Finished!

I’ve done it! I’ve finished my final draft, and sent off copies to some awesome beta readers!

Ahem, it can be a roller coaster of emotion…

This final draft came in at 47,500 words, and took 38 days. In total, this whole novel has taken 6 months and 1 day to get to this stage – the quickest I have ever written a complete novel (and yes, I’m officially stating that 47.5k is novel length… if you want to disagree, make sure you have tissues!)

I shall now be:

  • Eating chocolate
  • Actually dusting stuff before I vacuum
  • Reading
  • Eating cake
  • Walking
  • Enjoying time with my kids… or at least watching them leave the house with a cheery ‘See ya’
  • Sitting in beer gardens while ‘socialising’ the dog
  • Hopefully writing some short stories and submitting them to competitions and journals.

Do you like how the writing stuff comes last? It’s actually my main plan – I’ve already got my new notebook ready – but I can write while eating chocolate, drinking cider and people-watching in coffee shops!

What are you up to over the summer? 

Advertisements

Oh look, July’s happening!

I always know when I’m neglecting blogging, because my email notifications cease, and my inbox is really quiet! In fact, I’ve been working so hard that the onset of July almost passed me by.

But it’s all been for a good reason – my WIP is flying. Now, whether it’s a good flight or not, I’ll have to wait and see.

In my last blog about my attempt to write this novel in a year, I mentioned that due going back and editing the first part, my deadline would have to be extended – I made it 4th August… but I’m going to completely smash that!

halfway to goal

The flat parts of the graph were where I was editing the print-out, and the big boost straight after was were I made all the changes on the computer. There’s a method here… honest 🙂

I’ve made some huge changes with chapter layout too – merging some, separating some, going back and re-merging others. It’s a complete mess, although I think I’ve got a handle on it now.

I thought I’d be adding a new character, but in fact he only turned up for a brief conversation. I think I solved the other issue of my MC being too scared too quickly. I’ve noticed I’m overusing the words ‘now’ and ‘of course’. In fact on one page, I used ‘now’ in every single paragraph – d’oh!


In other news, tickets for a signing I’m attending in Bristol in January 2018 are on sale now! If you’re in the Bristol/willing to travel to Bristol area, check out this Facebook page for more info.

The gym where I work, and train, is being refurbished which has caused me great excitement – in fact, some people would say (have said…) an obsessive level, but I don’t care. I’ve already designed my new programme to make the most of the new kit.

I found these – cappuccino milk chocolate digestive thins – scrumptious and yummy, and further confirmation that I love all things coffee-flavoured except coffee!

dav

 

What are your recent snack discoveries?

Because the song told me so!

There I was, working through my book, re-typing and re-drafting… and then three things happened:

  1. It got hot… so hot… my head doesn’t like making sentences when it’s hot. (It’s actually lovely, if all I had to do was sit in my garden with a book and a glass of wine – as I did yesterday – but today I have work and writing and stuff…)
  2. I realised, although I’d merged chapters and scenes to improve the pacing, I still hit the same point where the prose just works and the story flows and everything is great. The first 80 pages are not like that.
  3. However, just after I realised this, I watched The Lost Boys and listened to the theme song, Cry Little Sister, and instantly knew what needed to change – although, oddly, the song and the story have nothing in common!

I have two major things to change:

  1. At the moment, my MC is scared of the Big Threat straight away, I need to make her intrigued at the start, to draw her in and increase the curiosity of the reader
  2. To add a new character. This may or may not pan out, but I think I need someone to act as a sounding board for the issues the MC is facing.

So I now have half a book printed out to revise, and the other half still waiting to be typed up… and I’m not sure which is more important. All I do know, is that I’m not going to hit my 4th July deadline.

How are the temperatures in your neck of the woods?

#MilesofSmiles bloghop

unnamedIt’s blog hop time…

When I started blogging, forever ago, blog hops were common, a great way to meet new bloggers, and a lot of fun. In light of recent attacks in London and Manchester, Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore are hosting this blog hop to share things that make us smile.

 

These are the things that make me smile:

  1. Taking Artoo on my favourite dog-walking route, and watching him skip through tall grass… Yep, literally skip!
  2. Watching my 16 year old cat act like a kitten when he chases a used loo roll around the bathroom
  3. A perfect cup of tea
  4. The new Wonder Woman film. I’ve been waiting my entire life for this film. I loved her when I was four, and I came out of the showing (both times) feeling like a little kid!
  5. Those small things my kids do that makes me think I did a pretty good job with them

 

Click here for the list of other participants!


 

Don’t forget you can get your Kindle copy of You. I. Us. for just 0.99 until Thursday!

Buy it here

d10aec7f-786a-493d-8c7e-13f1bbc1dd18

I finished the Red Edits! Phew!

Red edits

Actually, I finished last weekend, just before I went to London for a few days.

I had a list of specific things that needed to be done:

  1. A new prologue – this was the last thing to be completed, just today in fact, due to some inspiration while I was walking to work and hastily scribbled down between clients.
  2. A new epilogue – ish. It’s a page long at the moment, a first draft really, but adds some optimism to the story… I hope!
  3. Making the first eleven chapters more compelling – in the first draft my MC, Jo, has won a prestigious art award and a solo exhibition is part of the prize. This made for a lot of unnecessary explanation and boring conversations. In the red edits, she’s now just hosting her first exhibition, which makes it a lot cleaner. This meant, however, I had to search for all mentions of the award and delete it. I also squished a couple of repetitive scenes into one.
  4. Re-writing the last chapter so it mirrored part of the prologue – yes. And I think it works well.
  5. A whole new chapter just to break up two rather heavy conversations – just notes, really, at the moment. I’m hoping for inspiration soon!

As I said at the start, I went to London. As we walked down Oxford Street and turned towards Hyde Park, I realised I was taking the same route as Jo does in one of the chapters, and that I’d got a couple of fundamental things wrong (it had been a long time since I was there previously). One major thing was that in Hyde Park, she feels cut off from the rest of the city.

Peter in Hyde Park

As you can see from the photo, there are buildings – lots of them – in full view. As we walked further, I kept my eyes on the skyline and there were very few places where I couldn’t see any buildings. I changed the incorrect passages, so I won’t look silly when Londoners read my book.

So, now I’ve started on the Final Draft. This is where my method deviates from other writers. I have opened a new document and I shall be typing up the book from scratch. I find this gives me a better sense of the flow and the changes I still need to make, than by reading alone. I’m also able to add more words, this way – I’m hoping for 5000 extra, a target of 47k in total (but more would be nice!) in 30 days.

Have you ever spotted silly errors in books you’ve read, or written?

Do writers sometimes get your hometown wrong?

Me!! An interview…

2uglwsxAnd, here’s another Where Words Fail Music Speaks author interview.

Don’t forget to buy your copy on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback, with all proceeds going to the Clusterbusters charity.

Okay, so today I’m interviewing myself… ahem…

 

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well, I’m Annalisa, and this is my blog, so you probably know enough about me already. Also, I’m answering my own interview questions, so that probably tells you a lot too!

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

Kyra was one of the first bloggers I connected with, and the only one I’ve met in person. After knowing her online for about six months, she phoned me up one day and invited me to a heavy metal gig. It was an awesome night, so because of that I will always say yes to Kyra, because I never know where it will take me.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

Um, my story actually isn’t a 90s Brit Pop song, and I didn’t choose it, Kyra gave it to me. I understand it’s the favourite song of her friend who inspired the anthology, so I feel very honoured that she trusted me with it.

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

I wondered why someone would be having adventures in their backyard as opposed to anywhere else. I decided that they probably wouldn’t have any choice, that their backyard would be their whole existence. So, my main character is someone trapped not only in their backyard, but in their own body as well.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

The story is similar to my published work, in that I tend to write about relationships between people, in this case my main character’s relationship with his mum, and with his neighbour. I also like to write from unusual points of view, to turn people’s perceptions on their head, to put the reader in a position they wouldn’t usually inhabit.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

If you’ve been hanging around my blog recently, you’ll know the ins and outs of my current project, but I’m not sure if I’ve actually explained the story. Jo is an artist who doesn’t remember much about her past, she’s haunted with nightmares about her mother and an unknown girl/woman who she slowly starts to remember. Jo takes a pilgrimage to her childhood home, back to her mother, to find the answers she thinks she needs to stop the nightmares.

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

So many things. I like the act of writing – of taking a small idea and watching it develop, of random ideas popping into my head. I even enjoy the anguish and hard work that goes into getting every word just right. And being able to work in my garden, in coffee shops, in fields, in front of Buffy marathons. And the idea that someone, somewhere is reading my book and enjoying it.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

I want to have a couple of novels published in that time. All my books so far have been short stories and novellas, which I love writing, but career-wise, a novel is the next step for me.

 

Just in case this is your first time here, and you have no idea who I am, here’s my bio…

head shotAnnalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of four books, Cat & The Dreamer, That Sadie Thing and other stories, Our Beautiful Child and You, I. Us. She won 3rd prize in the Costa Short Story Award, 2015. Find her on her website, Facebook and Twitter @annalisacrawf

Audrina Lane: an interview

2uglwsxAnd, here’s another Where Words Fail Music Speaks author interview.

Don’t forget to buy your copy on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback, with all proceeds going to the Clusterbusters charity

Today, it’s Audrina Lane’s turn!

 

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Audrina Lane, an author since I turned 40 (4 years ago) and live in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire with my partner Steve and two black Labradors called Rael and Lilly. I work full-time for the Library Service, used to drive a Mobile Library Van around the countryside and fit my writing in around all of this! I also love eighties music especially George Michael and dancing.

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

I’ve known Karen through Facebook for a while and when I saw she was putting this together I leapt at the chance to be involved. I also suffer occasional migraines so the thought of having prolonged suffering of headaches much worse than this made me want to do something to help raise both money & awareness.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

I submitted 2 poems for the anthology and I just googled 90’s Brit Pop song titles. Scrolling through the list, I did a small shortlist of around 8 and from that got it down to the two that most resonated with my poem ideas.

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

For the ‘Road Rage’ poem I drew upon what I’d read about the condition of clusterheadaches. And for my ‘Disco 2000’ poem the title sparked the subject of the poem.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

I guess submitting poems may not reflect that I have 5 books published. I love writing poetry when the mood or subject matter grabs me, so with this submission it was the subject that created the words. I’m hoping to eventually have enough poems to create an anthology collection of my own work.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

I must be a glutton for punishment as I’m currently working on two novels at the same time. One is the sequel to my Bloodstained Heart Series about the evil, bitch character that appeared in my Heart Trilogy series – the fans of that wanted to know what made her the way she was. Equally they told me they still didn’t want to like her at the end of the books! It’s been a great, but sometimes slow project, as I have to cross reference back to my original novels and am re-writing the same scenes but from her point of view. It’s also fun to write someone who is so horrible to everyone else.

The other project is just at the editing stage ready for release in June. It’s collaboration with another author called Rita Ames called ‘24Hrs to Love’. It is the first book in a series of 3 set at the most prestigious motor races – Le Mans, The Indy 500 and Monaco Grand Prix. Each will be standalones but all will be romances. We each write as a separate character and switch between the two writing alternate chapters. This has been a light relief to my other work in progress and I have enjoyed writing as a guy!

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I guess it’s all the fantastic friends I have made within the writing community. I love my readers who are so loyal, lovely and patient! Equally I love all other authors who are doing the same as me, and have offered help and advice over the past 4 years. Being part of this crazy community makes everything worthwhile.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

I’d love to write full-time but just don’t think that will be happening anytime soon. So I’ll stick with saying still writing and still working enough to pay for the writing projects.

 

Audrina LaneAuthor bio:

Audrina lives in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire with her partner Steve and her two black Labradors Rael & Lily.

She is the author of the fabulous Heart Trilogy series,  made up of the novels Where did your Heart go?, Un-break my Heart and Closer to the Heart. She has also completed the first part of a standalone 2 part series called Bloodstained Heart. Part 1 – Passion and coming soon Part 2 – Revenge. These are connected to The Heart Trilogy series in that they feature the full story of Felicity.

Audrina really loves writing, reading, listening and dancing to eighties pop music, and watching Formula 1, and is currently working on a motor racing collaboration with another author. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in a couple of anthologies and all her novels can be found on Amazon.

Find Audrina on: her website // Amazon UK // Amazon