Monthly Archives:: May 2014

Writing update

May 27, 2014 Current writings 0

I recently passed the 100,000 word mark on my current writing project, which seemed like a good point to take a moment and review the state of my writing so far. I’ve been writing seriously (as in stories with a beginning, middle and end, rather than random dabbling) for perhaps three or four years now, resulting in two complete novels and two incomplete.

The Plains of Kallanash A 220K word behemoth (so it’s epic fantasy, it’s meant to be big, all right?), finished in first draft form in May 2013, left to brew for several months, critiqued in part on Scribophile (my online critique group) and currently with beta readers. I’ve set a deadline of mid-June for beta feedback, then I’ll do a final revision phase, with the objective of getting it to my proofreader by mid-July. The cover art is scheduled for early June, so after a final pass for typos in August, it should be ready to publish in September. Read more »

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Bookvetter: an interesting website for self-publishers?

May 18, 2014 Writing musings 2

Self-publishers have many hurdles to overcome along the way, but two of the biggest problems are getting the book up to professional writing standards, and attracting the attention of book bloggers. BookVetter is a new site which attempts to address both these issues.

For the first, Bookvetter allows writers to post their finished books for review by other authors. Naturally, this isn’t a no-work affair; before you can see reviews of your own work, you have to review other people’s books on a one-for-one basis. Reading and reviewing entire first draft books in order to have your own book reviewed is very time-consuming, so it’s not going to be an option for everyone. If an author already has a tranche of beta readers lined up, then Bookvetter is not going to add much, if anything.

However, for anyone who has no reliable source of beta readers, this might be a good alternative. I’m a big fan of online critique sites where authors comment on other author’s work on a chapter by chapter basis, and this could be the ideal extension of that, encompassing the whole book. You can start at the ‘draft’ level, requesting from one to five reviews. Then you can revise and resubmit, however, for each review you request, you have to review a book yourself, so it’s not a process to be undertaken lightly. Read more »

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Edit as you go: good or bad idea?

May 16, 2014 Writing musings 6

I recently stumbled across this blogpost by fantasy writer Victoria Grefer, which explains in very logical detail why it’s a bad idea to edit while in the middle of writing the first draft. It makes total sense: the first draft is the time to get stuff down on paper (metaphorically) while not worrying too much about whether it’s tight enough or has the emotional impact you want. The editing phase is the proper time to reread what you wrote and polish it into shape. Write it first, rewrite it later. Good advice.

Except that I do the exact opposite. Every day when I settle down for a writing session, I reread what I wrote the day before and – yes, I edit it. I tighten, I smooth, I polish, from the level of removing or rejigging entire paragraphs to changing words here and there and fixing typos. Then, when I start on the new writing, I’m quite happy to go back and rewrite an earlier section if I feel it needs doing. Read more »

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