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Thursday 27th August 2020

Good evening you lovely lot! Hope your week has been an enjoyable one.

So, I haven’t looked at my novel one bit, still refusing to leaf back through anything in case I feel the need to tweak anything before I get some feedback. I’ve not heard back from anyone yet. Everyone seems to be busy but hopefully I will hear back by next weekend with some honest opinions about my overall story.

I finished reading How Not to Write a Novel and found it cleverly entertaining. There are only a handful of the examples that I’ve included in my novel. Not to say there aren’t any other mistakes, because I know there definitely are, but it’s nice to know that I haven’t completely messed up, that there’s a chance someone will read my novel without throwing it into the slush pile. I also read Strangers by C. L. Taylor which I loved. I have started Sookie Stackhouse #12 and have also been reading Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. After I’ve read each section, I’ve been mapping out my ideas for my next novel so I have a very basic plan in place. I’m just reading about the different genre types at the moment, wondering which one my novels would would fall under.

I’ve taken a break on Supernatural, and instead I watched Unbelievable on Netflix and am almost halfway through season one of Cuckoo. My daughter and I have made it onto season two of Doctor Who and we’re nearing the end of season two of Friends. My partner and I have almost finished season five of House and are continuing with APB. I’ve also watched Practical Magic (one of my favourite films) and Catwoman. I watched those films with my daughter when we had our girls night in.

Even though school starts again next Friday, I still haven’t completed my planning. Luckily I only plan for one subject a week to cover the class teacher’s planning time. This will be a weekend job for me. I will have to put my novels, reading books and TV to one side, and just focus on getting the planning sorted. Most of it is on the system anyway.

As the time draws closer, I’m feeling nervous about handing my work to an editor. It’s like handing my child to a stranger, trusting that they will nurture and develop it with the same amount of love. In fact, I think I’m scared to finish my novel full stop. Once I’ve finished all the revisions I’m capable of, it’s time to venture into the harsh reality of submitting to agents. Will I ever be ready to do this, or will I procrastinate for the next few years? I have a tendency to drag things out when they near an end; I don’t like the idea of finishing something and being done with it. I’m that awkward person who lingers on your doorstep trying to say goodbye for over an hour. The idea of querying an agent terrifies me. I’m aware that I’m going to have to deal with rejection, but I’m also aware that I’m going to find this awfully difficult. Criticism I can cope with – but not having my work rejected without an explanation. Guess I will cross that bridge when it’s time.

Thank you so much for your continued support, it really is appreciated. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

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Thursday 6th August 2020

Hello everyone.

I apologise for not writing a blog post last Thursday. It was my partner’s birthday so we were celebrating with a few (or more) glasses of gin, and I thought it best to stay away from the keyboard in case I wrote something completely incoherent!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been watching lots of videos on YouTube from Reedsy and iWriterly on how to self-edit and revise your first draft. If you haven’t already seen them then I highly recommend watching their videos with an editor who provide critiques on writing that has been sent in. The best one on Reedsy is First Line Frenzy with Rebecca Heyman. Viewers send in the first line of their novel and Rebecca will give honest feedback. There is one on iWriterly with Meg LaTorre and a guest editor/literary agent who ring a bell when they feel a literary agent would stop reading the first section of a manuscript. These videos have been super helpful and has given me food for thought.

So far, I’ve edited the first five chapters of my novel and intend to finish the first round of editing by the end of next week so that I can start my second revision and send it off to my feedback group to get their thoughts and opinions on the novel as a whole. I have found this process daunting; it’s been difficult finding relevant flaws in my character arcs and plot etc. I find it much easier to line edit my work. I have hired an editor for a developmental edit on the first ten thousand words of my novel. To say I’m excited is an understatement – if I could send it off now to get the feedback then I would, however, I am booked in for mid September. Hopefully I will have some feedback before then so I can make any necessary adjustments before sending it off.

Last week, I came to the realisation that I’ve put on far too much weight over the last three years (not just over lockdown), so I’m now on a diet and have lost two pounds already. I started the diet three days ago and I plan on starting an exercise routine next week. I want to feel good about myself again and I want my clothes to fit because I don’t have enough money to keep buying new clothes every time I go up a dress-size. My partner and daughter have agreed to diet with me – we are going to be a grumpy household for the next few weeks!

Thank you again for being the amazing readers you are. Have a fab weekend, speak next week.

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Thursday 2nd July 2020

Hello again. It’s been a tough week at school with continuing to make props and making a start on sorting out the Science and D. T cupboard. The class teacher and I decided to order lots of tray boxes – one colour for Science and one colour for D. T – to make them more visually accessible. We have thrown away three black bags of things that are broken or just don’t get used. This means we can create an itinerary to assess what we have and what we need. We are going to create new labels in the hopes of keeping everything where it needs to be.

After feeling guilty last week for not having written anything, I managed to write an additional three chapters over the weekend meaning that my fiance found out my major plot twist. He was surprised and I was happy! Although, it did highlight a mistake I’d made with my plot, allowing me to adjust a few details. Also, I had some negative feedback about one of my chapters. I have now broken that chapter into two and placed them in different sections of the story. This is my next task for the weekend – to rewrite both of these and continue to adjust some details along the way to ensure my plots tie in together nicely. Then, I only have three more chapters to write until I’m finished with my first draft.

I’ve been reading a few books this week. I finished Sookie Stackhouse #9 and have started #10. I’ve also started Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I finished a non-fiction book about prose and read a book called Show, Don’t Tell. I made lots of notes from this book to help me when I revise my draft for self-editing purposes.

I’m toying with the idea of hiring a professional editor. The cost is what’s holding me back from making that decision. Firstly, I have a wedding to save for. I also need to buy a car if my fiance and I are able to move house so that I can get to work. It would also be great if I could buy a new laptop given that mine is almost ten years old! Ah, money is always the reason for anything – good or bad. The thing is, I’d love to have a professional opinion by sending my work off for a developmental/structural edit. I feel it will give me a better chance of getting accepted by an agent if I’m unsuccessful with the mentorship programme. Decisions, decisions!

Thank you so much for reading. As ever, I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to support me along my journey. Have a fabulous weekend. Speak to you all next week.