Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Assignments and publishing

Well, I'm pleased to say two of my assignments are sorted and the big ones are still not (why didn't I just write two short stories and be done with it! Some more sensible students ran them through the fiction workshop radar and can just tidy them up and hand them in. Meanwhile, I get bitten by the poetry bug...). Kafka's weird world view is becoming more clear to me and I feel I can do something on him now. I can't imagine doing an essay on any of the theory stuff, though. I do have another idea for a Freudian piece, stealing the therapy idea and taking it further as two poems.

Meanwhile, I've been through chapters one and two of 'Borrowed Time', my supernatural thriller, and am ready to reinvent chapters 3 and 4, which I edited a bit quickly for my fiction workshop and actually need to extend to make sense of subsequent chapters. I'm reading Kelley Armstrong again, which is helpful, as it has a supernatural world which is approached differently from each character's POV. I love 'Haunted', a book about a character who was a selfish, fairly ruthless and amoral person and has been dead three years. The story starts there, as her 'evil' qualities give her the edge in dealing with a supernatural baddie who even the angels haven't been able to rein in. She's bad, but likeable, and the dilemma is she may be able to protect her daughter but will have to give up her lover to do it. I've sketched out books 2 and 3 in the Borrowed Time series, I'll have time to get on with them after the MA. Apparently, publishers like to see authors working on more books, on the off chance their first book is moderately successful they will have a saleable product.

One thing I've found dispiriting about some of the other students on the MA, is that they aren't interested (so far) in the relationship between publishing and writing, as if their work will magically be discovered and be published. Writing for publication is all about producing a product and matching it to the people who want to sell it. Writing for oneself isn't so much of a problem. John Gardner said, write everything as if it is going to be published. Some are so perfectionist they can't let go of anything, it's never finished. Two students stand out though, they are already writing for the commercial market and they are both already publishing, one in a blog and one in short story websites. I'm looking forward to the publishing project module, hopefully this will awaken a few more students to the publishing world. Meanwhile, I have a few pieces to go off...and a few poems to try out.   


  1. Hi Reb. Happy New Year! I think Publishing Project will help people to focus more - it did me.

    I need to get my assignment done next week. Kids go back to school on Monday and then I really need to get my bum in the chair.

    Are you doing the non-fiction course next term?


  2. Hi Downith, no, I'm doing Fantastic Fiction from the Children's MA, I used to write non-fiction for work, and biography and lifewriting are so time consuming. I wanted to push the fiction further and the book I'm working on could be a crossover book. I also loved all the books on the reading list, most of which I have read or heard about from the kids. Books like Garth Nix's 'Sabriel'. So much more fun than Mrs. Dalloway! I'm sneaking into a third year poetry class to, trying to get the most out of the time away from home. But being here reminds me of all the things I need to get on with, the loft, painting the kitchen, the garden...