Sunday 27 January 2019

Waiting for the "kinder tide"

I know this is about a film, but it's worth remembering for us unpublished and/or unagented authors and illustrators too!

Don't let the rejections get you down, just cry into your tea/coffee/hot chocolate and move on to the next one. The right publisher and/or agency is out there for every one of us!

There's a "kinder tide" waiting for you, me and all the other children's authors and artists out there!  It's just a case of finding the right place at the right time is all!

Saturday 26 January 2019

That's the first draft of the synopsis written

Been putting it off for days on end but it's finally written and I can go back to my non-writing headspace for a few months now so that I can forget what I wrote for both NaNo and JanNo and hopefully get to edit the Y3k novel in March sorta time, then that synopsis, rest for a few weeks then start editing my JanNo novel and synopsis.

The writing is easy in comparison!  lol

Thursday 24 January 2019

Just had an invoice for...

My webhosts have just sent me an invoice for the hosting of my writing site and they are going to automatically try taking the £45 out of my bank account 3 days before which is 20th February which is totally fine and dandy... just gotta remember it's coming out now!  lol

It's why I charge for membership though - to help to cover costs like that!

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Aaaaand...'s finished!

After exactly seven days of writing I've just written the 40,000th word and I can relax until I come up with another idea to plan out! lol

Time to crack open my first of two cans of J2O as Steve puts the order in for my lasagne!

I wrote exactly 40k in exactly 7 days and I'm going celebrate for the rest of the evening now... I think I deserve it!

4 down, 2 to go

Up to the penultimate chapter now.

The party's finished and the parents are now not sure if VarikChit is immature enough to be a parent yet 'cos he's only 10 years old and left college a week ago.

It'll prolly be about 7pm that I finish the entire manuscript but that's 40k after exactly 7 days and I didn't even start writing until after lunchtime on the first day, so technically it's 6½ days!

3 down, last 3 to write

Just finished writing my third chapter of the day and it's only 2.30pm so I've got 3 chapters to write before I can have my lasagne... I'm on a roll!

Two down, four to go

Just finished my second chapter of the day.

The party is about to kick off for all 25 parents (each of the five partners have five parents) and it's gonna be huuuuge and last all weekend so that everyone can say goodbye to each of the 25 parents in style.

Four chapters left to write in under 5 hours, so that's just over an hour per chapter which is hopefully do-able 'cos I'm hoping to be finished by about 6pm tonight.

First chapter of the day finished in...

For the last 7 days I've struggled to get going until gone 11am but it's 11.20am atm and I've just finished the first chapter of the day!  Hopefully that means that I'll be finished early enough to have my celebratory lasagne today instead of tomorrow too!  I've been finishing at getting on for 8pm so hopefully I'll be finished by 6pm today which gives it four hours to be delivered and eaten before I head to bed.

I can so do this!  I can so get the entire manuscript finished in exactly 7 days which is awesome!

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Six chapters written today, so...

Written 6k words today and there are only 6k (6 chapters) to write tomorrow then the whole manuscript will be finished in 7 days.

I'm assuming it'll be too late to eat tomorrow, considering it's 8pm now, so it'll be 2 cans of J2O and a posh hot chocolate that I was given for Christmas in celebration then I'll have the lasagne on Thursday.

Not bad going, considering I had an awful case of writer's block 6 days ago and didn't even start writing until after lunch!

Assuming I finish writing tomorrow...

Tomorrow will be my 7th day of writing, meaning that I will have finished a 40k word MG novel in exactly a week which is totally amazing!

Gonna give myself the rest of January off after I've finished the entire MS tomorrow - I think I'll deserve it! lol

Onto the sixth chapter of the day now, then...

Just written my fifth chapter of the day so I'm gonna start writing the sixth and final chapter of the day now.  If I get the sixth chapter written in less than an hour and a half, I'll seriously consider writing a seventh before I head to bed, but I just want the sixth written by bed time tonight.

Four down, two to go

Just finished me fourth chapter of the day, so I've only got to write another 2 chapters in 5 hours which should be pretty easy, hopefully!

Third chapter sorted

Gonna do 6 chapters today and the last 6 tomorrow so that I can celebrate with a lasagne if I finish early enough.  If not I'll have a fancy hot chocolate and 2 J2O's tomorrow and the lasagne on Thursday.

Second chapter of the day finished now.

2k words in 3 hours ain't bad going and I'm back into my writing headspace now, so I'm gonna keep writing instead of having my Square thing... wanna make the most of my muse while it's with me!

First chapter of the day finished.

That's chapter 29 written and the parents are about to go to the park to meet each other for the first time, then they're off to the zizap in chapter 30 so that they can get to know each other and approve of the children's choices of partners that Thraag put in each others paths, literally.

The next chapter will mark ¾ of the entire manuscript written in exactly a week.

Just got 10 more chapters to write now then that's JanNo officially finished for me for another year, even though I didn't get started until half way through the month!  lol

Monday 21 January 2019

YES again!

That's 6 chapters (which is 6k words) written since about 10am.

As normal it was a veeeery slow start and a speedy finish.

Gonna check my email then shut down and head to bed now.

Talk to you all again tomorrow.

Five down, one to go tonight.

Written five chapters since this morning and it's looking likely that I'll be able to write the sixth by the time I shut down and head to bed.

If I write six chapters tomorrow and Wednesday I'll have finished the entire manuscript in only 8 days!!  How awesome would that be!  😄

Four down, two to go now

Fourth chapter of the day finished and the shopping will be here in a couple of minutes (an hour early) so I'm almost guaranteed to be able to write all six chapters tonight then four tomorrow and Wednesday then hopefully it'll be entirely finished by early afternoon on Thursday, if not before!

That's the third chapter of the day written now

Just finished chapter 25 so I'm gonna have me cake and eat it before I start on today's fourth chapter.

I'd love to get five chapters written but I'm secretly hoping for another six chapter day by the time I head to bed... I've written 3 chapters in 5 hours, so another 3 chapters will take about another 5 hours which is 8.30pm so it's possible, but I'm not going to push myself to do 6 chapters if I really don't fancy it... today's aim is 5 chapters, anything more than that is just an added bonus.

Two down, three to go

That's the first two chapters written, so only three to go now today. I'm aiming for five chapters today and tomorrow then finish off with two days of four chapters each.

Sunday 20 January 2019

All six written and it's not even 9.30pm yet!!

I've just put the final full stop in the sixth chapter of the day which means that not only am I over half way already but I've written a huge 6k today, despite a veeeery slow start first thing.

I'm 2 chapters ahead of schedule so I'll finish during the early afternoon on Friday right now.  Just need to write an extra 2 chapters at the start of next week and I'll finish on Thursday evening instead of Friday evening which would be finishing a MG MS in only 9 days!!

So proud of myself now!

Five down, one to go today

Just finished the fifth chapter of the day, it's only 7.30pm and I'm not even remotely tired yet so I am gonna write 6 chapters today after all.  That'll be a huge 6k words written in about 10 hours including all the householdy, doggy and eating things I've done today which is an incredible achievement for me!

That's the aimed for 4 chapters written, so...

Just finished chapter four and I'm now officially, drum roll please 🥁...

half way through the entire manuscript!!!

Feeling so proud of myself right now!

If I do 5 chapters a day from today to Wednesday (inclusive), I'll write my last word on THURSDAY instead of Friday!  That means it'll be finished in 9 days instead of 31!!!

I appear to be pretty ace for getting it written so fast! 😀

Third chapter of the day sorted

3.07pm and I put the final full stop in the third chapter of the day.  I'm definitely going to be able to write the fourth chapter today, maybe even a fifth or possibly even a sixth before I head to bed.

Just gotta write the fourth chapter of the day and I'll be half way through the entire manuscript in less than a week!  How ace is that!  Especially as I didn't even start until my normal writing time, despite being up at 7.30am and I've stopped to have my lunch too, so I'm well away with it now!

Need a wee then I'll write the fourth chapter of the day and crack open a J2O in celebration again.

First 2 chapters of the day done and dusted

The first chapter of the day took 2½ hours to write, but the second chapter only took an hour and I'm in the writing headspace now, so hopefully the next two chapters will take an hour each too.

Saturday 19 January 2019

Fifth chapter of the day is finished now

Just put the final full stop into the fifth chapter of the day and I'm on track for not only being half way through after four more chapters tomorrow but now that I've caught up the two chapters I didn't do on the first day, I'm right on track for finishing the entire novel by early evening on Friday which is awesome!

Fourth chapter of the day finished

This one only took an hour and fifteen minutes!!

Gonna have a Chinese to celebrate and I'm gonna try and get at least some of the fifth chapter written before it comes then I'll keep writing as I eat me chips... as long as they don't come wrapped up like in chippies!

Third chapter of the day sorted now

Not too bad going for that chapter.  Only took an hour and a half so if the fourth chapter takes the same, I will be able to do all five chapters today after all!

Three down, one or even possibly two to go then I can head to bed.

First two chapters of the day have now been written

Only two hours later than yesterday too.  Doubt I'll be able to do five chapters today but four is looking very likely, thankfully, so I'll still be allowed my J2O before I head to bed tonight.

Friday 18 January 2019

Just cracked open the J2O because...

...I've just finished the fifth chapter of the day.

5k words in about 10 hours ain't so bad and as long as I do another 5k tomorrow I'll be right on track for finishing on Friday which will be 40k words in 10 days, which is totally awesome considering I only started 2.5 days ago.

The J2O is open and I'm going to savour every last mouthful of it.

I should be celebrating with my J2O atm, but...

Just put the final full stop in today's 4th chapter, so should, technically, be celebrating with a J2O.  However Steve's putting the kettle on and making me another mug of tea so I'm gonna pop my prescription, write todays 5th chapter which'll take me up to about 8pm then I'll have the celebratory J2O then instead of now.

If I write 5 chapters tomorrow too then I'll have written 16 chapters in 16k words in only 4 days and I'll be a day (aka 4 chapters) away from being half way through the entire manuscript in less than a week!  How totally awesome is that!

Assuming I do the 5 chapters today and tomorrow, the entire manuscript will be finished a week from today which is so totally awesome and I'll definitely deserve that second can of J2O!

Third chapter of the day sorted

Third chapter written and by the time I've finished the fourth chapter of the day today, I'll already be a quarter of the way through the entire manuscript in 2.5 days, which means I'll be half way through after 6 days and finished after only 12 days!

Written 9,000 words in less than 3 days which is so totally awesome right now.  It'll be at least 10,000 words by bed time and I'll be having my second J2O in 3 days 'cos chapter 10 is my fourth chapter of the day and it's only just gone 4pm, which means it took just under 2 hours to write chapter 9, so I'll be finished writing the fourth chapter by about 6pm and hopefully squeeze a fifth chapter out today too, instead of just sitting around waiting for my prescription to kick in.  Not going to pressure myself to write any more than chapter 10 by bedtime though.  If I squeeze in the fifth chapter then I'm only one chapter away from my target of writing four chapters a day (even though I only wrote two chapters on that first day - confused yet?  lol)

First two chapters of the day written

It's taken about two hours for each chapter today so, in theory, I'll be finished at about 6.30pm again, which ain't too bad I don't reckon.

Thursday 17 January 2019


Fourth chapter of the day finished so I've cracked open my first can of J2O in celebration.

Means I've written 4k words in about 10 hours today which is my target for the rest of JanNo.

I can so do this now that I've done it once!


Third chapter of the day sorted already!

That's the third chapter done and dusted and it's not even 5pm yet, so I've got 5 hours to write the fourth chapter before I'm allowed my J2O... in theory I should be able to write 5 chapters today before bed time... should I risk it while I'm in the writing mood and risk having a late night though?

Second chapter of the day done and dusted

Just finished writing chapter 4 which is the second chapter of the day... half way to getting my first J2O of JanNo.

I can so do this today 'cos it only took 1.5 hours to write a full chapter including a bathroom break!

Gonna have a slurp of pop then start on the third chapter of the day now!

First chapter of the day written

Just finished writing chapter 3 and it was a lot easier than last night to get started, so hopefully all the rest of the chapters will be done relatively easily too.

It's just the getting started each time that's the hardest part for me... when I've got going I'm all sorted for the rest of the day then.

Gonna have me toasted cheese sarnies for lunch then write chapters 4-6 before bedtime tonight.  I can soooo get it finished by the end of January, even though I didn't get going until yesterday!

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Second chapter written so...

Finished chapter 2, stole a few of Steve's chips and I'm off to bed now.

Hoping for 4 chapters a day so that I can be finished on or before 27th January.

Nite nite orl!

First chapter of JanNo (re)written now!

I wrote two paragraphs for JanNo on 1st or 2nd January and was totally overcome with writers block.

I've totally got rid of those two very telling paragraphs and just finished chapter 1 in only a couple of hours, so I'm hoping to write at least one more chapter before I head to bed and I'm hoping for at least four chapters a day for the next 10 days so that I can still get it finished for JanNo.

I can't thank SCBWI enough for their gentle truths about those first two chapters and inspiration to start again but getting straight into the fighting without boring world-building telling to start with.

Just need to work out which is the right way to format a manuscript.  I know which I prefer and which looks better to me, but I want all my manuscripts to be industry standard not just my preference.  Not going to worry about that until I've finished JanNo though!

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Book review: The Shadowverse by John-Clement Gallo

⭐⭐ out of 5

This book is written by a 17 year old who clearly hasn't experienced much of life because his main characters are several years older than he is!

The first four chapters are boring and un-necessary.  They could quite easily have been written as a couple of *paragraphs* of back story at the start of chapter 5.

When the author gets into his story, you can tell because it just flows and makes you *want* to keep reading.  Unfortunately that doesn't happen until at least a third of the way through the entire novel and it isn't the sort of thing you would take to the counter and buy in a High Street book shop because the author forces you through about 20,000 words of boredom before he really gets into his writing.

The opening chapters are also way too long and there is precisly no action and only a tiny amount of speech.  The longer chapters are fine during the fight scenes, but being forced to drudge through 5,000 per chapter right from the start is just boring and un-necessary.

Sorry John, you really needed to start with action and weave the backstory into shorter chapters.

It's 111,000 words of boredom other than in the middle to last part of the book.

Don't give up, John, but at the same time write for your age or younger instead of guessing about what'll happen in the future 'cos that's like me writing about retirement - absolutely no first-hand experience of it for years into the future.

Sunday 6 January 2019

Just been rejected after 5 months

Got rejected by March Hamilton last night after waiting for 5 months and it was because of the volume of submissions they'd received rather than anything wrong with the manuscript.

The rejection came at 9.59Pm last night though, so working late at night, on a Saturday and saying to resub to them in future really backs that up.

Feeling really low about it, so gonna spend the day crying my eyes out and eating all the chocolate in the house then sub to someone else.

I'm getting so close to being taken on now though after waiting months rather than weeks for the rejection and them replying late at night on a weekend rather than 9-5 on a Monday-Friday!

Ho hum!

Still waiting on 2 agents that I subbed to in September and October 2018 that I haven't heard back from yet and I'm gonna sub to another agent and 3 publishers now. 

I will be taken on this year!

Friday 4 January 2019

Editing is your friend!

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but editing really is your friend.

I would never have believed it a year ago, but even if you think your manuscript is perfect, it's not.  I promise you that.  There will be things like SPaG errors and holes littered throughout it that you are just too close to it to see right now.

BTDT myself.

If you can't afford a professional editor (I can't) then get your editing cap on a year or so after you've written it, distance yourself from it as much as possible then start editing.

It's far from easy to pick holes in your wonderful manuscripts, but the agents and publishers are looking for reasons to reject you and even the smallest mistake will get you rejected and they won't read any further.

Don't give them the opportunity to reject you.

Make them move your first three chapters from the slushpile over the rejection pile and into the "possibly maybe" pile.

I know rejections hurt, but that first full manuscript request will make up for all the pain and tears previous agents and publishers have caused you.

You can so do it, but you have to edit multiple times to get your manuscript to be the best it can possibly be.  The longer you wait between the submission and the rejection, the better your manuscript is.  I've been waiting for the rejection from two agents since September and October 2018.  I would have been rejected within a month or six weeks if I'd sent them a pre-edited version and I got my first ever full manuscript request from a publisher back in August/September 2018 kinda time and I'm still waiting to hear back from them, which is a good thing apparently.

There's no way that they would have made the full manuscript request pre-editing just like all the other agents and publishers I'd sent to, but after at least two major editing sessions, I've got two agents and a publisher possibly interested in my manuscripts.  If it can happen for me then it can happen for you too, just make sure you edit every manuscript you send out so that it's perfect and they've got very little reason to reject you.

Get your word processor open and get editing - you can so do this!

Wednesday 2 January 2019


I know I should have started yesterday, but if I write 5k words a day I'll be finished in 8 days... wish me luck!