Tag Archives: Writing

25,000 words…

Another milestone reached as Auran Chronicles #2 ploughs on with merrily abandon.

I’ve hit one of those critical “what if”  moments now that always happens and threatens to blow my carefully planned outline to smithereens!  It’s such a cliché but when those characters get formed on your head they really do things that you didn’t plan for!

Annoyance.

So,  on this occasion I’ve decided to follow Cade to see where his way of working takes the story.  So if the novel goes crazy from this point on it’s not me you blame.

It’s the characters…  ☺

 

 

 

 

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The proof has arrived!

The proof of Message Bearer arrived this morning courtesy of CreateSpace. I’m very chuffed, it’s great to see it actually “in the flesh” for the first time rather than existing out there in the digital ether!

I might have to tinker with the chapter heads slightly (they appear too far up the page for my liking) but aside from that I’m very pleased with the outcome!

Cover_real

Auran Chronicles Book 2 – 10,000 words reached

A milestone reached last night – 10,000 words in the sequel to the Message Bearer. I don’t have a title for it yet, so “Book 2” will have to do for now. Message Bearer changed names about 7 times during its lifetime, including during the beta read, so I’m not losing any sleep over it just yet.

What is interesting is how easy the words are coming out for the sequel. During book 1, the story was so tricky to nail down (won’t say anymore than that – spoilers) that it was like navigating a plot minefield ensuring all the pieces aligned up correctly.

With book 2 though, this isn’t the case. I’ve got a clear end game for this one, and the way book 1 ended allowed me plenty of opportunity to reach it. In fact I think it gave me too much scope with which to attack book 2!

In summary, I’m enjoying writing book 2 immensely, my only fear now is that I won’t be able to wrap up the whole story in 3 books!

What’s the term for 4? A quadrology? 🙂

Useful editing tip using the Kindle app

I’ve just finished the line edit of my final draft of Message Bearer and I thought I’d share an approach I found on this particular draft that I found immensely useful.

One of my biggest challenges is that I seem to have some kind of writer’s blindness when spotting the minor errors that dot a manuscript (double words “the the”, missing words “he opened [the] door” and so forth). These are the kind of errors that don’t get picked up by the spelling/grammar checker and are somehow invisible to my own eyes when looking at the Word document.

So, for this final pass through I wanted to read the book as a reader would, not in Word but on my kindle (well android tablet but you get the idea). Reading the book in this way makes these little errors stand out much more prominently than from the Word doc so I thought I’d give it a go. My plan was to keep a pad alongside and make notes as I went through, ready for the final touch ups.

What I ended up doing though was instead using the Kindle app’s note taking ability. This allows you to highlight text in the document, save a note/comment and move on. I did this for the entire read through and after that was complete I simply whizzed through the Word doc with my tablet next to me, fixing the highlighted text and then deleting the note. It worked a dream!

Hopefully someone else may find this approach useful. For me it allowed me to experience the book as a reader would, not as a Word file. It made it much easier to capture all the minor typos, word errors etc. I know I could’ve done this by printing out the whole thing and making notes on the manuscript but my handwriting is so terrible I’d probably forget what the comment is actually about!

Back, phew!

Well, this absence had been longer that I’d planned, but I’m glad to say I’m back on the writing wagon now, and it feels sooo good to say that!

The reason? Open University. I’ve been studying for an open degree for the past few years ( a combination of IT and Physics), and aside from the four year break I took for the birth of my twins, it’s been going pretty well.

Anyway, the end of the road is in site now, I’m on level 3 TMA’s (tutor marked assignments – basically the final year of uni) and this last module in particular has been a particular drain. I’ve been head down for two weeks, putting together the mother of all TMA’s it seems, ready for a deadline date of the 9th September. I completed the last question this morning and I can’t begin to describe the relief I’m feeling (maybe I should, I do make claims to be a wannabe writer after all!) at this moment.

Finally, after completing the last question, I then rattled out 700 words of my WIP, which is the first time I’ve touched it since I started the TMA with venom just after my last post on the 22nd August.

So, I’m glad to say I’m back, I’m writing, and hopefully I’m on track to complete this draft by the end of September.

Now, time to catch up on everyone else’s blogs 🙂

Take care.

75,000 words of draft two reached – so, so painful!

Well, this has been a struggle.

I hit 75k last night, but the last few days have been a trickle of writing that I just know will be obliterated in the now certain-to-be-needed third draft.

I’m not really sure what the problem is either. The outline is holding true, I’m still loving Scrivener, but it suddenly feels like someone’s drained 90% of my vocabulary. I look at earlier sections of the novel and I can literally see that the words were flowing so much more easily at that phase. Now, though, every word is a chore, every choice labored over for minutes before putting something down on (virtual) paper.

It’s frustrating, but trying to put a positive slant on it, it’s all a learning experience isn’t it?  I suspect deep down the reason I’m struggling is that there’s a flaw in the story that I’m writing around that I just need to identify and face up to. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’s nothing that a good red pen and scissors exercise when this draft is complete won’t solve.

Anyway, I’m going to plough on with this draft, as painful as it has become. The end is in sight now (100K words), my main characters are all in their right places and the scene is set for the climactic battle. I just need to get there, as painful as that might be.

It’s a shame really – I’ve actually loved writing this novel, and compared to previous works I haven’t found it hard to put fingers to keyboard on a daily basis at all until recently. Earlier on I was nailing 1500 words + easily per day, but recent efforts are 600-1000, and a lot of it could/will be cut with no real impact to the story. Hey ho!

On the plus side – still loving Scrivener – easily the best part for me so far is that each scene is a separate file, which breaks the story down into nice manageable chunks for me to deal with. I’m even trying the Linux version now as part of my transition to a Ubuntu-running laptop. This bit is working alright actually, it’s the Google drive integration that’s proving irksome. But that’s another story.

Anyways – back to the WIP. I was going to lay my cards on the table this week and put down an anticipated release date but I think I might hold off from that, at least until this draft is completed.

Mike

Novel Structure Cheat Sheets

Hey,

I’ve added this link to my blog roll but also as a post. I found it via a link from reddit a few weeks ago but only really got round to looking at it now. For me and my inherent lack of planning skills I’ve found some of these templates very useful for checking my beats, structure etc. In fact I’m using one right now to go through my current WIP to check I’m on the right lines.

I know there’s no hard and fast rules about plot and story structure, but for me, with this being my first “properly edited” novel, I’ve found adhering, even loosely, to some kind of framework very helpful.

There’s a few here, kudos to Jami (@JamiGold) for doing this 🙂

Mike