Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Pocket Novel has been critiqued

The book I had been working on as a Pocket Novel is now back with me. I had sent it to the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers' Scheme for their feedback in August, and got it last week. Most of it was in draft because I knew I didn't have enough time to complete it all properly before the deadline. I am pleased I did that now. There is a lot to think about and work on. Plus a subplot to add in, as well as making more of the romance and making the family drama more of a mystery (not reveal something too soon). The reader did like the title and thought the whole story was suitable for a My Weekly Pocket Novel, so I am definitely going to send it to them once I have almost finished all the rewrites etc. I hope that will be the start of next year. I have made a revision plan for the novel as there is a lot to do with it to get it to the 50K that is required. Here it is:

1. To go through the whole ms and work on the reader's pencilled comments on the script itself. I have started this process already and am on Chapter Six.
2. To work on the reader's comments at the back of her feedback.
3. Might add the new subplot, which is related to something said by the hero. This will mean adding another character's viewpoint.
4. This will then mean adding scenes where the hero works in his job.
5. Describe the heroine's work place more.
6. Make more of the romance
7. Make the family drama more of a mystery. Will mean to take out scenes and work out if I can put them later on in the story.
8. Hopefully, all revisions will have been done, so will go through the reader's comments and check that I have done them.
9. Revise the synopsis.

I am looking forward to doing these revisions, esp adding another pov, which I had thought about before, anyway. It means more family drama to the story.

Receiving this feedback for it, and esp reading that they think it is suitable for my intended market, has made me want to write Pocket Novels now.

Think I will print this out to remind me what I intending doing. lol.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Reading out work as an Aspie

I thought I would go back to reminding people that I have Asperger's Syndrome. There are two reasons for this.

1. There was a post on Facebook the other day from a fellow children's author, which was really a chain post. I had seen that others had taken her up on it and posted it on their status update, so I did the same. Boy, I didn't realise what sort of comments I'd get. A couple of people had a go at me for doing it, esp as an author. Then someone I know via another business we'd been in had a go at the others for having a go at me and saying that I had AS so don't have a go. (Thanks, Rebecca). I think because of my AS, I didn't really take notice of the nastiness of the comments, and I just thought to myself, why have a go at me when others have done the same. I am no longer going to take part in that sort of post again. So, if you leave a comment on my post, please make sure that it is clear in intent and not nasty. I might not realise what it actually means, otherwise.

2. Some weeks ago, we recorded the TV series 'The Autistic Gardener', and we have just started watching it at lunchtimes. I find it interesting to watch others like me, the first time I have seen other adults with AS on TV. I watched the second episode yesterday (I think) and something in it I really related to as an author. One of the young men, Thomas, couldn't tell the couple who owned the garden what his ideas were. I so related to this when I have had to read out my writing to a group. I have learnt to over the years but I still get nervous, and when it comes to my turn, I feel my hands go clammy and my heart race. Then when I do speak, I talk fast.
This goes back to when I was at Primary School. I remember writing a short story based on a true incident. The teacher asked if I wanted to read it out to the class and I said no, and she read it herself. That has always been the way with me through Secondary School to work to writing groups. Having been a member of the RNA and gone to their chapter meetings where we have had to talk about ourselves and read aloud, I have got better at it, but still not completely OK with it. As another writer said to my post about it, it's like baring your soul. Yes.

Friday, 18 September 2015

New writing goals

I have recently decided to have two different writing goals for next year: 1.Write serials for either Woman's Weekly and/or The People's Friend. 2. Write pocket novels for My Weekly. Here is why I have now chosen these goals, esp the latter one when I know I previously said I didn't want to write pocket novels.

I have been working on a first instalment of a serial for The People's Friend serial writing competition, and I really like doing it. You have to write the outline first to work out where the story goes, which I did for the competition. I have lots of ideas jotted down for novels, so next year I might go through them to see which ones, if any, can be used as a serial instead. I have found I really like writing romantic mystery stories, which is what the story I'm working on is about.

I have also been working on a novel, which I originally wrote in 2010, that I want to be a My Weekly pocket novel. I have submitted this already for the RNA's New Writing Scheme. I have a couple of chapters left to read through and possibly work on, then I will let it rest until I get my critique from the RNA. I have a few mss up in my bedroom wardrobe that I had sent to the RNA over the years and not done anything with, and I now think could be worked as pocket novels. So, my plan next year is to work on one of those alternately with an Aspiekid book. There are two reasons I now want to write pocket novels. They are: 1. If you get a pocket novel published, you can then later on get it published with a mainstream hardback publisher who sends it to the libraries. If this happens, you can then apply for PLR. Another opportunity to get money for your writing. 2. If you get a pocket novel published by My Weekly, there is a chance that you can get short stories accepted by them, too. This is the only way I know how to write for My Weekly, as they don't take stories otherwise, only from their established writers.

Along with these two goals, I am going to continue writing and sending short stories to womags. I have yet to get an acceptance this year so far, so my goal for this year possibly won't come to anything. Roll on next year.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Have an alternative plan

For what, you may ask? For whatever you're writing. I have an alternative plan for what I want to do with the entry for the People's Friend serial writing competition, if it doesn't win (which is likely because I know of a few others who are entering it). I really like this story I am writing; it's a romantic mystery. I have a Plan B and a Plan C for it. If it doesn't win, then I am going to try it with Woman's Weekly as a serial. If that doesn't work, Plan C is to put it on hold and write it later on as an ebook, which I will publish myself.

You can have alternative plans for most things you write. If you write short stories for women's magazines, then have an idea which other magazine you could send it to if it's rejected. This is a v good idea as there aren't many womags out there now that take stories.

Also, you can have a Plan B for the novel you are writing. I know most authors want to have their books accepted and published by a publisher, but in this day and age it is so hard to get that. You have to have an exceptional story to be taken on. So, the alternative is to self-publish it, and these days that is easy to do. It is also more mainstream and viable. So many authors are successful with their ebooks. And it's far quicker to get out to the readers.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The People's Friend Serial Writing Competition

After much thought I have decided I will be entering the above. I saw the competition in one of their magazines the other week and thought, no, I haven't got an idea for that to enter it, so decided to stick with short stories. But then I read an article in the latest issue of Writer's Forum magazine all about writing serials for People's Friend, and the fiction editor, Shirley Blair, said that she doesn't  mind mysteries. Aha. A light bulb moment. I had an idea written down for a possible serial for Woman's Weekly but might be OK for PF now. So, I changed my mind. I have begun an outline for the serial and know what is going to happen in the whole serial as I've already had a few ideas which I've jotted down.

The winner gets publication, the illustrations that go with it, £400 and a free entry to one of their workshops. They want an outline of 1500 words. Basically a synopsis detailing the characters, their ups and down, what happens and the end. They also want the first instalment of 6K words. But you have to send in the coupon that was in either the 15 or 22 August copies of the magazine, both of which I have.

I can't wait to get started properly, which will be after I've sent a short story to my editor, hopefully later this week.

If you are a new author stuck on your ms, then why not sign up for my newsletter of writing tips, exercises and news at http://eepurl.com/bwuQav

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Do you have a theme in all your books?

Sorry I've not been here a lot, but been helping my mum round the house and garden, and then went down with a cold. Still have the cold, but much better now.

Anyway, do you have a theme running through all your books? I do. Mine is hope and second chances. I shall explain more.

With my Guardian Angels series, there is hope for the teen angels, Lizzie and Danny, for redemption by helping other teens on Earth from risking their lives and death, like they did. They give hope to the teens they help by showing them what they can do with their lives if they just try and not give in to boredom. I'm currently writing the fifth and final of the series, where Lizzie and Danny have their last mission to pass and graduate from the school. It doesn't all go to plan like they hoped.

In Geraldine's Gems adult romance series, Geraldine has gone to Heaven after dying and given the chance to redeem herself (she was not nice when alive) by first getting her ex love to be nice again, then going down to Earth to help her relatives get their lives and love back on track. As she is told, One good turn deserves another. So her relatives are given hope and second chance at love.

Then in my dark magical romance series 'Secrets of Singleton' some of the residents whom are single, are given the hope of romance by certain objects who have magical powers given by their descendants.

So there you have my theme of Hope and Second Chances.

I plan to put this theme in non-fiction soon, too. I plan to write and publish a series of short ebooks to help new authors with their writing. The first one is going to be full of writing exercises for all genres, the second one will be more exercises, but will use words and verbs that often get mixed up and confused eg practice/se. (One which I used to get confused with).

You can buy any of the above ebooks at http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0034P09WW

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A question for authors

This is a slightly different blog post today. I want to ask you authors here a question. Think back to when you started writing. When you began, what words and verbs were there that you got mixed up eg practice/se, affect/effect (I've only just come to understand the difference between affect and effect).

The reason I ask is I am creating a freebie for my list of writing exercises to get their writing flowing if and when they get stuck. From that, I want to expand it into a short ebook with more exercises and quizzes about the most common words and verbs we get confused with.

So, if you could let me know by commenting here, or by messaging me on FB, or by emailing me at julied2511atyahoo.co.uk. I will be grateful.

If you think you'd like this freebie as well, let me know also on here with your email and I shall add you to my list.