Friday 30 November 2012

Nano Congrats

Just wanted to wish everyone who completed Nano a big congrats! And if you, like me, didn't, don't beat yourself up. You have more done than you did before and that's all that counts. Life sometimes does just get in the way.

Did you complete it? Is everyone now into editing? I am editing at the moment so let me know if you are too!

Monday 26 November 2012

Please Give me Your Links: Useful Tips and Posts Wanted

I have had a computer disaster. In that my computer is dead as the dodo. It won't turn on. I hopefully will be able to retrieve my data from it, which is good as I haven't done a full computer backup in a while. So if you are reading this: BACKUP NOW.

Luckily, I do email myself my works in progress at regular intervals and am grateful for that paranoia as it meant I haven't lost too much writing. (Just a week or so since I last mailed self).

What I HAVE lost however, are all the internet bookmarks I have made. I don't think I will get these back. Over time I have bookmarked:

Useful Writing Advice - e.g. words to cut out, phrases to look out for, checks to do before submitting.
Software and Editing Wizards - e.g. autocrit, scrivener
Useful Writing Bits - e.g. Save the Cat Beat Sheet
Editorial and Critique Services - e.g. Teen Eyes

I have lost ALL OF THESE. Obviously, some of these I can google and find again, like I have above.

Others, I have lost. And so I ask you: please share your bookmarks! Or, links to your own posts. If you have posted useful writing tips, share the link here! If you have links to fab writing bits and bobs, please share.

If I get a few, I will do a master list and maybe it will be of use to other people too!

Please do share, and I thank you if you do.

(and backup that computer!)

Monday 19 November 2012

What Makes us Like a Character?

What makes you like the main character of a novel?

Is it that they confide in the reader their darkest fears and secrets? That they feel 'real', showing us their insecurities? Or the opposite - do you like a character who is gung ho action? Does it have to be a good combination of the two?

When you are creating a compelling, likeable, sympathetic characters, are there things you think about?

I ask because I have been thinking a lot about character lately. I have read books where I don't necessarily 'like' the main character, but their voice feels so compelling and real, that it draws me in anyway. Yet a main character who I feel for, who speaks my inner fears, who makes me laugh - those stay with me.

So is the question a compelling character, rather than a likeable one?

Interested to know your thoughts.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Na-Nomore + Focussing on one thing at a time

My quest for Nanowrimo has hit a snag.

I received really useful crit on my MS and that has been distracting me. The MS is calling my name. Imagine it in a closed drawer, shouting at me. Though in reality it's 0s and 1s saved on a hard drive, being in a drawer feels more visual. The corners of the pages lift up and form a mouth, in my head.

I thought I could focus on both - at least, to let the MS sit, while I drafted anew. I have had two ideas going for a while - planning and roughing out bits of one while drafting the other. It's been good. Work on one while the other sits. I've found it helpful.

However, now I'm at editing stage, I can't do it. I can't now draft the other. Though I should let MS 1 sit while I draft MS 2, probably, so I can return to it fresh. Perhaps after this edit, I will feel more able to set it aside. Maybe I need to set it aside and just read others' work, not try to draft anything new.

Either way, I am not going to finish Nano, but I don't feel bad about it. You spend the time doing what's most useful. If my brain can't finish MS 2, I won't force it.

I ask you: can you focus on two MS at once? Let one rest while you draft another? How do you spend the time while you let an MS rest?

How is your Nano going?

Thursday 8 November 2012

I'm Thankful to My Readers: Winners

Firstly I want to thank everyone who joined in the 'I'm Thankful To My Readers' bloghop this week. It was so lovely hopping round reading everyone's posts and feeling the love. The bloghop would be nothing without blogs to hop around so I seriously and sincerely thank everyone of you who joined in. I feel all warm of heart that people joined in our wee idea.

As per the original post Tara and I are announcing the winners of the prizes today. In all seriousness, I feel like we are all winners, because look at the great people we have in our lives and the amount of love we saw flowing. I know that everyone's posts came from their hearts.

But as a gesture of thank you for joining in, we do have winners:

Vikki’s Winner of: A Reader’s Report style Critique chosen for most heartfelt post: 

Tara’s Winner: A Banner for their blog, chosen for most creative post: See Tara's blog

Overall Winner: Both of the above, for most heartfelt and creative post:

Your pie themed post was heartfelt and incredibly creative. We're in awe of your talents!

We've contacted everyone via email who won a prize.

An especial thank you to Tara for running this with me and completely jumping on board my small idea and helping come up with this bloghop. I've never run one before and it was lovely to run it with Tara!

A big thanks again to everyone who joined in and to all the readers out there. 
Good luck those doing Nano.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

IWSG: Keeping Going (even when you're late)

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I somehow confused my weeks. But that does bring me onto my theme for this month's IWSG : Keeping Going.

I often see stories of people getting agents, and one thing I am struck by is how they have kept going. They have queried not one, but two or three or more books. They have revised and resubmitted. They have queried 100 agents. They have entered contests. And throughout this, there are times where we all feel late or behind. Others are published already. But this isn't a race. All we have to do is keep going.

And those insecurities can sometimes stop us from keeping going. And sometimes, we may wish to stop, we may need to pause, and that's okay too.

But often it's a matter of picking ourselves up and sending out one more query - we never know what's around the corner. So if this is you, good luck. Send out that query - you never know. And I wish you luck.

Monday 5 November 2012

I'm Thankful For My Readers: Bloghop List

It is time for the "I'm Thankful For My Readers" Bloghop"! The linky list is all working again so I have removed my list of links and replaced with the links - and my entry (below!)

Here goes with my contribution:

There once was a wannabe writer
Whose writing needed to be tighter,
and thanks to those readers,
Whose tips they did feed her,
and made her writing so much brighter!

Alright so my limericks need work but the intention is there.

Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this blog, or on twitter, your presence makes my day so much brighter.

Thanks to those I email and communicate with 'off blog' who have awesome ideas and tips and have in turn encouraged ideas or offered to  read parts of my work: TobiInkinthebookKate LarkindaleAllison, J.A., Lisa, Majanka included. It is lovely to have met you.

Thanks of COURSE to Tara, my bloghop partner in crime who has made me a super awesome header I am going to put up tonight! :) YAY. Thank you so much for making it. I am so so happy you have a publisher for your ace novel Pop Travel and cannot wait until I can order a copy. I am very happy to have met you!

Thanks especially to my 'real life writing group' who I meet with once a month, and have done for several years now. I am so excited that we are starting to get published! You keep me sane.

And of course thanks to everyone who is joining in this bloghop. I will be back tonight to read everyone's entries, and hope you'll all hop around and join in the love ;) Remember if you'd like to, to tweet using #thankstomyreaders.

Wish all those doing Nano luck and a good November to all.