January 4, 2009

WRITING ADVICE: Lin Oliver – Set Goals With Deadlines

(For all of my WRITING ADVICE, go right to Labels and click on WRITING ADVICE...)

No truer words were ever spoken – again, and again, and again. This is because I need to hear it again, and again, and again!

I’ve been published (look to your right for a partial list), but I need to be continually reminded that I have to set goals for myself. For example, this morning I finished Draft # 2 of my YA novel, VICTORY OF FISTS. I’m following the advice of one of the few articles I saw in THE WRITER that I took to heart and became part of my writing canon. (January 2006, “Get your novel written in 3 drafts” by Kelly Jones-Enger, referenced here http://faithandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2008/10/writing-advice-first-report-on-flash.html ). I approached the agent who sparked the novel and was horrified when he referred to it as “FIGHT CLUB for YA”. I wanted to scream. So in “The big cleanup”, I’ve rewritten the first chapter to emphasize my main character’s struggle: to transform his fighting rage into poetry as Muhammed Ali, King David and Sri Aurobindo did.

My deadline for submitting a complete MS to either an agent or editor is January 31 – and YES, I know the publishing industry is in free fall, but someone will be publishing books in the next two years and I might as well be one of the ones published, right? The deadline for submitting my adult SF novel, INVADER’S GUILT to an editor or agent, is May 31, 2009.

At any rate, I also maintain goals for this blog: publish something every Thursday and Sunday. My “flash-fiction” pieces (THREAT, THIRTEEN and HEIRS) are all explorations of worlds I’ve created and practice in, developing character and setting. Once I am finished with the third draft of VICTORY and INVADER’S, I will pull all of the HEIRS pieces off the blog and begin the YA novel of the same name. I’ll begin a new set of flash-fiction pieces called THE RECONSTRUCTION OF MAI LI HASTINGS with the view of writing that novel…well, you get the idea.

Lin pointed out that for her, GOALS = dreams + deadlines. I agree. My dream has been to get published and with the deadlines above and ones still to come, my goals will be met!

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