Hey, how is going? You’re good? Are asking about how is my writing coming along?
Interestingly, I have queried to some publishing houses and literary agents recently. So far, not the win as for yet!
What I am grateful for in life, is that university taught me to listen to constructive feedback and sometimes criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I am still soft and need a bar of chocolate or ice cream tub to smooth the ache of rejection. In other words, I am human! And yes, I do love to hear feedback from anyone I wrote my submissions too. It means what I can do, to be better.
So what is my WIP about? Well I am not gonna give you over the Synopsis or anything too much. But I have hinted already on social media, through Instagram challenges and some playful PhotoShop of the NOT OFFICIAL Book Cover design I got inspired by! Here is the selected gallery, I have the lovely Instagram challenge back in February 2021 under the day “Interview MC”. I won’t give too much of the game away, the photos speak for themselves! However, if you ever fancied a good at joining in, check around Instagram as some accounts do offer a variety of challenges to have fun in. Also, I designed all of these photos through Canva! That too, was a fun afternoon to explore, as it gives me great ideas to build for marketing tools later on.
Okay, so I am visual person! And I browsing book covers, to see what other authors are doing. We all do at some point! And I could not resist Agatha and her Love Interest in their own, NOT OFFICIAL book cover, I PhotoShop together. Thank you Jade Lee and her book, Wedded in Sin. I chose to take influence due to the scandalous reveal of the lady’s leg. Why? Have you guessed what I am hinting at Agatha and her status in her physical form?
So whilst I have queried on the bigger project, I am stumped in waiting and twiddling thumbs. So I am editing a few novellas I had a practice run of writing, and not sure if these too, will end up going into queries or to Self-Publish them…
All fun research to create Pro & Con lists in publication choices. What I will reveal, is that the novellas are all in the same universe, so definitely a series. The title for the series is yet to come to mind and influence the book titles of each novella. The genre for these are contemporary setting, in USA with characters in New Adult age group. To debut, or not to debut… for that is the cheesy influence reference of Hamlet, question.
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See more of the blog series in my Novel Writing Journey!
Ever heard the question: When did you first started as a writer? Some would say since a long time ago or even when I was a child. I felt more in the industry since 2020. But actually, I have written before. In this blog post, I will tell a tale of my previous attempt at manuscript, their ideas, what stopped me writing them and where they are today.
At Seven Years Old…
That’s right, my first attempt was when I was just a kid! No sorry, some would hear that word and think ‘kid goat’… cough* When I was just a child. So what was the story about? Well I blame the love and enjoyment of Beatrix Potter having animals in human clothes, walking and talking. Cause as seven year old, I wrote a story about shapeshifters. Or at least the girl was trapped in her dog form and needed to be free. I cannot recall the title, or how the story fully goes. I know the villain was a mad scientist to experiment shapeshifting gone wrong, with mad crazy hair drawings throughout the book. After a telephone conversation with my Grandmother, she said it was sweetest fourteen-page hand-drawn book I created. She, my parents and my another grandmother received their limited edition copies by yours truly! What went wrong, undiagnosed dyslexic spelling mistakes, and stupidly not going beyond three copies only… I am just kidding, I was only seven years old! I was not thinking big career moves then. I think I was at that age considering to be a Princess without the marry the Prince way, that was hardcore career planning.
If you were writing at seven years old, you are probably not gonna stop there. I had this class project known as Graphic Design. So I was giving a project brief to create a merchandise selection of one product to boost its sales. That will be either a movie poster as the main product, or a book cover. Take a wild guess at what I picked? Book Cover!!! That could not stop from there, if I was go to make bookmarks, Hardcover sleeves for the book, book posters for window shops… I clearly need a story to have. Now I think back, my teachers thought I went overboard to write an actual story, with interior layout as my excuse for the project (yeah, that did not convinced them). Yet I was still shapeshifter crazy, and went all the way to write up to 47-page book with size of 8.5″ x 5.5″. Okay so it was a sketchbook I used, and sellotape my trim size prints out into the pages… not the prettiest interior inside of a book I have seen published. I went to a bird sanctuary to capture a good shot of a hawk as my Main Character, Grey, was a boy who is a Halfling that can shapeshift into a hawk. With a troublesome older brother, Clive, and the poor MC teen highschool crush who doesn’t know of their kind. I remember writing how he first hit mature age to shift, and used a lake to fly over for the first time, by the power of the Blue Moon. Am I gonna leave that there for you? No! I am too generous to show off a Snippet of Taking First Flight! In this scene, the brothers have to face an unbearable problem. Being discovered by Grey’s half toddler sister, Zoe, that he is hiding Clive in the house. I found this scene very amusing and fun to write. Also you are welcome I went over the proof-reading and edited. Man, that’s a lot of grammar mistakes when I was a younger.
Currently that one limited edition of the printed copy of Taking First Flight is sitting on my bookshelf. It is a little amusing to pull out from time-to-time to read scenes like this one I have shared.
I have learned much more in writing in the previous year, and having this post as a reflection of my work will be another milestone in my development as a writer.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog post of past experiences in writing. I am not sure if I would ever consider writing these, or tidying them up to be considerable and presentable to publish. Hit the like button if you enjoyed this post, and comment below: Any unpublished work have you done? Share with us and other followers!
Seen the two previous post in this series? Check them out!
Ever had that thought where you think there are too many reference books on how to write? Or courses even? Which ones are best, or relevant to me? First things, first. This is not to advertise these books or why you should have them. If they are not relevant to your style of writings or theme of books, then relax. I am not the best salesperson. Now I am not one for spoilers in what happens in a book. And the same goes for here too. If you wanna know, buy the book. Hey, look! Maybe a career in sales is a potential for me after all!
I like the concept that I can share my knowledge, no matter how little the topic is, I can see why I work my day job in a classroom.
So which one should I pick as my first reference book? Well, as a fan of their writing and they are really good authors; let’s start here. All Write Already by Gena Showalter & Jill Monroe. First, what a pun! Any catchy title can draw someone in to pick up the book. And to then have the authors that you have in your book collection, another plus. So I have read a lot of both authors’ books, both when they team up and their individual collections. Before I go any further, allow me to say this. If you got an author who you like, that wrote a manual on how to write a book, they are probably the key guidance for you. Let me put it another way. If you are already their reader and have several copies of each story they wrote, then you already have a taste of their style of writing and like it. Maybe you want to write the same theme or sense of humour. This is a wonderful and motivating book for anyone to get write their novel within a year! No pressure, I keep saying to myself.
I came across an article online around structuring a romance novel. On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels was one of the books in reviewal. Now after purchasing, this was quite a delivery delay; however, I am happy to report I have it on my bookshelf now. Again, like All Write Already, this book has given the breakout of working on your novel. There is a great amount of information, which sometimes can be dizzy to find in a Google search or lots of replies on Twitter. Not saying, those can’t be useful, but as readers and lovers of books, we just love getting our hands on them. Plus, if the internet is down, a book can outrank Google Search.
I hoped you have enjoyed another reading in-between your own novel writing. There are more reference books I want to share! So keep an eye out for future blog posts.
Hit the Like Button, comment below and share your thoughts on anything that you enjoy or dislike about this blog. Do you have any reference books that you would recommend and help each other out?
If you heard it before, then you most probably groan or eye-roll at the thought of these types of advice.
Facepalm! Well duh? I am writing right now, okay so it is to make a blog post, but come on! There has got to be a better motivation than this! I like the ones where they suggest a target of say, write 250 words a day. No matter how busy I am, I gotta bust out those 250 words.
Why write if you are not making money? You should think about paying rent first.
Eek! Ever had a parent or a close person to you say this? No, just me?! Let’s be serious, cause it was tempting to go freelance when you happy dance that you completed your first manuscript. But that’s not how the real world works. Most writers tend to go full-time or self-employed when they at least write, publish and sell their sixth books on average. And I am not saying, sold six books of one manuscript. Has this got you thinking about whether you want to do this or not? Don’t worry, Just Write!
See what I mean? I even facepalm on that last sentence of that paragraph.
In other words, keep the day job till you can safely make rent at the end of the month. If you feel like you cannot bust out a manuscript with your busy life, then you gotta build yourself a timetable or routine to do something.
Don’t edit before you complete your manuscript
Okay, so curiosity kills the cat. We know this. Yet as humans, we are curious creatures. And for someone like me. I can help but edit as I go along. These aren’t big moves, like cutting scenes or moving one whole chapter in the manuscript to somewhere else. So unless you have this idea that you can switch off the spelling check on your Word Doc, or whatever you write on; there is always a moment where you have edited. Even in your own head before you put it down onto paper. How many times have you said or resaid your sentence in your head before you were happy it made sense to you? That’s okay. When it comes to these moments, there’s no right or wrong answer. Unless you have a job as an editor or you are submitting your final draft of the manuscript to one, then yeah, you gotta make it right and make sense.
Look away from the laptop screen to come up with ideas.
Ever seen the online presence of others say they look in the distance, thinking nostalgically or like a heroic writer with serious intense thought. I cannot help but laugh! My home office space is half the spare room, a chair, a desk, a lamp and my laptop. The other side? Is all the crap I hide for Zoom meetings! I could never look off into the horizon with an intense look, I would have to look down at my laptop and keep on writing. Why? Admittedly I am a coward of tidying and organising and a novice hoarder. The only time I dared to look away, is a reminder of office desk safety training. If you have worked in an office before, you probably had the same one, where HR says you must blink your eyes to not dry them out. The same goes for posture or chair setting and that lovely email from your building maintenance team to remind you of a tidy desk is a safe desk. If you never worked in an office, that kind of a thing we come across on a yearly basis. Look it up! No seriously, think about it. Even if you would laugh at the silliness of the training, however, it is better than having a bad back, tired eyes or sore wrist when your keyboard is not angle right.
So there you have, some of the worst advice I have seen, laughed at or eye-rolled. Some would say no advice is the worst advice. True, but my goodness don’t ever use these ones! Unless you want your audience to groan and eye-roll. If you know of any other worst advice, do share in the comments section. I hope you did giggle at some of my reasons, it’s nice to have a laugh in-between writing chapters. Now get back to it!
Okay, so I tend to be on-and-off again on writing. The final push to actually get serious was when I told people. The many times where I hear positive responses on how well I verbally tell-a-tale, it got me thinking, ‘I got to write this down’. So what does this mean? Well, if anything, all those education courses I enrolled on, and even in my current day job consist of one important thing – Deadlines.
So where will my writing be in one year?
Well I shall like to think on a shelf somewhere, and not the kind where I put a pin in the idea, and switch off the writer persona inside me. This time, I want it on an actual shelf, maybe even my own bookshelf in my home. If I give myself the year to do it, I shall have enough time to conceive my partner, why, I do need to buy another bookcase! Anyone who reads this, can either be a starting bookworm, an intermediate bookworm or an expert bookworm in their collection of books and bookcases. And I am sure, till this very day, we still have to conceive the other half. And if you happen to be the loving partner of a bookworm, let them buy that damn bookcase!
In conclusion, let’s get that damn book of mine on a bookshelf!