I have to keep reminding myself it’s OK not to be writing lots of new fiction because I’m studying full time, while working full time. So here's what I've done so far this year under a few broad headings.
Liam Livings Writing
- First draft of Two Big Ifs – aka Hacienda Story – which came out at 62,000 words.
- First chapter and synopsis of the m/f women’s fiction story – which was about 5000 words in total.
- Short story for a writing competition entry – 2500 words. Even if it disappears without a trace in this competition, which I fully expect, it’s been a great exercise in writing to deadline, writing to word limit, and it’s also given me some great characters I fully intend to write about in a novel.
- Self-edited, submitted a novel and synopsis to a publisher. It was rejected, but the rejection was the nicest one I’ve ever received. They like my writing style and want to receive more of my work, but the one I submitted wasn’t for them [insert long list of reasons why!] This was very helpful, and certainly much more than the ‘thanks but no thanks’ I received from another publisher.
I’ve written, for a client, the first half of their memoir – which came out at 38,000 words (it’s with the client for comments and then I will continue with the second half of their story) This involved about 14 hours of recorded phone interviews which I transcribed and structured into the three act story structure.
MA in Creative Writing - studying
I’ve written, self-edited and submitted and had marks back from the first 4 modules of the MA in creative writing. I’m pleased to say I’ve had confirmation that I’ve passed these and am now able to proceed to the final term and assignment, which is the dissertation, over summer. Before submitting the assignments, during the 2 terms, I read weekly lecture materials or watched videos of lectures posted online, read assigned texts. I followed a weekly schedule of post work / comment on others’ work for feedback between the other students and tutors on the course. The four assignments I’ve completed are:
- A 3000 word critical essay in which I compared the portrayal of the heroes in a gay romance about a bodyguard and a straight romance about a bodyguard. In both stories the bodyguard fell in love with the person he was guarding.
- 5000 word start of a novel.
- A portfolio of writing exercises – 3 poems (an ode, a villanelle and an unstructured poem), 8 pages of a play and 2000 words of life writing.
- The 5000 word start of a novel.
I’ve read and made notes on (things I liked / disliked, techniques I wanted to learn from about the writing etc) on 17 books.
- Organised a write in at my local library for the local writers group I help run with two other published authors.
- Delivered a few talks on craft at the above group.
- Delivered a talk at the RNA London Chapter on marketing for authors.
- Supporting UK Meet by doing the panel beating and liaison of the two excellent keynote speakers. I firmly believe in this event because it’s the only space in the UK where readers, writers, bloggers and publishers of GLBTQ fiction all come together. There are events in America for romance readers to connect with authors in the wider romance genre. There are also events in America for authors and readers of mainly gay or male male romance.
What do I have planned for the rest of 2016?
- Finishing my MA – dissertation of 15,000 words of fiction (the start of a novel) plus a 3000 word reflective essay on my process for writing the fiction, books, articles, techniques I’ve been impressed by that have influenced and helped how I’ve written it.
- Finishing the memoir for the client – it’s planned to be approximately 75,000 words in total as a full manuscript.
- Self-edit, send to beta readers, polish some more and then submit some of the six work in progress novels I’ve written needing various amounts of work.
- Write a gay romance Christmas novel, the rest of the m/f romance, and the rest of the gay romance story I submitted for the competition.
- Finish reading and writing a report on the RNA NWS manuscript I’ve been allocated, and take on another 2-3 manuscripts.
- Build my author services work – ghost writing, marketing support for authors and manuscript appraisals.
Liam Livings xxx