Writing Journey Experiences.
I will update this page regularly with short journal snippets. You will get a glimpse into the life of a habitual writer and their efforts to write a novel.
As I learn I will share, from pitfalls and elation, to new skills and lessons learned.
Whether you are a reader or a new writer I hope you enjoy these musings.
October 27th, 2017
NaNoWriMo is upon us once again, a time when writers from all over the world attempt to write a 50,000- word novel in 30 days.
This time last year I was fully prepared and excited for the challenge, this year the decision to participate in NaNoWriMo was not as straightforward. I am in the process of editing The Voyeur, book 1 in the DS Albie Edwards series. I also have Isla’s Game, book 2 in the same series, ready and awaiting edits.
So I had a choice:
- Continue to edit my two existing manuscripts.
- Start a new project and use the month of November to complete the 1st draft.
Isn’t it funny how decisions are often validated by articles you read or from listening to podcasts?
Since considering joining my fellow NaNoWriMo writers, every piece of writerly information I’ve perused has focused on the importance of having a backlist of work when you are ready to publish. Another focus has pointed to reader magnets so that readers can sample your writing and join your email list if they are interested in reading more of your books.
At the moment I do not have a reader magnet to give away to readers neither do I have a backlist of novels.
To me, participating in NaNoWriMo is the best option for me at this time. Last year, I won NaNoWriMo (50,000 words and change), I wrote a draft for the first book in an urban fantasy series. This year I am going to focus on another book in the DS Albie Edwards crime series.
Will I win NaNoWriMo again?
I don’t know, but whether I win or not by the end of November I will have many more words written towards either a reader magnet or another novel than I would have if I carried on editing.
December will be the month I focus on completing edits.
October 8th, 2017
Sometimes you just have to listen to your inspiration.
Thank you, Mr. King.
It’s been a while since I shared here on the writing journal. This is mainly because I have been buried deep under the rubble of editing. Once you begin, it is difficult to dissociate oneself from the task at hand. I’m finding the process difficult at times, but a necessary task to ensure the manuscript is the very best I can produce at this stage in my writing journey.
I have also been reading an intriguing resource website (Sue Coletta), as well as watching Written in Blood, which takes a look at true life crimes that inspire crime fiction writers. This has spurred me on to plan an A-Z of crime blog for this website which looks at how true crime is portrayed through fiction in novels, films, and television.
One final fruition this month has been to gather ideas for a novella, especially for my Reader Group. It will introduce an anonymous character who is gathering evidence to ensure the humiliation and downfall of DS Albie Edwards. Watch this space for updates.
August 22nd, 2017
After burying myself in the task of editing The Voyeur, I sent the first chapter to the editor Josiah Davis for some feedback. I am thrilled to say he liked what he read and will be working with me to ensure the reader has the best experience possible when reading the finished novel.
The deadline for self-edits to be completed is the end of November, so my next job is to map out a plan to ensure the draft is the best it can be within the next three months. So, head down, the hard work begins!
August 12th, 2017
Just arrived home from my Summer break. I love holidays at the coast, the smell and the taste of salt in the air, the soothing motion of the tides of the sea, the froth which clings to the sand as it escapes the glistening surface. But above all, I love the tranquility and peace.
Like most weeks, I spent most of my time with my nose in books or writing, but it was while lounging at the top of the garden overlooking the dunes and coastline I tackled a demon.
It was editing time and it scared me, I was faltering to the point of defeat. It was only after reading 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron (my main focus was the editing chapter), I finally found a way forward.
She suggests a method that encourages you to jump about in the novel and edit a specific problem at a time rather than working through a number of linear edits. So, I spent the holiday completing the preparation needed to attempt to edit in this way. Now to get to work!
July 25th, 2017
Words come so much easier when the day job is on hold for the Summer holidays!
It’s Tuesday and I have written 1,222 words and all before 11 o’clock this morning. I worked in two 25 minute sessions with 5 minutes in between each session when I choose to read. We took Rex to the vets (just a well-being check up) to find out all is well, although he is verging on overweight. As you can imagine, we are trying to keep this news from Rex as we don’t want his self-esteem to take a blow.
We took him for a run there and then…start as you mean to go on!
Following my writing stint this morning I have plans to add to my word count again tonight. By writing at least 2000 words the deadline of 31st July for a completed first draft is doable. Watch this space.
June 18th, 2017
If you have tried to send me a message via my contact page, I’m sorry if it was pinging an error. This has now been rectified by adding a new plug in, so if you wish to contact me with comments or questions I will happily respond.
My music post is the first one to be given a boost on Facebook. This is promotion which has been paid by Facebook. It has given me an opportunity to see the impact paid promotion has on the reach of the post, likes and clicks to the website. An interesting experiment!
On writing, I am still beavering away to complete Isla’s Game by the deadline and also editing The Voyeur. This is even more enjoyable because of the scorching weather we’re experiencing in London. Breakfast in the garden and plenty of writing before the temperatures rise.
May 29th, 2017
Editing…I do not know the first thing about the process and know even less about the type of professional edit I should invest in for the best possible outcome to my book. This weekend I asked a question about finding an editor on 20booksto50k (a Facebook group for writers) and was delighted with the amount of support given by the members.
My task now is to complete the first revision of The Voyeur which will begin with a complete read through. Next, I will edit, making alterations and complete rewrites when necessary before asking for beta readers.
Once the revisions are complete I will turn the manuscript over to my editor and wait in anticipation for his feedback.
May 21st, 2017
I spent most of this week re-reading Isla’s Game. I made notes on each scene so I have an overview of the story, including unexpected changes. I also have a character list with a short review of the part each character plays in the story and their personal descriptions.
My next step is to outline the final 20,000 words of the story and tie up all of the loose ends before continuing to write. I have almost finished reading The Story Grid and should be ready to start editing The Voyeur during the Whitsun half-term holiday.
May 11th, 2017
This week I’ve been multitasking. I finished the 1st draft of Misty Magic and have put it in a draw to settle before I attack it with the editing pen.
Now I am focused on Isla’s Game, the second book in the DS Albie Edwards Series. I have the final 20,000 words to write before the 1st draft is complete.
Work on this draft stopped last November when I focused on writing Misty Magic for NaNoWriMo.
Now to refresh my memory with the plot and character of Isla’s Game, I have been skimming and scanning the story while making brief notes. This should enable me to continue they storyline and complete the draft.
I also began reading The Story Grid to inform the editing process of The Voyeur.
Perhaps one day I will train my brain to concentrate on one project at a time! Until then I’ll try my best to produce finished products even if they are completed in a random order.
7th May 2017
Just a quick writing update. The first draft of The Voyeur has been completed for some time now and I have given it to my sister to read. She has been given free license to use her red pen.
Silence of the Lambs has always been at the top of my favourite novels list. So it makes sense to follow the structure that has made it such a formidable read as a model during the editing process of The Voyeur.
April 26th, 2017
Spending time with family is so important. On Good Friday my family spent time with my sister and her family. We had a relaxing day catching up, eating, drinking and laughing. I am fortunate to have a sister who is not only my accountability partner but she is also supporting me by being the first reader of the drafts of my books.
Beth has wall to ceiling books in her living room which are organised in colours. (We are standing in front of the lighter selection.)
Not only does it look impressive but it encourages you to browsed books and explored authors you would not normally read.
It was my son who spotted Ghost by Ed McBain, the 34th book in the 87th Precinct Series.
After devouring the book I researched the author and ordered the first book in the series. I am now hooked. I may never have found the author without my sister’s colour organised bookshelves…oh and my son!
Thank you for books, but more importantly, thank you for a creative sister.
April 10th, 2017
I am fortunate enough to be on the 2nd week of a two week holiday. This means plenty of time to write, read and relax. The 1st draft of Misty Magic is 15,000 words from completion and is a focus for this week.
At the moment I’m binge reading, Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells for pleasure and Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth by James Scott Bell to learn the craft. (This book is a collection of blogs James wrote for The Kill Zone blog.) Applying the advice from prolific authors to your own writing is a great way to learn and improve.