Writing Again

Now that “every day is Saturday” and I have recovered almost 100% from my surgery in December, I find that I have the time to really concentrate on my writing. So I pulled out the three novels in process (1 mystery, 2 YA fantasies), read them and determined which to work on. The mystery is only 3 chapters in and the others are much farther along. So I am working on the fantasies.

My zombie story has 13 chapters of 25 completed and the other fantasy, which I don’t know how to characterize (a journey of discovery, maybe), has 9 of 15 chapters completed. So I have plotted out both of these books to get them completed. My goal is to finish them, at least the first draft, before we move in the spring. Both are pretty far along, so it seems possible.

Of course, I am a Pantser, not an Outliner, so my idea of plotting is to write a brief statement/paragraph as to what I want to happen in the chapter. I also have to go back and add to some of the chapters or combine two chapters into one on both books. When I wrote them originally, I determined what was in a chapter, it seems, arbitrarily. Some chapters are 4 pages long while some are 20 pages. I’m not 100% sure but chapters for YA seem shorter than in other genres, so 15 to 20 pages seems reasonable. But that is something I can do in the first editing stage.

Anyway, I am excited to be writing again!

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Pen Names

I recently joined the Guppies chapter of Sister In Crime. I have always felt that I should have different pen names for different genres. And after reading the blog posts of the Guppies, that has been reinforced. I always understood that pen names help to prevent reader confusion – expecting their author’s new book to be a romance but it’s a Sci-Fi – but it also helps with Amazon’s algorithims to make sure the book is marketed correctly.

So, even though I haven’t been published yet, I did more research on names. I made some changes from what I had previously decided to do. I know it’s kind of a cart before the horse type of thing, but it does have a purpose at this point – I have been submitting short stories like crazy and when you submit them, you have to tell them what name to use, if they choose to publish.

For Mystery/Crime stories I will use SE Knight. Horror/Sci-Fi will be SJE Knight. For YA/Paranormal/Fantasy my pen name will be Syl Knight. I even submitted some literary stories and chose Suze Knight.

This is a little different than the business cards I had printed ages ago and even from the tag line on this website which says website for Syl E Knight. But each of the names are a variation of that name, so it makes sense. All are also variations of my maiden name which is what I wanted to write under, but there is already a Sylvia Knight published, so I had to get creative.

I would love some feedback on the pen names that I have chosen. Too similar? I am especially unsure about the Horror/Sci-Fi name.

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After CrimeBake

I’m home now after a wonderful Crime Bake. I truly enjoyed Ann Cleeves as the Guest of Honor. She was a joy to listen to and had wonderful tidbits of advice based on hard earned knowledge and experience. Between Ann (one of my favorite Guests of Honor, second only to Craig Johnson) and the connections I made at this conference, I came away with a new enthusiasm for my writing and a determination to get it moving.

Though, to be honest, I was already enthused prior to Crime Bake because I submitted a number of short stories to a couple magazines and to Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition. And I have a few more to send to other contests or publications.

Now that I have been laid off from my full time job, I foresee having the time to concentrate on my writing. (See the silver lining around that cloud?)

As I  get more active in my writing, I expect to also start posting more comments. So expect to hear more from me soon.

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At New England Crime Bake 2019

Went to two Masters classes yesterday. One by Ann Cleeves – the guest of honor this year about setting and a second by Bruce Robert Coffin about getting it real – police procedures, DNA, etc. Both were great: informative and entertaining.

Today I went to a number of panels and enjoyed them and the lunchtime interview with Ann Cleeves. I like her very much.

I really enjoyed the panel on writing a series that lasts. I picked up quite a bit that will come in handy if my Slacksville story takes off.

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Crime Bake 2018

On November 9th I went to N E Crime Bake 2018. I had a great time, met some wonderful authors and took some interesting Master Classes. Each year I come home so enthused about my writing and determined to get things accomplished. Toward that end I am currently reading “Write Smart Write Happy” by Cheryl St John and I think it will help me. I’m learning some great techniques to get organized and set goals. I am determined to get published within the next 12 months!

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2017 Al Blanchard Award Honorable Mention

I was a finalist for the 2017 Al Blanchard Award for my story, “The Case of the Lethal Liqueur” and was awarded an Honorable Mention at Crimebake this past weekend. Here are some pictures.

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