Friday 19 July 2024

Some pictures from my walk today (mostly flowers)

Apparently today, July 19th, is summer.  I made the most of it, as tomorrow probably won't be!


Saturday 20 April 2024

~ Blossom ~



Had to take some photos before it all disappears :)

Tuesday 5 March 2024

On The Editing/Redrafting Process - here's mine, what's yours?


This morning when I logged on to TwitteX, the first post I saw was this one, from @AndyMacCreative

Tweet in link above, if you wish to reply :)

I started to explain my set way, for Andy and anyone else who likes to read about how others approach the whole writing process (I love it!).  Then I realised it was becoming blog post length, so here goes...


What I do, on finishing draft #1 of a novel:

1.  Write THE END, tell husband the good news, watch telly without guilt!

2.  Probably the next day, I open the document and go back to the beginning for Draft #2.  I'm aware of the very good advice to let a book 'settle' for a month before redrafting, but the way I see it is this: by the time I get to the end, I haven't read the first chapters for some time, which amounts to the same thing.  I go through the whole book, word by word, sentence by sentence, and re-write what doesn't work/could be written more succinctly/is wrong consecutively/is irrelevant, etc etc.

During Draft #2 I find that some of the events don't tie up.  That I've changed a character's personality, or forgotten that they wear glasses, have a dog, whatever.  This is where I make most changes to the actual story.  I use lots of post-its.  'Need more detail about Xander's relationship with Asher' or 'David survive or not?', etc.  The notes go on the notice board in front of me.  I colour code them for areas of the novel, for instance green for character tweaks, pink for one location, etc.  It's all fairly haphazard, though!

I write the timeline down as I'm going through, so I don't have someone doing something on a crisp autumn day when it would actually still be summer.  Or sweating when he should be freezing.  It's just a list on a piece of paper that I can refer to.  For instance, 'Brian escapes: early August.' 'Norah gets to Safe Zone: April Yr 8'.   Nothing complicated.  I also write down the characters' dates of birth so I can work out what age they are when.  

I fantasise about doing a proper spreadsheet to print off and stick up, but I never get round to it, so two pieces of scribbled A4 suffice!

3.  When Draft #2 is done, I go back for Draft #3.  Same process, read through every word, from the beginning.  I find it's during Draft #3 that the story itself becomes properly formed.

4. Drafts #4, 5 and 6 are for really fine-tuning the prose, the dialogue, etc.  Making it all tighter.  I make a list of slang words commonly used by each character.  For instance, if Xander always describes those he doesn't like as 'dickheads', I don't want Jon using the same word.

5.  By the end of Draft #6 I'm fed up with the sight of it, which is when I send it to my proofreader.  Once I've pressed 'send', I pretend I'm going to write the blurb, research its Amazon categories, catch up on my TBR list, make a detailed plan for the next book and clean the flat from top to bottom, but instead I spend these days of freedom doing 'Which Last Kingdom Character Are You?' quizzes online (last time I did one I was Father Pyrlig) and idling around YouTube.

6.  When it's back from proofreading, 10 days or 2-3 weeks later, I go through it from the beginning once more.  Draft #7.  

7.  My novel then goes to Very Picky Test Reader.  This is always a difficult week.

VPTR reads the book on a Kindle screen, and makes notes.  Once this is finished, I go through all the notes and decide which changes I want to implement and which I don't.  These are then transferred to the main document, online.

8.  I then read the whole thing on a Kindle screen, which gives a new perspective to it.  I don't know why, it just does.  Other people do this by printing it off, but I find it simpler and cheaper to do it on screen.  I'm a screen rather than a hardcopy reader anyway, books-wise.  If I find anything else I want to change at this point (I always do!), I make notes, which are then transferred to the document.

9  It's done!  I chuck it at He Who Formats, and it's out of my hands, hurrah!  Then I really do have to write the blurb and research the categories....

If you would like to share your own editing methods, please reply to Andy's tweet directly (link in first sentence), or in the comments here!

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Boxing Day Walk



Yesterday I ate half a Betty's sticky toffee cake, approximately 10 biscuits of the chocolate and shortbread variety, and about 765 Quality Street, so today I breakfasted lightly on two boiled eggs and strode out, while I could still get out of the front door.

While I was trying to get a closer shot of this ivy, I leaned too far forward and fell into the holly bush.  I mean properly fell, in the dirt, and had to scramble out.  Two people walked past as this happened but neither of them offered to help - I wonder if they thought I was drunk?! 😁

This was the action shot taken as I fell... 😆

Anyone lost a parrot?  Or two parrots?  They're actually ring-necked parakeets, usually only seen in southern England, but occasionally seen elsewhere if escaped from captivity.  

🎄🌞🎄🌞🎄🌞🎄 🌞🎄🌞🎄🌞🎄