Searching for an Alpha Reader

I’m halfway through this line edit of- I think we’re onto the 5th draft now- and I’m aware that this may be the one that needs an Alpha Reader. Yep, somebody is finally going to get all the words to read!!

But who to send it to?

Because the person I would send it to is absolutely terrible at getting back in touch and bad at time management, so she’s out of the question.

Then, there’s the family of course. Now, I do love my family but a critical opinion I’m just not going to get from them and just wanting the manuscript to read isn’t what I need right now.

That leaves me in a right little pickle. Who do I give this to for ANY sort of critical feedback?

I’m tempted to post on Facebook Pages such as:
Beta Readers & Critiques
Writer’s Tips and Feedback

There’s also the Goodread Groups:
Beta Reader Group
Beta / Proof Readers Group

But it is just too daunting for strangers to read the synopsis of the novel that I’m having doubts.

I may have to finally get involved in a writing group if I want what I need.

I hope my fellow writers have better success than I am. Let me know how you went about it.

CampNaNoWriMo – Day 6

Camp Nanowrimo Banner, Camp Nanowrimo 2017

Yep, trying my hand at Camp NaNoWriMo for the second time this year. Won it in April with 22,000 words written of a 20k goal.

I passed 10k yesterday morning, while missing the second and third day due to being sick. I’m only reaching for 25k this time around and so I took yesterday off from writing.

The one reason why I gotten so far so quick? My head is in my book twenty-four hours a day.

I go to bed wanting to stay up and keep writing. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so in love with my bed and I could stay up and write.

Trying my hardest to get two manuscripts ready for my beta reader. Was hoping to have them done this weekend, but that’s a long shot. Could be manageable if I don’t leave the laptop for the next 48-hours.

Maybe I can get them ready for next week.

Keep Writing Shit Until You Find the Gem

I got talking to one of my closest friend yesterday in a pub, over a pint of Bulmers and a virgin cocktail.

Like all the rest of our meet-ups, our conversation went onto our writing.

We both started writing our main novels around the same time. All the way back in college!

She’d always get motivated after meeting up and then run home and type out load of chapters that she’d send to me to read over. I’d get excited and dying for more and she’d say she was going to work on, she hit a writer’s block…but I never hear anything back.

It’s easily been over a year and from meeting up I found out she still hasn’t made progress.

She says that she hates her writing, that it’s shit. And my answer is that first drafts are always shit or that writers/artists the majority of the time think their work is shit until someone tells them otherwise.

It was interested to see the two sides of the same coin.

I think my writing is shit, always will. But I keep chipping away at it, editing and rewriting scenes and chapters. Yes, I have weeks where I don’t touch it, but it’s always on my mind and I will always go back to it. Somedays I can’t bare to look at while other’s it’s all I stare at for hours-at-a-time.

Writing isn’t just going to happen. That book that you have in your head isn’t going to appear over night. Life is going to get in the way…no matter how hard you try to not let it.

For all my writing friends. Just don’t let yourself get in the way too.

Keep chipping away!

You need to uncover that gem that’s underneath all the shit you keep seeing.

Nanowrimo 2016

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

I’m attempting Nanowrimo again this year. I think this will be my fifth time- including 2 Camp Nanowrimos.

I’ve never gotten passed the 20k mark, that the most words I’ve written for Nanowrimo was last year’s with 13,038. [10k was written in the first week]

I have love-hate relationship with Nanowrimo. I love it because I get to enjoy writing with other people and there’s an excitement and a buzz about it. I hate it? The whole ‘just write’ attitude. There’s people that do it, that just write in November and then don’t do anything all year round.

The reason I’m doing it? I really need to get a manuscript that has been sitting unfinished for years. It’s gone passed the point of an acceptable time-frame. This was the same novel I wrote for last year’s Nanowrimo. I just need to get the words down at the stage, don’t care if they’re not perfect. If I keep going at the rate that I’m going at now, I’ll never write it.

This time around through I’ve listed out the scenes that need to be written and allocated a rough amount of words for each one and they bring me to about 65 – 80k words in total. So, 50k should be a walk in the park. Right?

Here is my profile if you want to buddy up.

Editing is the Grim Reaper of Writing.

It never gets any easier. Changing a chapter. I always thought that once you have done is so many times  you won’t get the anxiety attack that comes with re-working a chapter.

You Do.

On one summers day in 2014, I got this brainwave of an idea to write a prologue to start the novel off on the right footing and to bring all these characters into it without ever saying any of their names. Pure briliance!

It then occurred to me today, after plainly ignoring the prologue because I loved it so much and didn’t want to end up deleting it, I went back to it. It was obvious, after many many changes to the rest of the story and to the characters, my beloved prologue had to go.

I reworked a new prologue that blends better with the story that I have, but I don’t think it’s ever going to have the same feel of the first prologue. The one that came in a mad wave of pure creative genius.

I just killed the one chapter I loved the most and need to figure out how to love this new one the same way. This weekend is going to spent trying to get to know this new prologue and hopefully by Monday loving it in the same way as the old one.

This writing business isn’t easy on the heart.

Trying to get my Characters to Talk.

I’ve been writing these books for a few years, when it dawned on me- about an hour ago- that I have a major issue with one of my main characters.

He isn’t a main character in the first two books, but then the secret about him is spilled and he becomes one of the major characters for the following books. So, because of this, I was having him being in the background – getting another character to do his dirty work. My MC knows him, and so if he showed up it would be a dead giveaway. But, now that he’s so buried and hidden throughout book one and two; when he does show, the readers are going to be like who the fuck is this dude? 

I need to get him more involved in book one, so that when he does show up that he already has all this life and story that the characters and the readers thought was real.

That’s my dilemma now, and I’ve spent the last hour doing anything other than editing or writing trying to make sense of him as a person. And it’s like trying to get blood from a stone. My brain is melting.

As the writer, I know who he is, what pushes him, his backstory etc. I just don’t know what my characters think and because of this I need to make up another other life and backstory for him.

Anyone got any tips?

 

 

A Weekend of Editing

So, I never thought that editing this stupid book would be so hard. Finding the time is the hardest part. I know- I know. The whole: If you love something, you’ll find the time for it. It’s all about priority. 

Okay, so yea I could wake up extra early or go to bed an hour later, but you don’t think like that when you’re either cozy and warm or dead on your feet.

Then, there’s the whole day-to-day crap I got to do that means my morning is gone and a chunk of my evening is gone too. That leaves me a few three-odd hours in the middle somewhere that are free if I don’t get caught up with something else.

I just…I just never found finding the time to work on my books this hard before. I used to be able plonk myself down and not move for two-to-three hours straight. Where the hell is that writer gone to?? I want her back! She was awesome.

19th – 21st August Writing Aims

I’m going to get these stupid chapters edited. Aiming to be at chapter 5 by Monday. I’m not even planning on working on other works. Just to see how focusing all my energy will work out.

 

Rejections in the double figures – and not what it’s built up to be.

Writers dream about the day where they can send off to agents and publishers and think up of all the rejection letters that they get back- maybe stick them up and look at them…

It doesn’t happen like that.

The majority of rejection letters aren’t long or informative as we’re made to believe.

Take myself for example:

I’m up to 11 rejections

And not a single one has an ounce of constructive criticism to give to me.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I just don’t know.

The only thing I’ve gotten from them is to ‘keep sending it out’ and ‘it just isn’t for them’.

In other words:

giphy (1)

That’s it! That is all the feedback I’ve gotten back. No deep insight on what’s wrong with the chapters or what needs improving.

I have absolutely no direction of what to do next- the only thing I can do, is to keep sending them out, and I don’t know whether I should focus on this story or focus on the ten-odd stories that are dying for my attention.

 

The only think I can do now is:

giphy (2)

 

 

Writing Update

It’s Friday evening, already on my second bottle of Coors Light.

I need to figure out my writing goals for tonight and the next two days. I haven’t written in weeks, easily over a month.

  • 10,000 written words – well, really it’s 9,500 words, but I just rounded it up to the nearest total. This is on two WIPs that I have and it’s just getting them to the next ten thousand words.
  • Edit 3 chapters – I want to edit chapter 4 – 6 of my completed novel and get it out to a select few of people to get feedback on it. I haven’t touched it in a while, so it should be interested.

Other News

I got another rejection letter, and I’m up to 7 rejections now, and going to try and do Camp Nanowrimo next month.

 

Sending out the chapters and writing weekend. 

Sent the first three chapters off to more publishers on Thursday, and I have to say that it gets easier.

I sent off to 4 agents/publishers, bringing the total amount now to 9.

This time around I didn’t get palpitations and didn’t break out into a cold sweat or even closed my eyes when hitting the send button. It was more of a ‘whatever, just send it off.’

Going to write 5-10k this weekend because I haven’t done any writing all monthly… Weirdly, because I’ve been so focuses still on editing this book. But I really need to get the words going on the other books to even be where I want to be. 

What is everyone else’s writing weekend looking like? Any big plans?