A Couple Of Questions Answered

So, the other day I asked if there was anything anyone would like to know.


The lovely and talented Sarah Hilary said:

Can you tell us a little about your writing plans for 2010, and maybe a top tip or two for subbing stories, as you’ve published in top venues like Smokelong? Thanks!

Writing plans are pretty much the same as ever. I want to write well. I want to write good stuff. I want to be published by good places. And I want people to enjoy my work. I have a nagging feeling that I want to write something longer, not novel length, but something that’ll be longer than the short stories I’ve been writing over this past few months. But stories are as long as they are so I’ll just have to see. I’d also like to enter more competitions. I think I’ve only ever entered three (short listed in one), so that’s a doable goal.

As far as subbing goes, I don’t think I do anything any differently to most other writers out there. I think the most important part of subbing anywhere comes before the subbing: it’s writing something good. Once I’ve got something I’m happy with I’ll have a look and see if I can find somewhere suitable. Then I simply follow the guidelines, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

And the very lovely and also talented Annie Clarkson said: I would like you to talk about how your own experiences inspire your fiction or not. Or how your fiction might have inspired your real life….

Err, good question. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where something’s happened and I’ve thought: Ooh I must write about that. Mostly, I just make stuff up. I think I’m a definite what if? writer. Actually I think that if I ever do experience something and want to write about it it’ll end up here on the blog.

And how does my fiction inspire my life? I’m not too sure that it does. I try, when I can, to keep the two things separate though I’m sure that, in some way, they both influence each other.

There. That was fun. If anyone else has anything they’d like to ask then do leave a comment. I always aim to please.

4 Comments on “A Couple Of Questions Answered

  1.  by  Rachel Fenton

    Hey Nik – great Qs, I always like knowing what an author thinks about the writing process, or indeed anything a writer has to say….Here's my Q, though I may think of a better one later:do you sit down to write a story, no matter what or do you wait for a story to come to you and then sit down to it?

  2.  by  Sarah Hilary

    Thanks, Nik! It's interesting what you say about a story being as long as it is, because it's such an easy criticism to fling at short stories (and flash fiction especially) – that "it feels like part of a longer piece". Sometimes, perhaps this is true, but often I think it's just how we're conditioned to expect a certain length and, to an extent, how we're conditioned to read (expecting less of a collaboration with the writer in terms of what we bring to the party). I'm very glad to see you saying that stories are as long as they are – short ones, especially. How hasn't read a novel that was "too long"!!Also, you should definitely enter more contests because your stories would ace in them.

  3.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks for your questions.Sarah – I couldn't agree more – and I'm happy that I'm not the only one who thinks this (I knew I wasn't, but still…). Thing is, stories are what they are and we try to make them fit, by making them longer for example, they end up being not as good and lose something. What I do think though is that often times when people say they could be longer it's perhaps because they've enjoyed them, which is no bad thing; and the characters in shorts DO exist beyond the end…

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