Mid-week Fun

So what’s everyone working on I wonder?

I got a lot done yesterday on the current edit for a client, so am feeling good as ahead of my schedule; a good thing since I now have ten novels lined up to edit and another quote about to go out! Scheduling for June now!

So I plan to visit my gym friends at the gym this morning while Mal teaches his class and then the usual lunch we often do on a Wednesday, and then I am meeting one of my local clients to talk about his novel this afternoon; so a rare kind of working day away from the desk. Although I do have a report to finish to go along with the copy edit so will work on that between times and later.

So we have reached mid-week. It feels a bit ‘spring-ish’ and there are lots of great things to look forward to! What about you?

Bring it on…

dreams-1

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Working Hard

Great workshop on Saturday… or at least it seemed that our little group of eight Canvey Writers all enjoyed it. Couple of pics below.

We talked about what to do with your stories once completed; how to see those issues in it. One of the things from this I will talk to you about is structure; since the first step in the BIG second edit is to think about just that; the shape and does it work?

One of the things we tend to get bogged down with is overcorrecting and playing with the narrative and we don’t stand back to look at the bigger picture. We also often find ourselves ‘trapped inside’ our own stories. By this I mean we have framework that is our story, but sometimes to make it really work and to fix issues with it, we have to deconstruct it. We have to ‘decreate’ characters… is that even a word… uncreate… lose, kill off. And we tend to get a little precious with that. We find ourselves editing inside the framework we’ve made, even if it isn’t quite right. We tell ourselves something can’t happen even though we might actually need it to to make a better story, because this happened; or the character is this… when really we need to pull it apart and rebuild. Once you change one major plot point, then the rest, a little like a house of cards, starts to fall and becomes unstable. However, what we forget is that when we do reconstruct it we often build it stronger. So the message on that one is not to simply fortify the structure with a make-shift this will do edit… but if it needs it, take it apart.

Tear it down, to rebuild it stronger

So think about where you are with your own editing. Are you going over the same bits again and again and writing in commas, taking them out, adding semicolons, taking out sentences, when actually you night need to lose the whole scene?

Editing is not an exact science, but it is a vital part of the process, it is process so don’t think once the first draft is done, you’re done, or even almost done. Now the work truly begins.

No blog tomorrow as an early appointment but I will back Wednesday 🙂

Have a truly productive and truly happy week and remember to be grateful for all you have.

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All in the Prep

I remember when standing up in a room full of people or running some kind of class was a pretty daunting experience. But in time it just becomes second nature, the more you do it, the easier it becomes until you don’t really think about. I am really looking forward to running my workshop tomorrow for writers in Essex. We only have a small group but in many ways that means we will have more time for feedback and in-depth discussion. But I always make sure I’m prepared. Handouts are ready; I have been through it a couple of times, food is sorted, key to room to be collected later. Preparation is vital; it dispels uncertainty and nerves.

Creative writing workshops come in many forms and some, I have to say, are better than others. The worry is that they tend to focus on the same things and that’s because when it comes to writing there are key things we have to discuss. But can we see those things in our own writing? Can we identify filler or ‘business’ dialogue, can we see exposition dumps or meandering viewpoints? The biggie: is this showing or telling?

So the aim of this workshop is to empower writers with the tools they need to edit their own work. Since editing is 90% of the writing process and the work truly begins once you finish that first draft, then this is probably the most valuable tool you’ll ever need.

So I will be working on editing, based on pieces we produce in class, a mixture of talking, writing, discussion and in the final half-hour a Fiction Clinic Q&A for anything anyone wants to know about anything writing related. And we will also cover what editors do and the levels of editing as this is something I was asked recently so thought would be useful. I can even talk about the things you need to do to get an agent.

There are still places although I have ordered the sandwiches now but we have enough if anyone still wants to come? You can pay on the day (£25) it starts at 10 tomorrow… but I do need to know if there are any extras to ensure we have enough sandwiches! So please message me or email writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk asap. It’s at St Nicholas Church on Long Road, Canvey Island, plenty of parking. It’s downstairs in the main hall, so plenty of room and it runs until 4 pm. Lunch and refreshments included.

So that’s me: lots of things to do today, working wise and other bits so I wish you all a fabulous Friday and I will report on the workshop with photos I hope on Monday!

happy-writer

Happy Writing!

 

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Celebrating Life

I always say, and I mean it, that since rewards as writers do not come every day then we must celebrate all successes.

Yesterday after my workout and feeling a little low with recent things I saw an email about one of the submissions I sent out when I had my recent splurge of eleven short story subs. I had sent some older stories, some new, some new ones and old ones tweaked. Amongst them was a new one called Thinking In Circles that is about a little boy going back to school after something terrible that happened over the summer.

It’s about getting stuck in the same place and it’s about bullying — and there is a definite train theme, and it has a touch of the unknown. So when I saw the Book A Break competition, being run in conjunction with Curtis Bausse Books to win a retreat; theme: Journey, I decided it was worth a go. The story had never been submitted anywhere, but I needed to reduce the word count a fair bit to meet the competition criteria, which I did. It made it sharper for sure.

So an email came congratulating those who had made the anthology and I quickly realised I was amongst them… looked at the website (link below) to see I was a runner-up! Whoop! A huge congrats to winner, Sherry Morris, for her story Green Tights, and other runner-up, Saphia Fleury, for Balancing.

So I did the dance for my baby… first one of the eleven has done good!

Here is a link to website:

LINK

Thrilled with the judge’s comments:

‘Thinking in Circles’ is a meticulously crafted story full of suspense and surprise. Even after you discover the final twist, the story invites you to read it again and again. In a way, it’s as much a puzzle as a story…’

Well done to all and I am very happy to be included in this! I feel as if once I apply myself things start to happen again … yay!

So, have a great day all!

Train tracks

Follow Curtis Bausse on Twitter @CurtisBausse

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Shades of Purple

PURPLE

Purple prose perhaps? 

Although I not a very wordy writer I have to say!

Purple bricks… don’t they sell houses?

Purple cast!

Purple, as it happens, is my favourite colour. It was the shade of my foot when I first broke it and now it is the shade of my new cast, yes still in plaster although strictly speaking it’s plastic these days and not plaster! But yes, foot not healing as they’d hoped, it is healing,  I saw the x-ray and the new bone but the break is still very evident. Because of where it is …  it seems the healing is happening but slowly.

So now a new cast but luckily one that encases just the foot so I can move my ankle (yay!) start bearing some weight through the heel (yay again) and even better… shave the leg! It needed it! First thing I did when I got home… not that I’m shallow or anything! But all of this does still mean crutches and another four weeks before I go back which by then would have been eight weeks. So it should all be healed by then.

But what is a girl to do?

I can at least write and work which I love ❤  Of course, I had fully expected to be mobile and thinking about the gym before easter, but looks like it will be the other side of easter now. These things and all of that.

So what am I doing today?

Well writing, working out (see what else I can not add with a more mobile leg!), and later I will be printing handouts and preparing notes for my workshop this weekend. Not a massive number of writers for it, but enough to make it worthwhile I am certain! Still places if anyone wants to come along?

LINK

I am also lining up some writers for some In The Spotlights as not had any of those for a while so if you have a book you want to tell us about then message me!

So that is it for now, folks,… some purple pics just because… and I am not including the one of the very bruised purple foot from four weeks ago as does not seem very inspiring! It might also put you off your cornflakes! But my purple nails (as done last week) and my purple cast (done yesterday) are included.

 

All Things Purple! Enjoy! ❤

 

 

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Ready for a new week and it’s spring!

From where I’m sitting spring appears to have resprung after looking a little grey and somewhat windy yesterday! What a difference that shine makes to the outlook.

I am getting ready to workout and then write and later I have… wait for it, in fact, it sounds a bit like the name of a horror story: Fracture Clinic! Maybe there’s a medical horror in there about what really happens to all those broken bones! Talking of medical horrors I devoured them as a teenager. Somewhere between the classics and Stephen King, I found medical horror writer, Robin Cook. Remember Coma? I think my favourite was Mindbend. A bunch of doctors and surgeons were sent on all expenses paid cruises by the drug company and came back ‘different’ and all started to work for the same clinic. There was something about these stories that really attracted me: they combined my love of science and all things medical with fiction and I always loved a good mystery. I have often thought about revisiting those books, but I have a feeling my snobby writer in me now might not appreciate them as much as I loved them then, and I almost don’t want to spoil that… know what I mean?

But it does remind me of the power of great writing as a way of escaping and it’s really why I write. Lately, so many other things have got in the way of that and I am either editing for other people or with the man or sleeping! But I am eager to recapture that writing love. Life does sometimes get in the way, and there has been a lot of change and a lot of things happening… but it will all come good in the end:)

So as I prepare to embrace this day, whatever challenges and delights it might bring: I wish you all the best of everything!

Seize the day!

Lazy sit Rosie

Here… have a very cute picture of Rosie doing her very unladylike sit posture!

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Let’s Get Sparkling!

Well the sunshine, let it be said, does affect mental well-being and while life has its challenges, it always feels better in the sunshine…. right? I feel as little more 0ptimistic as I aim to finish my edit this morning and then its a little break with a friend and then nails. Then I start another edit later. But all feels good 🙂

Thought I have to say, no matter the weather we sometimes have to create our own sparkle and that is my intention 🙂

Today will be amazing… and why? Because I say so!

So all I will say is have an amazing weekend, I will back Tuesday as away at the man’s this weekend so working from there Sunday and Monday and no internet! Yes some people still do not have the internet… really! Thank God for 4G though! Wouldn’t want to feel completely disconnected!!!

So see you soon!

Enjoy life to the full!

Its my life

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