Third Person Press–the indie publishing house run by Sherry D. Ramsey, Julie A. Serroul and me–is now open for novel submissions from Atlantic Canadian writers. Click over to read our submission requirements and guidelines. We hope to keep receiving submissions on an on-going basis. However, if we get inundated, we will close until we catch up. Before submitting, please check the TPP website to make sure we’re still open. Overview Writers from Atlantic Canada The first 3 chap
Oh yes. That little thing called “Weekend Warrior.” This is an in-house contest run by participants of the Codex Writing Forum—specifically Vylar Kaftan along with lots of help from other participants. The challenge is to write a new flash piece (750 words or less) from Friday evening to Sunday night and upload it to the site in order to be judged by your incredibly talented peers. And, to do this five weekends in a row. Whee! This was my first time and I pretty much hated it
The other day while we were taking our evening walk, he told me about a “stupid mistake” (is there any other kind?) he’d made. Then he quoted the man who taught him carpentry, saying, “The sign of a good carpenter is the ability to cover up your mistakes and make them work.” This is a concept I’m familiar with. In art, we do this. You make a mistake in an oil painting, it’s no problem, just repaint it. That’s trickier in watercolor, but perfection is elusive at best, so you f
For the last week or so, I’ve been working on the novel I wrote in November during NaNoWriMo. Today I admitted to myself, that while effort has been expended [passive voice has been used], I’m flailing. I’ve been changing this, changing that, working obsessively on that all-important opening scene, but with very little strategy in mind. My novel’s in pretty good shape considering it was written in a month. I started at the beginning and moved through it in an orderly way. I u
As for the book itself, I’m still not sure about my title, “Plasticity.” I like it and it fits the subject matter, but it probably sells nothing. Perhaps that’s something to worry about three years from now when I’m still whipping the story into shape. Or…maybe it could be the title of the series. Hah. I know what that is. It’s my Delusions of Grandeur, which rise to the surface when I’ve just completed a first draft…of anything! Here’s my pitch: A young scientist reluctantly
The thing I’m most proud of after successfully finishing NaNoWriMo is that I made no foolish pledge to blog everyday during the month. The first five days I wanted to. It was a good feeling to complete my main course and then finish off with a little blogging dessert. But after day five, the novel filled me up. I got a lot of pleasure knowing that I hadn’t made a stupid public promise to blog the process! Now, having completed the month in fine form and having had a couple of
from Astute Graphics Today, my main character showed her character. Up to now, she’s been more self-involved and confused than anything else—for good reasons—but, that had to change. Even though she still has more questions than answers, she reached a point where she had to take a stand, to declare herself on one side of the conflict or the other. I’m proud to say that she did it unflinchingly, in a way that provides no possibility of turning back. She can’t undo what she did
Today, I could not get to The Point. I planned on writing the MC’s Fateful Decision. That point at which she makes a decision that will forever change her life and set up the action for the rest of the book. Without this, I could ramble on about the situation she’s in for chapters and chapters, but there would be no point, would there? I know what her Fateful Decision is. I know I want it to happen as soon as possible, so I was shooting for it to happen in Chapter Three, thir
photo courtesy of practicalowl Yesterday, my MC was walking home from her job, exhausted and worried, when she suddenly decided to climb a tree. They are huge trees with low, sturdy, spreading branches. Of course, she would want to throw her leg up and hoist herself into one of them! But it came as a surprise to me. It’s one of the great things about writing fiction. The surprises. See, I’d only just made up that tree. I’d thought about the setting of my novel a lot. If you
In case there is anyone out there who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an idea, a concept, a month-long event, a website that has grown from 20 something people in the Bay Area of San Francisco in 1999 to hundreds of thousands of avid subscribers around the world. The idea is to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel (no starting ahead of time or working on a work-in-progress) in the month of November. That’s 1667 words a day and the rewa
I’m speeding along at a rapid, first-draft clip, feeling on top of my writing game, when I find myself rather suddenly up against a wall. Two walls, in fact—my nose pressed up into a corner. I turn around and find the room FULL of words. The way out is on the opposite wall and I’ve just written myself into a corner. I don’t know where to go with the story and if I did, I can’t get there from here. I’m stuck in the trap of my own plot. I have what seems like too many story ele
So how do you come up with complex, interesting characters? Get them to talk. Engage them in conversation. Ask them questions not only about the predicament they’re in and what they think about the other characters, but also their past, their pet peeves, their first love, their father, what they like to eat, whether they like to exercise or have health problems. Not all of this information will find it’s way into your story, but some will and all of it will inform what you wr
First, Chuck gives us a tool that will check your writing excerpt for readability. It gives an amazing level of detail. You will get a table with several grade level rating scales, so you can see what reading level the writing is geared toward. This information can be especially useful when writing YA. It also provides sentence information (percent of passive sentences!), word usage (number of adverbs!) (number of “to be” verbs!) and even what kinds of words your sentences st
According to news stories, Hemingway said he re-wrote the ending of this iconic novel 39 times, but I guess he underestimated. I love this story. Not, A Farewell to Arms, which I can’t remember ever reading. And not this story from a publishing point-of-view, because what is this really except the book version of re-packaging? The same as Nabisco making Oreo’s smaller or filling them with peanut butter or mint, because, well, because how could we possibly resist? I love this
Do not give out your first drafts. Do at least one complete revision before submitting it to someone else. Use family members with caution. Because they know you well, relatives may have difficulty critiquing what is on the page, but may instead bring irrelevant knowledge about you into the feedback. They may be too close to be honest or overly critical without realizing it. This is not a hard and fast rule, as some husbands and wives or mothers and sons critique each other e
working draft When I became an editor for Third Person Press, I had no idea what a vast improvement being this role would make to my own writing. Poring over dozens of stories in the last few years has honed my ability to spot errors in my work as well as others. If I had one piece of advice to writers who submit work to us, it would be to revise more ruthlessly before submitting.
However, if you can’t spot the problems and errors in your own work, you can’t improve it. To
[singlepic id=7 w=320 h=240 float=left]Getting a writing project to the completed draft stage is delightful, but there’s a downside.
If we were visual artists or dancers or actors, we could show off all our hard work. There would be an audience or viewers or, at the very least, we could hang it on the wall or look at ourselves in the mirror and gaze at our work’s glory in the privacy of our homes. When we writers have a precious project that we’ve sweated over and brought t
Third Person Press Third Person Press is excited to announce a call for submissions for Unearthed, Volume III in the Speculative Elements Series. This anthology of speculative fiction from writers who have a connection to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia follows on the heels of the phenomenally successful, Undercurrents, released in December 2008. Volume II in the series,Airborne, will be released at our launch on October 6, 2010 at the McConnell Library in Sydney, NS.