author, books, Boxsets, diary, Films and TV, novel, reading, writer, writing

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.

author, books, Boxsets, diary, Films and TV, novel, reading, writer, writing

Thursday 20th August 2020

Hi all, hope you’re well and have had a good week.

I finally finished my first round of revisions for my novel and included an extra 5k words. Whoop – go me! I’m feeling proud of myself this week for finishing my first full edit. I’ve not enjoyed the process and have had to force myself to get through the finishing line so that it’s ready for my editor to read through next month. Having not had a break between finishing my first draft and editing, I’ve decided that I’m not going to do my second lot of revisions until November so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes as well as the editor’s report. I hate to say it but I’m fed up of working on it now, I’m ready to start planning my next novel. I just need some time! Schools are back in a couple of weeks though and I need to do some planning. It never ends.

One thing I’m happy with is that I made some time for myself over the summer holidays to finish reading Sookie Stackhouse #11 and have made a start on How Not to Write a Novel. I’m breezing through it at the moment and have found it interesting to compare my writing to the bad examples of writing in the book. Have I done the same thing? Maybe I should reword some of my sentences? Have I described my setting enough? It definitely makes you question every single word in your manuscript and scrutinise them with a critical eye.

Another thing I have done is watch the first three seasons of Supernatural. They were all on Amazon Prime, which saved me from having to get my DVDs out, but they emailed me to say that the series will be removed today. Looks like I will be watching season four onward on DVD. I can’t even remember where I got up to – season seven I think. I’m also watching Doctor Who with my daughter; we are just over halfway through season one so we have a long way to go. I’ve been enjoying the choice of films on Prime and Netflix lately. I’ve watched Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, Hitch, Cruel Intentions, White Chicks, Blade and Blade 2. A series that I’ve been watching on TV with my partner is APB – it’s so good and cleverly written with a unique spin on an American cop drama.

My partner is away for the weekend so my daughter and I are going to be making the most of girl time. We are having a movie tonight tomorrow with one of her friends, we’re going to be doing face masks and painting nails and she loves playing with my hair. We may also bake some banana bread to have as a pudding after we make homemade chicken nuggets for dinner on Saturday. We’re going to have a blast!

Thank you once again for your time and support. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and will speak next week.

Uncategorized

Thursday 13th August 2020

Hello. I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

I decided to re-edit some of the first few chapters so that I can go through one POV at a time. I have chosen my main protagonist (Andie) to revise first and finally finished my first set of revisions with her this afternoon. I aim to revise my second protagonist (Kaleb) tomorrow. he only has three chapters throughout the novel so should be nice and easy. This leaves me the weekend and next week to revise two more POVs before sending it out for feedback.

I would love to say that revisions have been fun and exciting, but I’ve found them stressful. Because I’m a newbie to writing, with no qualifications, I’m struggling with this process. I’ve enjoyed improving the writing and adding things in that were missed out in first draft, but I’m still not sure if I’m doing it the right way. It’s got me down the last few days. I’ve felt like a failure, like I’m wasting my time, like I’m not good enough. And the truth is – I can’t tell myself I’m not a failure because I’m still in the process of trying, I don’t yet know if I’m wasting my time, and I have no idea whether I’m good enough. One minute I feel positive, the next I feel down. One thing I have told myself, though, is that I’m not going to give up. I WILL revise my novel, the whole way through. I WILL act upon feedback I receive from my editor next month. I WILL try my luck with traditional publishing. If I don’t succeed through the traditional route then I WILL try self-publishing instead. It’s all a bit of a headache. I much prefer the planning and writing the first draft to revising. However, revision has been extremely beneficial at the same time.

Another thing I have struggled with is being an under-writer. I have read that I ideally need 70k words for the novel to have better chances of being accepted, but I’m over 10k words away from this target. Oops! I’ve increased my word count significantly with my first POV character, so I’m hoping the other three POV characters will help me climb closer to the 70k goal. If not, I’m hoping that my editor can give me some pointers. It’s too long to be a novella, so I need to up my game to be in with a chance.

Life at home has been pretty boring and uneventful this week. I’m still dieting but haven’t done any exercise yet. I wasn’t well last night so have sat on my laptop most of today; my daughter has been making drinks and giving me blankets as well as my much loved teddy bear. My daughter is actually my inspiration for writing my novel and she’s my motivation for continuing the journey.

I hope I’ve not been too depressing with my post today, just trying to relate how difficult I’m finding this writing process. Am I alone with this? Or is there anyone else that’s going/been through the same thing? I just want to walk into a bookstore one day to see my book on the shelf!

As ever, thank you for your continued support. I appreciate every second of your time – it’s precious! Have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you all next week.

Uncategorized

Thursday 23rd July 2020

Good evening to you all! I hope you’ve had a great week.

So, I would like to start off by saying that I was unsuccessful with the mentorship programme. They had over 1,500 applicants and only six spaces to hand out. I’m not upset; I was half expecting that result when they postponed the announcement date. It made me realise that I need to finish my first draft and give it a full revision so I can start querying.

The good news is that my partner and I have booked our wedding. We fell in love with the venue and are planning on paying it off by the end of next year to give us a chance to sort the extras out. We are super excited to have it booked after being engaged for a year already. The wedding won’t be until 2023 which gives us plenty of time to get things paid!

Work has finished now. I won’t be back in until September when the new academic year starts. It will be interesting to see how everything works with our new guidelines dependent on what’s happening with COVID-19 at that point. On the whole, I’m looking forward to a change; to be working with a new class teacher and to be with a new year group.

Some more good news – I finally finished the first draft of my novel! After two years of writing, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My job over the summer holidays is to self-edit like crazy and send the first chunk of my story to a developmental editor as I can’t afford the cost of sending the full manuscript over. I have decided to send a small chunk to get as much of the beginning scrutinised as possible and apply the feedback to the rest of my novel. I’m hoping that this will put me in a better position for querying. I really want to start sending my novel off to agents before the end of the year so that I can make a start on my next novel.

Thank you for reading, it means a lot! Have a lovely weekend and I will be back next week.