What are a writer’s chance of success?

I read a most awesome blog post this morning, which puts everything into perspective about the possibility of being a successful writer.

Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone, words it much better than I ever could, but basically she is saying that from the millions of people in the world who have a dream to write a novel, very few actually sit down and start writing. And of those who actually start writing, even fewer finish. And of those that finish, even fewer go through the process of editing, and polishing, and bringing that manuscript up to standard where it is accepted by an agent/publisher. And of those who get that far, fewer continue to market themselves and their writing. And those that do, fewer still continue on to write more books, and repeat the process.

So at the end of the day, if you are willing to put in the hard yards, there is a very high chance you will become one of the successful, best-selling authors!

If you’d like to read Kristen’s post (and I highly recommend you do), check it out at: http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/what-are-the-odds-of-success-really/

Belated Celebrations

January and the beginning of February was an interesting time for me, with some news that I thought I was coping quite well with, though in hindsight perhaps I was not… but all’s good now (I think), and there were a few good things that happened that I want to mention:

First, myself and two of my writing buddies: Aislinn Batstone and Kelly Matsuura, were published in the Independent Author Index’s Short Story Compilation, volume 2 on 31 Dec 2012 (Aussie time). I did start to read this, but only got a few stories through before life was temporarily turned upside down. I can say, that the stories I read so far are incredibly diverse – from writing style, to topic. Some I loved, some I wasn’t so impressed with, but even so I’m really looking forward to getting back into it again and reading the rest of the stories. The compilation is available for sale in ebook form from Amazon.  With stories to suit every taste, I think it’s worth the low price of $2.99!

The second bit of good news is another compilation! Those same ladies from my writing group and I were published in The Flashing Type, Issue 1: 50 Stories from freeflashfiction.com. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember that I had a flash fiction fantasy “One” published at Free Flash Fiction around the middle of last year. That story is now available in the compilation, which is available for an even lower price of 99 cents! This is one I have not yet had a chance to read, but I’m looking forward to getting to it soon.

Also, I submitted a query for my novella – A Faery Dream, to The Wild Rose Press, and the full manuscript was requested. Confirmation that I can write a decent query lol!

I was lucky enough to win a critique in early January by Joanne Wadsworth. She looked over the first 4 pages of my story, Red Sky. If you remember (did I tell you?) I entered this into the Seizure novella comp back in November, and sadly it wasn’t chosen. However Joanne gave me some brilliant feedback. She had some very encouraging words on my writing, and pointed out where I could tighten the text. Every so often Joanne offers these critiques as prizes on her blog, and she has some great posts on writing – so go follow her!!

And the last piece of good news, is that I entered Red Sky, into ABNA – The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and it passed through first round! It was selected, along with 1999 others, from a total of 10,000 novels! That is amazing and I am so excited and nervous.  This is more confirmation on my ability to pitch, as it was the pitch that was judged in this round. Second Round is announced on 12th March (USA time – 13th March over here in Aus), and judges an excerpt of the story – up to the first 5000 words. I still have an anxious few weeks to wait, though I have a few old stories to edit, and new ideas to explore – so plenty to keep me occupied!

Nanowrimo and the Young Writer’s Program – Day 1

from http://www.layoutsparks.com/1/187544/fire-breathing-dragon-image-31000.html

What a day! Spent the morning avoiding my story, because I still felt as though I was in editing mode and wanted to try and get out of that before I started. So I procrastinated by cleaning instead – you know the saying – a tidy house equals a tidy mind… or something along those lines. It sort of worked, though I find myself editing as I go. Must Stop Now!! I’m trusting that within a day or two, I will have reverted back into Nano-Mode and my inner editor will well and truly be locked away somewhere  – till December at least.

But anyway! New story ‘Dark Sea’ has began, and while it’s not flowing as well as it’s previous instalment I do feel I’m getting back into the flow of things. And I blitzed the word goal for today – reaching 2716 words.

My son was excited to finally be able to start on his story! Being only 6 years old, we went for a much smaller goal of 1500 words, 50 words a day. When he arrived home from school, I presented him with a blank notebook, and told him he could start. He wasn’t sure how to start, so I suggested describing his character. And so he began. A great description followed, getting him to 19 words, then, when I suggested a bit of action, came a bit more description, of his character’s skills in battle this time. This got him to 34 words, and by now his attention span was wavering. I suggested a line, and reworded my suggestion for mroe action. This time we got it – fire breathing dragons bearing down on the main character. That took him to 53 words, where he stopped, ending the days writing with “the end, up to here” lol.

I’m looking forward to the character fighting back tomorrow. He is supposed to be the best dragon slayer in all the world, so I have faith he’ll be successful! 😀

Anyone else doing Nano or YWP? Or know  a child doing YWP? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Don’t forget, I have four copies of The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton to give away this month, all you have to do to get your name in the draw is comment on any post! 😀 (For more info check out this post)

Small Successes! :)

I just found out last night that my short story ‘Sanctuary’ has received an honorary mention in Five Stop Story’s June Competition!

It will be published on their site later this month. I’ll keep you posted! 🙂


How to get good? Write 10 novels.

I have read several times over that the best way to become a successful author is to write 10 novels. Not publish – write. After 10 novels, the story goes, you are practiced and proficient enough to get it right. One author said she never bothered editing the first 9 – she just reread them to see where she’d gone wrong, and aimed to fix that problem in the next one. By the 10th novel she felt satisfied it was a good one and sent it off with virtually no editing at all and it was published and became a best seller.

So – from that understanding – how far away am I from being published?

Lets see:

Novel #1 Sacred Circle – YA Fantasy – started in college and finished during the holidays between my first and second year of uni( 2001) just over 50,000 words

Novel #2 Discovering Sarah’s Story – YA – Nano 2008, my first Nano! just over 50,000 words

Novel #3 Sarah’s Story – a historical novel – 2009 –  based on bits of what I wrote for the above, just over 50,000 words

Novel #4 Your Charity Pray – horror – Nano 2009, 62,000 words

Novel #5 Holle and Eogann – fantasy – Nano 2010, just over 50,000 words, though after a few edits it has ended up being around 60,000.

Novel #6 Sad Sunshine – fantasy – Nano 2011 – 100,000 words

Novella #7 Faery Dream – fantasy – 2012 – 16,000 words

Novel #8 Red Sky – historical fantasy – Camp Nano 2012 – 50,000 words

Two to go!! lol.

The first few on that list I doubt will ever be published, though Sarah’s Story is one I hope to get back to one day, once I’ve managed to do more research on Sarah and her life (and hopefully I’ll come up with a better title in the process…). Holle and Eogann has been submitted, Sad Sunshine is massive – one that will require a significant amount of editing – before I would be happy to share it with others (on saying that – I have not yet read back over Sad Sunshine – maybe it will be better than I think). Faery Dream is going through the editing process as I write, and Red Sky is going through it’s period of fermenting – I finished it about 3 weeks ago, so now it will sit awhile before I return for the read through. But I have a good feeling about Red Sky – there’s something a little different about it – I like it.

With August Camp Nano coming up in only a few weeks, and of course regular Nano in November – I could well have finished writing my 10th Novel by the end of the year… hmm….


So much news I’m not sure where to start!!

So I’ll start with the news I completed Camp Nano last Tuesday 19th June!!! Final word count 50,997. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story, a pirate/fantasy story currently titled ‘Red Sky’. I look forward to coming back and editing it in a month or two. For anyone who wants to take part in Camp Nano, there is another one in August. Will I be there you ask? Well… I might. I had so much fun this month that I’m really quite looking forward to doing it again as long as I find a story to write!  🙂 My characters were such fun company, and I loved writing something a  little bit different (I’ve never written about Pirates before!). My cabin mates on the Camp Nano site were great company, (Keep going girls! You can do it!!).

My other exciting news is that I have won an honorary mention in the Five Stop Story competition, and as a reward my story has been published alongside many brilliant other stories on their website http://www.fivestopstory.com/read/story.php?storyId=2539. Check it out and if you like it, don’t forget to click on the  little blue heart at the bottom of the page! 🙂