Booking my first writing course!

Since I started writing my debut novel this year, I have been considering a number of different writing courses to help me learn more about the craft of writing and also how to self-publish. I have picked up lots of information from the internet of course but I still feel that a face-to-face course would be beneficial. So I was very pleased yesterday to see a tweet about just such a course in London at the end of October.

http://www.urbanwritersretreat.co.uk/masterclasses/

I’d not come across this site before so that was a bonus and I bookmarked it at once, as well as following Charlie, who runs the site, on Twitter. What really persuaded me  to book the course is that it’s being led by Joanna Penn whose website I have been following for a while so I know that she really knows her stuff.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

As well as this, it is perfectly tailored to where I am on my writing journey. The course is called ‘How to finish and publish your book’ and I am hoping, no, confident that I will have finished it by then so that I can really make the most of their advice on the day.

I have had a fantastic writing weekend this week and am really steaming towards the end now. My aim is to finish very soon so that I have a couple of weeks before the masterclass to rest away from my manuscript before starting the process of editing proper in November. However, by then it will be NaNoWriMo and the challenge I have set myself for this year, is to make a head start on the first draft of my second novel! Woohoo, how about that?! I am starting to feel like I’m a writer now, not just an aspiring one which is why I changed the title of my blog last week too 🙂

I hope your writing is going well. I’d love to hear from you about it so do leave a comment about the ups and downs of your writing week.

Sky, fog, and clouds on a textured vintage paper background with grunge stains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Julie Stock and My Writing Life, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Stock and My Writing Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Groundhog Day – or a funny kind of déjà vu.

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I have been trying to finish my first draft of my first novel for some time now and every time I draw near to it, I get stuck on the ending and find myself involved in a big rewrite before I find myself at the same point all over again. This is where I was last Monday morning and here I was again today. I don’t know if it’s a sort of ending procrastination, meaning that I am putting off writing the ending. More likely, I think, is a feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the enormity of this task I have taken on of writing a book but I really do want to get to the end, honest. I just want it to be a good ending as well! During the time I have been writing this novel since April, I have come to realise that there is so much more involved than I first thought despite all the advice out there, no-one else can do it for you. In the end, it’s just you and your computer 😦

I am right at the ending again now and more optimistic that I can finally get there now but only time will tell. Wish me luck 🙂

P.S. Please do let me know if you have ever faced this difficulty and if so, how you dealt with it. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Julie Stock and My Writing Life, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Stock and My Writing Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Festival of Romance!

It’s been a good week for me, writing-wise and I wanted to let you know why. First of all, I am now working part-time rather than full-time which meant that I got a lot more writing done and what’s more, I could write all day and not feel self-indulgent! That’s a great feeling, I can tell you.

Secondly, I heard about The Festival of Romance which is taking place in Bedford, not far from me, on the weekend of the 8th November. There will be lots of romance writers and publishers there and they are also running some workshops. If you haven’t already heard of it, you should have a look online. The link is here:

http://festivalofromance.co.uk/#

I have also taken the plunge and decided to enter my first chapter into their New Talent award competition. Of course, I would love to win the competition but even if I don’t, I have paid extra to have my chapter professionally critiqued which I think will be very useful advice.

Finally, I have been reading lots of helpful advice from writing people on the internet encouraging me to keep my head down until I have finished my first draft and to not get tempted by the prospect of editing before I do so. I have already fallen into this trap to some extent and it has been really hard to deal with. So, I’m taking that advice, ploughing on and feeling much better about the first draft being completed soon.

I have added some new website links to my website as a result. Have a look in case you find them helpful and if you know of any others you’d recommend, do let me know!

Off to do some more writing now 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Julie Stock and My Writing Life, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Stock and My Writing Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To outline or not to outline, that is the question (with apologies to you know who!)

I have been learning a lot of new vocabulary since I started writing this first novel of mine. One of these words has been ‘pantser’, meaning a writer who just sits down and writes without necessarily having every aspect of their story planned out in their minds. I was definitely a ‘pantser’ when I started writing my novel but when I got to 70,000 words and realised I didn’t know how to end the story, with the help of Scrivener, I became someone who outlines the story first. Except that I had to do it in reverse and I am still going!

I have got to the point in the story that I wanted to change. I’ve changed it and then worried that was the wrong decision (aargh!) but I am trying to plough on and it really is a nightmare job 😦 This is because I am outlining, writing and editing all at the same time and I feel like I might be going slightly mad in the process.

So no more flying by the seat-of-my-pants next time. I am definitely going to outline the next one before I start. That’s assuming that I finish writing, editing, rewriting, proofreading this one….

Here’s a link to just one interesting article I read on this very subject:

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2009/01/benefits-of-outlining.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Julie Stock and My Writing Life, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Stock and My Writing Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Part One – will the revising and editing ever end?

As I explained in my last post, I have been editing the first part of my novel and rewriting large chunks of the story too. I have been reading a lot about the three act structure and trying to make my novel conform to this which, if you are a writer, you will know is easier said than done. I do feel happier about the first part of the story now because I have slowed down the romance a bit and made the falling in love more realistic in the process (I hope!)

I have also been editing as I’ve gone along, using the notes I made on my hard copy, as well as the comments I have received from Authonomy users and a few select friends and loved ones but as I have also been reading a lot of tips for new writers about editing, this seems to be a never ending task!

For example, I find The Creative Penn to be a fantastic website and have used the school holidays to start reading all the emails I subscribed to receive from Joanna, as well as trying to keep up with all the new posts. This one from yesterday, was really useful for pointing out what editors will look for but it also frightened the life out of me!

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2013/09/01/professional-editing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheCreativePenn+%28The+Creative+Penn%29

I like to think that I am very literate, with a background in foreign languages and some years of teaching English in schools now under my belt but there are still a fair number of things in the post that I feel less than confident about.

Then there was this list of an editor’s top ten tips from BubbleCow:

http://bubblecow.com/editing-your-own-book-the-top-ten-book-self-editing-tips

Again, it will be really helpful as I work my way through it but it is also quite daunting. So, what to do? Well, I know that I will ask a professional editor to work on my finished novel, when that day finally comes so for now, I can only do what I feel confident doing and accept that when I have done all I can, that is the time to hand over to the experts.

For now, it’s on to part two for more of the same. To quote another writer, ‘Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.’ 🙂 Good luck with your writing, editing, rewriting in the coming week and please do post any comments on how you’re getting on with the process.