Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Update

I had planned on a different post today, but I think I'll save it for Monday. This week/month has been so busy! The Imagination Begins With You High School Short Story Contest is in full swing. I received my 1/3rd of the entries and it was around 175 pages! Isn't that great?

However, it's taking time to read all the entries and pick my top five for the semi-finals. Why you might ask?

Because most of them are about suicide and death. I can only read so many at a time before taking a break. It seriously has me worried about the youth of today. One twitter buddy suggested it is simply a coping mechanism for them. I hope so. What do you think?

In other news, Chris Kelworth started a page to set up critique groups withing the Crusaders Group. Check it out if you're interested.

And finally, I started a short story this week based on this thought that came to me as I fell asleep one night.
"Shadows are everywhere and you never give them a second thought. You should. They think about you all the time."
Sorry Doctor, this is something new, but you did inspire me.

I think this one might turn out good enough to submit somewhere. *fingers crossed*. I've also spent all week fine tuning the first 25 pages of SENDEK so I can start querying again. After much deliberation, I've returned to the dream sequence as my beginning.

I know, I know! But here's why.
  • Everyone whose read the two options is pulled in more by the dream.
  • The whole plot is based on her finding the answer to these dreams.
  • The dreams are what make Talia who she is.
  • They are the reason she has no one. And I mean no one. 
  • I found a way to start it so its not a "fake out". Talia knows she's in the dream and it actually adds some depth because of how she reacts to the dream in spite of herself. (yeah, more vagueness from me.)
So, that's where I am this week and I hope to start querying again next week. Now to skim the WIP for some needed "trickle down" changes. I also changed it so that Talia knows Johardin is the city from her dreams. She's always known (and this makes WAY more sense than the way I had it before, trust me). It changes how she views this career move and what it means in conjunction with the dreams. *squee* It's so much better!

Well, I hope you are all having a great weekend! See you Monday.


  1. Good luck with the contest and changing around your book.

  2. Break a leg and have fun changing things :)

    I don't know what to think of the topics of suicide and death being so common, but I guess it can be a coping mechanism as your buddy said. I know my poems and/or flashes are a bit more on the sad side if/when I'm not feeling in control enough of my life :)

  3. Yay for ideas! I like changing things up every once in a while.

  4. I don't often write of suicide though I often write of death or abuse (usually in poems) and horror is always what I lean toward in short stories.

    I don't think I'm using it as a coping mechanism. It's more that that's what you think about because it's everywhere, especially on the news.

  5. In terms of suicide being a prevalent topic in the high school short stories, perhaps it's because they're experiencing the death of loved ones for the first time and it's a way of sorting it through in their mind? Or it could just be they're trying to write something controversial?

    Your argument about starting with the dream sequence makes sense. If it works for you, then throw the rules out of the window. A lot of published authors made it because they didn't follow the rules.

    Oh, I also really like that premise for a short story. I'm intrigued... ;-)

  6. You are one busy gal.

    If you can find the time, come to my site and pick up your Versatile Blogger Award.

  7. It's hard not to like a post with the Doctor in it. :)

  8. I'm happy to read you are writing in the short story market too. I would need a break, too, from reading dark fiction by teens (although I also wrote poetry about suicide and drugs when I was a teen) as I want to believe our teens have hearts of hope, instead of distress.

  9. Thanks for the comments! I am having fun rearranging things, even though it's nerve wracking.

    I've talked with several teens since writing this and most of them say they write about death because its all around them and it is a way to come to grips with it. *whew!*

    Thanks for the award Huntress!

    Su, I totally agree!

    Lynn, I need to do more short stories right now with the time constraints in my life.

  10. Teenagers are naturally inclined toward depressing topics like death and dying. My sophomore English project was on "The Poetry of Death" and was mildly disturbing in retrospect.

    I think this is because teens are coming to grips with their own mortality and aging, even if they don't recognize that's what they're doing. There's also a lot of turbulant emotions, where everything bad that happens is MEGA-BAD and might end the world.

    I would freak out about it. They're teens. That's what they do, what I did, and I turned out OK. :P


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