Feb 22, 2011

So that's what one of these looks like...

My finished manuscript. Over a year of writing, and over 10 years in developing from the first hint of inspiration to this...

Feb 21, 2011

One year on

It's been roughly a year since I started really writing in earnest to complete my first book. Last night I put the finishing touches on the manuscript and did a final word count. 74,260. I'm quite pleased with that. Sure, it's not quite the 80k minimum I was aiming for, but I think if I try to add much more, without some advice from an editor, anyway, it would come across as padding.

I've even started a second novel, but I've been able to find inspiration to start a project unrelated to my first, which I'm hopeful will help test me as a writer.

While last year I was still terrified at the thought of becoming a parent, my wife and I are now looking forward to the arrival of our first child in July. It's still hard to get my head around it, but I'm not as scared as I used to be.

So where are you guys now from this time last year? Have you been working on a manuscript that you're proud of? Frustrated with? Have you moved house? Been published?

Feb 16, 2011

Editing update

So after a spur of inspiration, the editing for Locked Within is now almost completely finished. It's just a matter of replacing a couple of character names, though I think my editing has trimmed the length to below its previous 75,000 words.

Still, it feels good to have the whole thing ready to go, in case any agencies get back with a request for a full manuscript.

Feb 10, 2011

Story Plans

Every morning before work I try to write a little towards my daily target. Some days I manage to get a decent amount done, while on others I just cna't get my head-gears working. Today was one of those other days, brought on by my third or fourth encroaching head-cold this year and something weird going on in my shoulder.*

So instead I tackled the story plan for my new book, which I started weeks ago and hadn't finished yet. It's still not finished, but there's a lot more structure to the story now and I've nominated the key events that will mark the bridges between Acts. This is the first time I've put this much formal planning into anything I've written. It feels good to have a series of goal points to mark my progress, rather than just trudging through the story trying to reach the ever-elusive climax.

How do you guys feel about story plans? Do you find them useful, or just like to see where the writing takes you? Do you also use a 3-Act structure?

*I'm ridiculously run-down these days. I've not been sleeping well.

Feb 6, 2011


One of the many blogs I've been reading to learn more about writing and getting published is Janice Hardy's "The Other Side of the Story". She's the author of the Healing Wars series of YA novels, and one of the most informative sources of practical writing advice I've found. I love her blog. I've already bookmarked a lot of her posts so I can refer back to them as I write.

Feb 4, 2011

Good Advice

Another blog link today. Natalie Whipple's post yesterday was something I definitely needed to read. Despite my best intentions I haven't yet managed to even break 2,000 words on my new WIP. I'm putting it down to the difficulty in adjusting to a new style (I'm not used to writing in 1st-person), uncertainty about writing in a new setting, and simply being out of the habit of realy writing. Most importantly, though, I'm taking Natalie's advice and chilling out.

I'll get this written.

Feb 2, 2011

Sara Zarr

I'm always trying to find new blogs to follow and while reading Natalie Whipple's Between Fact and Fiction, I saw the link to a post by Candy Gourlay about Sara Zarr's keynote speech at the SCBWI Conference.

I love seeing posts like this. It's important to find reminders that, as hard as things can be, the goal can be achieved.