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But Write for Whom?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I want to drum up interest in the Libong dugongs, but there are almost no outlets for web-based travel writing. The market is swamped as it is. Among the few quality sites that might be worth targeting (many others simply have no audience share) Worldhum is currently closed to submissions (with no indication as to how long), Transitions Abroad has been covered some years ago and…well that is it!

I’ll keep looking, but my dilemma is that if I place a piece with a site with minimum audience share, I can then not submit it to magazines and anthologies. Doing the latter will entail years (yes, years!) of waiting for a response.

And I thought fiction writing was bad! (I have recently placed a story after four years.)

Goodbye English Summer

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Sorry for not posting, I really am busy. Alas, the more I write, the more dire it gets. So much for having a complete first draft ready in time for Worldcon…

All the same, it’s nearly time to go. I have the writers’ workshop tomorrow (discussing the first three abysmal chapters and the so-so synopsis) and I’ll be on the plane to Japan 3 days later. No going back now.

Despite checking the weather reports daily, I can hardly believe that I should pack only light summer clothes. So the temperatures in the Yokohama/Tokyo area hover around 30°C? It’s sticky and hot? Ha! The weather forecasts for South-East England have been talking about sunshine for the past 3 days now (“It will dry up! It will get warmer! Honest!”) and I’m still waiting. I’ve dug out the long-sleeved shirts and wooly leggings. Hell, I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like. (Actually, that’s not true: yesterday afternoon, there was a strange, yellow light around for a few hours. It confused me because on the planet I’ve relocated to while writing the novel, the light is coppery orange due to the dense atmosphere (the star is smaller too, but not so small that that would make much difference))

Hmm, there are on average ten days of rainfall in central Japan in September. My trip lasts for ten days after the con…

Writing Sample

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Inspired by Jason Stoddard’s advise on marketing and promotion for SF writers, I recently took a look at my homepage.


I knew there was a reason why I didn’t put that URL on my moo cards. However, I thought that reason was the lousy layout and design, not the wee elephant that pops up when the page is loaded in IE (being a Mozilla/Firefox user, I never noticed it before).

Does Easyspace actively try to turn people off their services? Have they seen my homepage? If I was them, I’d be quiet about it, although their banner is possibly uglier than the site itself.

I’m currently looking into alternative hosting services and into getting that ugly site spruced up in time for Worldcon. Meanwhile, ECHOES OF CREATION, my 2005 NaNovel, will be posted here (in instalments). Have a peek if you’re bored—or looking for an alternative to slitting your wrists.

Call me crazy, but…

Friday, October 14th, 2005

I have just signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo; I know, it’s a stupid name) even though I’m flying out on the 21st rather than the 29th as originally planned. But, hey, by then I figure I’m so into the flow that I’ll make the 50k wordcount while waiting for my interchange at Aman Airport.
[read on]

Writing Woes

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

One week and one day to go to Worldcon, 4 months membership of my writers’ group and I have achieved nothing:
1 story iced because it is crap (and I didn’t even think of the ending, John did. But it is still crap.)
1 story iced because of plot-holes (it just isn’t what I wanted—if only I knew what I wanted)
1 story paused because I’m scared of world-building, particularly alien ecologies. This is all about an alien ecology.

So I’m trying a little spec-fic, just playing with words. The worldbuilding story was designed to do that, to break me out of the mold of the familiar so that I can let my imagination run free, but as always I’m drawn back to technical detail (‘would that make evolutionary sense?’).

I think I need to smoke more weed.

Then again, I want to write hard SF and it is, well, hard. At least I seem to be on the right track, even if it takes time (and I think I need to work a bit more on my characterisation skils):

SCI-FI! – Neuromancy and technical wizardy! You are
compelled to write of the Future and what might
be a thousand years from now or next week! Is
it a visit to an Alien Culture? Or a
breathtaking new form of Technology? Isaac
Asimov and William Gibson are your guides.

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by Quizilla

Why write SF?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

I have just finished the first draft of my story. It has taken over two months, is total crap and doesn’t make the point that I am trying to bring across. (Can you say that? —This just goes to show what I have to grapple with in my writing.)
[read on]

I’ve joined the critters!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

You know how it goes…

I have been struggling with that blasted SF story for over 2 weeks now and I just can’t get to grips with it. Any excuse will do (this is referred to as ‘cat hoovering’ by spec fic writers).

But is it any wonder? Here I am working in complete isolation with only ‘Best of’ and Hugo Award-winning authors to compare myself to. It is not like travel writing where there are lots of web-zines (and of course BootsNall) for comparision. And even so, when it comes to travel writing we would benefit from a writer’s group.

It doesn’t help that, compared to travel, writing SF is a hundred times harder. And I suck even at the former.

So, to rectify the situation and give myself a kick in the ass, I’ve joined The Critters’ Workshop, an on-line writer’s group with over 5000 members in the Sci Fi, fantasy and horror field. Now I really have to get my finger out. Saying that, it’ll be a few months before I can submit a story of my own but I’ll have to write at least one critique per week. Fair dinkum.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep up with the travel stories. Even though my trip has been delayed (in fact, I may put it off till the autum and go on a few shorter trips/local travel instead—another story) it is important to keep on the ball.

No money, no way

Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

I am out of money and out of words.

I am stuck with my writing. There are still three deadlines outstanding:
[read on]

Plans for Portugal

Thursday, October 14th, 2004

I spent most of the afternoon exploring my options for my birthday-trip in November. Basically these are two-fold: Head south to Morocco via Gibraltar or explore Portugal. Both options are constrained by time (15 days) and budget. The former is a major shortcoming with regard to Morocco, the latter will be a problem in Portugal where accommodation rarely costs under 10, my maximum daily budget. However, if I camp all the way, Portugal should just about be affordable.
[read on]

Exposure on Eopinions

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

Eopinions is a good site for gaining exposure — they are ranked 932 in the Alexa ratings! Its a review site, but their reviews include travel.
[read on]