Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Articles of Interest

There were several interesting, entertaining and informative articles in the latest magazines from the BSFA. One I found particularly interesting was an interview with Jo Fletcher from Gollancz. It gave a real insight into the publishing world, and the difficulties faced by new authors. Certainly food for thought! Another useful article on agents discussed whether you really need one – the answer to which generally is Yes – and how to go about getting yourself an agent. Both articles are essential reading for budding authors.

The third article I took note of discussed reviewing and critiquing, and quotes Kames Blish as saying: “a good critic… is positively obliged to be harsh towards bad work.”

I don’t like being harsh in my reviews. My aim is to provide feedback, an independent opinion, publicity for the magazine, maybe some satisfaction for the underappreciated authors. If that means I’m not a good critic, I can live with it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

End of the Road

I stayed up ridiculously late on Saturday while I was on a roll, writing 4,000 words of Roadbuilder, the fifth and final installment in the Roadmaker saga. I've never written that much in a day before. I'm really pleased with the conclusion, an emotional end to what has been a very enjoyable project. Of course I still have to go back and check through it again, but that won't be 'til next week.

On checking my master spreadsheet of everything to do with writing, I noted that my short stories have now topped 100,000 words. I was quite impressed with myself.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Flash Fiction: Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo
By Gareth D Jones

This story now appears in the Illuminations anthology.

To commemorate the birth of my new baby girl I proposed the theme 'The New Arrival' for this week's Flash Fiction. It looks like most of the others didn't see my message though. Must find some way to communicate efficiently across the planet. Ideas, anyone?

Friday Flash Fictioneers Take Over the World

Well, that's a slight exageration. I received the latest mailing from the BSFA, including their three magazines, Matrix, Vector and Focus, and the Fictioneers are well represented.

Martin McGrath is one of the editors, and also wrote a couple of articles. There's an article and reviews from Paul Raven and poetry from Gareth L Powell.

That just leave the rest of the world for us to conquer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Favourable Comments

A brief trawl through the webs this week dug up some nice comments on recent stories.

FreeSF gives Inside Every Successful Man '4 out of 5'. There are no other comments, but I'm happy with that score.

Regarding Looking In, Looking Out in Murky Depths #1, one comment on their forum says:

Gareth D Jones’ Looking In, Looking Out nearly made me cry. Which was the last thing I expected from a double page, diary-style piece, told from the dispassionate and innocent viewpoint of an alien, that can’t have been more than a few hundred words. I read it on the bus and hastily had to pull myself together for fear of losing face in front of the village school kids. It’s not what he says, it's what he doesn’t.

While over on SFRevu they say:

The first prose story is "Looking In, Looking Out" by Gareth D. Jones and is one of the best in the issue. An alien intelligence makes contact with an unborn child. Its observations make for a very good short-short story.

Significant Figures

I received from my bank a notification of the mony transfer from Cosmos for A Few Good Men - my first professional payment. I shall keep it in the hopes that one day I'll have an office wall on which to hang it in a frame.

Meanwhile I realised that with the two stories noted yesterday I have reached my target of 12 story publications this year, an avearge of 1 a month! With two stories still due to appear on Efimeras by the end of the year and three more stories confirmed already for next year, things are looking good. :o)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Absolute Zero

My hard SF story Absolute Zero has appeared in the Greek magazine Ennea, or 9, the weekly supplement of one of Greece's major daily newspapers Eleftherotypia. The magazine apparently has a circulation of 200,000, making this probably my most widely read story.

This is the first time one of my stories has appeared in translation before it has in English, and is also the first paying foreign market to accept one of my stories.

Inside Every Succesfull Man

Issue 28 of Hub magazine contains my story Inside Every Successful Man. Slight delay on my blog in noting this as I've been rather busy for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Longest Tale

After several weeks I have come to the end of The Journey Within, my Victorian adventure. It's finished up at 10,700 words, thousands longer than any other individual story I've written. In fact, it qualifies as a novelette.

It's the most heavily revised story I've written too. I reached 7,000 words before I noticed a fatal flaw in the plot and went back to the begining to edit it. Halfway through that edit I realised that with the change in emphasis, other parts of the plot were now not as convincing, so I went back to the begining again. Having got almost through the whole thing the second time I decided to change the location and went back to edit it all again.

I finaly persevered to the end, and I'm very pleased with the result. I'm leaving it a week or so to brew before I go back to review it, when I'm sure I'll find lots more editing to do. With a story that long there's got to be lots of room for deletions!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Second Collaborative Story

It's a whole year since the launch of my first collaborative project that resulted in last months publication of The Blind Collaborators. After receiving much critical acclaim I have now launched the second collaborative story project.

It will again be set on board the orbital habitat Astropolis and will be written with up to half a dozen other authors, none of whom will know the ultimate aim of the story until after it is complete.

I'm really looking forward to seeing who joins up and what they produce.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Flash Fiction: The Alliterati

The Alliterati
By Gareth D Jones

This story now appears in the Illuminations anthology.

Almost all of the other Fictioneers have posted before me this week, and new inductee Dan Fawley joins us this week too.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Submitting to the Right Market

While looking at some information on Duotropes I was shocked to read that on average only 25% of stories submitted follow the submission guidelines and even less have been formatted properly.

Why would a writer do that? Why make a tough job even more difficult? Especially as response times sometimes drag on for months, you really don’t want to waste your time sending a story to an inappropriate market.

Of course you don’t have the time or money to read a copy of every magazine you might ever submit to, but it doesn’t take long to read their submission guidelines and see what they do and don’t like.

If you’re an aspiring writer, do yourself a favour and concentrate your efforts where it will do some good!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Orbital 2008

Today I signed up to attend Orbital - the 2008 Eastercon. I'm member 737, which is almost 100 more than last year when I signed up on the day, so it looks to be a busy convention this time. It's held over the bank holiday weekend in April next year, and I'm looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the Friday Flash Fictioneers, among others.