So this week I’m prepared. I’m bending over getting ready for the spanking for being late even though these days I’m more often late than I am on or in time. But this time I have a good reason. Or at least I think it’s pretty damn great! I’m reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’.
I’m going to adopt the mantra ‘If you spend your life quacking on the void, no one will hear you!’.
This may just be the best book I’ve ever read. I nearly cried twice (yes I am a little over-emotional at the moment) and I lost track of how many times I chuckled or laughed out loud. The way it is written didn’t give me the best picture in my mind most of the time and I’m not sure I know what Stephen King looked like as he recounted his years growing up with his mum and brother but all the necessary stuff was there. I’m halfway through and only stopped to give you an update. Sometimes I have to stop or I’ll get lost and ignore everything and everyone around me.
I’m seeing some things in a new light this week. Between SK and Margie Lawson, I’ve learned new tools to help me hone my craft and in the middle of contest finals and requests from publishers, I think I needed it. Of the things I learned this week, one is that my chapters are probably too short. I’ve always written to a word count in my head for chapters and segments but I see I’ve been beating a dead dog. (Probably not the correct analogy (or word) but it’s the first thing that came to mind). No wonder my partials get returned with rejections attached. I’ve let myself down on one the fundamental rules of writing and that’s the make-up of the book. I don’t worry about things like white space or run on sentences unless they’re glaringly obvious. I don’t worry about too much or too little dialogue. I really have no worry for overusing –ly and –ing words anymore either. I think I know enough about those rules to sink a cruise liner. What I should have worried about was that I have about fifty chapters when really I should have thirty or twenty seven.
So tomorrow, in all the spare time I get, I’m going to concentrate on reordering the order of my chapters and segments. Instead of sending seven thousand words in three chapters to Harlequin, I can now send them twelve thousand with so much more meat (and sex). I love it when a new and exciting window opens and I can finally see past the brick wall previously blocking the view of unending possibilities!
Good luck and enjoy!
Can you imagine my surprise when I logged on this morning and noticed I've gone over the 300 hits mark for this website? To say I'm pleased as punch would be an understatement! Thankyou to Eleni who comes back every week and leaves me an encouraging comment and to everyone else for taking an interest in my journey =)
So I can't remember if I posted last time that I'd made it into the second round of RWAus's Emerald awards. My category Blaze went onto the next round where the full manuscript would have been judged by readers. Unfortunately with so many things going on at the time and my MS not perfect, I decided to pull out of the contest. I'm not sure if I'll regret it later but right now, I believe I made the right decision. I'm still happy dancing over finally making it past round 1 of a competition. I received my feedback two days ago and I was absolutely floored. I got a perfect 40, a 39 and a 32 out of 40. The comments had me once again smiling like an idiot as I stared at the paper in my hands. This means I'm that much closer to my goal and it gives me the encouragement I need to keep going, to refine and to perfect.
Yesterday, while I cruised the blogs I came across a RWA interview with Margie Lawson and found out quite a few new techniques about deep edits. Straight away I hopped over to her website and bought one of her lecture packets. I really want to send the best work I can to Blaze. In this game, once your book gets rejected, it could be years, if at all, that you can sub the same book to the same publisher so I need to nail it the first time.
Another thing I keep noticing lately is that with every book I write, I get better and better. The old adage that I remind my kids of every day, practice makes perfect, really does apply to me. I define my voice with every new page and I learn more and more the deeper involved I get. It's fantastic! It's like this secret world of correct English and grammar and a bucket load of other stuff is being revealed to me as I open my eyes wider. Needless to say, I've booked my flight to the conference in Sydney this year already even though it's not till August and seats are limited. I'm just so excited about the opportunities to hone my craft.
Anyway, can you tell I'm tired? I always ramble a fair bit when I need sleep. I'm off to read a lecture packet and then to take another looks at my subs so I can send them off! Wish me luck =)
I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.