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The week that was: Writing and Reading Review

Power of Words

The last week has been a good writing week. Much better then my previous couple of months.

I’ve finally committed words to screen once again. My goal has been to complete a couple of short stories which I have in my ‘short stories in progress’ section. They are both horror as I’d like to slot them into a horror anthology or magazine at some stage… hopefully anyway. I’ve put the finishing touches to the first draft of one called ‘Christmas Tree’. It’s far too long, at over 9 thousands words but I plan to whittle it down to under 7 over the next week. My second short story ‘New Species’ is coming alone nicely. Its the first time I’ve tried to write scenes similar to ‘Aliens’. Soldiers facing unimaginable odds, a healthy dash of testosterone with a lot of guns and fighting. It’s fun to write but difficult to know for sure if what I write will translate the way I imagine. I suppose that’s writing all over (o:

I’ve also been thinking about competitions. Short story competitions specifically. I wrote a 1500 word story (not horror, much to my amazement) called ‘A moment to change all’ which I’d like to place in the running for a competition somewhere. I was looking at the Reader’s digest short story competition but I figure it’ll be bursting with applicants. Really amazing writers too going on previous winners. I think a little more research is needed before I enter one but I’m excited to see what happens.

On the reading front, it’s also been a good week. I still have a bit of time off before I start my new job so I plowed through books I started whilst away on holiday but never finished. First was the second season of ‘Yesterdays Gone’. It’s a brilliant read and if you are into apocalyptic stories that is heavily character driven then you’ll love this. The self published authors Sean Platt and David Wright have a really good grasp on easy reading, easy to follow story lines but just enough mystery and suspense to keep you turning those pages. The other book I’ve been reading is Usain Bolt’s autobiography. The man really is a legend. He’s funny, humble and a dedicated athlete. Reading it makes you want to be the man’s buddy, as I’m sure many people around the world want to be. If your a fan of running or athletics then you’ve got to read about the current fastest man in the world.

I’ve received a few recommendations for writing craft books which I’ve added to the ever growing list of things to read. It’s going to be like ‘skynet’ soon and gain self awareness if it keeps growing (I apologize for the attempt at terminator humor here). One book is ‘Eats, shoots and leaves; by Lynn Truss and another is ‘Write Tight’ by William Brohaugh. Both books will benefit me greatly as I have issues with my writing in regards to nailing punctuation as well as overwriting. Blathering on too much is an issue in written and spoken work for me.

Another book comes from a lady named Dorothy Davies. She has a craft book on the market called ‘How many miles to Babylon?’. It’s a guide for writers, so again something I’ll benefit from at this early stage in my writing career.

I recently submitted a short story to Dorothy but unfortunately I completely messed up. I either didn’t edit my story properly, throwing spelling or grammar to the wind or I submitted the wrong file. When I went to find a cleaner copy of my short story I came up blank?? Well, I was embarrassed when I received an email back from Dorothy pointing out how rough my story was but she’d let me fix it up and resubmit. I was delighted and very grateful so I went about the task of tearing it apart and putting it back together, a lot more carefully this time. I resubmitted and it was accepted. There were still issues but Dorothy was kind enough to give me some invaluable feedback and the craft book recommendations you see above.

Anyway, that was my busy week of writing. Next week will be a shorter post I’m sure as a new job beckons but I’ve tasked myself to get through 1000 to 2000 words a day. Half new words for a new stories and the other half editing old works.

I’ll let you know how I go with it.

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  1. #1 by Kira on September 19, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    You might want to look at the ‘2015 Writer’s Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published’
    by Robert Lee Brewer (Editor). I haven’t bought one in several years but it is an invaluable resource for finding writing contests.

    Like

    • #2 by David J Delaney on September 19, 2014 - 4:57 pm

      Thank you. I’ve never bought a copy but will have to get one soon.

      Like

      • #3 by Kira on September 19, 2014 - 5:01 pm

        Your very welcome.

        Like

  2. #4 by suecoletta on September 19, 2014 - 9:28 pm

    I hear you about punctuation. I tend to be a comma-holic. Often when I start my second drafts I look at sentences and say, “What the–?” Commas everywhere!

    Like

  3. #5 by phantomwriter143 on September 20, 2014 - 9:55 am

    That sounds like a great and productive week!
    Not that you need another book recommendation, but “Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch” is another great one and it focuses on the power of verbs.

    Like

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