Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From the Personal Blog of Cheryl Moore...

Chronology of Enderverse stories, showing wher...Image via Wikipedia
Entering the World of Unbound Boxes Limping Gods...

Micro story creation: Sharing with others

Monday 25th July 2011

In April 2009, I had finished my fourth novel, and a rather bad relationship. My ultra critical and socially challenged ex partner had quite rightly pointed out that it was fine to write novels, but that my 'hobby' wasn't getting me anywhere. In his opinion writing was pointless without a readership! I partially agreed with him, but fortunately for me, our relationship disintegrated further, I turned him into one of my characters and we parted company. This sounds rather mean, but this was not a positive and encouraging sort of guy. Self esteem semi-intact, I was set for war, to prove him wrong about so many things. Writing is not just a hobby to me. I may not be a 'raging beauty' (He seriously said that!) but writing is what I do best. I can't cook or perform magic, but I want people to read my novels. I want people to know this world exists and to fall in love with my characters as much as I have.          

      So to get feedback on the first few chapters of Unbound Boxes Limping Gods, (my first novel in the series) I did something very brave. (For me) I joined a critique group, (The Cola Factory, based in London. Headed by Michaela Statton.) Real life writers constructively criticised. I'd also joined an online group of writers, formed by Justine Marie Hedman. I met some fantastic writers who I remain friends with to this day. They read, they encouraged, and constructively criticised. I began to feel that my writing did have worth in the literary world. This was the beginning of my opening up these stories to other people. No one apart from a few close friends had read my work before, (my ex wasn't one of them!)

     After getting affirmation that it wasn't just a 'hobby' and people actually wanted to read my work, I decided that it's easy to get feedback for accessible mediums like music and poetry and short stories, but reading a whole novel takes time. I was in a predicament. I had written a long line of novels, but no short stories, had no publications to my name, no editor or agent. If I wanted to seriously take those first steps to getting my novel published I had to think of alternatives to simply approaching a publisher, dressed in my writerly birthday suit. So, I thought about my characters, about the stories in the background, in the sub plot, in their past, about things which happened in the character's lives, before the novels were set. After a while the very first micro story was written and illustrated. My interpretation of a 'fragment' from my novels, became easily accessible to people, gave them a taste of what my world is about. I've now completed 19 micro stories, have submitted to a publisher for novel one, (still waiting for the decision) and have written two steampunk short stories for an ezine, due out in September.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to think these steps are enough to magically conjure a publishing contract, but reality and magic seem to mix together when you spend most of your time in fiction. One thing I know is that whatever happens in the publishing world, writing good quality stories, submitting, taking rejection and being stubborn are a cocktail of ingredients you should never be without. Whatever happens in reality, this world is now living outside my head. It's something I can share with you. You are very welcome to come with me as I continue writing. One day, hopefully not too far in the future, you'll be able to read my first novel. The place these characters call home.

    Thanks to everyone, past present and future, who make these stories more than just a 'hobby.'

Reprinted with permission
by Cheryl Moore

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Cheryl, my questions:

    Soooo, which character represents your Ex!??? LOL

    The flow chart I found seemed to fit how often readers are able to move online from character to story to other stories...But, really, how do you keep everything straight? Do you use outlines, flowcharts like this one...or is it just like keeping track of your family and their activities?

    Do your characters age? Just out of curiosity, since I'm just getting into a little bit of everything!

  2. Hi Glenda, lol, this ex is a character called Yuri, but you won't find him in any of the short stories. He appears in the third book. There are a lot of hidden characters who I'm not introducing in the short stories, and he's one of them!

    In terms of the timeline, it's more like the third description. I know them like they're part of my own family. I know when and where they were born and who's connected to whom. I do keep notes though, and check consistency and continuity as it's so essential. When I'm editing there have been errors which I've corrected, but usually I have lists of dates to check everything's right!

    Some of the characters age, others don't. There are various reasons, mostly to do with the story arc in the novels, so I don't want to give too much away in the short stories.

  3. Your flow chart reminded me of one we used in a writing exercise at our writers group. I know what you mean about it being easier to find someone to read a story rather than a novel, and reading a chapter at a time just isn't the same.

    Thank you for being so encouraging.

  4. Sheila, I often have 2 or 3 books going, one might be an e-book which I'm reading on the computer or Kindle while one is a printed novel, and another might be an anthology or nonfiction. I'm reading an anthology on fate right now...sometimes the stories are so emotional that I stop immediately afterward and sometimes I'll go on for one or two. I read these while having my morning tea. When I read nonfiction, I read by chapter and highlight. Since I normally read nonfiction much slower, because I'm learning something new oftentimes, reading a chapter or two helps me absorb and stay fresher as a reader. It's the novels that are hard to read a chapter at a time. If one has really captured me and pulled me into the story, which many do(!), then I find I just keep reading that one until I finish...but I always mark/make notes in order to go back and write the review...

    Thanks for commenting!