Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The fiction-writing ouija board strikes again

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - I am just 1,000 words or so into my next short story - titled 'The Last Supper Potluck' - and I am having a helluva time getting my characters to do what I want them to do.

I have had this problem before, in drafting my yet-to-be unpublished novels, but these people in this story really have an attitude.

Writing fiction has some similarities to columns and writing news, but really, in these stories I simply describe what I see going on. It's kind of like a movie in my head, I just write about the images.

I would like to say I am controlling this movie, but I don't think so.

I was headed in a nice orderly direction, about to introduce some scientific explanations when suddenly a huge earthquake wiped out half of Japan's nuclear power plants and volcanoes all over the world started erupting.

I did not order that up, thank you very much. But there it is on the page.

Then I realized, fiction writing - at least for me - is less structure and more ouija board. I'll try to remember that tomorrow when I start typing to find out what happened with the volcanoes.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

To find an agent, publish a novel first - What?

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - Here in deep coastal Mexico, I have been itching to get my unpublished novels off my computer and out to an agent who can market them for me.

Or tell me to get back to non-fiction writing and forget the whole fiction thing.

So I set about trying to find someone to represent my work this week.

I found several promising leads, then discovered that the agents only wanted to work with people who had, in fact, already published novels.

If that were true, why would I need an agent?

This will all get sorted out when I am back on the ground in U.S. and have access to the books, I suspect. Then I can send out sample chapters, plot summaries, book proposals.

All the things that keep a writer from actually writing, and turns writers into marketers.


And if I can't find an agent, well, there is always the self-publishing route and/or simply publishing on the Internet.

Patience, in this case, is hard to come by.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A little fiction writing is good for the soul

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - My on-again, off-again love affair with writing fiction is, well, on again.

And about a month ago, I spent a feverish few days writing a 5,000-word short story, 'The Milagro in Santa Serena.'

Yup, there's a miracle or two in it, perhaps the biggest how fast I was able to bang it out and how much I enjoyed writing it.

My novels might regain my attention when I am back on U.S. soil, but I think my short-story roots are showing and I need to tend to them.

My short stories will appear on the website, The Backpack Journalist, the link to which should be posted here on Writing for Money and also on the Captain's Blog.

And yes, you can make money writing fiction. At least I hope to prove that.

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