Well, as always, I'm working to build up my short story repertoire. I'm starting to get a nice amount of short horror stories that are around the 4,000+ word limit More stories like that would be great.
I've also begun sending a few stories to magazines for potential publication. I've already had "A Note For Elizabeth" published in the Curtin student guild magazine Grok (2009, edition 4) here in Perth, as well as two poems "Friday Night Pyrotechnics" and "Motivation" in edition 5 of this same year. Since then I've sent a flash fiction, "Granite" and a short story "The Timekeeper" to a literary magazine called DotDotDash, also located here in Perth. I should hear back from them next month. Also, I was encouraged by a fellow writer to submit a short story to Reed Magazine over in San Jose, California. I sent in "The Butcher of Krankhafte", and I think it might be a while before I hear back from them, but I'm certainly excited at the potential prospect of a publication all the way over in the US.
I've also been scouring the web for magazines and publishers to look at in the future, and I've come across an Australian Sci-Fi and Fantasy magazine called Aurealis. I'm considering sending in "Flonkerton". I might also write something for the next edition of DotDotDash, as submissions for that have opened up, and my Creative Writing teacher, who's been very supportive of me all semester, is hopefully going to get me in contact with a friend of his, who is currently running a literary journal in its early stages. The idea is for me to write something and send it in, mention my tutor's name, and I should be ready to rock and roll.
I've had three online literary podcasts for quite some time now, Pseudopod, Escape Pod and PodCastle, none of which I've submitted my stories to yet. I'd love to, really, I would, but nothing I've written so far feels "right". So hopefully one of these days I'll get the creative juices flowing (pardon the cliche) and actually send something in to those guys. The concept is really cool, and I'd love to get in on that.
Another thing my tutor's got me thinking about is radioplays. My last Creative Writing assesment for the year is a five page (translates to five minutes) script. I've chosen a radioplay that's starting out quite well. When I started writing, I never imagined myself coming up with a realist radioplay where the central theme is religion. That's "The Garden". So I was talking with my tutor about radioplays last week, and he mentioned how popular they've become in New Zealand and Britain quite recently, and how it'd be worthwhile getting in touch with Australian radio stations (he mentioned ABC's Radio National), so that's another goal I'd love to work towards; a radioplay on national radio.
And I'm sure some of you are aware of my participation in next month's National Novel Writing Month (see previous blog for plot and details), and my goals for that have stretched beyond the simple 50,000 words. I'm getting into the mindframe where I will finish the novel, no niggling voice inside my head stating otherwise. Not even an imagination of my tutor perplexed at taking less than four or five years on a novel can deter. I've got a rough plot of nine "parts", each separated into about a dozen (or so) "chapters", nice and condensed, so it should be easy to belt through it. I've got pages and pages of plot summary, character names and brief descriptions and settings. In November, I write, regardless of what quality comes out, I'll make the backspace key my worst enemy.
In December, I'll edit. If that goes well, I'll start sending manuscripts off to publishers. I've found three that will accept unpublished novelists. The first choice is Allen & Unwin. They're based over in the eastern states of Australia, and they've got a section on their site called the "Friday Pitch". Basically, I send in my first chapter, and a week later, I'll know whether they'll look at it further or not. They're my first pick primarily because of the time frame. Fingers crossed that'll work out, otherwise, it'll be a quick knockback, no waiting around.
Then I'll try my luck with Fremantle Press. They're located in Fremantle (as strange as that sounds), driving distance from my home here in Perth. They'll take roughly two to four months. Their big bonus is that they're located in Western Australia, and they're dedicated to Western Australia. They only publish fiction that was written by WA residents, so that narrows the field down a bit. They've also published some successful science fiction novels. So they're not limiting writers to realist novels set in this state.
Then it's the UK based Macmillan New Writing sub-division of Pan-Macmillan, although they seem rigid on the contract, however, publishing a first novel with them would open things up for a second novel with them, and later novels with the parent company, Pan-Macmillan, an established writer's publisher. That's a definite plus side.
If they don't work out, I'll save up some cash, probably hire an artist, head over to Lulu.com and publish the novel myself. Although I'll look into that option a lot more when the time comes around, I know little of how I'd distribute the books.
On another note, I updated my "master file" of all my short stories, poems, scripts and works in progress. Over almost two years, I've written over 80,000 words and well over 400,000 characters of fiction. Which is comforting. I mean, this means that I could easily write a solid novel in a couple of years alongside Uni, with more thorough planning than NaNoWriMo and more effort put into the best writing quality possible.
Yep. I've got a lot to look forward to in the future.