Welcome to Travis Manley's Writers Blog.

I currently make my living as a photographer, but have always had an interest in writing. I am currently working on a few projects (short fiction) and thought it would be fun to share my thoughts and experiences as I attempt to get my work published.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Writing Process

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Hi all,

Thought I would share a little on how my writing process works.

I keep an ongoing list of story ideas so when I'm ready to write I always have somewhere to start.

I start a story by brainstorming ideas, exploring who the characters are and where the conflicts are.

Once I have a few pages of notes I start outlining and creating plot points.

I take these key plot points write them out in a Word document and I start writing using each plot point like a guide point. I start at one and write to the next. I don't always start at the beginning either.

I am always surprised how much I discover while writing that I didn't come up with while planning and outlining. I am always happy to embrace these new ideas as long as they are true to the story I'm trying to tell.

I like to think as the first draft in two parts. The first is a really rough "outline draft." I write was quickly and furiously as I can trying to capture the story by its tale without stopping to worry about spelling or grammar errors, or if it is even legible to anyone but me. Part two is cleaning up what I wrote in my first draft making sure I have everything I wanted to say and seeing if anything new that I came up with still "gels" with everything else. I look at it like carving a statue out of a piece of stone. Each draft is like a pass over the stone, refining and refining, letting the story take shape until you end up with a piece of art.

When I'm done with the first draft I usually show it to people and try to get some feedback. When this is done I go back and write the third and usually final draft with any needed corrections.

This is my writing process, what's yours? Please feel free to share.


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Hey everyone and happy new year.

I can't believe it's the year 2010! Where are all the flying cars and houses on the moon? I guess that might be more realistic in the year 2020, or maybe even 2100. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Here is a quick update to get everyone out there reading a chance to catch up (listen up all three of you).

Back in August of 08 I started writing again (I had previously, but nothing too serious). I thought it would be a good idea to start this blog as a way of keeping track of what I was doing and maybe give some inspiration to other writers out there.

Between August and November I wrote three short stories and submitted them to various magaziens etc. to be published. FYI I used Duotrope's Digest to find sites to submit to. All three were horror/sci fi and around 5,000 words. As of now none of them have been published, but I am still hopeful. I'm a reasonable person and I know that I can't expect to get my stories published right away when I still have so much to learn.

In December I started a new story, but unfortunately have had a hard time finding time to work on it. I am just now finishing the first draft and hope to be finished with it soon. The current story (The House Next Door) has been very challenging. I have basically one character who spends a good 75% of the story sitting around in his house not doing much. I think part of the difficulty has been not having big chunks of time to work on it. I'm much more productive when I have at least two plus hours a writing session.

I think this is going to be a good year. I'm shooting for at least one new short story a month and I am really optimistic about getting one of them published.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Short Story

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Just started a new short story called The House Next Door. It is about a guy who starts noticing some strange things going on in the house next to his. I will post a full synopsis when it's done.

I took a little more time than I usually do outlining and writing notes for this one. Im developing a lot of character and story that will probably not make it into the actual short story, but I think the fact that I know specific details about the plot will effect what I write.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Short Story Finished

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I just finished writing a new short story called The Pool Boy and submitted it to be published. Here is the synopsis.

Tony Smith might just be having the worst summer of his teenage life. First, his girlfriend dumps him, and then his dad tells him he has to clean the neighbor’s swimming pool while they are out of town. He puts off cleaning the pool until the last minute, and when he finally remembers to do it, he finds the water is a green and polluted. Worse yet there is something dangerous lurking below the muddy surface.

I'm already working on an idea for a new story and plan on starting it soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Story Update: Click You're Dead

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I received my first response on one of the two short stories I have written and submitted to be published (so far).

My story (Click You're Dead) was rejected, but I am oddly excited. It took less than a month to get this response and I was lucky enough to get a personal response with some compliments was well as some constructive criticism.

My plan is not to go back and rewrite any of my rejected stories (unless requested) until I have written at least ten. I think that with ten good stories under my belt I will be better equipped to make the needed changes. Hopefully I will have learned a thing or two by that point.

I am nearly finished with my current story, The Pool Boy, and will post an update as well as a synopsis when it is finished.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Short Story

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I just started working on another short story.

I have been tossing ideas around for the last couple weeks and coming up with an outline. I came up with some ideas that I think might end up making a great novel or novella, but I'm not quite ready to tackle something that big just yet. I would like to see if I have any luck getting one of these short stories published before investing that much time into a project.

Luckily, I had a lot of other ideas floating around. I decided to tackle something a bit more "manageable" for now.

Its a horror story with a "deadly creature" that takes place in Florida. The hero is a teenage named Tony.

I will post more about the new story when I get a few drafts done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Story Finished!

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I've just finished my second short story, Click You're Dead, and am getting it ready to submit for publication.

Here is a synopsis:

Photographer, Jim Waters, has a bit of bad luck when his camera is destroyed in a hiking accident. His bad luck continues when the replacement camera he is borrowing starts malfunctioning, resulting in the loss of valuable photos of a famous musician taken hours before his death. Meanwhile, the city of Seattle is in chaos when people start dying in the streets for no apparent reason.

Wish me luck.