One of the key reasons I ended up writing fiction was because I put my writing online where it was easily accessible and could be organized.
In 2005 I wrote a poem I wanted to keep, and because we have a vacation home and I work as a computer software engineer, I had -- and still have -- multiple computers in my life. I put my poems up online, with the help of one of my kids. Then, that December, I came across a poetry contest in an ezine I was fond of. All my kids were out, and I had the computer to myself. I grabbed the poem and submitted it, and to my surprise it was a finalist. I didn't win, but I believe in playing the odds. I joined a couple of online communities and began to work at my writing.
But none of that would have happened without organization.
In one of the communities, I heard of a free online writers' conference, The Muse Online Writers Conference.There I "met" Linda Barnett Johnson and joined her writing forums. Because Linda required it, I started writing fiction. My first story was for kids, and it found a home online. I didn't have another story accepted for a long time, but I was hooked anyway, and continued to write fiction.
Then one weekend, remembering a tragic fire that had claimed the lives of a friend's wife and kids, I wrote a chapter book about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire. I spent the next two or so years learning enough to make it publishable. It's due out next year.
I'm a huge science fiction fan and have read the genre voraciously for years, but had never, up until 2010, written any myself. In order to overcome what I viewed as my phobia about world-building, I decided to do NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) 2010. This was in late September, and I spent the next six weeks in getting organized: world building and a very rough couple of pages on my story. The notes were rough, and some things changed, but I did have the conflict, both external and internal, bright and dark moments, character change, obstacle, conflict resolution, and the like. I had notes -- less than a page -- about the plot. But I did have the bones of the story and where it was headed.
There is a clear tradeoff between planning and revision: more of the former, less of the latter -- but I'm not much of a plotter, and time was short. I wrote the novel in a month and then spent the next six or seven months revising it. I doubt I'll ever get to the point where I have a really detailed scene-by-scene outline, but I do a bit more planning, and stick to the plan a bit more, with each novel I write.
Genre: Tween/YA sci fi
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Number of pages:155
Word Count: 51272
About the Author:
Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. Daughter of a painter, she is the mother of three grown sons and an accomplished flute and piccolo player. She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. She lives in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and a large number of dogs. Her poems, articles and stories have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Melusine, Front Range Review, Umbrella Journal and All Rights Reserved. In spite of making her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to format the initial version of her website, a clear illustration of the computer generation gap. Her book, "Relocated," was released by MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy," will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013.
You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com