Rewriting and Recovering


Hello, my lovelies.

After boasting that I had finished my latest book, rewrites appeared from my editor, and I had to re-open the document and get back to work. I was expecting edits, of course, but they coincided with a busy time personally (I help out with my the local youth theatre group and it’s been the lead-up to show week) and a teensy fainting episode which resulted in me bashing my head.

In case you missed it, I did a short ‘update’ episode of my podcast, The Worried Writer, at the beginning of the month: The Worried Writer #21: Deadlines and Mild Concussion

I have been off the internet and social media in an effort to focus on my book and get the rewrites done by the deadline and it’s been very helpful. Much as I love the internet (and I do, truly, love it!) it was good to take a step back and reduce the number of external voices in my head. Especially with the turbulent (and terrifying) political times of the last couple of weeks.

I’ve also done lots of reading, which is always a good thing.

I will have to put together a ‘recommendations’ post soon, but for now I’m currently enjoying The Outrun by Amy Liptrot.

Also, a quick reminder that The Language of Spells is now available in audio format. If you don’t already have an Audible account, you can sign for up for a one-month free trial and get it completely gratis! (Or any other audiobook you fancy, of course).

The Language of Spells: Audible UK                      Audible US

Personally, I love audiobooks and if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

And, as always, thank you for visiting.

Rewriting and Radio Silence

ID-100113575Well, perhaps not complete ‘radio silence’  but if you follow me on the internet, you *should* see a marked decrease in my activity.

Yes, it’s revision time and I need to cut myself off a bit so that I can dive into the book and let the water close up over my head.

I’ll still be checking my emails and (no doubt) popping onto Twitter, FB and Tumblr every so often, but please don’t be offended if I don’t reply to messages with my usual speed, or if I miss something completely.

I know that (most likely) nobody will even notice that I’m gone but I feel very real anxiety at the thought of being rude or appearing dismissive of people (especially you lovely followers and readers who have shown me so much support).

I had a brilliant talk with my agent earlier this week and I’m so excited about this book. As usual I’ve ‘underwritten’ so I’ve got lots of development and layering to do, but the bones of the story are in good shape which feels brilliant!

Also, re-reading the book after a six-week break was a good experience. I can see more clearly what needs to be removed or improved, but I also read lots of stuff that I thought was (whispers) quite good.

Actually, scrub that. I love this book. I love these characters. It’s an ambitious book and that terrifies me, but if I pull it off, it’ll be the best thing I’ve ever written. There. I said it. Gulp.







Progress Report: Slow and Steady

I empathise, my hard-shelled friend. Progress is slowwwwwww.

Hello, my dears!

I thought I’d give you a quick update on my progress with the New Book. I’ve got my messy first draft completed – hooray!

However, progress has slowed considerably… I’m about a third of the way through the second draft and it’s hard (say that last bit in a drawn-out whiney voice to get the full effect).

I’m not a fast writer, but while spewing out a first draft I can get 1000 words in a session without too much angst.

When I’m rewriting/imposing order on the chaos, progress feels so slow. I spent three hours writing yesterday and my overall word count inched forward by 36 measly words.

It doesn’t help that this stage is fraught with anxiety. For me, at least. I’m a fairly anxious person, anyway, and the task of facing my crappy first draft, making big decisions (rather than just scribbling away and thinking ‘I can fix it later’), is inherently stressful.

During rewrites I’m aware that I’m working towards something I will actually show people. I’m thinking of the reader’s experience, rather than just writing down whatever pops up from my subconscious.

Plus, this book feels more ambitious than anything I’ve tried before and I’m scared I’m not up to the task. Argh.

Still. Slow and steady progress is good. I must remember that if I keep going, rewriting it one scene at a time (or one paragraph or one sentence or one word), I will get there.

Probably with plenty more wailing and flailing, though.

[Image credit:]



Writing Challenge Check In: Week 4

thor-2-poster-loki-tom-hiddlestonOh my goodness, we’re half way through the challenge. How are you guys doing?

My revised goal (to rewrite the follow up to The Language of Spells) isn’t quite as easy to track (I’m rewriting and cutting, as well as adding new words), but I was planning to have finished the first third by today.

Um. That hasn’t happened.

Moving on quickly to cheerier matters… I saw Thor 2 and I’m pleased to report that it was great fun. If you like action-packed superhero films with humour, then you’ll love it.

Plus, y’know Thor with his shirt off and the delectable Loki. Yum.

Writing Challenge Check In: Week 3

red_typewriterHello, my lovelies. How was your week?

I hope you all managed to get lots of words written or a chunk of editing completed. Whatever goal you set yourself, I hope it helped you to get work done when you might not otherwise, and to appreciate your progress, no matter how small.

Speaking of small… I managed just under 3000 words. I really wanted this to be the week that I hit my ‘5000 word’ target, but it wasn’t to be. I have excuses, of course. I always have those.

I got stuck. I got ill. The kids were off school on Friday for a random in-service day.

I also have a bit of news. I will be, um, altering my goal for the remaining five weeks of the challenge. Purely to demonstrate the importance of remaining flexible while juggling different projects, of course. Ah-hem.

I heard back from my amazing editor on Friday. She’s read through draft two of the follow up to The Language of Spells and, as I suspected, it needs a fair amount of work. (Translation: A flamethrower would come in handy).

I’ve spent the weekend re-reading the book on my Kindle and marveling at just how wrong I can get things, and at the unbelievable inefficiency of my ‘process’. My brain seems to find it irritatingly necessary for me to write all the wrong words, before I can clearly see which are the right ones. Sigh.

So, my goal for this week is to rewrite the first third of the book.

How about you guys? Are you busy with your NaNoWriMo word counts? Editing away? I wish you luck!

It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done

it-always-seems-impossible-until-its-doneYou know I’m fond of a good quote, right?

This one (from Nelson Mandela) has been my mantra over the last three weeks while I’ve been wrestling with draft two of the new book. (Well, this and the ‘why is my brain so stupid?’ mantra, but that one’s less helpful…)

I sent it to my editor yesterday and although I know it’s not ‘done’ yet, another stage has been completed and that’s something.

[Image Credit: Pearls & Lace]