Hyker's Trail Mix

A place for you writers to complain about your writing and the writing process... maybe posting what you got done today to make you feel like less of a writing failure.

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Hyker's Trail Mix

Postby Hyker » Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:14 pm

Entry #1-

I will write at least 1500 words today. That is my goal, and I will reach it. Tomorrow I will begin looking for magazines that fit the short stories I have already finished and edited.

I wonder if it would be better for me to query for an article and THEN write the story to fit. I'm sure that would be the better route for acceptance, but it would hamper my creativity. I don't really want to become a non-fiction article writer, but if it opens doors by building a publishing history, it might be worth it. The way I've been doing it is like fishing with limited bait for VERY picky fish.
Last edited by Hyker on Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hyker's Trail to Becoming Published

Postby charlesp » Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:29 pm

Hyker wrote:I wonder if it would be better for me to query for an article and THEN write the story to fit. I'm sure that would be the better route for acceptance, but it would hamper my creativity. I don't really want to become a non-fiction article writer, but if it opens doors by building a publishing history, it might be worth it. The way I've been doing it is like fishing with limited bait for VERY picky fish.


There, as they say, is the rub. If you're writing fiction your metaphor is pretty accurate. I don't know that having published non-fic helps when trying to get fiction published, and I don't THINK that queries for fiction are a thing that's done... but I agree that it might hamper the creativity (though it MIGHT just motivate you to get something done you wouldn't otherwise).

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Postby Hyker » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:32 pm

I meant that I think it might be beneficial to write a few Non-fic articles to build up my resume (assuming they get published). It seems to me that it might be easier to fit a story into what a magazine wants if it is non-fic.
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Postby JillStar » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:35 pm

I think you're probably right Hyker. Most magazines contain non-fiction articles... at least the ones on the news stands here.

Hey... do they still call them news stands or am I getting old?
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Postby Mlou » Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:00 pm

Hyker, I have to confess a secret from my past. I don't believe I've ever written a query letter for an article. I wrote what interested me and searched out a mag. that I thought it fit. If it didn't go there, it eventually was taken somewhere else.
As long as you have a pretty good idea of the subject matter the mag prints, you won't look a newbie to send it there.
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Postby Hyker » Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:43 am

But were your articles non-fiction? Because I have been writing shorts that I thought would fit a certain mag (fiction) and I get rejections that tell me I don't fit their format.

I might just write a non-fiction article tha fits a mags format and submit it with a twist of fiction in it.
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Postby Hyker » Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:50 am

I will write another 1000 words tomorrow (it's Saturday).

I have been entertaining the idea of keeping a journal by my bed for some of the dreams I've been having lately. I wake up and think I've just dreamed the perfect story, and then I fall back asleep and forget what i dreamt.

It's late now so I will go read for a bit and then sleep on it...maybe I'll dream the next great american novel.
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Postby aexcite6 » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 am

dream stories are the best. care to share some?
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Postby TheMudge » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:57 am

Dream stories ARE great . . . they just tend to annoy the Lovely Mrs. Mudge when I turn on the light to write them down (and yeah, you need to turn on the light. I've tried not doing so. It was scary the next morning . . . What I'd written looked like a Rorshach Test . . .)

Oh, and BTW: Rah! Rah! Hyker!
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Postby Mlou » Sat Sep 25, 2004 9:30 am

Oh, Mudge...didn't you know? They make pens with tiny lights in the end, just enough light for the page you're writing on. My husband bought me some in self-defense!
Hyker, to me an "article" IS non fiction. But I have also sold some short stories cold to mags. without any query first. (The killer is that everytime I find such a mag...one that likes my stuff...they go belly-up after a while. Should I feel guilty???)
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Postby Hyker » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:08 am

Saturday-

It's 9 am and I had no dreams that I could remember last night, so I guess the muse-fairy didn't visit me.

While some of my dreams have actually led to stories, it seems like the excitement of the dream fades as I write it and I fail to finish the story. So partial dreams sit in my file waiting for a conclusion. Even in my sleep I procrastinate.

Mlou, yes, an article IS non-fiction. I don't want to get in trouble over semantics again. :lol: What would you suggest with all your experience? Write an article or story that interests me and then try to find a publication that fits? Or find a magazine that interests me and try to fit an article or story that fits the format? I think the latter is a better option, but one I haven't yet tried.

So, 1000 words today huh? OK...ready...go....
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Postby TheMudge » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:10 am

You do realize that blogs don't count, right?
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Postby Hyker » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:27 am

Poop. I knew someone would point that out to me sooner or later.

Fine, I will be back when I've actually done some work on my story.
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Postby TheMudge » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:31 am

We're waiting, patiently . . .

**taps foot, stares at ceiling, cracks knuckles**
"Throughout history, Truth and Love have always won." - M. Ghandi


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Postby Mlou » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:44 am

I'd say, if you find a mag that you want to write for and they cover subjects in at least one of which you have a passionate interest (not just a mild interest) then go for it. If not, write what you feel strongly about and THEN find the mag.
I guess the point is, it has to be something that really holds your own attention and curiosity, if it is to hold an editor's.
For an article, I used to write a piece about some simple thing and write all the odd, esoteric and off-beat things about it. Such light pieces almost always sold. I've written about umbrellas, canes, presidential inaugurations, love letters, mnemonics, you-name-it.
So, as Mudge rather imperiously says, we're waiting...
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Postby aexcite6 » Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:47 pm

thank you for visiting my homepage hyker :)

i'll be keeping an eye out for when the dream muse returns. i do understand about what happens when you try to get the story going. But for some reason it's just not as interesting on paper. whyyy? ;)
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Postby Hyker » Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:45 am

It was a great site and reminds me that I need to stop procrastinating and get a website going of my own soon.

I have a goal to finish my short story today. It's around 2400 words. Humor seems more difficult to write as quickly as other genres. Each sentence has to be meticulously worded or you'll lose the subtle humor.

I've tried just pushing through and going back to rewrite the humor, but it comes out sounding forced. So the trick is to make the story flow easily and sound like it just came off the top of your head and typed in less time than it takes to read, when in reality, I'm beating myself up over every word and it sometimes takes weeks to finish.

Any other humor writers out there? Am I alone in this?

Then there's the inevitable point where you let someone else read your work. It's best not to be around for this part because if the reader doesn't show signs of laughing (or at least smiling), you become preoccupied with finding the nearest ledge from which to hurl yourself. Luckily, I live in a ranch-style home so the window ledges are only four feet from the ground, but there's still the possibility of spraining an ankle.

Humor is so subjective. You either get it, or it falls flat. There's nothing worse than having someone return your story and say, "That was cute." CUTE?! Kittens are cute. And having your story compared to a small kitten is the worst kind of torture for a humor writer.

But for all the stories you agonize over, it's all worth it when someone reading your work actually laughs out loud. The sound is the best compliment an author could hear. That angelic noise is enough to get him to climb down from that ledge and keep him writing.

OK, I'm done procrastinating. gotta go finish this now. Wish me luck.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:07 am

But for all the stories you agonize over, it's all worth it when someone reading your work actually laughs out loud. The sound is the best compliment an author could hear. That angelic noise is enough to get him to climb down from that ledge and keep him writing.


For humor pieces yeah. For anything else laughter is probably not a response the writer was looking for. :D
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Postby Hyker » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:31 pm

Maybe that's why my two genres are humor and horror. If they don't laugh at the humor, I can easily play it off as something I meant to be frightening. :shock:
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:48 pm

...or ramblings from a psychotic writer :twisted:
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Postby Hyker » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:52 pm

Hi Kal
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"

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Postby Kal524 » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:58 pm

Then there's the inevitable point where you let someone else read your work. It's best not to be around for this part because if the reader doesn't show signs of laughing (or at least smiling), you become preoccupied with finding the nearest ledge from which to hurl yourself. Luckily, I live in a ranch-style home so the window ledges are only four feet from the ground, but there's still the possibility of spraining an ankle.
Ha! Hey Hyker… that’s really—cute! I liked it. It reminded me of a cute little kitten. So soft and cuddly and warm. Great.

By the way, I have two stories done so if you don’t get your 1500 words by tonight, dinner is on you!

Now that should get you motivated! :twisted: :D :lol:
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Postby Mlou » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:02 pm

Hi, Hyker! Yeah, count me in. I wrote a lot of humor for the Boston Herald...columns though, very little humorous fiction. In fact my one and only attempt at a novel has what I called "Interludes"...supposedly a humorous cop story written by one of my main characters. One of his chapters is interspersed here and there into the main story. But Hiss has been reviewing it for lo these many many weeks, so I figure it must be soooo bad that she's afraid to send it back to me. I did debate whether to include it or not. Ah, me!
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Postby Anblick » Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:00 pm

Hyker wrote:Maybe that's why my two genres are humor and horror. If they don't laugh at the humor, I can easily play it off as something I meant to be frightening. :shock:


Or vice versa, when they laugh at your horror story...
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Postby Hyker » Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:15 am

Finished the story and Kal and Cheese reviewed the first draft. Both laughed, which was encouraging--at first. But when the laughter didn't end, and Kal finally blurted out (through the tears in his eyes) "I...can't believe...you...want to...publish this! BWAAA HA HA HA HAAAA..." I never felt so defeated.

I'd rather settle for "That was cute."

Aw, what do those guys know about humor anyway?
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