A Construct of Angels – the 2014 re-launch.

8 Comments

CoA post its

It has taken many, many months of hard work, but the revised version of CoA (Kindle, ePub and Kobo) is finally ready to be shown to the world. The paperback is due to follow shortly afterward.

My editor, Tara Shaner and I have been bouncing the MS back and forth across the pond since July, and now, finally, we are both happy with the result. It’s fifty or so pages shorter, two characters lighter and a great deal tighter than before.

I’ve learned a great deal during the process of revision (old hands will nod sagely at this point, but bear with me).

An edit is not just about spelling and grammar. It’s as much about the flow as it is about the structure. It’s about plot threads and loose ends; developing characterisations as well as removing characters who either complicate or lend nothing to the plot. Pace, language and humour are also essential elements of an engaging MS.

I began 2013 with the certainty that after scores of read-throughs, my MS would be error-free and ready to roll.

No need for an editor, I thought.

I can do English. I know how to use punctuation.

I was so naive.

I’ve learned, by taking this long way around, that it really does take an outside and professional eye to spot repetitive or erroneous patterns in a Manuscript – and to offer solutions. A writer can become settled and overly accustomed to the flow of the story and (I have caught myself doing this at times) can tend to ‘read’ the story, rather than edit it objectively.

Be in no doubt that you may begin to question your own skill as a writer as overused words, inappropriate dialogue tags and pointless character actions are unearthed before your disbelieving eyes. ‘Did I really write that? What was I thinking?’

But a good editor should also indicate the places where your work shines, where the humour tickles and where the pace grips the reader. And whilst human nature will automatically remember the bad over the good, an indicator of  competent, nay, great work will help to soften the blow – as well as encouraging the writer not to throw in the towel.

I know where my towel is. :D

So the re-launch is imminent. Watch this space and if you can, please join me on my Author page for some fun, frolics and giveaways on Friday, 28th February.

signature plus n270

The difficult second novel? Nah!

5 Comments

inspiracion

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently well (15,500 words) into ‘A Vengeance of Angels’ (the sequel to ‘Construct’) and I’m re-discovering the joy of ‘pantsing’.

The writing is flowing well, still closely following the bamboo and creeper framework that I’d lashed together over a year ago when I was still begging agencies to consider ‘Construct’.

And this time around, I’m pleased to report, the writing feels different; more enjoyable.

With a year’s worth of editing  experience behind me, I have a clearer picture of the process from the first rough scratches through to the finished product.

I now know that I can roll along, throwing down my  ideas, comfortable in the knowledge that not everything I put into words will get used.  And with this comes a new kind of freedom from worry.

I don’t have to doublethink every sentence; every word uttered by my characters.   This time around I am aiming for continuity, rough adherence to the (flexible) framework but with a firm path towards the planned ending.

It’s refreshing to know that I don’t have to fret about what I’m writing – that can all be sorted out once the First Draft is complete – following the mandatory month-in-the-drawer, naturally.  What matters is that the ideas are recorded before they are lost to the white noise that is my ever-fizzing brain.

notebook and laptop

Experienced hands will already be aware of all this, so please forgive the egg-sucking instructions.

However, newbies may still (as I did) become mired in the spiralling hell that is the ‘must get that paragraph perfect before I move on’ routine.

Don’t!

Just pound that keyboard and pour all your relevant ideas onto that hard drive, pushing headlong until you have reached the end of your story.  That will then give you something to work with; something complete.

And if your Muse throws Chapter Two ideas at you when you’re racing through Chapter Ten, then by all means nip back, drop in a paragraph close to where it’s relevant and get right back to Chapter Ten.  Don’t (as I did) waste time and effort ‘blending it in’.  Just drag, drop and get on with it.  The idea will still be there in six months (more realistically, a year) when you are reviewing what you’ve written.

I regret now that I spent so much time ‘polishing’ what was essentially an unfinished product - a bit like applying sealant to a bath that was not only still in its packaging, but still on the delivery wagon.

If your story turns out to be anything like mine, in a year’s time, some of those ‘brilliant’ ideas may no longer be relevant.  Your character will (ideally) have grown as you’ve been writing and your original plan for them to rescue that drowning child in Chapter Two might no longer be in character for them.  You may need your character to be tortured and regretful by Chapter Twenty and NOT rescuing that child may be exactly what forces that character change.

So this is the point where, as they say, you don’t sweat the small stuff.  Not yet.

That comes later, once you’ve established all the motivations of your characters and where your story is heading…

Then begins the blood, sweat, tears and fingernail a la crue.

Writing is only the first part of the process.  Embrace the whole.

So;

Have you found that your approach to writing alters with experience?

What one piece of advice (post-it note sized only) would you give to your inexperienced self if you could get a message back to them using Sandra Bullock’s magical post box (The Lake House, 2008)?

Write on!

 

click me if you dare

Dimitris Melicertes

I don't write, I touch without touching.

Author P.S. Bartlett

I'm Taking a Fantastic Voyage. Won't You Join Me?

Harry A. Manners

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novelist

ked

Thoughts, inspiration, daydreams

Inkcouragement

A Writer's Musings

The Gatekeepers Diary

an inside view for outsiders

Write me a book, John!

All things books, all the time

I make stories.

The blog of K. M. Alexander

Anna Bayes

Writer of Erotic Romances for the Fiercely Loyal

comics, pop culture and related topics

chrismcmullen

Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Ideas

MsTranquility

Going it Alone - All About Life, Love and Relationships

Chapter TK

Question Everything

Her Headache

A place to express myself through writing. a way to make sense of it all. Life as I see it.

Nutella On Rye

I work in a movie theatre so you don't have to.

Confessions Of A Hollywood Nobody

A journey along the path most traveled.

meganelizabethmorales

You're insane? We're all insane! Bwahahahaha!

Jessica Minyard

Writer of word for teens, tweens, and in-betweens. Lover of all things magical, nerdy, and fluffy.

Renard Moreau Presents

Cool Miscellaneous Thoughts

t h i n g s + f l e s h

lyrical essays on songwriting + other mysteries

Kim Harrison's Drama

Because it's all about the drama

FY HI!

A particular remarkable and usually surprising bit of information

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Granny Smith: Unleashed

Observations and random thoughts from a "not so teenager."

Line Of The Week

Miscellaneous Utterings From Best Friends

Catch a Falling Star

The official blog for Michael Beyer, author of 'Catch a Falling Star'

dribblingpensioner

Just another pensioner with his thoughts if he can remember them

Joke for today

A NEW JOKE EVERY DAY

Bob and Emily

Live, laugh, love......and enjoy every minute

White Diamond Edits

Professional book editing & proofreading

Once Upon Your Prime. . .

Live Happily Ever LAUGHTER!

Traveling Around the World

One moment at a time

fisticuffsandshenanigans

It was all fun and games, until the fisticuffs and shenanigans... -Deutschmarc

Tammy Hopkinson MBA

Business Opinions and Thoughts

The Failed Exorcism of Soo Yi

Forgive me but I have not sinned. I am keeping the “devil” in me.

Celia Fitzgerald

"As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment in time." - John Mason

Seth Adam Smith

Writing the Way Forward

Gin Giles

Book Whore Extraordinaire

Clyde Mach

Book Reviewer

Grady P Brown - Author

Superheros - Autism - Fantasy - Science Fiction

Just A Small Town Girl...

Just your average 22 year old, diagnosed with E.W.S. at birth... AKA Excessive Writing Syndrome :)

Dreamer

Beyond the seams of the universe, lies a greater truth

Photography by Manos, Flora and Marinos

The Contemplative Mammoth

(ecology and climate change from the 4th dimension)

elizagalesinterviews

Eliza’s interviews are done by email; all answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,639 other followers

%d bloggers like this: