First round of edits: Complete!

I finally finished the first round of edits for my novel. *phew* breathes a sigh of release. But it’s not over yet folks. That’s right, the second round is to come. How do I feel about that? Well, let’s start with how I felt about the first round! It was tough. I’m not going to lie, it was tough but at the same time I got a lot out of it. I learned a lot about how well I handle criticism, I learned how well I can work and edit when I put my mind to it and I worked damn hard to do it.

The second round – I’m quite looking forward to seeing the whole thing altogether as a novel. I’m equally intrigued to find out how many words it is now. When I submitted it was around 48k and I’m guessing it’s gone up some since then. My story has changed slightly, not the plot itself but since adding background info in and more character development, small details I’ve had to waiver. But it’s all a part of the creative process.

And let me tell you what a genius my editor is. I think she was just as nervous as me when we started this. She was worried she was being too critical or making too many notes. She’s an absolute saint. She’s given my baby everything she could and for that, I’m so thankful. Thank you, Missy!

This weekend I plan to have a little bit of a breather. I’m taking off for the day on Saturday with some friends and my partner to have a lovely day out involving lots of sunshine (fingers crossed) and on Sunday I plan to be in my pjs all day. I’m going to cook a Sunday dinner complete with roast potatoes (my favourite thing at the minute). I might possibly scrapbook or write or the bigger likelihood, I’ll game! Either that or watch a few movies. There’s a few I want to catch up on so I can go see the sequels that are coming out now.

Then I have a third day off! That’s unheard of. No idea what I’ll do with that. I have a niggling feeling that there’s something in the back of my mind… I’m sure there’s something I’m doing. But anyway, nice and relaxed.

Then back to the grind and hopefully the edits, feeling refreshed!

Productivity and Editing Novels

So it seems that setting small goals for myself works (to some extent at least!) I aimed to read, write and gym again this week on my days off. Unfortunately I didn’t achieve all of my goals. However, I’m not beating myself up about it. I didn’t visit the gym at all. That was actually a bad stroke of luck which saw my partner slightly injured which meant he couldn’t go. Of course, I still could have went but I chose not to! Does that make me bad? I swear I was looking after him. Lol.

I did read. A lot. I finished a whole novel and got through a half of another for a couple of friends of mine that I promised I’d read for. So I really enjoyed that.

On the writing front, I did write, although I didn’t really achieve what I wanted to. While I planned to work on my new novel I actually got the edits for chapter one back from my publisher so I decided to use that time to go through those edits and revise to perfection! So I was still productive and achieved something. I feel awesome. The edits for chapter two have just arrived in my mailbox too so I plan on doing those in the next couple of days. It’s so exciting! When I was given the news that my book had been accepted for publication you would not believe the amount of happy dancing I did (and this was at work, no less!) But now the real work is beginning and it’s bringing the reality with it, which I love! Onward and upward!

Day 100 of 100!

You might remember me blogging about writing 100 stories in 100 days or have seen my guest blog spot here:

http://incompetentwriter.com/2014/04/14/write-a-story-every-day-for-100-days/

I finally finished! Today, May the 13th, was day 100! I have to say that I have been through some thick and thin moments. Sometimes I’ve been so bursting with ideas that I had to keep going. Sometimes I’ve been so tired that the thought of writing anything has been almost ludicrous. Sometimes my muse has simply left me alone for a while and I have stared at a blank piece of paper–or screen–for a long time. But nevertheless, I reached my goal. I did have a few days off (which was allowed) and it seems that my goal changed slightly from writing short stories everyday to just writing. I started a new novel and got it up to forty pages before I hit a wall (editing required before I can continue). I wrote a lot–and I mean a lot– of short stories. Some of them were so short they were micro fiction, others were longer. I even started participating in a story with another author which we are adding to bits at a time. It has been one hell of an experience.

Would I do it again? Yes. I think so anyway. Not for a while. Would I continue on to do the 365 day challenge? Not right now. I recently got seconded at work and my new job is keeping me both busy and tired so for now, I’m going to pat myself on the back, enjoy my moment of creativity and take a rest. I’m sure I’ll be back!

Pinehurst: A Novel Review

I’ve just finished reading the first novel in the Young Adult Pinehurst series and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I read this novel within around three days and read half of that in one sitting.

Pinehurst, written by Nicole Grane, was a great novel that kept me hooked throughout. I found that I loved Evie’s carefree, rebellious attitude and even though she realised her magical abilities were above average, she wasn’t one to brag. The reader gets a really clear insight into her thoughts and emotions on several things including school, family, magic and the most important thing, guys! It’s written from a first person perspective which allows the reader to get very close and I have to say, I really liked the girl.

 

*Spoiler Alert!*

The reader follows Evie, the protagonist who has a problem with authority and constantly rebels against her dad using her magical abilities. When she’s shipped off to Pinehurst she thinks things will go just as she wants them as she always has, but she soon finds out her dad won’t budge an inch. As she finally begins to settle into life at her new magic school she makes some friends, learns a lot about her dad that she never knew and finds out that she must travel to the Underworld in a bid to save him. All of this is done with her mentor, and complete hotty, Antonio.

I’d give this novel 4.5 stars out of 5. Why minus the half star? Towards the end of the novel I noticed a few typos etc that distracted me a little and therefore upset the flow. That’s the only reason. Looking forward to the next one!

 

Where to find it

 

I got the Kindle edition of this novel from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pinehurst-Olympian-Adventure-Young-Romantic-Adventure-ebook/dp/B007Y2PURA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398653460&sr=8-1&keywords=pinehurst

Writing Marathon?

I’ve been working on my new novel idea for a little while now. I’ve been trying to write some everyday in an attempt to keep it moving forward and not forgetting about it as I have so many other projects. I’m quite happy with the way I’ve managed to keep up with this so far (as well as brainstorming other ideas) as the only times I’ve finished a novel in a rapid time before is during the month of November and the notorious NaNoWriMo.

However, it almost seems like there’s this wall I hit evertime I write and I can’t quite understand it. I will write and find that I’m enjoying it but usually, once I’ve hit a chapter boundary, that’s it. I call it a night. I keep asking myself why but I can’t figure it out. It’s like I’m pre-programmed to stop after a certain amount as if continuing to write could be detrimental to my health. That’s ridiculous! I wonder if anyone else comes across this and if they do, how they bypass it.

I know different people write in different ways, some maybe bit like me in little sound bytes. I envy those who can sit and write for extended periods of time without breaking a sweat. A friend of mine, Charmaine Pauls, just posted on her timeline that she has been writing nine hours a day for seven days! I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that.

Does anyone else have similar or different techniques? When you’re trying to get in the writing zone, how do you prepare? Do you have background noise? Do you have a particular space to write? I’d love to hear about it!

You can check out Charmaine’s facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charmaine-Pauls/

Or her blog here:

More shorts coming your way

 

 

Inspiration

I find that a subject a lot of authors get asked about is their inspiration. What inspired them to write that book? Where did the idea come from? It makes me wonder about my own inspiration and how I come to write the things I do.

For me, and The Doors (the young adult novel due for publication in September 2014) it was a dream. Yeah, I know how cliche that sounds. It is very cliche, but it’s true. Saying that, I don’t think much of what I dreamed actually transpired into the novel itself.

All I remember about the dream now is seeing a huge set of mosaic doors and when I looked at them, I felt this sense of fear rolling through my body. When I got up the next morning and went to work, I got to thinking: why did those doors make me feel like that? There was something about them I just couldn’t put away. I couldn’t just leave it, my mind wouldn’t rest. I had to write about those doors. And so I did.

The first draft of the story was about twenty pages long. Not long at all. But I loved writing every minute of it. I had a few people look it over and with a few comments and suggestions (most of which in a pretty positive light) I extended the piece, editing more than once, in order to make the novel what it is today. I never thought I would be someone who could write a novel. Not Alice who writes short stories and sometimes dabbles in poetry. But I did it. I guess it goes to show what we can do if we put our minds to it.

Not all of my inspiration comes from dreams, saying that. Actually, not most of it. I do sometimes wake with snippets of something I have to scribble down but mostly it comes from the everyday. Conversations I hear, people I meet, the image of something. It can all spark something in my mind and once my mind begins working overtime, the story begins to form.

Where do you get your inspiration from?