Goal Setting Time!

Oooh, this could hurt.

It’s time to set goals for the next book. I’m so obsessed with the current novel, I haven’t worked as hard as I need to on my take of Wang Mang’s life. Still, I’m pretty sure I know where I’m focussing, so here go the goals:

1. I will know who my main characters are. (Minor characters can pop up as needed.)
2. I will know my basic plot. (Twists and complications can occur as needed.)
3. I will be ready to write by the end of October.

Right now, I’ve got one of the main characters and the events of his life are the driving force of the novel. But I need two other characters as love interest and antagonist. I know who they’ll be in his life (or I think I do), but I don’t have enough information on them yet. More research is required.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chinese history, Wang Mang is vilified by some as regicide and murderer of children, to some he’s a self-sacrificing would-be empire salvationist. To me, he’s a fascinating personality. He lived about 180 years before my current story arc happened.

Where do you to find ideas/themes that hold you in their grip?

Thanks to Jeannie Lin for tonight’s blogging question. I’m researching for agents and future plots and not finding either. The agent is something I’ll have to workout for myself, but where do you go to find the notion that will not let you go?

The heroism and sacrifice of Romance of the Three Kingdoms cried out for a fantasy treatment. I couldn’t (still can’t) stop until it’s seen publication. But even though I’ve found several areas of Chinese history that I find intriguing, no other subplots, acts of love, heroism, etc have jumped out at me and shouted, “You must let me tell my story!” I will continue to look, but I’m interested in what other folks do at times like this.

Authors of Asian Novels Yahoo Group

Okay, I kept pining after some sort of research site made especially for writers who want to do stuff set in Asia. I finally decided I’d do it. The group website’s URL is in the title, if you’re interested in joining. Please come with your list of fiction and non-fiction books that you’d like posted. I did input all of those books that were listed here, plus many more. I haven’t had time to input anything in the music database. If there are other databases or if you’d like to post pictures, feel free. I do ask that we keep all material and language clean. 🙂

My poor fingernails

I’ve given my entire ms to a Chinese friend to read. Will he like it? Will he be completely bewildered? His opinion means more than I can say as I’ve tried so hard to make the setting as authentic as possible. He will also be the first male who has read the entire thing – assuming he makes it through. LOL. Iya! This will be a long month.

Need to Travel to Asia?

In light of a comment made here today, I looked up data on receiving funds for writing and researaching in Asia. I found two excellent resources that I wish I’d known about seven or eight years ago! The first is courtesy of Lian Hearn. She mentions it on her blog, which I have a link to in my Favorite Sites Roll. Her site is something anyone interested in Asian literature should check out. The second option is one I just looked into. They have a swift response time. Alas, my current book is finished and I don’t need to return to China for further research on it. I don’t have enough information on my next book to know where in Asia I would need to travel, so here’s hoping someone out there can use this data.

1. Asialink Foundation is in Australia and seems to be made for Australian Artists (whether dance, visual arts, music or literature) to seek residencies in Asia for set periods of time. The deadline for the 2010 residences is September 4th at 5pm and they do not accept faxed or emailed applications, so you’ll have to move fast. For more information, go to

2. Deadline October 31, 2009. Whoever wants to discover Central, Eastern and Southern Europe or China, whoever plans on a publication in German and wants to start for research trips in the East, can apply for funding. The publications should be able to reach a broader audience and help to bring about a greater understanding for the countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, and China. Literary prose and essays, photo (text) books, child and youth books, but also scripts for documentaries and sound radio contributions are welcome.One can apply for all-inclusive research grants varying from 2.000 to 10.000 €. From all incoming applications, an independent jury selects several projects for funding. Apart from this monetary funding, the “border crossers” are supported in the public presentation of their work.
BORDER CROSSER GRANTInga Niemann via telephone (+49 30-816996-64) E-mail (

I found the Border Crosser Grant via, which sends out free newsletters chocked full of info for writers. It’s obviously worth your time to sign up!

I do not know if there are other resources out there for doing the sort of expensive research required for this type of literature. If anyone else has a list, please feel free to drop a note on it!