Tag Archives: Critique

Workshopping: Canvey Island, March 25th 2017

I know I have plugged this before but if you have any writing friends in Essex then I am still filling my workshop on Canvey Island, still a few places left for later this month.

One of the problems with workshops I have found is no matter how you dress it up, the workshop is the same thing, covers the same topics and there can come a point when you feel you are not gaining enough new information. I hear you.

When I ran a workshop like this in Wales, shortly before I moved, I tried to make it as hands-on as I could. By this I mean that it’s about how you apply all these terms like ‘showing and telling’; ‘too much exposition’; ‘clunky phrasing’; ‘motivation for action’ directly to our own work. How do you start an edit when you are pleased with your finished novel? We faff with commas and spellings and whether a semi-colon would be better here when really the place to start is to look at the shape of your story first.

I found that time writing, discussing, looking at new work produced in class as well as works in progress, helped empower writers with more idea of how to approach their edit. So while they might feel they understand what telling is, they cannot always identify it in their own work. So it will me more hands on, more practical I hope. It was successful before so I am running it again. So far it’s mostly members of the two writing groups on Canvey… but it is open to all. Even beginners will benefit and I do offer a fiction clinic that looks the most common ‘errors’ or better, ‘weaknesses’.

So do share this post as there are spots left. It will be fun too, serious but fun and a chance to meet with other writers!

Book online with PayPal: http://www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk/Pages/Events.aspx

Or email me: writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk for more information!

workshop

Thanks everyone! Have a great Thursday!

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Make this the year

We all know how hard it is to have work accepted; I submit less than I used to, but there was a time when I thought nothing would ever be ‘good enough’ but what I learned was to never give up… no matter what.

Over the seven years that I have been working for myself I have met so many writers at different stages of their career — and, without doubt, the ones who made it did so because they refused to give up, they took advice and they worked even harder when they were rejected.

I offer in-depth critique on short stories and novels (from flash to novel and anything in between) … this is the mainstay of my work and the thing I probably love the best. However, since editing is a multi-layered process I also offer copy editing/line editing sand final proofing. I also work on proofing, copy editing and structural editing of non-fiction and have worked on a number of self-help and mental health books and memoirs.

It never ceases to amaze me that since I left the security of the day job in science (a lot of scientific writing) to what could only be described as an ‘uncertain future’ I have never been without work (phew). I did also get taken on by Cornerstones a couple of years ago and this past year I have edited more for them too and, in particular, have really stepped up the mentoring. And that is what I wanted to talk about.

If there are any of you out there who are keen to get more ‘hands-on’ ‘on-the-job’ training then why not consider a mentoring programme with me. It would be tailored to your needs, so let’s say you are working on a novel and plan to write two chapters a month, then I could work on these first drafts and perhaps as we go on two revised chapters so it’s a chapter a week. This might be 2-3 hours per week, so based on 12-15 hours per month so let’s say discounted to £250 per month. This can involve phone calls, Skype, even the odd meet-up. If you think you might be interested I urge you to get in touch. I can make it fit with you and your needs so costs might vary. But it does require commitment and needs to based on at least 2-3 months ideally but again we can discuss this.

Please do get in touch if this appeals.

Have a look at my website! www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

Make 2017 the year!

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Countdown

Late blog this morning as was busy early, but just popping in to say have a great weekend all! The countdown begins and next week I will be posting short extracts of some of my published short stories and maybe novel extracts too on here in my own countdown until Friday!

So watch this space folks!

Happy Friday!

dreams-1

 

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Colleagues

One of the downfalls of working for yourself, from home, is a distinct lack of colleagues to bounce ideas off. Thankfully I have a lot of writer friends. But it is rather nice that I do take some of my work from Cornerstones, the big literary consultancy group, and last night I got to meet the team at last!

I had a consult with a client who I had worked for via Cornerstones and so I managed to arrange my meeting with him first at the Grange Hotel near Fenchurch Street for some interesting discussion. Then I headed over to Hammersmith and the Brook Green Hotel to meet with some of the other Cornerstones editors and the team I have been emailing for the past three years.

Always nice to put faces to names!

Helen was telling us how the agency started with six of them in a room and now they have sixty editors as part of the team and this year launched Cornerstones USA where they have sixteen editors.

Check them out! http://cornerstones.co.uk/uk/

So I kicked off the Christmas season with drinks with the team and this Saturday we have the launch of the Bridge House Anthology Baubles and The Best of CafeLit 5. And Gill and I have the one payment we ever get from BH that comes in the form of our annual Christmas meal afterwards. Whoop!

People last night were asking me about the private work I do and the way I built my business, because in truth most of my work is private, although I have done a lot more with Cornerstones over the past two years and am currently mentoring two writers and have two novels to work on this side of Christmas for them! I love to tell people how I feel like I created the ideal job and I am so lucky to do what I love every day. I knew when I was first invited to  work for Cornerstones that it was a good fit as their in-depth and very detailed analysis was exactly the kind of thing I was already doing; so all I had to do was the same kind of reports but on Cornerstones letter-headed paper and change some of my headings. Now, in fact, I use the same ones in my reports (having now added a useful section on ‘Marketability’ so where work sits in the marketplace) and so I don’t even have to change headings, only the paper, when I work on one of their reports. The nice thing is the work is proofed and checked by them before it goes to the client. You are paying more to work through them; they do have a vetting process and they do scout for leading agents, so they can really help to get you noticed.

There are a lot of people out there doing what I do and if you really want good feedback on your work then do check then out or come to me direct. If you’re serious it pays to have one detailed critique at least once in your life. What thrills me is that people keep coming back to me 🙂 And I see the people who have success; the ones who were prepared to put in the work — time and time again. The message has to be: DON’T GIVE UP.

Have a great day everyone!

Love what youdo 2

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Being busy

I love that I have a lot of work, although my own writing has to wait when that happens. I suddenly have a lot of work this side of Christmas; from both private clients and Cornerstones, but that is all fab! It is, after all,an expensive time of year!

Tomorrow I finally get to meet my Cornerstones colleagues when I am off to London for a little drinks evening; although I have a consult with a client first! As you do. So tomorrow I will not be in the office even though I have a lot of work to get through! Anyone would think it’s Christmas! But when I think about having colleagues who do what I do for a job I can’t help thinking about how I created the ideal job. I think back to when I would sit in the open office at work; all discussing pharmaceutical technical things and wishing we were talking about character motivation and the like! And now, well it is only me in the office, but I do have phone calls and I do spend my afternoons doing just that! I have indeed created the perfect job! And I will forever be grateful because I am quite sure I could never go back now! How could I do anything else or work for anyone but me? I couldn’t!

Tomorrow morning I also have to be at the gym early to be put through my paces by my lovely friend and one of the trainers as she has her final assessment to become a fully qualified personal trainer. So later I get to be trained by the man and then in for another session tomorrow for her and him again Thursday! I will feel it! I will not blog in the morning as I need to be up and editing at 5 so at least I get some work done before my busy day! But I will be back on Thursday to report on meeting my Cornerstones’ colleagues!

Have a fantastic day folks, whatever you’re doing!

happy-writer

Create the life you love…

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On This Day… 22/11/2016

Today sees the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy. Three years ago I had the official launch of While No One Was Watching, my debut novel. And what a three years it has been.

The same year I won the inaugural Bath Short Story Award, was shortlisted in the prestigious Commonwealth Short Story Prize and my story, The Theory of Circles, was also nominated for the highly acclaimed Pushcart Prize! It was hard to top that in a year!

The following year also saw successes, the biggest of which was finding an agent.

Since then I have had something published each year to keep that short story momentum going and had numerous signings and events along the way. I also moved to Essex, joined a gym and met a lovely man.  So personally and professionally my life has changed.

Give me a WHOOP!

Novel wise, I have still got the other three novels and been working on at least two new novels but am waiting for something to happen. My agent is so incredibly busy and she has now joined a much larger agency where her focus has changed more towards non-fiction. She still represents… me for the time being, but I am now making plans for 2017. I need to have another novel out there now!

I talked about my novel, and this whole idea of using a real event, such as the Kennedy assassination, woven into the fabric of fiction at the U3A event last Friday. Aptly timed of course for the anniversary. We used examples from film and talked about the historical novelists like Philippa Gregory and Sharon K Penman and where the historical novel sits (although mine is not a historical novel per se) in terms of representation of history. Can fiction change what we believe and is that a good thing?  It went down really well and I sold 14 books which isn’t bad for an event like that!

I will share links to the U3A site as they also took photos  when that is live.

So on this special day, I am sharing links to my novel again (sorry!) for anyone who has not read it! Give it a go! Christmas presents?

 

New cover WNOWW

Buy me

Thanks and thoughts to Kennedy and what the world might have been if he was still here.

Would I even have written this novel?

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Do what you love

Today’s message, as I prepare for a lovely day that involves writing, editing and yoga… is simple: do it because you love it. Do it because it’s what makes sense of the madness. Do it because there is no other way.

If you are a writer… then you will write.

Have a great day everyone!

Make-it-count

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