Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

WIP Update – Jan 2015

with 9 comments


It has been a while since my last work in progress update. That’s because, although I have been writing, I have nothing to report.


On short stories:

All short story competition entries last year resulted in nothing. No magazines accepted any stories either, although I received letters from a few editors, saying, ‘We look forward to reading more of your work.’ I expect they say that to everyone. How many times do you approach the same magazine before giving up?


On the manuscript I thought was ready:

Having learnt that submission to more than one agent at a time is assumed and expected, I sent my book to be perused by three at the start of November. I had planned to send the manuscript on a rolling basis, maybe to three agents a month, until someone said they wanted to read more.

I also sent the first three chapters to a couple of fellow writers who I met at a conference in September. Their comments prevented me sending the manuscript to anyone else. There isn’t enough oomph in my story. I knew from talking with an agent at the same September conference that my story didn’t have a USP. With the help of my new writer friends, both of whose opening chapters are far better than mine, I might have found the book’s quite-interesting selling point. I need to start back at the beginning. I think the middle and end will stay much as they are, but the outset needs beefing up.


On new ideas:

There are far too many of those. I wrote 51000-words during November as part of NaNoWriMo. This was my first attempt and I didn’t expect to be able to write that much. It was an interesting process to put everything else aside and concentrate on one thing. I learnt I’m a pantser rather than a planner. I have 51000-words of a story about a therapist who counsels young people and suffers burnout because of the things he hears. It’s his story of recovery as well as those of the students he sees. It is a framework from which to build, and needs a lot of cladding as well as the incorporation of research.

Since the beginning of the year I have been working on another new character’s story, which I drafted during two nights of insomnia over the Christmas break. I have a real feel for this one, but that might be just because it’s fresh and new.


On self-publishing:

I will publish the writings based on the diaries written when I first moved onto a boat many years ago. This was in the process of being edited towards the end of last year and was ¾ of the way completed before NaNoWriMo happened and then 1st December crashed into Christmas. I’m not saying when, because I’m useless with deadlines, but it will happen this year.


Written by Sarah Ann

January 19, 2015 at 11:31 am

9 Responses

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  1. Sounds like you have a lot to report. Sounds like you have a lot of finished material, which is something I can only envy!

    Keep up the work, persistence and constant improvement pays out in the end.


    January 19, 2015 at 11:48 am

  2. I’m not sure reporting lack of success is good 🙂 I probably have too many irons in the fire – can’t settle to anything for too long as get bored/ bogged down and never finish anything completely. But I take heart from persistence and improvement paying off – I’m holding you to that 🙂 Thanks for the read and comment.

    Sarah Ann

    January 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm

  3. Agreed so much on your plate and so much accomplished – I’m here (Obviously) if you would like any help with anything, if I can be of help that is lol. I do totally understand about the being bored thing though, I have a few things which will never see the light of day. Take care, don’t burn out! I sent my manuscript to possibly 15 publishers. Your short stories, I’d reply saying if you are looking there any chance of being published? Be a little more bold and brazen, can’t hurt. 😊 xx


    January 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    • Ooooh, don’t offer to help, I might just send you something. I like your brazen attitude, but I think that’s the difference between us reserved Poms and you more open and up front Aussies. 🙂 Having focused on writing for a while, and done some reading of others, I can see where my ms as originally penned was lacking. I just wish I could say I was looking forward to the re-write! Although, I think I probably am. It’s time to whip it into shape. S x

      Sarah Ann

      January 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm

  4. You’ve got a lot of writing going on! The 51,000 words for NaNoWriMo is impressive!


    January 20, 2015 at 4:07 am

    • Thanks Janna. I have so much going on that I haven’t got round to reading all your recent posts – I’m slapping my own wrist for my bad behaviour. Hope to be back to a normal routine soon. Can’t believe it’s taking so long to get myself organised. 51k words in a month was unexpected, but it did mean other things got neglected, which is possibly why I’m chasing my tail now.

      Sarah Ann

      January 20, 2015 at 9:13 pm

  5. That is a lot of writing! And now, I have an inferiority complex! 😉 Good going and good luck 🙂

    Shailaja/ The Moving Quill

    January 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    • You mustn’t develop an inferiority complex! It might sound like a lot of writing, but let’s see if I ever get anything finished. I have lots of ideas – probably too many than are good for me – but they don’t necessarily make it. 🙂 Thanks for the encouraging comment. I’m still going at the moment.

      Sarah Ann

      January 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

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