Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Anthology Launch

My brilliant writing group Tring Writers Circle had a launch event last week for our anthology of short stories.  It was a great evening with some captivating readings, wine, nibbles and a great chance to catch up and pat ourselves on the back.  We were lucky enough to secure sponsors to cover the cost of producing the book itself so all proceeds from every book sold will be going to our local hospice. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Query sent

Having put it off for the last month I have sent the first three chapters plus synopsis to the agent whom I met at this year's Get Writing Conference.  She'd sent me an encouraging email after the conference plus also passed on comments from an editor who I was due to meet but had been unable to attend.  According to the website if they don't contact you within two months then they're not interested ... so by that score I might hear by the beginning of January but then again I might not.
It's difficult knowing what to concentrate on for NaNoWriMo ... either make a start on book 2 or do I start something new??  Not wanting to spend too much time on book 2 in case the fate of book 1 is to remain on my hard drive I've been doing a mix of the two but am very short of the daily target word count.  I haven't got anything on during the evenings this week so am planning to get a few thousand words down by the weekend ...

Monday, 3 November 2014

NaNoWriMo & competition

Have registered for this year's NaNoWriMo so I can get ahead with the second novel in my middle grade/ya trilogy.  I've made plenty of notes and aim to get the majority of the first draft complete by the end of the month. 
To start getting the word about my novel 'out there' I've entered The Caledonia Novel Award.  The closing date was midnight on 2nd November and, typically, was working on the synopsis late that night.  My computer went on a go slow just as my entry was loading onto the email and I managed to get it emailed over with less than ten minutes to spare .. phew

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Final tweaks

Nearly there .... I've lost count of the number of times I've said that in the past couple of months.  But really, I mean it this time, it is nearly finished.  Having had comments back from my brilliant proof readers I'll be working through the ms tonight and hopefully come up with a final, final, final version by the end of the weekend. 
Then all I need to do is to construct a query email and sparkling synopsis that'll draw anyone and everyone into my plot.  Have been informed that October isn't a good month for contacting agents due to the Book Fair I will be there primed and ready in November to send out my first querying email.
In the meantime I've come up with a great idea for a new novel, entirely unrelated to the trilogy I've been working on.  Have a great title, great begining just need to work out where it'll end.  Oh yes and what happens in the middle :)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nearly there

Well my over optimistic plan to finish the edits by the end of May failed.  By the end of June I had come to the conclusion that the majority of chapters needed a lot of rewriting so I set about doing a very hard edit .... the result of this meant I ended up with a novel of just 48,000 words and well short of my 60,000 goal. 
Since then I have been adding/revising daily - I even took it on holiday and made a lot of notes/revisions on the wonderful Isle of Mull.  Last night I began revisions on the final chapter which will be completed by this Saturday.  It's currently being proof read by a very good writing friend and colleage from Tring Writers Circle plus her son is reading it as well and I'm going to get my husband to have a read through too. 
A couple of months ago I emailed one of the editors I'd met at this year's Get Writing Conference.  During my 10 minute facetime session with her she'd been really keen to see the manuscript first and asked me to contact her when it was ready.  So I duly emailed her explaining where I was with the novel and asking if she was still keen to see it but to date she hasn't replied ... I'm not bothered if it's a no and she's not interested, but a reply would have been curteous.  (Nearly wrote the dreaded 'nice' there).
So ... once it's been proof read I'm planning to contact the other agent who very kindly emailed me after we'd met with further feedback and also asking to see it when it was finished.  Fingers crossed I'll get a reply :)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The editing continues

Am now about half way through my editing.  My memory of how finished the novel was doesn't quite correspond with reality and I'm having to do a fair amount of work on most chapters, even condensing chapters 10, 11 & 12 into two.  I've set myself a goal of completing this edit by the end of May so I guess I'll be doing plenty of post midnight shifts over the next few weeks. 
The garden will have to wait a little while longer before I can start pulling up all the weeds down the far end but my overwintering onions have done amazingly well and we'll be able to start eating them in a couple of weeks. 

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.