2019 | My year of… why not?

 

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It’s that time of year again when everyone makes promises they keep for two weeks before reverting back to form. I won’t lie, I am one of those people too, although 2018 was slightly more successful because I managed one resolution (to update my blog every week) for a grand total of FORTY-ONE WEEKS.

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Then life got in the way and I failed spectacularly but never mind! I’ll finish off the Acres of Ink Challenge next year and I’d be delighted if you’d join me. I’ll be hosting the retweets over at @AcresofInk in 2019, so feel free to follow and get to know me over there.

Right. Recaps.


2018 was a rollercoaster of a year for me. Here’s a short rundown.

  • Jan 1st: I propose to my partner. He says yes!

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  • Feb 16th: Fiancé gets knocked down in a hit-and-run on our way to see Hamilton, breaks his leg in three places and nearly loses his foot. We get a lot of ‘in sickness and in health’ practice in as he then spends six months on the sofa.
  • July 20th: We finally have an engagement party and I start seriously thinking about my future. Where do I want to be in ten years? I’ve been collecting editing qualifications (not to mention editing stories for free) for years but haven’t taken the leap from my day job to full-time editor yet… will I ever?
  • August 1st: Fiancé can now walk again(ish) as long as he has his crutches. Progress!
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  • August 26th: Two good friends get married in the pouring rain, courtesy of the British summertime. It’s romantic as hell. I realise that we need to actually plan our own wedding because we haven’t done anything since fiancé got smacked by a car.
  • September 16th: Still haven’t seen Hamilton, but some wedding things are sorted.
  • September 26th: After several long talks with my fiancé, I decide that the time is now. I hand in my notice and set up Acres of Ink – my developmental editing service for fiction books. The world of publishing, here I come!
  • November 15th: Complete the edits for my first ‘official’ Acres of Ink client. They’re pretty chuffed, honestly, which means I am too. #jobwelldone #Icandothis

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  • November 22nd: Still haven’t seen Hamilton.
  • November 23rd: Annual writing retreat with @SEBerrow! Will I finally complete my second draft of The Winter Court?
  • November 30th: No. I did write 44k words of it, though.

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  • December 1st: Acres of Ink editing work begins in earnest. (Btw, there’s a promotion going on until end of January if anyone’s up for it). I discover that my doddery old cat Minerva is actually a lunatic during the day.
  • December 8th: My brother gets married. Meet screenwriter Charlie Covell (The End of the F**king World) at the wedding and successfully hide immense level of shock that my brother knows someone so cool. I get very excited about her next project.
  • December 21st: Finish my third official client and book a few more jobs in for the new year. Pause to wipe sweat off brow. Start thinking long-term…
  • December 28th: Still haven’t seen Hamilton.
  • December 29th: See a panto instead. It’s not quite the same.
  • December 31st: New Year’s Eve… start writing resolutions.


2019 New Year Resolutions


So, the one thing I learned from 2018 is to not settle for ordinary and that – if I try – I stand a really good chance of achieving what I want. Obviously, sometimes things don’t pan out (I have no idea when I’ll see Hamilton, for example) but you can only deal with what life throws at you in the best way you can.

SO.

To that end, I have five ‘Must Do’ Resolutions for the new year.

**dramatic drum roll**

  1. Exercise three times a week (Difficult to keep)
  2. Get married (Hopefully easy)
  3. Enhance Acres of Ink editing service by taking on experience roles etc. in publishing, to ensure my knowledge remains up-to-date. (Medium)
  4. Query The Elder Throne (Easy to send out; Difficult to get the result I long for)
  5. Finish The Winter Court once and for all (Medium)

What are your resolutions?


Have a lovely New Year’s Eve and a very happy 2019!

Doing Battle with your Book: Word Count Wars

Word Count Wars

Let’s start with some statistics.

According to Writer’s Digest, the following is a list of ‘good’ ranges for your novels.


ADULT

  • COMMERCIAL AND LITERARY: 80,000 – 89,999
  • SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY: 100,000 – 115,000

NON-ADULT

  • YA (YOUNG ADULT): 55,000 – 69,999
  • MIDDLE GRADE (9-12): 20,000 – 55,000

Well… I’m in trouble. Continue reading

Choosing Beta Readers

Choosing Beta Readers


Congratulations!

You’ve written a book.

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Books are meant to be read, but your first draft is probably not the prize winner you want it to be. Not yet, anyway. That certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be, but you need some fresh eyes. When I first wrote The Elder Throne, my finished first draft was a flawed, exhausted thing. Instead of jumping right into the Beta Reading pool, I knew I had to run it past a developmental editor for a second opinion. Of course, that’s just me. Not everyone wants to do that, and that’s fair enough. What every writer should do, however, is choose a group of Beta Readers. And here’s how. Continue reading

Surviving your first professional edit (Part 2)

PE_Surviving your first professional edit part 2


Read: SYFPE Part 1

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about how to survive the no-man’s land of Editing Season; having your WIP novel removed completely from your control. My novel has since been returned to me, and I’ve started the process of final edits.

The developmental notes were incredibly useful, but it became clear that I had a lot of work ahead of me. Nothing pleased me more than to discover this; it made me realise that my novel was really worth something, and it was in my power to make it shine.

Here are the lessons learned from my first professional edit (including how I handled the edits I didn’t want to make).

Continue reading

Surviving your first professional edit (Part 1)

PE_Surviving your first professional edit part 1


I am currently experiencing my first ever professional edit.

I’ve edited my own stories before but last month was the first time a book was taken out of my hands completely. I’m pleased and proud to say that Julie Hutchings did the honours, but whilst she was ripping The Elder Throne apart, I was left with empty hands and idle thumbs.

Well, you know what they say about devils and thumbs.

Here are my survival tips for dealing with your first edit.

Continue reading