Monday, March 23, 2009

Test Subject

I printed off the previously mentioned sci-fi romp for the purposes of proofreading. Once I marked it up with all the fixes and changes I could find, I turned it over to a friend to read.

She has it now.

With luck, she will read it, like it, and give it back in short order. After I get it back, I'll make all the fixes I can think of before submitting it to Reluctant Press. I hope to have it in print by the end of summer.

Speaking of RP, I think that permanent links to stories there are going away. New stories are added to the main page, and the older stories get pushed over time to numbered pages that go in acending sequence by age. The older the story, the higher the page number. Their new web design may be pretty to look at, but it's going to make it a real pain to link to stories without frequent updates, methinks. Although, I do have to admit that I like the tabbed grouping of stories by classification.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mum's the Word

I decided to pull this comment out of my most recent post and add it here separately:

"As of this moment, I'm creating a policy of not divulging title or plot in advance on anything I'm working on, or have completed but not published. I count putting a story on a site like FictionMania as publishing, as it is out there to be read by the general public. It's been said that ideas are a dime a dozen and that there is nothing new under the sun, but I've noticed that "good" ideas (use your own definition of "good") are done in clumps. My suspicion is that people with good ideas need to zip their lip to avoid having other people take their ideas."

I would also like to add a supporting anecdote. Without making any accusations of ill intent, I had a "copy" of a story idea I used get posted at FictionMania not long after a story of mine went up there.

It was after yet another sappy genie in a bottle story had gone up at FictionMania. I read it and liked it, but was frustrated that genie stories have devolved to the formula of person finds bottle, person makes wish, wish is corrupted or misunderstood resulting in the character being transformed into a woman. There are many variations on this basic premise, but all of them describe the genie as well meaning, helpful and friendly. At their worst, the genie might be a prankster.

My idea was to make the genie mean. Evil, even. I wrote a story that focused on that as a writing exercise and posted it to FictionMania.

I suspect that what happened is that my story inspired the other author to play with the idea of a malevolent genie. Within a few days, their own story was posted, riffing on a similar theme, though of course the story was completely different. It was very well recieved, with a lot of praise for the originality of their take on the genie. While I think it's fair to say that my story was nowhere near as good as the other author's story, I am pretty confident that my story acted as a catalyst.

Now imagine the above scenario with my story being published second. I think it's safe to say some people would look at the situation and call me a copycat, to put it nicely.

I worry that if I disclose story ideas here that others then use, it would be a Bad Thing. Because I write at such a glacial pace, others might beat me to the punch with my story names or worse: with stories that use my plot ideas as a starting off point. Mimicry might be a form of flattery, but I really don't ever want to end up in a discussion of whose story came first.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What am I up to?

Glad you asked! After being sidetracked earlier in the year by the possibility of having the tools to do video morphing, I've managed to set that aside and get back to writing.

I have two completed stories at this time that are unpublished. The original plan was to submit them to Reluctant Press, but I'm not convinced that they are as good as I originally thought.

One has a wickedly confusing plot with a lot of body swapping. The shifts in perspective, combined with who is in what body and why is that important makes for a real mess. I think that in the end that it's a good read, but I think it needs to be cleaned up before I'll be satisfied with it. I also would like to get away from magic as a plot device.

The other story is a sci-fi M2F romp. It has a few details that I would like to excise as they seem a little self-indulgent, but is otherwise ready to go. With luck and a little work, it should be submitted to RP in the very near future.

I'm also working on a new story, which also has a sci-fi M2F transition. Like so much of what I write, it may end up a half finished idea. I hope not. I have an outline, and that's always a good sign that the story has a better than average chance of being finished. Right now, I'm trying to make the all important post transition push. Keeping momentum after the change is always my biggest challenge.

Time to stop blogging and do some real writing. Wish me luck!

Ode to FictionMania

FictionMania is down. It has been down for months.

I trust that it will return at some point in the near future. Hopefully within the next five seconds or so. You see, until it was gone, I did not realize how important this icon of TG fiction was. Don't get me wrong, I knew it was huge. It was - and is, even in its absence - the 800 pound gorilla of TG fiction. Be sure to imagine the gorilla in a dress, of course.

I was already a big reader and a wannabe writer before I found the site back in the late 1990's. I turned to it for inspiration. I would read each story with an eye for its strengths and weaknesses, which helped me grow as a writer. Some stories infuriated me by mingling an intriguing concept with poor form. Some were exceptionally well writen, yet managed to bore me to tears. Other stories made me scratch my head, wondering why I liked them so much when they were so badly written. In each story, I found something that I could learn from, even if it was an example of what clearly didn't work. When I was especially lucky, an author would "wow" me with both concept and execution. Morpheus, for one, seems to have endless depths of creativity and talent on which to draw.

Yes, it will return. Sure, there are other sites with stories to view in the meantime. I know I should be writing my own fiction rather than weeping in my blog, but somehow, this glaring absence has left a hole in my sense of community.

Come back soon, dear friend.

Why is there a "New" in the title?

I doubt anyone ever read it, but this is actually my third blog.

The first, seldom updated website was a whole website devoted to discussing my transition before it imploded. For those that don't know precisely what that means, let's just say ... I was going through some changes in my life, and it was a place for me to discuss that. The name of that website was "Sara's Narcissistic Venture."

The second blog was a one page affair strictly devised as a news page to promote my writing. That blog was named "Sara's Narcissistic Weblog."

This site is kind of a combination of the two. It's about my writing, but it's more of a journal about my writing and writing in general. I'm sure I'll do some self-promotion here, as well as some whining about my personal life.

As if anyone needed to know all this. Sheesh! Do you get where the name comes from now?