Want to have your work published? I wrote a thing that might help

This weekend I attended the Nine Worlds Convention in London and got to chair a panel, From Fanfic to Book Contract and Beyond. While this is a terrifying prospect for an introvert, I think it went rather well. Many thanks to all attendees, and to the organisers to make this happen!

During the panel, I mentioned a document I pulled together. In it, I list (and ramble about) all the resources I’ve been using in the last few years to help launch my writing career. If you’re looking to do the same, you can find the document here: Mel’s Resources for Writers Who Want to Go Pro.

I hope it’s of use to some of you. And because the WWW is truly bottomless I’m already working on the next list of resources. Stay tuned!

The greatest honour

Back in May 2015 I wrote a Walking Dead rickyl fanfiction called Contact. (If you want to ready it do feel free, but be aware, this is slash fiction. This is how I started on my writing, I’m not ashamed of it!) It was sweet and fluffy, and there was sex. I had nice feedback and a fair number of likes on it, for a one off.

A very lovely reader called saffron_chen over on AO3 said that she would translate it to Chinese. I felt honoured and a little nervous, but mostly just amazed that someone actually liked the story enough to do this.

And today saffron_chen sent me a link to part of the translation! You have to log in, and it’s all in Chinese, of course, so I’m copying the text here. It looks so pretty!

I am still flabbergasted that she actually did this. Thank you so much, this is the most wonderful thing that’s happened to me in my writing adventure so far!

If anything looks wrong, my apologies, the Unicode browser probably makes a mess of it.

授翻 rickyl contact [复制链接]






Do I want my characters to be hated?

I’m reading a Candace Bushnell novel. I thought I should try reading some chick lit/women’s fiction/romance for research purposes. After all, that’s what I’m supposedly writing. The novel is One Fifth Avenue, and I hate it. I tried reading Trading Up first, and I hated that even more.

I have no experience reading chick lit. I’ve never had an interest before. My favourite authors are Stephen King, Maria Doria Russell, Cormac McCarthy, Ursula LeGuin and a hundred more I can’t list or I’d be here all night. Not one of them writes the kinds of stories I write.

The reason why I’m writing romance is pretty clear. That’s what you do when you start writing fanfiction. Stories in fandom are stories about relationships.

But maybe these stories we write in fandom aren’t romance at all, or chick lit. Or any of those genres that are so familiar in mainstream fiction. After all, fanfic is transformative. It changes the text it’s based on, it challenges perceptions about how relationships work, both romantic and platonic. Heteronormative, serial monogamy is the exception in most parts of fandom writing.

Why am I trying to fit my writing into a pre-existing category now? Simple answer: Because I want to publish. The problem is, right now, while finishing off my manuscript edit, I’m starting to hate my characters, just like I’m hating the characters in One Fifth Avenue.

I don’t want to hate my characters. I want them to be as they were when I created them. They were different, the story was different from what one sees published. But what if I can’t sell that story? I’d love to have the recognition one gets from publishing through the established channels, I won’t lie. But can that happen, really, with my kind of story?

There’s no answer here, just lots of questions. This post wasn’t planned, it just happened. Stay tuned, maybe I’ll have an epiphany one day. Otherwise, come looking for me on AO3. At least I understand the rules over there, and I don’t hate my characters there, either.

A week of concrit

I had a few reviews on youwriteon.com, and that’s useful. But the big thing this week was the feedback I got from a fellow fanfic writer who is a professional editor and who has just found an agent for her own book. In short, I got professional constructive criticism on my first two chapters. Absolutely priceless, I’m so grateful! 🙂

This weekend is all about editing. I’m going to use the concrit I got to get the first three chapters up to scratch. By the end of Monday I want to send them out to some American friends for them to read the dialogue. Yes, I know, don’t let your friends edit your work. But that’s who I got right now. All I need from them is to help me make my famous American actor character sound less like a posh English schoolgirl. I guess we can manage that much.

And on to the edit

At this point I’m still enjoying my story. I’ve been told that’ll quickly change.

Today I sent the first two chapters to a professional editor who is looking them over for free. I also submitted the first three chapters to http://www.youwriteon.com/. Very curious to see what comes of these two things.

Now my brain is toast and I need to sleep for a week.