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making original fiction

One goal I've set myself for this year (apart from getting into a PhD program) is publishing something. There are two options: my major research paper on Harry Potter or one of my stories. I've been readying both for publishing, and to be honest, while I have a few stories all ready to send out, I'm still too terrified to take that next step. I would freely send out my research paper, but can't do it with a story.

Why am I like this? It doesn't make any sense at all.

The problem is that I don't really know where to start. I've found journals like "The New Quarterley", which publishes new Canadian authors, but it seems so general. There are places for SF and Fantasy, but I don't think my stories are really genre pieces - once the fanfiction is taken out of them, there's no fantasy left. Then there are places for "experimental" fiction. Other than asking "what does that mean?", am I experimental enough for a journal like that?

Where does one usually go to publish things? People talk about it on HPFF, yet this next step is something that hasn't really been explained. Somewhere in the notes I have for the creative writing class I took there's a list of places to go, but that'd be three years out-of-date by now.

Not knowing what to do is a fantastic excuse for just not having the confidence to send anything out.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Feb, 2010 06:34 (UTC)
You can do it!
Well you can ask authors, or your professors for advice :). I find that authors love answering writing questions so I think that would be very helpful. Some other people may have already asked the question and you could check out the FAQ section of an author's site. You can do it Susan! I know you can ^_^.
17th Feb, 2010 04:43 (UTC)
Re: You can do it!
I've been looking at author's websites and seeing where they've posted things. One of my professors is a pretty active short story writer, so I've been stalking his publications too. There seem to be thousands to choose from, and maybe that daunts me too. :/

Thanks! *crosses fingers* Hopefully something comes of this!
11th Feb, 2010 11:15 (UTC)
Susan I'm so confident you can get something published :O your work is amazing! I really hope you reach your goal - I'll be cheering for you! :D
17th Feb, 2010 04:43 (UTC)
*huggles* Thanks, niika. My stories never seem as good as others I've seen, especially when browsing through some of these magazines. >< Oh well, just have to hope for the best, right? ^_^
(Deleted comment)
17th Feb, 2010 04:49 (UTC)
I'm not at the book stage yet, though I guess I will be sooner or later. JKR's story is definitely an inspiring one to follow, though I don't know if I've got that much determination. :P

As per your advice, I've started looking through US publications too - it's definitely broadened my scope a lot. Wow! There are so many to choose from, but you know, it's not as hard as I thought to pinpoint ones that I'd be interested in trying out - just how they word their submission pages and the look of their website lets me know if it's for me or not.

The thing I'm trying to do is come up with my own fantasy world apart from the Potterverse, and that's more difficult than I imagined. It's working for one story idea I have (about time travel), but with some of the ones I've "translated", they become plain literary fiction, which I don't mind at all. I think I'm more surprised that I can write good mainstream lit than fantasy. XD

And you're awesome, Rena. Writing an original novel is still just out of my line of sight, but honestly, I'd love it if you bought it and did PR! *huggles*
12th Feb, 2010 18:11 (UTC)
I think you'll do really well with the transition from fanfic to original fiction. You definitely have the ability to spin out a plot and develop a character. The biggest challenge for me has been creating a setting, there is a lot of shorthand you can fall back on in fanfiction when the setting has already been established for you. It's true that writing equals a lot of rejection so don't be discouraged if it takes a while.
17th Feb, 2010 04:51 (UTC)
It's the setting that is difficult for me as well, especially in creating my own fantasy world that isn't a pale shadow of the Potterverse. After writing fanfiction for so long, I'd forgotten how much of a crutch there was in writing in a pre-established world.

The idea of rejection is a hard one to get around, but from the statistics, everyone, no matter how good they are, gets rejected a few times, so it can't be the end of the world, right?

Thank you for the support! ^_^
22nd Feb, 2010 05:22 (UTC)
You should do this! Because then I could go buy your book of awesomeness and be like, 'I KNOW THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS!'

But I really think you should just go for it. Or even ask someone like a parent or trusted friend to send copies out for you. This is something I've always dreamed of doing and the fact that you actually have things written to be able to have a chance at having something published is already amazing in itself.

I think one thing you should do (if you haven't already) is to research different publishing companies. Make a list of the ones that you really like and work from there. There's always that chance that they may or may not like your book, but it's certainly a start and you can only go up from there. Good luck! I hope to see something from you soon :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )