Where I’ve been, where I’m going and what’s next

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog, because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and readjusting and moving and goaling.

That’s not a word, is it?  Oh well, it is now.  Goaling.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say re-targetting.


Project 2012, for me, was a massive failure.  But in the words of Samuel Beckett, “Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.”

So while this year I didn’t achieve my goals, I will try again next year, and fail better next time.

I also had a long think about why I don’t feel the urge to blog anymore.  Not Enough Words has been my place for a long time, and it sort of evolved into a place for writing advice.  But I’ve moved on from there.  I’m feeling the burden of expectations.

So I’m closing Not Enough Words.  I’ve started a new blog, Pressing Stories, where I have the freedom to talk about other things in my life.  There will still be writing posts there.  Writing is a significant part of my life, and that’s not going to change.  But I’m moving into a new stage of my writing, and now I want to talk more about inspiration, and writing challenges, and networking, and motivation.

So what’s next?  I’m just getting a novella ready to submit and then I am starting a new novel.  Working my way closer to submission and one day, I hope, publication.

Come take this journey with me.

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » How to Have a Career: Advice to Young Writers

Another post worth mentioning, good advice for writers of any age.

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » How to Have a Career: Advice to Young Writers.

Authors Behaving Badly: How I Pissed Off Legions of Emily Giffin Fans | Corey Ann

Surfacing from the depths of revision to point you in the direction of an author who needs to get a grip.  Don’t be Emily Giffin, folks.

Authors Behaving Badly: How I Pissed Off Legions of Emily Giffin Fans | Corey Ann.


Looking for 2 beta readers for a short story

I’ve got a short story that’s in the final draft stage before submission.  The deadline is the end of the month.  My crit group have already picked over it, but I’m looking for fresh eyes.

It’s science fiction, but not overly technical. It’s mostly a character story.

If you can spare the time for a read and review, I will certainly return the favour for a short story or novel chapter you need feedback on.

Drop me a line at m dot faber at iinet dot net dot au if you can help.



Singing the procrastination song

I’m 200 words from my daily goal, typing quietly beside my son as he goes to sleep.  Finding it very hard today to get a rhythm going.

So far I have looked up natural salt licks, nucleic acid, the origin of ‘philistine’, and, of course Pinterest.  Then I checked my blog stats, and I discovered that someone found my blog by searching for ‘erotic sex fiction with mutant spiders’.

What the hell.

Other winners are ‘how to submit a longhand novel’ (good luck with that!),

I want to rip myself apart and start again (there are less painful roads to self-improvement),

dug her heels into the horse reared (erm…),

plo (I like the surreal overtones),

computer mother flashing nots (This one just begs for a short story),

trampoline newtons laws child adult (I can blame Marcus Chown for that one),

stop procrastinating and start writing (I will…in a minute…),

how to graffiti the word Tyson (Tama, that one is totally your fault),

and ulterior self (which sounds suspicious to me).

Okay.  He’s still not asleep, and I still have 200 words to go.

Grey skies

I normally like grey skies.  In Queensland, traditionally, grey skies are a summer thing, part of suffocating humidity, zithering cicadas and, well, summer.

It’s winter, and it’s been raining for four days. 

What the hell, winter.  This is Queensland!  Winter is a time for sapphire skies and crisp, clear days and being outside without being burned to a crisp.

I object to this miserable cold weather.  We left Perth to get away from this morass, though as my husband reminded me, at least there’s no wind.

Enough!  I call Shenanigans.  Bring back a proper subtropical winter, please.  I need some blue skies.

Writing, revising and linkiness

I’ve written 18k of short storyness in the last 2 weeks, and then embarked on a mad 2-day revision spree.  My brain is fairly toasted at the moment, so I thought I would point you in the direction of a few good links while my grey matter still cowers at the base of my skull.

I’m a fan of Alexandra Solokoff for her brilliant writing advice, especially her attitude; writing is HARD WORK.  Today she talks about The Bash-Through Draft (aka draft zero).

Then when I start to write a first draft I just bash through it from beginning to end. It’s the most grueling part of writing a book  (the suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark called it “clawing through a mountain of concrete with my bare hands…”) and takes the longest, but writing the whole thing out, even in the most sketchy way, from start to finish, is the best way I know to actually guarantee that I will finish a book or a script.

Thanks, Alex, I needed to hear that today.  Coming back from a revision frenzy always leaves me reaching for perfection instead of progress.

In terms of revision though, now is a good time to talk about Weasel Words.  I can’t remember who coined the phrase, but Weasel Words are the weak points in our prose; the superfluous words that contribute nothing to the story.

From Vision: Ten Quick Fixes to Improve Your Fiction.

From Fantasy Faction: Ready to Submit?  Check Again…

And from Jennifer M Eaton: It.  I Really Hate It.

As an example, this weekend I revised a 9.9k story down to 8.5k by eradicating all the weasel words from the manuscript.  How did I lose 1.8k words?  Because you don’t just delete the weasel word.  You have to look at the paragraph around it, consider the impact and what you need to change.  Often you will find that a weasel word marks a weak passage that lacked strong action, strong emotion or impact, or in fact any relevance to the story.

Check out the links, then go hunting.  You will be amazed at the difference in your prose.