Tag Archives: finding your voice

Mentoring Bubbles CALLING NOVELISTS

As some of you know I set up some mentoring bubbles at the start of 2021. I felt, with the never-ending lockdown, we writers all needed something. We needed interaction and some of us needed something to kick-start our writing, and to be accountable. A new year is always a perfect time for setting goals. As such, the programme (which I made a super low price) filled up with ten lovely writers and was so successful, in fact, over half of the people carried on with some mentoring once it was done. Now six months on, and I still work with three of them. As the world opened up it seemed fewer people wanted to join but we still had five for the one that soon comes to a close, and at least one of those plans to continue.

So it’s been successful and reflects the need for us all to adapt to the changing demands of our lives, especially at this odd time!

Zoom has changed the way I work, although I run my other editing and of course my own writing alongside it. I now offer a Zoom call to all editing clients post-edit and I think it works better than simply emailing over the answers to their questions. I am a ‘people’ person and so that interaction seems to work very well.

What I have come to realise is how useful it is to work together in this way. Zoom allows for screen share and getting up close and personal to identify both strengths and weaknesses. I look at style but also at the character development, story arc, plotting and so on.

I had planned a week dedicated to the short story with daily group sessions as well as a one-to-one critique but since no one has signed up and we only have a week to go, then I think it must be the way the world is at the moment. But I do have a short story week planned for December and I have a feeling that will be a better time, in fact I already have someone signed up for it.

What I want to focus on right now is ‘The novel bubble’ which NOW seeks writers. This starts in July and is for six novel writers who are working on and have some of or a full draft of a novel, be it first, second, even tenth draft and is stuck. What do they do now? They could come to someone like me for a full critique… or they could consider signing up for some intensive mentoring over 10 weeks. It’s a similar price, in fact, to a full critique on a 100K manuscript but the difference is we look at 10K a week (or thereabouts), with a Zoom call (up to 2 hours weekly) to look at what is working and what is not, with suggestions and guidance. Also weekly group sessions on all aspects of writing and I have a special guest for one of those sessions 🙂 My lovely agent can also offer her advice to you. The cost, up front for this bubble is £599… but you do get a lot for that. If you are interested I do want to know more about YOU, the project, see a SAMPLE and you need to be able to commit to the sessions and the work. It runs JULY 11th to SEPTEMBER 19TH. Group and one-to-one sessions will be at a time and day to suit you all and we can work that out before we get started.

Please email me if you want to do this: writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

My hope is that this is the beginning of a productive and an enduring relationship.

So what qualifies me to help you? Firstly, I am one of you. I am a working writer, with a literary agent, and I know how hard it is to get work out there. My agent is working so hard for me now to sell one of my novels… it’s tough out there. But what I do know, from over eleven years of editing for writers and small presses, from mentoring writers, working as a small publisher, core editor for Cornerstones and being a published novelist and short story writer myself, is that it has to come from the heart. It’s about the PASSION. And that passion is what drives us to be better writers. We are all on a learning curve, just at different places. It is tough but what I can assure you is that the learning is reward in itself, and the people who make it, are the ones who NEVER GIVE UP.

If that’s you, get in touch and let’s begin our journey together.

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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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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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Blurred Lines

Tomorrow morning I will be talking to the lovely members of the U3A at St Nicholas Church on Canvey about my novel. Well to be more precise about the blurred lines between fact and fiction and if any book can be wholly one or the other. I will look at how we define fact, truth, accuracy and what obligation to truth, we writers have, when it comes to the portrayal of real events in our works of fiction.

What do you think of movies that claim to be ‘based on a true story’ when really they can be so loosely based very little is true. What about Braveheart? Titanic? U571, Pearl Harbor…? The portrayal of the Holocaust or war in fiction?

What about writers like Phillipa Gregory? Sharon K Penman? Hilary Mantel?

Do you think fiction about real events can actually change what people believe about real event or real people? Is that okay?

Any thoughts?

The talk happens on Canvey but is not open to the public, only members of the U3A, so 50 plus although some can bring paying guests.

Since it’s an early start tomorrow  and I will want to be up and going over the talk one last time in the morning, there will be no blog but I will blog about it next week… I am away with the man this weekend so the next blog will be Tuesday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Why not buy my novel for Christmas presies? I can sign copies for £5 plus postage to wherever you are!

I should have copies left after the event tomorrow, but message me if you want one.

Or order direct from Amazon!

 

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Need help?

I am so blessed that from the day I started to work with writers on critiques and edits, I have never been without a steady stream of work. I also work with Cornerstones and so take work from them, at the moment I mentor three lovely writers. I arrange my day so I write in the mornings and then  some days, like today, I just work, but it’s great and I am so grateful I get to do what I love every day.

On my wall is a plaque that reads ‘Create The Life You Love’ and I can’t actually believe I did.

I plan to introduce a couple of day-long workshops next year; one will be local to where I live, another might be in London if we have enough interest; a day workshop on writing and where to take your edits. If anyone is interested in the London one please let me know as I will need to look into venues. I also would like to offer some more mentoring with novels or short story collections as I feel this works really well so might open a couple of spots initially for people with serious intentions of making 2017 their year. So if interested in this, please let me know.

If you are simply looking to hire an editor or someone to really critique your work then please do check out my website. It gets busy but I am happy to pencil you in for edits — a couple of spots still available for 2016 but then I am booking for 2017.

Check it out!

www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk 

So I wish you all an amazing weekend whatever you do… and remember if you want to give an unusual Christmas presie to a writer friend why not give them a gift card for a critique of a short story (2- 5000 words) £50 including follow-up… or for shorter pieces up to 2000 £25 and  I will send a certificate and they can use it any time in 2017.

That is all!

life-is-about-moments-create-them-motivational-daily-quotes-sayings-pictures

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Stay Positive

I keep out of political discussion; I never expressed my Brexit view all over social media nor will I blog about Trump and what’s happening over in the US. While I live in Britain I have a deep connection to the US and hence my debut novel about Kennedy and my many trips over there and my many special friends. But what I will say is in this time of unrest and hate, stay focussed on what matters to you.

 

Yesterday I did not blog as I, like so many across the world, watched how the events of the election panned out and then, well  did what I always do, I wrote and then I went for my yoga class, which is a great way of keeping grounded. And then I had lunch with the man and then edited all afternoon.

 

Keep in mind what matters and let’s see what happens next. Yes it might be scary, and yes I am with you all on that one… but try to remain focussed and calm, if you can. That is all; please no political responses; that is not the purpose of this blog.

Love one another ❤ Do what you love ❤ Be with people you love. ❤ LOVE.

That is all.

 

And anyone wanting to read my novel who hasn’t yet… here it is! American flag and all!

Got yours yet?

Got yours yet?

BUY ME

UK

USA 

Have a good day folks. Find your peace.

If not… read my novel!

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Happiness is what you do

I want to say a huge thanks for all the lovely comments about my post last week; I never planned to do that. My outpouring of raw emotion… but it was all from the heart

❤ ❤ ❤

In the mornings when I sit down to blog I often have no idea what I will post about; it depends what shows up and that morning it was that. I meant every word. So I appreciate the retweets, Facebook shares and the lovely comments. The day had its sadness but was a reminder that we really must appreciate those around us.

❤ ❤ ❤

On Thursday I was sat having lunch with Mal and I was talking about the blog and a special letter I’d written to him about what he means to me. I got a little emotional thinking about that and about Lee when I thought about the song ‘Always’ by Bon Jovi.  Lee loved it and I know he knew every word. Mal  loves the song too. Why I thought about it at that moment I don’t know, I guess I was being nostalgic. Two minutes later when I said something pertinent to Mal and he said ‘Lee was a big part of you and you will always love him’ that song came on. You could not have timed it better. It was something about the words: ‘I wish I was him, I wish the words were mine to say to you till the end of time’ that made us look at one another; as if Lee was wanting to say that to us. Not in a bad way, because I know he will be happy, but just because.

You could say that this is just a coincidence and maybe it is… but isn’t it better to see it as something that means something; and then to feel that love, to hold that moment. I think so.

❤ ❤ ❤

On Friday I had a lovely day between working and time with my friend; one of my oldest (not literally!) friends and we just had time to talk and think about life.

❤ ❤ ❤

On Saturday I was in Mal’s  yoga class and right there next to me floated a little white feather. Sure you can say it drifted in on someone’s shoes or through an open window, but I prefer to think that for that class Lee was there.

❤ ❤ ❤

Sunday was a lovely day after working we went to see Simply Gershwin at a local theatre as one of Mal’s lovely clients who teaches dance and is a great dancer was in it and he managed to get us two complimentary tickets. I so love the music of George Gershwin, has to be one of my all time favourite composers. I think my favourite is ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’. Bliss.

❤ ❤ ❤

 Monday: and now for a lovely new week and whatever wonderful things it brings.

So have a great day and look on the other side of the little things that happen because there is more to this life than we know.

what-if-i-fly

My story that won the Bath Short Story Award in 2013 about dealing with grief was called ‘Learning to Fly’ so this seemed kind of apt!

HAPPY MONDAY!

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Building on a Dream…

Here is a simple message. I have been thinking a lot about all my lovely clients and the way we often become friends. I feel as if we are all in a dream factory; we support one another towards our goals. It’s important to have those dreams — those things that get us out of bed in the morning. If we have no drive then we have no sense of purpose in life. So today I am celebrating dreams and hopes and wishes. If anyone has ever knocked those down, said dreaming of being a writer (or whatever your dream) is all ‘pie in the sky’ use that anger to fuel your drive all the more.

It is not easy being a writer and rejection is part of that, but for every rejection you learn, you move forward, YOU MUST be receptive to criticism and take it as a place to learn from. If you believe: YOU WILL succeed.

Have a great Monday and an amazing week everyone!

dreams-1

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Friday Again

Where do the weeks go, it’s like God has reset all the clocks in the house and it can’t really be mid-October can it?

Yesterday we had no power and I had the oddest experience… at midnight; my dad standing in my room shining a torch in my face saying, “There is no power.” What? ” The new boiler…” (only fitted Monday!) “… has leaked water all over the garage floor.” Oh. “And none of the power will come back on.” In my half-dazed state, I think I grunted and couldn’t help think the torch in my face was really from an alien and the apocalypse was upon us. Well,  am reading The Girl With All The Gifts! Then he said, “So no point you getting up early as you can’t work, is there? Thought you needed to know.”

“Oh. Yeah. Thanks, Dad.” I think.

So that is why there was no post yesterday.

I got up at a ‘normal’ time, went to the gym, the man put me through my paces personal training me and boy can I feel it this morning. Then I took him out for a healthy lunch (a reward for hurting my muscles? Er…) as it would have been Lee’s birthday (in heaven eleven years next week) so I thought in an odd way, going out with the new man seemed a good thing to do… well you know what I mean. We toasted Lee with our slimline tonics. And when I came back we had power (boiler isolated) and  being looked at, hopefully, fixed, tomorrow. So we don’t have heat but thankfully it’s not that cold.

And so here I am today with power. We all have power.

The power to write. The power to be whatever we want to be. The power to live our dreams. And right now the power to look forward to another weekend. I will, of course, be working all day Sunday as I have three lovely mentoring clients at Cornerstones at the moment so have some chapters to read 🙂 as well as the other 7/8 novels all lined up and being edited on weekdays over the next few weeks. Did I tell you I love my writerly life? 😉 I have the power! Oh and my own writing in the mornings too of course!

So everyone, have a fantastic weekend, whatever you do.

Do you have the power?

Make-it-count

 

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Be Creative… writing prompt

Write down the first word that comes into your head.

That is the title of your new short story.

Write down the name of the first object that comes into your head.

The protagonist will use this in the first scene.

Write down the name of the first song that comes into your head.

That must play at the story climax.

 

GO!

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