What I’ve Been Doing

I have just over 4700 words on my third and final attempt to write the sequel of To Touch A Unicorn. Three times a charm, I hope.  I ended up going back to Holly Lisle’s techniques in How To Think Sideways and they, of course, helped me figure out what I needed to know to write the story. I think I have several more scenes to write and it is done. There might be one or so more but I’ll know more after I get the crucial scenes written.

After I write something I like to let it sit for a week or so because it gives me fresh eyes. My favorite part of writing is rewriting.  Yep, you heard me right. I love going in and tweaking, adding or deleting. It’s like a puzzle, fitting and moving things around to fit together. It’s hard to cut words you’ve labored over and pushed out onto the page. My work around is actually not to delete. The secret is to have a ‘notes’ page. I just put the deleted stuff there in case I can use it later. When I do that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time and energy therefore making me want to hang on to something that doesn’t work.

As a matter of fact I used the technique quite a bit this time around. On my third attempt to write the story, with a tweak here and there, I was able to salvage a scene or two. Of course I could still end up deleting some more scenes but it’s ok. I’ve got my ‘notes’ page.

First Snowfall, the second short story I wrote and sent out, was not accepted for publication. There could be a number of reasons why it wasn’t accepted, I really didn’t get one. Of course I can speculate all day long. One reason could be because of the ending which is left open. A couple of people did read it for me after it was rejected and they gave me their thoughts and suggestions. It might be I’ll just put it up on Smashwords free and let it go at that. I may or may not try to submit elsewhere. Technically the story was done as a writing exercise never meant to see the light of day beyond my notebook. But I got enough of an enthusiastic response I decided to try. For now I’m tucking it in the back of mind to think about until I complete Whispers Of The Unicorn.

Other than that I’ve done some beta reading for writer friends and family. I’ve come to enjoy beta reading quite a bit. I learn a lot from the process to help in my writing. It’s also teaching me how to articulate why I don’t like something or why I do. I tend to be very blunt but I’m learning to recognize and include the positive along with negative. Sometimes that’s not always easy to do, especially when time is short. 

One of the songs I listen to when I’m writing is called Violin Strange Sun Natseon Hae:

 

Peace.

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To Touch A Unicorn

Buzzymag has published my short story! Here’s the link:

http://buzzymag.com/to-touch-a-unicorn-by-angela-mcgill/#

Please check it out and let me know what you think, good or bad.

There’s several people I have to thank for helping me: Diane J. Cornwell, Josh Gosselin, Leia Coleman, Tracey McGill, Holly McGill, and Theresa Bane. They all took time out of their busy schedules to read the story for me,  giving me feedback and making it the best it could be. I also have to thank Chuck Wendig for his Friday challenge to write a short story containing the word ‘unicorn’. I’m glad I accepted the challenge.

I found this incredible picture on Bing Images. There was no one I could find to credit except Bing.

Doesn't this spectacular image nearly depict a scene from the story? http://buzzymag.com/to-touch-a-unicorn-by-angela-mcgill/#

Doesn’t this spectacular image nearly depict a scene from the story? http://buzzymag.com/to-touch-a-unicorn-by-angela-mcgill/#

Peace.

About Writing on Wednesdays: Updates on To Touch A Unicorn and First Snowfall

Well, I’m here in Maryland and have been for nearly two weeks. I was supposed to go home last Friday but the car broke down in Virginia. Fortunately it was late in the afternoon so the heat wasn’t too bad for humans or dogs. Thank goodness because Rex has a hard time in very hot weather. Still, it was hot enough that he whined a bit.  As a matter of fact I whined, too. Belle Amie and Paul did pretty good. Hot, thirsty, and in Paul’s case very dirty from working on the car, we all survived.

The editor from Buzzy Mag contacted me last week while I was here in Maryland about To Touch A Unicorn. I have to admit I was a little intimidated and put off reading her comments until this week. But honestly? When I finally read them it wasn’t bad. Everything she pointed out was dead on and I have no problem with making the changes. My feelings are not hurt and it is a lot like working with Beta Readers. I love working on the story to make it a great read.

Diane and Terry both beta read First Snowfall for me and loved the story. They tell me it’s creepy. Yay! I finished the edits they suggested in the middle of the night this week. There was no else around except me, Rex and Belle Amie. My own story creeped me out. Belle Amie kept barking and shaking at nothing. I’m pretty sure I just made this story up in my head. Didn’t I? o_o

After the story marinates a few days I’ll read over it, during the day, and send it off to see if anyone wants to publish it. I’m crossing my fingers. Many thanks and much appreciation to Diane and Terry for their time, critiques and encouragement.

The sequel to To Touch A Unicorn is in the works. I had to trash most of it although I hope to salvage some scenes. The fact I was having such a hard time moving forward in the story should have been a big clue I was writing in the wrong direction. I like the new start better and hope to have the story finished soon. It may end up being a novella. I’ll find out once I sit down to plot a few scenes. I should have done that to begin with anyway. I do know better.

Moonfire is calling to me. You know? My writing has grown and I might just be ready to get back to that story and get her done. One thing I’ve realized is that I was trying to write to an agenda. There are certain elements in the story that make it easy to cross a line and sermonize instead of telling a great story. I have enough maturity as a writer now to recognize that fact and hopefully fix it.

 

 

Peace.

 

References:

The clip art used is from ClipartPal.

 

Curio’s Past, Shhh.