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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.

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.

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Thursday 11th June

Over the weekend, I decided that I need to finish rewriting my story. Firstly, it will make it easier if I’m lucky enough to get a place on the mentorship programme. If I’ve already finished writing it, then it will be easier to tweak. Lastly, if I’m unsuccessful, it means that I can start my submissions straight away.

I must admit, I’ve been stressing over the mentorship programme. Every time I think about it, I can feel the nerves scurrying through my body. Waiting makes me worry. I don’t suffer with anxiety, but my levels have been up and down like a pogo stick. Does it have a similar effect on you? Just under three weeks until I find out if I’ve got a place – 1st July needs to hurry itself up!

Having been back at work for the last two weeks, it has helped to keep my mind occupied. When there is little to do, I read my book. I’m still working my way through the Sookie Stackhouse series at the moment and am reading Dead and Gone (Book 9). I love a good vampire story. Vampire box sets are a good option too.

I’ve had no time to paint this week, but I have been on Twitter a lot. The writing community on there is so supportive, lots of friendly comments, lots of retweets and likes, lots of writer lifts – what’s not to love? It’s been great to connect with other people in a similar situation to me and see how they have progressed.

Anyway, I digress, I have rewritten three more chapters this week, read them back to myself out loud and ran them through ProWritingAid (mainly to check for passive sentences, adverbs and grammar). Anyone else do this? What do you check for? My updated chapters have been sent to my feedback group, so I’m just waiting for their replies to see if they’re as good as the other chapters.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my latest post. Speak again next week.