Phew!

My first post for the year. And after five months of head-down/bum-up, I’m finally getting to the end of my editing-fest. I had major re-writes in this novel, why? Well, the first reason is I’m an amateur. I’ve had a university education, I’ve written blogs and helped people with resumes, cover letters, and even worked on publications. But I have never brought a novel to it’s publishable ‘form’.

Creative fiction is a whole other world, full of ambiguity and irritation, but in the end it’s ALLLL worth it. Thank god for my editor. I had many ideas of how a novel ‘should’ be. She helped me realise that many of them were wrong. Did I like hearing that? God no. But I did listen, and pondered, and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and it seems I’m getting close to what is needed.

Where would we be without our editor’s fresh eyes, critical remarks and all around sensible bring-us-down-to-earth ‘Track Changes Comments’ in Microsoft Word. Our editors throw themselves on our ready-to-explode-from-horrific-errors, manuscripts and groan and mutter as they correct our shameful mistakes. They’re forced to be people-managers as they deal with our fragile egos that crumble under the pressure of having our overvalued words stripped from our manuscripts. It’s a tough love that creates respect, trust and gratitude.

I’ve been exceptionally humbled by this process and can say that I’ve grown so much in how I convey my ideas. I’m still an amateur, maybe I always will be, but I have LEARNED LEARNED and LEARNED some more. That is the most valuable jewel that I have obtained from chipping away at padding, preposterous prose and predictable plots.

I hope you have a successful 2013!

If you are a writer struggling with your manuscript. Don’t. Give. Up.

Hire someone to give you REAL feedback. Someone who knows what your story SHOULD look like if it’s to ignite that soul gripping spark in your readers. As writers we’ll always need editors, but what can change is how much work we put those editors through.

I’ve Hit a Slump

Okay, ready for a whinge-fest?

While I’ve finished a great short story and had my novel off to beta readers to read, some of which I’ve had no contact from since sending them my manuscript *sigh*, I’ve hit a slump. I just can’t concentrate lately. I keep switching from one story to the other waiting for something to engage me. So, today I started writing an unrelated novel.

I’m a bit scared actually, (more…)

My Coming Website

So I made this website today. I think it’s satisfactory to my needs for the moment, but I will certainly change it in the future. I need to publish something now. I had my editor all picked out, but now it looks like she can’t edit my manuscript until December. And to be honest, I really need someone as good as her for my first time publishing. So I will wait and maybe produce some short stories in the meantime.

So here’s the address to my new website.  www.kjcolt.com

… I’ve added my blogroll to it, but I think I’m going to just keep this current blog and add it as a ‘link to go to’ from the other website.

🙂

 

 

3000 Words Left

Wow, what an exciting next week or two it’s going to be. Today, I’m wrapping up the re-write of my manuscript and from here on it will all be editing with little content change. This is a momentous occasion for me having never properly completed a manuscript before.

What I’ve learned?

— Try to plan out your novel before you write it. I’ve spent hours and hours having to go back and weave in new sub-plots and content that will be important in the sequel.

— Writing eats up a lot of your social time and spare time. Keep an eye on your health, your eating habits and any other intuitions or prompts your body is giving you. You need a break from your manuscript so take them!

— Don’t over analyse things. Some of my content in the second re-write isn’t as good as the first. I took bits and pieces from my first write up and implemented them into the second write-up.

— Don’t give up! It’s easy to have days that you feel like giving up on your manuscript when the tasks seems insurmountable. A good edit brings dimensions and richness to your characters, setting and plot. If you think your manuscript can be improved, then do it! Don’t fall into the trap of impatience and publish it when it isn’t finished.

(Just like a painting, you could keep editing and editing and trying to get things perfect. You need to set realistic goals for your manuscript. How will I know when it’s finished? Is a question you need to answer at the very beginning of your project.)

From here I need to go through and copy edit my own work. Make sure my phrasing and sentence structure is sound. That I’ve used active and not passive voice (unless it suits). Make sure I’m showing not telling (unless it suits) and finally, formatting the manuscript in word.
After this is goes to my many beta readers of which I have a good amount of. After they find errors and plotholes and every other thing that I’ve missed, it goes to my editor. I will pay my editor lots of money not because they deserve it, which I think they do, but because this money goes towards them helping me to become a better writer and to help other people enjoy my stories.

So here’s to an almost finished product!

There’s light at the end of my tunnel and by golly it isn’t an oncoming train! At least I’m sure it isn’t…

(Can’t be bothered editing this post for errors. Why? Because it’s finished when I say it’s finished! That’s my right as an indie self-publishing author.) >:-)

Songs That Inspire My Writing

I listen to a lot of music when I’m writing scenes to get my mind into a ‘mood-funk’ as I call it.

I listen to Two Steps from Hell’s Dreams and Imaginations for feelings of wonder and focus.

I listen to Ludovico Euinadi for sadness and sorrow –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDfKdwGrbOY

 

For anger and frustration I listen to Evanescence and for pre-writing/editing motivation I listen to vocal trance from www.di.fm.com

So yes, I have eclectic tastes. I encourage you to listen to some of Ludovico’s work though. Especially Primavera (Spring) and Divenire which roughly means ‘to become‘ in italian.

Have a great weekend 🙂