Some advice (again)

Some advice from Janet Evanovich:

Write something every day, even if it means getting just a few sentences on the screen. Here are a few different ways to accomplish this:

  • Do it by time: Start small, if you want. Start with five minutes and increase the time by five minutes a day. In two weeks you’ll be sitting at your desk for about an hour a day. Add more time as you choose.
  • Do it by pages: Start with one paragraph a day and work toward a page a day. If you do only that, by year’s ends you will have written 365 pages.
  • Do it by word count: Plan to write a specific number of words a day. Hemingway wrote around 500 words a day – approximately two pages.
  • Do it by appointment: Treat writing like any other part of your daily routine. Carve out a place – the corner of a room or the kitchen table – and a certain time of each day for writing. Then show up for work.

Again this is something I have to remember to do and not be lazy and post smart-arse comments on Facebook and Twitter and think that this is writing.

I’ve brushed off some hobby-specific blogs and I’m working on them at the moment to stretch the writing muscles a bit, to ensure that I get words down from my mind about a subject in a cohesive manner.

The next step would be to get this writing practice back to writing poetry and fiction, as I have really let that slip.


Less than a month left…

The deadline for submissions to the first issue of Wicked Words Quarterly closes on April 1st 2014, so if you haven’t yet submitted anything for me to consider get it in soon 🙂

I’ve been really pleased with both the quality and quantity of submissions, 140 submissions of great writing across all the genres that were asked for. This makes it really difficult to choose which seven or so stories to include out of that great selection.

I do try to make the rejections personal but with so many submissions that can be hard at times, so please don’t be disappointed with what has been written as I have enjoyed reading all the stories.

Hopefully I will be able to sort out more emails this week, and if you have received a rejection and have other work to submit please do.

Again thanks for the enthusiasm and quality of the writing that you’ve all submitted, looking forward to publishing in June and seeing what people think of my selections.

Another Use for Scrivener

I know we all (don’t we?) use Scrivener for our own personal writing. I also use it when I’m writing and researching a T.M.A. with the Open University, great for keeping all my notes together and for putting footnotes in a place to keep them out of the way.

My latest discovery (probably not the first to do so though) is that it is great for reviewing submissions to Wicked Words Quarterly.

The first task was to set up three folders in the Draft area; Submissions, Accepted and Rejected. Every time a new submission comes in it is placed as a text document in the Submissions folder. I then format the document to the same standard as all the others and as I want to final document to be compiled, this makes all the stories easier to read. With the Inspector panel open I start making notes, such as; name, address and contact details of the author.

Then I use the Comments & Footnotes tools to make notes on the story itself, these help me with the winnowing of stories, they also help with possible edit suggestions to the author. The other thing they help with is to make the rejection letter more personal, with concrete reasons for the rejection.

Once I’ve made suitable notes and comments on a story it can be moved to either the Accepted or Rejected folder.

The next step will be to compile all the accepted submissions into a document for exporting to Kindle, and as I’ve been formatting the stories as I’ve received them this should come out as a connected document with all the stories looking as though they work together as a whole.

I was going to use a spreadsheet to keep all this information in but using Scrivener instead means that the workflow is in place for making the actual book as I do the review of submissions, cutting out a couple of steps in the process of making the Quarterly, making my life easier 🙂

Three Days!

Wicked Words Quarterly has now been open for three days, and in those three days visitor numbers to the site has exploded (thank you all 🙂 ), the magazine has received more than 10 submissions a day and the Twitter feed [@MyWickedWords] has started to gain followers…

This is all down to my resolution to visit The Daily Post and start writing, the writing is still happening but the Quarterly seems to have taken on a life of it’s own and I’m learning something new everyday.

The hard part comes now, I’ve set some time apart today to start reading some of the submissions and this is where I have to harden up a bit and write nice acceptance or rejection emails. The acceptance ones aren’t going to be too hard, but the rejection ones will be, right now I can see myself giving personal rejections but if it gets any more popular it may have toe be a form (which I really don’t want to do) with some personal comments.

This is fun, but hard work. I didn’t realise it was going to be such hard work, though when the first issue is done I should have all the tools and skills for the next issues.

So any horror, sci-fi or fantasy stories you want to submit there is still over a month to get them in for the June issue.

Quicker Than I Thought

Two days later and it’s done!

Wicked Words Quarterly is open for business (well submissions anyway) and hoping to get the first edition out by June 2014.

Here is the front page blurb:

Wicked Words is a new quarterly magazine on the Kindle that will publish short stories and flash fiction.

Wicked Words will publish science fiction, fantasy and horror themes and we are looking for high-quality stories that surprise the reader and play with the genres.

So if you have stories that fit these criteria why not submit them to be considered.

If you like reading short stories in this genre why not sign up to the newsletter where you will be kept up to date on how the project is progressing.

Wicked Words first edition is scheduled to be published at the start of June and then quarterly after that (September, December and March).

Each Winter Edition will also include a previously unpublished Novella alongside the usual flash fiction and short stories.

So if you know anyone with stories that would fit the criteria why not send them over my way 🙂

Wicked Words Quarterly

One of the projects I wanted to develop when I bought this domain was to produce a quarterly magazine for Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy shorts, especially those with a twist to the tale. I will mainly be concentrating on Flash Fiction but will sometimes delve into Novelettes as well.

This project was going to be a long term project, gradually developing as I developed my own writing and knowledge. It was not to be a place for my own writing but a place to publish others writing.

Recently I’ve felt that this project could be pushed forward quite quickly and to that end the main site – will become the base for this Quarterly Magazine and will be where my own writing will be based.

Work will be remunerated at a semi-pro level so I won’t be asking anyone to give something for nothing and initially this will all be from my own pocket but hopefully I will be able to get it self-funding soon enough.

The Wicked Words main site will also be where my Web Presence business will be based from now on.

I’m working in the background right now to update the main site to reflect these changes in direction so look forward to seeing these very soon (Mid to Late March), but until then I will still be writing as much as I can.


After reading the recommendation at The Daily Post in the Need Feedback? Hone Your Blogging with a Workshop post. I decided to join Scribophile.

I initially spent several hours just exploring the different features, forums and aspects of the site.

From my initial overview the site and community seemed really friendly, supportive and constructive. A great place to post your writing and have it honestly critiqued by like-minded people.

So I started out by introducing myself on the forums and favouriting a few people, joining a few groups. This just let me get a better feel of the site.

I then though ‘bugger it’, I had nothing to lose and went to do my first critique!

The system of critiques built into the software at the site are relatively easy to use and help guide you through the complexities of giving a constructive and well-mannered critique. I’ve started by giving critiques to relatively short pieces of flash fiction as that is what I like writing at the moment.

The process was very easy and hassle free, and afterward the people that I critiqued were able to comment on how I had done, nobody seemed to get their knickers in a twist and all saw the critique as what it was meant. A constructive and helpful look from the outside on their writing.

The process of being able to upload your own work is that you have to earn Karma before you can post, this is done by making critiques, easy really 😉

After a few critiques I had earned enough Karma to upload one of my pieces, a drabble, 100 word story with a twist or unexpected conclusion.

Two of the three critiques I received were excellent and even pointed out problems with the tense that I hadn’t noticed even though I had read it several (hundred) times previously, the third critique didn’t understand the drabble form and therefore critiqued it as a short story. What he said was excellent for a different form, but wasn’t applicable to the form I used. I wasn’t worried as it was all meant to help.

Joining in the groups is also a good idea as this is where the more personal form of support can come in and you can get regular small reading group together to mutually critique work and join in together on discussions about writing and the industry.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed my less-than-a week there and have gone for the premium option as I think it really deserves to flourish.