Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Episode 149: Learning Grid Blues

Goodness. I'm in the Learning Grid now, and I've totally turned into one of those people who stay up late and actually intend to get work done in this place. Temporarily, of course. I blame all the other Singaporeans, who were the reason I came over anyway. I still hate what I've written of my commentary so far. It's okay when taken in little bits, but together, the whole thing feels like it's meandering, and when I feel that way, it usually means I'm waffling. I need some sort of focusing principle to justify my somewhat facetious analysis of Spenser's sonnet. That said, I can't really be bothered about the quality. I always say that, but this time, I really mean it to a large extent. I'm just trying to get this done because there's no time to procrastinate until tomorrow night and stay up late then. Varsity is, obviously, more important than a Renaissance poem commentary! Seriously though, I'm just trying to get into the habit of finishing work more than 12 hours before it's due, as it can't be healthy to put myself through that kind of stress on a regular basis.

At least Weird Fiction today was fun! It was the last session, and for the workshop, we had a mock session where four of us pitched our ideas for a novel to the rest of the participants, who played the role of publishers of various sizes. China MiĆ©ville acted as literary agent for all of us. I got an advance of £8000 for my idea from the smallest but very respected publisher, and I took the offer, which he later agreed was the move he would have advised. In real life, I would probably have acted in a similar fashion anyway. I have very clear ideas about whom I would like to publish my work in future, but I'm not going to be choosy when I'm first starting out. (I will try to avoid turning into one of those writers who annoy me by having their work scattered across multiple publishers. Makes the books look bad on the shelf!) In a twist of events, the biggest publisher walked away with no new authors signed. It was a really fun session, and a sort of primer into how the industry really works. It's scary to think that tonight's decisions were the sort I'd have to make if I want to be a published writer, except real life isn't all fun and games like tonight fundamentally was.

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