I’ve been gone a while. There were lots of reasons, but I’m back now. I’m here to give you some information, tell you a bit about my writing and reading(yay!!) life, and invite you to participate in an opportunity to get young writers published and paid for their writing! So let’s begin!
Camp NaNo finished, and I finished my 40,000 words. If you remember from my last post, you’ll remember that I had 10,000 words to write in order to finish. I successfully wrote 10,000 words, but during those words I realized the story I wanted to write had barely begun, and now I’m in a position where I will have to move the series of events over, change the focus and emphasis of the story, and essentially rewrite the story under a new title. It sounds a lot worse than it actually is, and I’m very excited about the project (even if I haven’t done a thing on it since Camp NaNo).
What happened basically, was the story grew too big for my target project word count. I’m writing for a middle grade audience, and this early in Issac’s adventures it would be too much to go from a 25,000 word journey to a 50,000 or 60,000 adventure. I want Issac to age over the progression of his stories, but in his second adventure, I created a too ambitious journey too early in Issac’s stories. It would be like reading The Philosopher’s Stone and then immediately diving into the hefty Order of the Phoenix, in the Harry Potter series. A tad too big jump.
Thus, I’m in a position where the novel I really wanted to write, the one about the questions of creation and nature of creators created in the Image of God set in a whimsical seafaring adventure about going beyond the edge of the world, only started to take shape in the last 5,000 words or so. The draft of a novel I have has, I now realize, been heavily influenced by what I studied about the process of globalization, colonization, decolonization and the social, emotional, and cultural tensions created through those processes. Again, obviously set and interpreted in the adventures of a young boy meeting mermaids, pirates, and wonderful creatures during a cross-world voyage.
There’s some work to do to set up and finish the true first draft of this novel, a project I will hopefully work on during June in preparation for writing another Issac adventure, or rather, continuing Issac’s adventures during the July Camp NaNo Session.
On the other side of things, despite my absence from writing recently, I have been heavily inspired due to the reading I have been doing!
I’ve recently finished two books. The Vagrant by Peter Newman, a really brilliant take on a bizarre fantasy world where the main character never speaks but journeys across a desolate, war-torn landscape with a baby, a goat and a companion who talks enough for both him and the silent protagonist. Where inner dialogue was limited, external dialogue inexistent, this book was a really interesting case study for ‘show writing’ rather than ‘tell writing’.
The other book I finished was The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I have a lot of feelings that I have not unpacked with this book due to the fact that I am currently reading the second book in the series, and I’m too emotionally involved to try to sort out exactly why I love these books as both a writer and a reader. At this point, all can say is I highly recommend them for any fantasy lovers. Short, sweet, exciting, and all kinds of emotional.
Currently, I am listening to The Scar by China Mieville. A strange, peculiar, and bizarre fantasy book that I’m not entirely sure what is all going on. I’m enjoying it, though it is not really in the genre I would normally choose from. This book has been helpful in making me think of the possibilities that are open to fantasy, especially in ways that go against the typical grain of fantasy cultures and tropes.
I am still making my way through Don Quixote by Cervantes. This is a huge tome of a book that I have made embarrassingly slow progress through despite how much I laugh at the sheer absurdity of the work.
All these books have provided a wealth of inspiration and a renewal of excitement toward well-crafted stories, something I can sometimes forget about when I only read, edit, and criticize my own writing. Going out into the vast body of literature available reminds me of the joys of writing and story telling and encourage me in my own stories.
Moving onto my invitation to you, I would like to tell you about something you’ve likely heard from me once or twice before. I am the YA editor of a Canadian Christian quarterly publication from InScribe, and I am actively looking for submissions!
I am looking for works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction up to 600 words from Canadian Christian writers aged 12-24.
These pieces can be anything! Send me short stories, essays, testimonials, poems, letters, speeches, vignettes. Whatever you can think of! InScribe wants to see young writers supported and successful in their writing!
Submission deadlines are throughout the year meaning you can submit anytime to be considered for publication. The quarterly deadlines are July 15th, October 15th, January 15th, and April 15th.
If you are, or know of any writers who might be interested in this opportunity, I invite you to encourage them to submit their work for consideration here: FellowScriptYAeditor@gmail.com
I hope to be back to regular posting now that life has settled somewhat! What kinds of writing have you been doing now that summer has begun? Do you have plans for what you would like to write this summer?