Month: May 2015

Commandments for writing

I was intrigued by Henry Miller's 11 Commandments as posted recently by the Writers' Circle.  What I like most about these commandments is that they are so personal - Miller knows his own weaknesses. I also like that as well as hard graft Miller instructs himself to enjoy periods of partying.  It's important to 'Keep human!' and 'drink if you want to' - well, I say 'Yay!' to that. So, inspired by Miller, I've produced my own list of commandments, opting for the more conventional 10. In each of these, the 'you' I'm speaking to is me, of course; these aren't intended to apply to anyone else.  I've been carrying these around for a while, but I enjoyed writing them down, and recognising that my inner finger-wagger is somewhat stern but also kind (and very possibly voiced by Julie Andrews). I'd be interested to hear about own personal commandments.  Do they overlap with mine?  Do…

Who owns popular culture?

Something very weird happened in the run up to this year's prestigious Hugo awards, voted for by science fiction fans.  In the culmination of a long campaign against what they see as the takeover of the awards by liberals, progressives and feminists, a right-leaning group calling themselves the Sad Puppies, led by author Brad Torgersen, successfully lobbied for an approved slate of books to receive nominations. Although the Sad Puppies actions are legal within the rules of the Hugos, they have also been controversial.  Some people feel it's not playing fair, and others are concerned by their motives. Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet, authors who'd been nominated by the Sad Puppies, withdrew their works from the competition, with Bellet saying, 'All joy that might have come from this nomination has been co-opted, ruined, or sapped away. This is not about celebrating good writing anymore, and I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.' George…

So, what next…?

So I've handed in the rewrite of Baby X to my publisher, and it's too early to expect comments back yet.   I'm thinking about what to do next. I've got two other 'completed' manuscripts I want to get out there, a middle-grade novel called Seal Skin and a YA novel called He, She, It. By 'completed' I mean that in each case I got to the end of a first draft, then I went back to the beginning and edited (draft 2).  Then I got a few trusted reader and writer friends to read the manuscript, and waited for their comments.  Then I let the comments sink in for a while, and only then, on the basis of these comments and further thoughts I'd had in the meantime, I edited again (draft 3). Then I sent each book out to agents.  Each book got some positive attention, but no one took the punt on signing me. Which means that at the moment I…