I’ve finished and just started…

Hello!

Today I’ve watched the FIFA World Cup Final – still feeling a bit gutted England weren’t in it, but excited for the next stage of their development – and completed the first draft/very detailed outline of my next project.

I’d aimed to write the draft, aiming for 20,000 words, in June. But as it stands, it’s 20,001bty words and not quite June anymore. Looking at my progress chart, there were a couple of weeks in the middle where I didn’t write a single thing. I know I got disheartened with the plot, or lack of one, but I didn’t realise it was that long.

In the end, I decided I just needed to write words, to get something on the page, so I could make a proper decision. I’ve actually got a story now, for starters – there were a couple of aha moments as things fell into place, especially as I was trying to fall asleep. But I did it.

It needs about 60k more words, a title and a much clearer structure. But I’ve started.

 

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Write with Fey

Hello, dear readers! Today I’m welcoming another guest to share her book with you – this time Chrys Fey, whose new book will help you navigate the world of writing and publishing.

I’m still busy querying my novel, gearing up to write a new one (I’m planning another month-long blitz, so I’ve been jotting down the most random of ideas in preparation), and submitting a couple of short stories to competitions. As you read this, I’m finishing off a new flash fiction with a Sunday deadline!

Phew, that’s a lot of work… Anyway, here’s Chrys’s new book, enjoy!

 

NEW RELEASE & GIVEAWAY!
Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!
Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.
•        Spark One: Being a Writer
•        Spark Two: Story Essentials
•        Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
•        Spark Four: How To
•        Spark Five: Character ER
•        Spark Six: Editing
•        Spark Seven: Publishing
•        Spark Eight: Marketing
•        Spark Nine: Writing About
•        Spark Ten: Final Inspiration
With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.
BUY LINKS:
 AUTHOR BIO:
 
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.
Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her
first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes.
 
Chrys Fey’s Links:
GIVEAWAY!
Open to
all from June 4th 2018 – July 6th 2018
Click here to enter or
use the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The end, the end, the very very end…

My novel is complete. It’s been sent for editing – the lovely Karen Sanders removed a million extraneous commas – and I’ve looked over the notes, and now it’s done. Completely and utterly done!

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PHEW!

Next, I have to decide what I want to do with it. I’d like to submit it, either to an agent or to some small presses – but I’m also aware, from a career point-of-view, that it’s been almost two years since my last book was published. Some of my author friends publish more than one book a year, so I feel like I’m slacking. Although, I know I wouldn’t be able to work quicker – this book, at fifteen months and with the premise in my head for many years before that, is the quickest I’ve ever written!

I realise I’ve been pretty secretive over the whole thing. It’s a superstition thing – if I share too much, it’ll all go very wrong. So, here it is…

SMALL FORGOTTEN MOMENTS

Suffering from amnesia, artist Jo Mckye flees to her childhood home to escape her nightmares. Instead, she’s faced with a tragedy that occurred when she was younger and a stark choice.

 

What do you think?

So, technically, my Novel in a Year adventure has ended. Thank you for sharing it with me. I probably won’t bore you with the endless submission process, but I might mention it occasionally. And you’ll be the first to hear when and where you’ll be able to buy it 🙂

Yes, Yes, Yes!

giphy

I’ve done it! I’ve finished my novel. I started – as you know – in November 2016, and wanted to finish within the year. It’s been one year, two months and sixteen days.

With a caveat… it’s going to go to my editor, the wonderful Karen Sanders, who, I imagine, will pull it apart and come up with loads of suggestions.

But, for now. It’s done, it’s over, and I don’t have to think about it for a couple of weeks.

So, perhaps now is a good time to share some info about it:

  • the original concept was devised when I was about 18. The main character and the premise have remained, but the story and setting have changed greatly
  • my MC suffers from memory loss, which was a huge challenge for me as I love writing flashbacks!
  • it’s called Small Forgotten Moments, at the moment
  • it’s fundamentally a ghost story
  • Seaton, in Cornwall, is my inspiration, though I may have altered a couple of small details about the area
sdr
Yes, this is a beach, I just took a photo of the rocks… which are more pertinent to the story

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2018

So, 2018… hello.

From a personal point of view, last year was good, yet I’m struggling to think of anything specific! I’ve just had a look back at last year’s round-up, and it was much more eventful.

I guess some years just slide along easily, moving from day to day, week to week. It doesn’t always have to be amazing, despite what social media makes us think. If you wake up happy and ready for the day ahead, and go to sleep content with what you’ve done, isn’t that enough?

2017 feels like a long year, but  as you get older that’s not necessarily a bad thing – a long time between birthdays, for example, can be a relief 🙂

Personal achievements this year include:

  • completing my novel (well, almost, I’ve got a few more chapters to edit, and they need a lot of attention)
  • seeing some awesome results at the gym
  • not going grey yet (sometimes it’s the little things…)

On reflection, the novel took a lot of time. I wish I could write faster, or at least not need

dav
The books beside my bed… waiting for me

so many edits and redrafts, but I’ve learned to live with it.

The downside of writing so much is that I can’t read at the same time – I realised a long time ago that I tend to absorb the style of writers I admire. When I’m in the depths of my own book, I can’t suddenly switch to someone else’s voice!

My plans for 2018 are to, once again, figure out a decent book marketing plan, say yes to more opportunities (I delayed on a decision a couple of months ago, and I’ve been kicking myself), and have as much fun as possible!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s have a blast 🙂

 

One last edit… (and #BlackFriday sale)

… is what I said to myself, before I hand it over at the end of January.

Well, actually, my plan was to retype the whole darn novel, and it started pretty well.

If you’re new to this blog, you may not be aware of my rather unique editing style of retyping. I discovered a few years ago that it really helps to smooth out any kinks in the narrative that occurred when I was doing all the other edits. I love seeing the brand new document filling up again, the early word counts where just getting to 5000 was a huge celebration.

This time, I even rewrote the opening line, which is something I never do – that’s usually the fixed point in time I can always rely on. So there I was, typing away, when suddenly one of the scenes felt too soon. So I moved a section from a bit later on into its spot, and continued. But then, something else didn’t make sense, so that moved as well.

Now, I’ve moved almost all of the first eleven chapters around. I’ve never been completely happy with these opening chapters, so I’m really hoping I’ve solved the hiccups. At least I know that from Chapter 12 onwards, everything is in the right place… even if I haven’t used the right words!

Writers: what’s your quirkiest editing method?

Readers: have you ever struggled to get into a book because of the opening chapters, but then loved it? 

 


 

cyber_sale_2017_facebook

My lovely publishers, Vine Leaves Press, are having a huge sale on selected titles over this Black Friday weekend. From Friday 24th to Monday 27th November, you’ll be able to pick up some of the best-selling Vine Leaves books for just $0.99AUD (roughly 60 British pennies!)

All you need to do is go to vineleavespress.com, follow the link, and use the coupon code vlpcyber when you get to the checkout.

And yes, You. I. Us. is included in the sale, so if you’ve read it and loved it, please share this info so your friends can read it too 🙂

What could be simpler?

The green edits are done!

Green edits

I originally allowed myself thirty days for this part of the process, but did it in fifteen! As I got closer to the end, I reduced the date goal, because I like tidy graphs…

Normally when I edit, I meander around – reading, adding notes, watching TV, going back over the same parts again and again to get them perfect… on the first set of edits, I hear you ask? Well, yes, I am was a perfectionist.

But, no more! I’ve finally learnt. I worked steadily through the comments I made, although some of them still exist because I’m not quite sure how to execute them just yet.

There have been a lot of other changes though, a lot of additions (including, finally, a character’s reaction to an event that affected her deeply, but I ignored in my first draft!), and an awful lot of crossing out. However, the opening chapter is still shockingly bad, and the last chapter is dragging – but that’s okay. In fact, they might even still exist when I’m ready to share with my beta readers.

In the past, I have only shared my work when I’ve gone through extensive drafts, and made it as perfect as I can get. If people so much as point out a spelling mistake or punctuation anomaly, I’m devastated. I consider this to be a huge step forward in my writing attitude.

 

Green edit page
These edits have been nicknamed the green edits, because of the green pen. The next edits will be the red edits. And, because I do love a chaotic-looking draft, I’ll be making the changes on this same print-out!

Years ago – stop me if I’ve told you this before – my favourite subject at school was technical drawing (Yes! I’m so old, that was actually a separate and specific subject!) I loved the lines, the angles, the pencil chaos that became clear when my black pen – in two different thicknesses – created the picture. All the pencil marks were essential to get the right lines in the right place, but eventually they were erased and my cube (in my first year) or my detailed house floorplan (in my last year) was revealed.

I approach editing a manuscript in the same way, and it’s so satisfying when I see the final story revealing itself.

Next up: the red edits, trying to get my first and last chapters improved, and possibly extend the length. It may not be a very long novel – some of my recent reads have been under 50,000 – but I’m currently at 39k. That’s a good novella length, but I’m desperate to get a novel under my belt – my long-term goal depends upon it!

How many different colours do you use?

Do you edit by hand, or prefer to do it all on the computer?