Friday, 4 April 2014

An incredible week

Last Saturday's Get Writing conference was excellent.  I went to three great workshops : Science Fiction, Fantasy & Proper Novels by Toby Frost, World Builidng in Historical Ficion by Liesel Schwarz and a two hour Constructing Character and Plot workshop run by MR Hall and William Ryan which really got us thinking and working on plot/character ideas for a potential thriller.
My short story stayed in the top ten and didn't win a prize but ....... my pitches/face time sessions went amazingly well.
One of the people I was due to see was unwell, the agent that I saw instead had some great ideas and pointers to think about for my YA novel.  After lunch it was my second 10 minute face time .... the agent I saw said she loved the idea behind my novel, thought the writing and dialogue was great and wants to read it once it's finished and said I should mark my submission for her attention so that it by-passes the slush pile.  Cue more manic dancing (once I'd got home of course).
Since the conference I received an email with comments from the person I was meant to see but who was unwell .... she didn't have any more to say other than it's a strong concept, great first chapter and that she'd love to work with me either on that novel or anything else that I write..  This message was forwarded to me by the first person I saw who reiterated that view and also said she'd love to see the manuscript once it's written.
I'm trying not to get too excited as the chances are they'll all hate it once they've read the whole thing but it's been an amazing week and such a boost to receive such positive comments.
So I've been hard at it all week and am about 1/4 way through my second edit ... I'm trying not to rush things but at the same time I don't want to take so long that they forget about me!!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A year ... really???

Firstly how shocking that it's been nearly a whole year since I've posted anything :(
Was a very eventful year with, unfortunately, work taking up far more time than it should have, meaning I had to push the writing to the back of the pile.
I'm now back and with a couple of success stories to post ...
*  I wasn't placed in last year's Get Writing Cup but to make the final 10 on my first try was a pretty amazing achievement.
*  I won our local writing group's annual short story competition in July, a real highlight to the year.  I still haven't had my name engraved on the cup so I need to get that sorted out before this summer's competition
*  I entered a short story in this year's (2014) Get Writing Cup and have again made it into the final shortlist of 10 - so excited and was joined by my daughter in a mad celebratory dance round the living room.

I've booked myself three slots at this year's conference - a five minute pitch plus two facetime sessions.  I've sent the first chapter of my young adult novel to both facetime slots as I'd love to have two independent opinions on both the writing and the concept of the novel.  I'll probably stick to the same novel in the 5 minute pitch .... I've got a couple of other ideas for novels but they're not entirely 'there' yet and I've hardly written anything on them either !!  I've been doing a lot of editing on my YA novel over the last month or two, trying to hone it into shape for the conference.  I think depending on what feed back I get my next move will probably be either ditch the whole project and start something new or get my finger out, completely finish the edit and then start sending it out for feedback or maybe try somewhere like Cornerstones for some advice/editing first.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

First glimpse of success

In an attempt to maximise the amount of feedback I'd get from this year's Get Writing conference I entered the first three pages of my novel to this year's Get Writing Cup competition.  I had a quick check on the website Sunday to see who'd made the short list and had the shock of the year when I saw that my entry had made the final ten and was on the short list !!  This is the furthest I've got so far with my creative writing and it's given me such a boost .... whether I end up being placed or not it's made my year so far.  The conference is this Saturday (20 April) and am really looking forward to the whole event as well as gaining some feedback on my project through my 10 minute face time slot as the 5 minute pitch session.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Rejection Number 2

Life's Breath didn't make the Chicken House long list .... I'd known it wouldn't but somewhere inside there was that ho hum feeling of disappointment, and another rejection to chalk up on my spreadsheet... Total is now 2:)
I'm in the middle of a major edit, have made quite a few changes and am about to hack into two middle chapters which I suspect are too far fetched even for the world my heroine is living in.  I've booked my slot for this year's Get Writing Conference in Hatfield.  Last year I said that I wouldn't do any more pitches (especially the terrifying 3 minute ones)... the day before I booked my place I announced I wouldn't be pitching this year.  So what did I go and do ..... of course, booked myself a 10 minute face time and 5 minute pitch as well.  It's spurred me into action and I'm now ploughing through the edit so it's in good shape for the conference.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Made it ....

So I didn't manage to write the extra 14K needed by the 14th BUT I did finish the novel, synopsis, plot plan and covering letter and get into the post in time to make the Chicken House deadline.  Was a little unnerving shoving my manuscript into the sack slumped next to the post office counter ... it was far too late to make any changes or even retrieve it from the bag as the next person in the queue dumped a huge parcel on top of mine.  
I've had my first rejection which I'm very proud of as you've got to start somewhere.  I entered it into a competition run by a specialist publisher dealing in science fiction/fantasy ... didn't think it would fit in with their list but it was worth a shot and now I can legitimately create a spreadsheet detailing submissions/rejections. 
Since posting it off I've taken a couple of weeks' breather and started on a new idea ... this time for an adult novel.  It's a theme I've been picking over for ages and have written a few hundred words as a starter.  It's gone off in an entirely different direction than I'd originally planned which is great as every time I dip into it something new comes into my mind. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

How long ???

So I knew I hadn't posted anything on here for a while but since April???? that's nearly half a year ago.  My very valid excuse is that I've been concentrating all my writing time on my YA novel that's nearly completed.  It started as a very casual conversation with my two girls one morning last October ... that conversation mulled and worked its way around my subconscious till it came out as a plot for a YA urban fantasy novel, well not just one but a series of three. 
I started writing towards the end of last year and it has kept me up till way past midnight for more days than I'd like to think of trying to get it finished .... I've just started the final chapter and then its there.  It came with me on a couple of holidays this year so I've been able to do quite a bit of editing in the car/on the train so hopefully it won't be such a long job as if it was still in a raw first draft state.
I discovered that Chicken House have a competition running this year and I've got till 26th October to hone it down, write a synopsis etc and send it off ..... good job I double checked the submission guidelines as I'd assumed they'd only need the first three chapters but they want the whole thing sent in the post.  So long as I don't go to bed for the next couple of weeks it should all work out fine.  BUT then I found a link to another publishing house that are looking for novels of 70k and over to be emailed by 14th October .... I'm currently 14k short (been working to a 60k word count) but it's so tempting to submit it to them as well ... why go for one rejection when there's two out there??  Not sure if I'll be able to write another 14k by the 14th as well as complete the editing .. but it's worth a shot. :)
Having completely immersed myself in my latest writing project Jazzy Jam Jar has again been consigned to the bottom of the pile.  I think it's something i will get back to in time but for now it's back in the jam cupboard