Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Backing up, the disease is spreading.

There seems to be a trend spreading around the blogosphere surrounding the golden rule - thou shalt back up your work!

I'm not going to list the different options you have in backing up your MS because a)you probably already know, and b)other people have said it so much better than me.

Check out the links:

Up till now my basic knowledge on saving my work has been a USB stick, my hard drive and a printed copy of my MS.

I have two USB sticks and I save on both. Why? Well I have this panic that I may loose one, or it could get corrupted or the million other things that can go wrong. Plus my parents bought me an 8GB one last Christmas which puts my 2GB one to shame.

The printed copy scares me. Do I really want to go through the trauma of developing carpal tunnel syndrome by re-typing it or scanning it back into the computer, no.

Did I even know you can send your MS to yourself via email? Nope, but I do now and I have done. I'm loving the extra space on Gmail right about now, thanks Lydia for that info.

I'm probably preaching to the converted but I'm going to repeat the mantra. Back up, back up, back up. The disease spreads quickly folks, prevention is always better than cure.

Now I'm off to back up.

The one where I am inspired...

Is it just me are are the pay it forward author interviews inspiring?

Having some downtime I've spent a carefree afternoon reading through the various blogs soaking up the words of wisdom from some interesting people.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who suffers doubts about my writing or the fact that everyone at some stage ponders about throwing in the towel.

So I arm myself with their words of wisdom and push myself towards the small shard of light, twinkling at the prospect of one day securing an agent and my dream of publishing becoming a reality.

Cold hands on cheeks as I slap myself awake. Now, back to my current reality of revisions.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Query Tracker Blog contest

Yesterday was the contest on the QT blog. Open to 100 entries there will be five winners, announced on April 9th, who will receive a critique on their query and first ten pages by Jason Yarn of Paradigm Agency.

To enter you had to submit a pith and first paragraph of your MS.

Now, I'm not the luckiest person in the world. I don't play the lottery, I don't gamble (unless it's closing my eyes after opening a pack of assorted chocolates and picking one) but I entered.


I'm a downbeat kinda gal so I'm not gonna big myself up and say I'll win or anything like that but what I am proud of is that I entered. Baby steps yes but with each new day I feel myself getting braver.

A few years ago I never would have imagined I'd write a novel. I didn't know I'd join QT and meet so many amazing authors and people who inspire me. I didn't even dream I'd have my own blog with followers and everything!

So that made me wonder...What was the turning point that made you feel brave?

Illness and Medical Mondays...

Sorry for the lack of blogging last week but I was struck down by an evil bug from hell that demanded I stay in bed neglecting my poor MS revisions, crit buddies (sorry again guys) and blog.

Anyway, germ free I return with a timely post about Medical Mondays.

Each Monday Lydia and Laura are posting answers to medical and mental health questions to help in our writing. Okay, how great is this idea?

After spending hours searching the Internet for a drug to use in my MS and writing in a placeholder drug that I still have no real idea what it does. lol) my solution arrived...this week it is my question that has been answered.

What drug can you inject to make someone unconscious for a few hours?

Want to know more? Then check out the links:

Medical Monday

Mental Health Monday

Sunday, 21 March 2010


A post on QT has had me thinking over the last few days about revision.

I've read the blogs, the fab suggestions on QT and blog queen Elana's tips for editing a MS in thirty days:

I also read some valuable info from a book I picked up a while back called Writing For Children. It's a nice how to guide with ideas about writing for different ages, and a nice revision checklist.

And Nathan Bransford has a revision checklist on his blog.

So how do I edit? I pick a chunk of chapters, print them off then attack them with a variety of highlighter pens and coloured pens.
I have a different colour for each area such as dialogue tags, showing v telling etc.

Yeah, I'm weird. lol.

Then there is always the suggestions of crit buddies to think about, who always manage to find something I've missed. I guess authors really are too close to their MS.

Anyway, since it seems to be a topic with various answers I'm gonna throw it out to you guys.
Much like "how do you eat a Cadbury Creme Egg" I want to know how do you edit your MS?

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Awesome news and competition

It always makes me happy when there is good news to be shared and here it is...Beth Revis has a book deal!

To celebrate her debut novel ACROSS THE UNIVERSE being published in Spring 2011 she is holding a competition. There are a choice of prizes for both writers and authors.

The competition is open till midnight April 3rd so check it out at:

Friday, 19 March 2010

Commenting on blogs

Today I made my first blog comment.

Yes I may be a little bit insane having a blog and not commenting on the blogs I am following but on she makes a good point about a blog being a way to create a relationship with the blog author.

One of the reasons I love to write and read blogs is to feel connected to the writing community. I realised my lack of commenting is a big hurdle in doing that. So, in the words of my friend Whisper "strap on your big girl panties and do it."

So I did. Yay to me.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Things that make you go Hmm

I've had one of those weeks/weekends where my life seems to have got in the way. My mega revision marathon went out the window and I made slow progress through one chapter. That's right, one chapter!

Looking back I figure one chapter is better than nothing and I did get some research done at a concert for the X Factor.
For any American friends who don't know the X Factor is what Simon Cowell will be bringing to the U.S when he leaves American Idol.

The concert was brilliant. All in all it was a night of music, chocolate and creative awakening.

Hopefully now my revision will go a little smoother.

Oh and the thing that makes me go Hmm: Why when I am watching Glee do I find myself singing along?

Friday, 12 March 2010

Honesty is the best policy...

Okay. I want to be a published author and I want my novel to be the best it can be. I'm prepared to work hard.

Sometimes I know what parts suck and what don't but it's always good to have a trusted opinion.

I'm lucky to have a QT friend over the sea who has stepped up to the plate and is reading my MS. Brave soul.

After reading the comments I did nothing. I wanted to think about them, re-read them and process them properly.

Was I hurt by the honesty? No.
Was I happy when there was a nice comment? Yes.
Has it made me think about how to make it better? Yes.

So my moral is...if I wanted someone just to tell me how good it is I would ask my Mum :)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Editing. Revising. Rewrites. Whatever you want to call the process it takes time.

Since I finished my query I decided to take the time to go over my first ten pages to ready them for submission.

I prepared myself. I had a notebook and pen, my original pages and the suggestions of my QT friend. I was set.

And then my mind went blank so I procrastinated.
I went on the Query Tracker forum. I checked my emails. I caught up on my Sky+ episodes of Scrubs and Glee.

Then it hit me. I was trying so hard not to cut words from my MS I was at a standstill. Then I remembered a quote from Finding Forrester:
"The first draft you write with your heart. You rewrite with your head."

I've been past the first draft stage for a while now but there was still a small part of me that was rewriting with my heart. I kept thinking if I edited out/changed certain things I was failing. But it's the smart thing to do. Cutting one of my favourite lines felt like torture...but I did it and I survived.

So with each edit I become a little bit braver. A bit more confident. And hopefully a better writer.

And if worst comes to worst I caught up on my TV programmes for this week.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

In the land of query

Okay. If there is one thing that makes me want to run for the hills and hide it is the query letter.


I understand the reason they exist. They are a valuable agent tool not just an instrument of torture for poor authors. But I still dread them all the same.

Perhaps the one thing that has made me smile the most is the support from the guys on QT. With each post there is a helpful suggestion or words of encouragement. It has made the world of difference.

That and Elana Johnson's fab 'From the Query to the Call' eBook.

Best news ever...Elana will critique your query when you by the book.

The query ninja awaits...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

And so it begins...

I have a secret I need to confess...I like to write. There, I've said it.

I've done all the usual things an author is supposed to do. I've joined Query Tracker, read the blogs of other authors/agents.

Oh and write.

So the last thing on my list is blog.

If I have learned anything from my fellow blogger community is that we are a friendly bunch. All we want to do is support each other, share our experiences and spread a little bit of creative stardust.

So hopefully I can add some of my own.
Here I go....