Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘#amwriting

#amwriting – Agents, here I come.

with 2 comments

My novel to pitch is now with eight agents. While I hoped this would take a day, it took two, as submissions were adjusted to meet agency specific requirements. Some require a query letter instead of a cover letter and synopsis. Most want the first three chapters as attachments, although one preferred the first chapter pasted into the body of an email. And there are agents who want submissions via hardcopy only, which I will approach once I have a new toner cartridge for my printer.

I realise submitting to agents should be an ongoing process until I find representation. However, it has been an energy-sapping couple of days and I am looking forward to writing again without strictures.


Priorities for the next fortnight: edit and write short stories based on friend’s picture prompts; prepare more agent submissions.

Ongoing projects successfully met: novel has been submitted; Friday Fictioneer stories have been posted regularly; piano practice has taken place; crochet projects have been completed.

Ongoing projects partially met: blog posts about writing and progress have been sporadic; blog reading is improving.

Ongoing project fails: learning Italian has taken a back seat.



Written by Sarah Ann

April 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

A mixed bag

with 5 comments

Writing progress has been made of sorts. After writing 1000 words of a new short story and feeling very pleased with myself, I roughed out a second half on paper and then typed it in. However, marrying the two together hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not sure about the ending. I keep reminding myself that the deadline is 13th February so I have plenty of time, but I know I don’t. If I want to get it finished and leave it a while before editing, then I need to get on with it.

On the plus side, I did start to write a story based on my friend Jan’s picture of two men on a bench. This has been on my list of jobs to do since the beginning of the year and was facilitated by a train journey to London. After a break of possibly two years, and at least 18-months, I had lunch on Tuesday with a couple of women I met on a writing course in the autumn of 2014. One of these now has an agent for the book she was writing at that time, but has since largely re-written, and we heard how friends and acquaintances helped in that process. The other has ditched the book she was writing when we met, the cathartic one she needed to write, and started afresh, and we were all excited by her new departure. Only I have not developed my book of the time, it having been re-drafted but still sitting waiting for the re-read that will determine if I continue to pursue its life or decide it was my cathartic book and needs to be laid to rest.

Lack of routine has always been an issue for me getting around to writing. I had pencilled in Thursday to be my writing day, as currently have no clients booked on Thursdays. However, my hours at work have increased and I worked 10am to 6.30pm on Wednesday, which meant I spent Thursday writing up reports. I am sure that when I get used to my new client list, I will find the pockets of time free to write, but even fashioning a daily haiku has been a struggle this week.


Priorities for the coming fortnight: knit the putative halves of my short story together; type in and finish my men-on-bench-picture-inspired story; blog my progress.

Ongoing life goals slowly being achieved: I have leant a bit more Italian and emailed an Italian colleague mostly in Italian; I have completed my first piece of crochet and gifted it to the aunt to whom I made the promise to learn.

Fails: there’s been no piano practice; I’m still putting off reading my novel, the excuse being I need to get these short stories written first; I haven’t upped my reading of other’s blogs.


Written by Sarah Ann

January 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

And she’s off

with 3 comments

This morning I wrote 1000 words of a new short story. The incentive is a competition with a deadline of 13th February 2017. There is no theme and no chance of me winning. However, I am still committed to writing upto 2000 words and sending them off. Procrastination is my greatest problem, ideas float around in my head and there is always some reason, usually something inconsequential like housework, that prevents me writing. In this instance I had a vague idea on Monday, scribbled on some paper on Tuesday, and sat at my laptop this morning turning those two initial paragraphs into my character’s background. I haven’t quite worked out how sinister she is, or whether she is at all. The story hasn’t ended, there are two deaths and a visit to A&E to describe, so with only 1000 words left, I suspect the story will grow quite a bit before I do some much needed paring. But the point is, I have started and could be halfway through. More importantly, I didn’t want to stop writing, but also didn’t want to run out of words or get to a point where I couldn’t see which way to go, got bored, or didn’t like the character any more. Instead, I noted down some possible plot developments that I can pick up when I go back to it.

I am not someone who can carry too much at a time. I take on too many tasks, spread myself too thinly, and end up getting nothing done, so while there is a list of things I want to get done, I am starting small. As well as the competition story, I want to write one inspired by a friend’s print. Many moons ago a visual artist friend, Janice Hume, and I decided to collaborate on a joint project – I’d give her some stories to illustrate; she’d give me some pictures to write stories about. We both made the exchange, and I worked up a story to one of her pictures, although I wasn’t happy with it. At the moment I am working on the picture below and have two character names – Elena and Pavel – and a comment about it always raining in the UK, and that’s it, but I know it’s going somewhere. There is something about the angle of the shoulders, or the way the men are sitting, that tells me there is a story here waiting to be written. The other things on the list can wait until these two pieces are done and dusted, or at least have each reached their fourth drafts.


Copyright Janice Hume

Written by Sarah Ann

January 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

%d bloggers like this: