Guess who made the Australian Writer’s Centre Furious Fiction Fan list?

Yep! Me! Got to admit that I’m pretty chuffed. Check out their page here: https://www.writerscentre.com.au/blog/10-out-of-10-meet-the-furious-fiction-superfans/ 

Sarah Jackson (Victoria)

Connect via sarahjacksonwriter.com

What attracted you to Furious Fiction?
I liked being part of a national project with other writers of similar background and experience.

What do you like best about participating in Furious Fiction?
I enjoy the writing exercise element of it. By writing to a strict word limit, and being given criteria to write on, it forces me to consider how I assemble a piece (structure/narrative flow), and what style and genre I use. Let’s face it, when I eventually get a publisher to accept my writing, I’m going to have to re-write great swathes of it to fit their expectations.

How have you managed to enter every month?
Planning and effort. Doesn’t matter what your job is, planning is essential if you wish to meet deadlines. And you need to make the effort. After all, you can’t win the lotto if you don’t buy a ticket.

Have you had any close calls?
Two. One month I was very sick and barely able to get out of bed, and on another occasion I had a lot of non-writing work on, and very little time. That’s were the “effort” part of the equation came into play.

Do you have tips for new Furious Fiction entrants?
Give it a go. It’s not hard, and it’s kind of fun to see what you can come up with.

Advertisements

The terrifying arrival of constructive feedback

I have recently embarked on writing horror (a genre I enjoy immensely – and yes I accept that it is most certainly not to everyone’s taste). I have been putting the feelers out by submitting two short stories to two different horror journals.

“Good start!” I hear you shout enthusiastically.

I was rejected by both.

“Never mind, Chin up.” I hear you say.

But…These weren’t standard rejections. I received comprehensive feedback and advice from both. It was terrifying. Both replies started with the standard “thanks but…”, and then went on to say that they liked a, b, c and d. Then suggested that I “need a little more here on e” and “f” needs rewriting (and what it needs)”.

I know, this is the advice you dream of, right? They didn’t have to give me anything other than the “no thanks”, but they did. I’m taking this to mean that they thought that I was worth the extra time and resources to steer me on the right path. I really appreciate it, but I’m filled with the type of fear I need my horror works to instil in others. What if I can’t do it? What if this is the best work I have in me? What if I change it, and it’s still wrong?. The self doubt monster is knocking on the door (and it’s a big, ugly bugger).

So, what am I going to do? Well, for a start an appreciative email response to both editors who took the time out to give me the advice, is in order. Then I’m going to download the advice, save it into the folders for each story, and leave it until the New Year (less than 4 weeks away). I need to think, reflect and plan what to do next. I also need to relax – I’m not on a deadline and it doesn’t matter a jot if I need to rewrite it 40 times before i hit the mark.

Still feeling daunted though 🙂

Christmas reading suggestions

Looking for something light/fun/seasonal to read over the Christmas break? Maybe one of these will appeal?

“For the Love of Christmas” by Kate Forster

Rating: ****

Genre: Fiction –  Chick Lit, Seasonal fiction

I love Christmas stories, and this Novella is a gem. A family must pull together emotionally after the loss of a baby boy, in order to rekindle their love for each other & the Christmas season.

“The 12 Slays of Christmas” by Abby L. Vandiver et al

Rating: ***1/2 

Genre:  Fiction –  Cosy Mystery/Christmas

I’m a bit of a fan of a Christmas story fan (particularly of mystery/thriller style story) so “The 12 Slays of Christmas” appealed to me as a great holiday reading prospect. I liked the variety of styles (all cosy to a greater or lesser extent), and over all the collection is pretty good. Some of the stories are cracking reads, some good, and others are just okay. Worth a look as its very Christmassy and not a huge financial outlay.

“A Chance this Christmas” by Joanne Rock

Rating: ***1/2 

Genre:  Fiction –  Romance/Christmas

Rachael must return to her home town, the 365 days a year Christmas Village of Yuletide, for a friend’s wedding. Knowing that she must confront her past, she is surprised to discover that she still has feelings for her old crush, Gavin. I must admit that I’m not usually a reader of romance novels and can’t make any judgement on how this book compares to others in the genre. I do, however, love a Christmas story, and am a big fan of the holiday read. I really enjoyed this book. It’s light, fun, and a little silly, but it’s a great holiday read. Enjoy it for what it is.