Monday 30 July 2012

#writemotivation update and Camp Nano? Anyone?

Writemotivation Update!

I set myself these goals at the start of the month:

1) Finish line edit of my novel - DONE
2) Continue to post twice a week in blog - DONE
3) Rough outline a new idea - DONE... kinda?

Yay! I do have to read over the line edits to make sure they make sense so there’s a caveat there I guess, but I’m calling them done!

The new idea outline... isn’t quite working but I did DO one. Does that count? I am not sure it does but hey...! I must say I have found setting goals really helps as does the awesome encouragement which goes on on #writemotivation on twitter. Thanks everyone.

As for August: I am going to join in Camp Nano! So my only goal for August is to complete the necessary words. I am not even going to set myself the goal they have to be on one piece. I am having trouble getting my next idea together, working, so I may have to write several openings to different pieces.

And maybe beg some poor souls to help me work out which of them works. Hope one of them does. ;)

But I am not putting any stress on myself other than to regularly write, try and make the word count, and hopefully by Autumn have a project to focus on further.

It may mean a slightly less regular blogging/commenting scheduling but am going to do my best to keep up!

Do join me in Camp Nano if you are doing it! Are you setting any goals for the summer? What's your next writing project?

PS Oh my forgot to say: 100 followers, a giveaway will follow, likely next week ;)

Friday 27 July 2012

Me Interviewed? + London 2012!

The lovely Tara Tyler has interviewed me! Please do go here if would like to see and in any case you should go look at her blog and make friends with her if you aren't already because she is very awesome.

I am nearly at 100 followers: it seems like the done thing is to have a giveaway for such momentous occasions? I am not sure what I have to giveaway! Perhaps one of my fave crit books like Stephen King's On Writing or I'm a nut for grammar books (like Grammar Girl). Which is not to say my grammar's perfect, but I love to read them. Or a crit. HMMM.

Also London 2012 starts today! I am so excited to have the Olympics in my home town and was lucky enough to see a rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. All I can say is: AWESOME. We won't disappoint!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Congratulations to winners, YA Highway + why is getting ideas onto paper sometimes so hard?

This is a Four Fold post.

Firstly I joined in the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest on Falling for Fiction and congrats to all the winners. I will work harder on my Hookers and Hangers ;) I certainly learned a lot. I learned that lots of my hooks start with ‘I’ and that the most favoured ones where were the voice came through most.

Second, congrats to Cassie Mae of the above Falling for Fiction and Erica Chapman on getting agents! HURRAH! Go congratulate them! It is so lovely to hear good news for awesome souls!

Third, YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday asks which fictional character would you be reincarnated as? As Elodie said, a lot of the YA Characters I like, do not have the best time of it. I am not going to pick to be Katniss!

Not a YA choice but the person who immediately leaps to mind is Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. She ends up with Darcy! She is witty and independent, knows her own mind - I would love to be her.

Suddenly want to read a YA Pride and Prejudice: are there any? Though Bridget Jones Diary may have corned that literary wise, albeit not YA.

Fourth, I am having trouble transferring new ideas onto paper at the moment. I am inspired, I plan, I think it is all great and then... nothing. It doesn’t work out. Humph. Likely the idea needs more work or the character fleshing out. Or my brain replacing. I am lucky that patient souls are happy to hear me witter on about my ideas (mostly YA futuristic type deals - the ideas, not the patient souls). If anybody else likes to throw ideas around, and I wil obviously help in return, comment or message me at viklitblog at google’s mail.  Does anyone else have this problem?

Ok tomorrow likely catch up on comments and blogs, have a good day all!

Monday 23 July 2012

Critique Partners & Betas, come let me quiz you about yours + writemotivation!

The purpose of this post is twofold.

First, I am curious about your Critique Partner and Beta habits!

For me, I took a local writing course a few years ago (I am lucky enough that local for me is the city of London!). One of the primary things we were taught is the important of critique partners. Several of us have met up once a month since to critique each other’s work in the form of a group. I have started to make some great contacts online too, which is awesome! :)

I’m curious to find out how you met your CPs, or Betas, so I have a few questions. If you could bear to please answer them, that would be very interesting. Send other people to answer them!

1. How many Critique Partners do you have + how did you meet them? Do they all know each other?
2. Do you swap chapters as you go along or run drafts by them or both?
3. Typically how many times will your CP read your work before you query?
4. Do you have beta readers, how many and are these different people to your CPs? How did you meet them?

Second, I have been joining in writemotivation this month and my goals were:

1) Finish line edit of my novel OMG NEARLY DONE
2) Continue to post twice a week in blog: Done so far
3) Rough outline a new idea: Done

So going well. Line edit wise I am so close to the end, I then need to add a new scene (sigh) and read over the entire thing again but hopefully that will be done soon!

Hope you are all having a good week.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Hookers & Hangers BlogHop: Hangers

The Hookers and Hangers BlogHop continues with Hangers!

The lovely people at Falling For Fiction are hosting this BlogHop and do check that link out for more info and especially the links of all the ace people joining in.

I had a great time reading everyone's Hookers on Monday and have found awesome new friends to follow and hopefully new novels to be excited for when everyone gets them published ;)

My Hookers are here if you were interested and my hangers will be for the same novel set in the near future, where Devon aims to find out the truth about what happened to her missing, presumed dead brother.

Here are the final lines of the first five chapters: My Hangers!

1. But I sure as hell was going to find out.
2. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse.
3. All would soon be back to normal, whatever that was.
4.“Not the faintest.” I muttered. “That was my only idea.”
5. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I wasn't going to let that little detail stop me.

This whole exercise has been so useful for seeing these in isolation and picking out weaknesses!
Would love to know what you think, good or ill: would you read on?

Monday 16 July 2012

Hookers & Hangers Bloghop: Hookers!

The lovely peeps at Falling For Fiction are hosting a "Hookers and Hangers" Bloghop.

The deal is today we post the first line of each chapter and on Wednesday we post the last line. The link above will take you to the post detailing all about it and most importantly all the other lovely awesome people posting their Hookers today! So you should definitely check it out.

Today is those "Hookers" to see how well we hook you in.
These are from my soon to be queried (I hope) novel "Networked", a YA thriller set in the near future about a girl, Devon, trying to find out what happened to her missing, presumed dead, brother.

My First Five Hookers for the Hookers & Hangers Bloghop!

1. I hadn't escaped the Network, exactly.
2. I disconnected, unable to talk to anyone.
3.I struggled to match Dad's pace as he strode toward the school’s main door.
4. I sloped along the corridor, peeking in classrooms as I went.
5. By the final class, Government and Politics, no new idea had magically arrived in my brain like I hoped.

I would love to know what you think, and I mean that genuinely, if you wouldn't read on that's kind of useful information!

Hangers will be up Wed, and I'll be back tonight to check out everybody else's - Yay!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

YA Highway: Film better than book?

YA Highway today see here is the great topic: where has the film been better than the book?

This is a difficult question because like many of us, if I have read the book first and loved it, then I never feel the film has lived up because it doesn't match the picture in my head.

Remains of the Day is a classic example of this; considered to be a brilliant film by many but I love the book, I studied it before I watched the film, and for me nothing can match up to the deliciousness of that unreliable narrator unravelling through the beauty of Kazuo Ishiguro's prose.

Sometimes I do not think a film is as good, but I understand why they made the choices they did. The Beach is an example of this: it’s a long novel, too long to fit everything in so where they rolled two characters into one for example, I understand why.

The Hunger Games, I do not love *quite* as much as the book, but I thought they did a very good job, possibly aided by input from Suzanne herself. I thought they captured the key moments, the feel, I didn’t feel overly ‘let down’ by any of their decisions. It is missing, as most films, that filter of being so closely in Katniss’s brain and some nuances get lost that way (how much Katniss’s feelings for Peeta may be ‘played up’ for the cameras I think gets lost somewhat in the film). But overall they did a good job; I felt pleased.

But a better job? No.

One film which does spring to mind is Twilight. I prefer the movie: don’t hate me Twilight lovers! I am not saying I didn't enjoy the book, I did.

However I didn't love it oh my goodness don't touch it, like I did the Hunger Games, so I was possibly more open minded going into the film. I am talking about the original film of the original book here.

I also think the original film captures the foreboding feeling of the novel, and it’s stylistically and beautifully directed by Catherine Hardwicke. They also take a long book and speed up the plot, adding tension with the extra wee bits of the evil Vamps on their way. I enjoy some of the small moments they add in (the view Edward shows Bella, the reading minds bit in restaurant I don’t remember from the book). I feel these moments add to the plot and characters, rather than being pushed in for no reason. I feel like they made good, considered changes.

What do you think? What would you pick? Do you disagree? Examples of where you understand the changes even if you didn’t love them?

Monday 9 July 2012

#writemotivation; Editing: How Do YOU Do It?

I edited this post about my editing goal for #writemotivation, to include questions about how other people edit. Shall I edit that sentence? Let’s rework it entirely:

My #writemotivation number one goal is to finish the current line edit of my novel. I did have 18 chapters to go, I now have 13 chapters to go. So kind of on target! Yay!

As I edit, I wondered how my method of editing matches up with all of you out there *peers out into the interwebs*. 

At the moment my editing process goes like this:

1) Write draft of novel. This includes some editing, as I usually read the chapter before and do edits before I carry on writing the next chapter.
2) Rewrite entire novel. This includes tutting at Past Viklit for writing in third person, when clearly first was better, or putting in that entire plot twist which made no sense, and that character who’s pointless on.
3) Structural and character edits: Several of these. Bajillion of these. This includes working out kinks in the plot, sorting out the characterisation of minor characters, tightening the dialogue, etc. Also tutting at Original Past Viklit for not noticing and Rewrite Past Viklit for not fixing it in the rewrite.
4) Line edits, tidying up the prose: A couple of these, realistically. This includes some fixes of details of scenes & adding bits as I can’t stop fiddling. It’s a disease.

5) Final read through and fixing of typos I have missed.
This should equal draft + 3-4 edits but it actually equals draft + a bajillion million edits.

How do you do it? Am I missing a crucial step or editing in a weird order? I am genuinely interested to know how you go about it. How many drafts does this equal for you?

Does anybody else love it and hate it at the same time?

Oooh AND at what point do you get critiques/betas/etc though I will post just about that another time.

Now, am going to post this with just ONE EDIT.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

IWSG: Insecurities - with foundation?

My first post with insecure-writers-support-group!

We all have our insecurities, we just deal with them differently and some of us are lucky enough to give them barely any thought at all. I’ve never been one of those people, but the older I get the more I can deal. I find unfounded insecurities easiest to ignore (and more of that another month) but it is hard where I have evidence for my insecurity, or think I do.

For example: I get nervous during job interviews. I know it shows, because my boss told me not long after I started ‘you were so nervous during your interview!’ Of course now whenever I have to have an interview, I will be very nervous because I can’t hide it, and I will worry about my ability to interview at all.

It is the same with my writing, at the moment I am line editing and so I see all those words I have to cut (and since I did that post, I add 'it' and 'could' to the list!). I think my prose needs so much work! Too much! What merit is here? *cue shakespearian drama*


The key things I try and note are:

I still got the job, despite my nerves, it was my boss who pointed them out. So evidently my research and examples and knowledge won me through. My writing may need a strong line edit, but my characterisation and pacing have been worked through.

Also, I may not get nervous at every interview - perhaps I was just bad at hiding it that day. Perhaps sections of this story need more of a line edit than others. Isn't that how we improve anyway, through a tight edit?

Furthermore I can work and improve my writing. Better to build my house through practical fixes, if I can, than to let insecurities knock it down.

How about you? Do your insecurities have foundation, somewhere in your head, and how do you deal?

I have run now, so it may be tomorrow until I come encourage you with IWSG but ENCOURAGE I WILL. (Also means I may miss YA Highway again, which makes me sad, but we'll see how time goes - love to all).

Monday 2 July 2012

#writemotivation & Do You Set Writing Goals?

I have joined in the fun of writemotivation this month and will be aiming to achieve my goals and cheers on others using  Twitter #writemotivation and of course general bloggage fun. If you haven't checked it out, do clicky the linkys if you are curious.

Which brings me to my question for you all, dear readers:

Do You Set Writing Goals?

Does it help you to set goals? Are these goals around chapters or words or time spent? What are your current goals? I’ll be cheering on the #writemotivation crowd but outside of that if you want to be blog/twitter cheered on and encouraged let me know and I’ll do what I can!

My goals for July #writemotivation are:

1) Finish line edit of my novel (18 chapters to go!)
2) Continue to post twice a week in blog
3) Rough outline a new idea

Let’s see if I achieve them! Let me know whether you goal set!