I completed NaNoWriMo on 15th November 2019, which is the fastest I have ever managed to write the 50,000 words required. This left me with several options, one of which was to continue with this story, Seasons of an Affair and increase the word count to 70,000 plus to create a draft manuscript for future editing and revision.
However, a book I placed on order some time ago became available. This particular book is the story of a man, who escaped society and lived alone for 27 years. Known as the North Pond Hermit, Chris Knight existed in a make shift camp with no human contact for all that time. I initially read the newspaper reports when he was captured and it sparked an idea for a novel, along with two other strange news stories, this became my 2014 NaNo novel – The Giving Thief. After reading the book of his life (twice) I was plunged back into that story. Do I go back to it and complete it?
Then another on order book became available giving me my third option. This is a research book on steampunk, which is the genre of one of my 2018 NaNo projects. I used that NaNo challenge to write the sequel to The Rython Kingdom and launched Rython Legacy in 2019. However, the other ‘novella’ project for that year quickly expanded into a full length novel, The Commodore’s Gift, from a short story I’d written some time before. So I am tempted to revive this story line as well.
So which will I chose?
As a writer we all have multiple story ideas racing around our heads all the time. It is difficult to decide which story to choose when they all clamor for attention.
With the opportunity to indulge in writing with no distractions on my ‘escape’ to Red Deer for a mini retreat – I am in full revision mode with my editor’s notes on The Twesome Loop. It is remarkable how much you can get done when the normal life distractions are eliminated. With the launch date set for 30th September there is still a lot to accomplish. Such as book cover, blurb, modified bio and book club Q&A.
To refresh my brain from revision I have also continued with my YA story set on another planet – Bubble the Gruggle as well as read, of course.
Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge by Pauline Holyoak.
My review: A fantastic venture into Celtic sorcery and reincarnation. Beautifully written with descriptions of the English countryside transporting you to that lush and green land. A thoroughly enjoyable narrative with well developed characters, a page turning mystery and a blossoming romance. Legends make up England and this story encapsulates that historic ancient wonder.
The Long Walk by Stephen King
What book have you just reviewed?
After editing the work on screen or in print, I like to read the text aloud. Awkward sentences and errors that slipped through earlier edits show up readily when reading out loud.
Learn to take criticism and seek it out at every opportunity. Don’t get upset even if you think the criticism is harsh, don’t be offended even if you think it’s wrong, and always thank those who take the time to offer it.
This week I have been editing submissions for my writing group’s Canada 150 book project. All the stories are Canadian themed in one way or another and it has been most enjoyable reading them. I even managed to write one more submission of my own, regarding my first visit to Canada back in 1981. Yep that long ago! At the time I had no idea I would be living here.
My editor and publisher has read my manuscript submission, The Twesome Loop and commented: Yup, it was pretty steamy – at least a good reaction. I am still working on the cover with my illustrator and final pages.
My freelance client has several important events to attend so has not, as yet, come back to me with the answers I require to continue. I’m hoping it will not take too long as we are edging closer to the deadline date.
I am escaping for several days next week, which will give me plenty of time to immerse myself in two manuscripts – Bubble the Gruggle now over 9000 words. I have sent this text to my other illustrator to give him an idea of the story so far. And I can return to The Giving Thief to enhance the narrative.
What are your writing plans for the weekend?
If you are Canadian it is a long weekend for Canada Day 1st July, an extra special celebration for the Canada 150 – so even more time to write.
Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.
I’m enjoying this story as it is set near my old home in England. I spent many a childhood visit at Stonehenge chasing my siblings up, over and the stones. Alas no more, it is all fenced off.
TBR pile: It will be difficult choosing which one to read first. Both were birthday gifts.
Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.
I managed to do a final edit for a friend’s manuscript. It is a new genre for J.E. McKnight but he has written an exceptional thriller. The antagonist’s real identity was a real surprise and even after knowing who it was the narrative held other shocking twists and turns. I’m sure lots of people will be thrilled by Joe’s newest novel.
An author I interviewed over three years ago contacted me recently asking for a review of her book and a special blog interview. I’m always open to helping other authors so will be curling up with her book over the weekend. Look out for the interview soon – Manaswita Ghosh is a wonderful young writer based in India.
Earlier in the week I wrote nearly a thousand words for my new YA story, Bubble the Gruggle only to ‘lose’ them on a Mac system. To say I was unhappy is an understatement but what can you do but chalk it up to experience? I did not rush to write again but left the story until the weekend. While sitting on my deck in the sunshine with a cooling breeze, I returned to the narrative and wrote even more words exceeding the ones lost. They say rewrites are usually better than the first try anyway.
My writing spot at the weekend – my front deck.
I also managed to do a review of a freelance project I have been working on – ghostwriting a book – this week. I’m gradually catching myself up.
Work continues with ‘extra’ pages for publishing for The Twesome Loop and ideas for illustrations for Bubble the Gruggle.
Books: Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel
My review: A woman’s hope through disaster and her an emotional and psychological turmoil are expertly conveyed in this novel. It had me turning pages even when my eyes wanted to close! Great writing and insight into how a woman would cope with the greatest loss but also go on for the sake of her remaining family. The twists in the story kept me guessing as to the truth of the situation regarding her husband and how her friends and family protected her. Really worth a read.
An author friend wrote this book and I thought it time I got around to reading it.
Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.
Instead of adding tags (he said/she said) to every bit of dialogue, learn to identify the speaker by showing him/her in action. Example: “Pass that sweet-smelling turkey this way.” With knife in one hand and fork in the other, Sam looked eager to pounce.
You don’t always need an outline. Give discovery writing a try. (This is me all the time – free flow writing!)
The final organizing during last week and the set up and running of Heritage Day meant exhaustion played a part in my not writing over the weekend! However, I did manage to begin a second beta-read and edit for a friend’s thriller manuscript. It is a superb read and the story has shocking twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.
I have devised a book club question section for The Twesome Loop and now need to write a new bio and create a who’s who for the characters for the front of the novel. I am also thinking of how to convey the story in an image for the cover.
Now I have more time I can return to my ghost writing project as well. Back on track thank goodness.
How is your current writing project progressing?
Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel– I am tantalizingly close to finishing this great suspense story. The internal thought processes of Abby are well done and you can feel her angst.
I need to find a couple of new books for my reading pile in the library this evening, so will let you know next week what I chose.
What are you currently reading?
Try to write in simple way. Express your views with most appropriate words.
Right click on a word to use the thesaurus. Do it again on the new word and make the best use of your vocabulary.
If one word will work where three are, replace it! I always find these, where I slip into conversational as I am writing quickly, then go back and purge, purge, purge.