I did manage to increase the word count on my new YA novella to just over 18,000 and will further increase it tonight as I have a couple of hours in the library prior to a Board meeting. The story took a surprising turn so I am following it, wondering where it will end. I am toying with the idea of a new title – Bubble the Gruggle – is good but maybe too childish for a YA. We will see.
With two events coming in the next couple of weeks I need to be prepared for displays and readings. Choosing excerpts of a book can be problematic but I have found that if you gauge them to your known audience at the event it is slightly easier.
How do you choose an excerpt to read?
One event – Word on the Street is in Lethbridge which will entail a road trip – always a favorite past time and will allow more writing time, never a bad thing.
My review: I had to finish this book last night so into the midnight hour I went… Jamie has created a world of intrigue, mystery and suspense in this novel. The relationship between Moira and Keenan had me guessing and hoping. A world of empaths and blockers, and strict social distinctions is beautifully weaved within and around the story. Great world building by Jamie. This is a novel I highly recommend and can’t wait to read to next installment.
I’m already entranced by this novel’s story set in two time periods.
Always get an outside edit.
Whether it’s a novel or a blog post, sometimes we get trapped in our own ideas, and the grand vision clouds our ability to see the actual words on the page.
So work your vision and polish it up as much as you can … but then, get feedback from someone else whose editorial judgment you respect.
As this past weekend was a long weekend here in Alberta I made good use of the time to mock-up my display for Words in the Park. As I now have five books to promote I had to decide on how best to give each one a ‘showcase spot’ without making my tables too crowded. The first table is for my two children’s books, Rumble’s First Scare and Ockleberries to the Rescue and my YA novella, Clickety Click. I do have ‘props’ for these books so reduced the displays a little. I have other promotional items as well but will keep them to a minimum. This is the kid’s table.
I bought coloured card to stick summaries of each book to reflecting the book cover colours, I think it gives them a more professional look? For Ockleberries I am using a handmade ‘door’ I found in an artisan store and have animal figurines reflecting some of the creatures in the narrative. For Clickety Click I found a couple of ‘claws’ in the Halloween section and stuck them to a card above the book. And lastly, for Rumble’s First Scare the soft toy I made of Rumble. He is always very popular with the kids and adults alike!
Promotional items include Rumble pins, toques, T-shirts and bookmarks, Ockleberries has animal quizzes for the kids and Click has specially made toques and ‘monster’ colouring pages.
For the adult books I found a really nice tablecloth, which is gold in colour. This reflects the golden beast in The Rython Kingdom and the golden light of Italy for The Twesome Loop. The Rython has bookmarks and a glowing orb, which is in the narrative. For The Twesome Loop as it is my book launch I purchased a table easel and have made a larger summary page for it. I will make bookmarks as well. My next task is to make up a draw basket, which will include a signed copy. As the narrative is set in England and Italy I will have to select items carefully. I will probably use a couple of balloons to attract people to my table as well.
The display still needs work but this is the mock-up. I have to wait for the physical books of The Twesome Loop but should have them soon.
Books: I have been rather busy so have not finished this novel although should do this week. I’m really enjoying the characters and the author keeps me guessing who is the perpetrator.
My friend, Marilyn gave me a lovely book, which is next on my TBR pile.
What are you reading?
Do you have a particular genre you enjoy?
Keep it simple.
It’s easy for your message to get buried in the language. So speaking of revisions, one of the best tools in your review toolbox is always the question, “Can this sentence be simplified?”
If it can be simpler, make it simpler.
Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly.
Regardless of what you’re writing, verbs are your power words. Make them do your heavy lifting, and keep the lightweight descriptors like adjectives and adverbs scarce.
I succeeded in increasing the word count on my new YA story – Bubble the Gruggle to 17,715. It is a fun story set on another planet. The message within the tale is to care for your environment no matter which planet you live on.
I’m impatiently waiting on the go-ahead from my publisher to begin my cover reveal and teasers for The Twesome Loop. The official launch is set for 30th September at Words in the Park. Although I have two tables for this event I’m having to plan how to set them up to showcase the new novel but also give my other books, fair representation as well. This newest novel is number five in my published works!
Rumble’s First Scare, The Rython Kingdom, Ockleberries to the Rescue, Clickety Click.
It is amazing that I have this number of books when I only began writing when I immigrated to Canada and joined my writing group in 2009. (8 years 14 weeks to be precise). I am making up for lost time.
I have been asked where I get my titles and character names. Well mostly it is a word that pops into my head or a combination of a title/word/name I have heard or seen. Some, like Rumble, just seemed right for the character and the mischief he performed and for my magical woodland sprites, Crispin and Tansy were reflections of their personalities. (Ockleberries to the Rescue). Clickety Click was easy as it is the sound Alice hears in the story. Rython was a made up word for the griffon within the tale Guillem relays to the King’s court. As for the ‘Twesome Loop’ I wanted something mystical/intriguing as the loop is the means by which a link is made.
I try not to have a ‘common’ novel title to avoid confusion for my readers when buying my books. The internet gives us an easy way to check we are not duplicating a title.
How long have you been writing?
When was your first book published?
How many books do you have published to date?
How do you choose your titles and character names?
Books: Beautifully engaging characters and a mystery that propels me to continue reading.
Next on my TBR pile are:
A Desperate Fortune by Susanne Kearsely and 11/22/63 by Stephen King
What are you reading at the moment?
How many books are on your TBR pile?
Don’t judge the first draft.
No matter what you’re writing, the first draft should be about getting the ideas on the page—never let your inner editor hold you down at this stage. That’s what revisions are for.
Although I did escape with my friend, Linda for a mini break over the weekend, I did not get around to writing for me. We spent time organizing for our Words in the Park event and the launch of our writing group’s Canada 150 book project. Working together is easy and productive, we work well as a team.
Words in the Park – Saturday 30th September 10:00 am – 4:00 pm- Spark Gallery, Sherwood Park.
We did, however enjoy an afternoon of history at the Fort Normandeau, where we were taught some Cree words around a fire pit. Then a wander through the fort itself and conversed with the chickens! Then onto the Kerry Wood Nature Center and a 1 km walk to the viewing/duck hide. Ducks, mostly bottoms up and two greater yellow-legs. A tour of the center – bookstore, gallery and nature discovery.
It was good to recharge the batteries, so to speak and I returned home refreshed.
Santa writes with eloquent descriptions giving the reader a perfect tapestry of place and character. Her characters are well structured, engaging and keep the reader intrigued until the end. Woven between England and Italy this novel gives a taste of life in these two places and the struggle of their inhabitants. I highly recommend this book, it was a joy to read.
Already enjoying the intricacies of this story! And have just found out there is a sequel launching.
I wrote about how stress can have a profound effect on your writing here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/11/16/stress-blocks-creativity/
I took a leap of faith this week and submitted a manuscript to a major movie company, requesting manuscripts. It is the first time I have succumbed to this kind of call – so fingers crossed something comes of it!
Have you sent a manuscript for a movie script call? How did it turn out?
I have been asked by an author friend to review her upcoming novel – release date 1st Sept – looking forward to the narrative. It is always such a glimpse into a writer’s mind when you read their work.
My YA story is coming along and the ‘new’ direction that ‘popped’ into my head feels right for the narrative. It will give the young readers a glimpse at what they can do for the environment in a fun way – even though it is set on another planet!
Has an idea emerged for a plot line when you have been writing?
Books: The intrigue is still captivating me in this story as the characters lives blend in unexpected ways.
Looking forward to this novel, especially when I have just found out there is a sequel.
I wrote this post some time ago but it is still relevant. Finding your writers voice isn’t always as easy as it sounds.