other than me!
CafeLit is a website and e-zine for short stories with an associated drink attached. They publish one story a day, and yesterday it was one of mine! So, if you have five minutes, please go over here and read Eleven. Then come back and tell me what you thought.
In other news, I’m participating in a Green Ink! sponsored writing session in September to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research. Those taking part sit in a room for a day and write, then put some of the resultant pieces on stage the following weekend. Anyone who feels like donating, please do so here. You can even join in at home and raise money on your own behalf! If you do, please let me know and maybe even send me what you write. We could have a little feature thingy here if people fancy.
Mslexia are looking for previously unpublished female authors to submit their memoirs. Full details are here. This is a competition, with £5000 as first prize.
And, a bit late to the game but still worth mentioning, there’s an ongoing Write Your Own Christie taking place. It’s organised by the official Agatha Christie website. Whilst it’s a competition, I don’t think there’s any money involved in winning but there is a lot of prestige plus a few bits and pieces. Full details are here.
Many thanks to Andrew Knighton Writes for putting me onto this one. The magazine Nature are running a competition – write a sci-fi story in 200 characters. See here for full details. You have until 31st January. Good luck!
Angry Robot is currently open for fantasy and sci-fi novel submissions, until the end of the year. For the full details click here, but in summary:
What we’re not looking for:
- • Anything that could be reasonably described as “wacky” or “zany”.
- • Anything other than science fiction, fantasy (including urban fantasy) or horror (in their many guises).
- • Paranormal romance.
- • Book 2 or later in an existing series.
- • Books that have already been published elsewhere (including self-published as eBooks or print-on-demand).
- • Books that have not yet been completed.
- • Books that have previously been submitted to us, even if they’ve undergone extensive rewriting.
- • Children’s books.
- • Anything shorter than novel length (for us, that’s approx 75,000 to 140,000 words).
- • Fiction based in other companies’ or authors’ worlds (no Batman fan-fiction, please).
You have two months – good luck!