Sunday, 22 November 2009

My current writing projects

I have two and a half novels written.

The first 'The Measure of Love' is a re-vamp of a story I wrote about 20 years ago - or at least, the basic scenario is. Because when I started updating it (and giving it a totally different setting), the story-line changed completely.

About a year ago I sent it to a Harlequin editor in Canada - not 'officially' but through a personal contact. After about six months she turned it down, saying "I enjoyed your depiction of two people who let mistrust and secrets drive them apart, and I’d hoped to be able to find a spot for the ms. in one of our series lines. Unfortunately, I confess my second readers weren’t quite as taken by the storyline as I was."
In August I sent the synopsis and first 3 chapters of this story to Mills and Boon here in the UK. I had an acknowledgement from them but so far, nothing else. If they accept it, then fine, but if not, I can see many ways in which I can improve it, since in the last year I have learned a lot about writing techniques.

I actually have more hopes for 'His Leading Lady', my second novel. The Harlequin editor has had this since May, but I've heard nothing from her. In the meantime, however, I've had this story 'critiqued' by two writers, and as a result I have 'tightened' up my writing considerably and learned a lot in the process. I've asked Margo (the editor) for an update but if I don't hear anything from her soon, I shall reluctantly assume that she is not intending to accept it. I'm now looking around for alternative publishers.

My third story, as yet untitled, is about three-quarters written, but I'm not 100% happy with it. It's going to take a lot more work before I feel that it's 'right'. There is something missing - and I'm not sure yet just what that is!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Critiquing and Editing

Some writers like critique partners, some don't. I'm one of the former, and I'm fortunate that I've found two excellent critique partners. Both of them have helped me to tighten up my writing by highlighting word or phrase repetition, overuse of passive verbs and adverbs, and showing instead of telling - some of the things that editors loathe.
But, while I've been editing based on some of their comments, I've started wondering whether it's possible to 'over-edit'. To the point where you become so concerned with technicalities that your writing loses its freshness, its spontaneity and its flow.
Ideally, I suppose you should be so aware of the 'errors' you can make when writing that you avoid them instintively. But I've always written from a 'gut-feeling' and it seems to me that sometimes you can start to over-analyse your work to the point where it becomes bland and lacking in feeling, rather than being written 'from the heart'.
I've read that 'Every word has to count, to serve the story. Any word, phrase, sentence, etc. that does not do that must be questioned.' Taken to its extreme, does that mean that you have to agonise over every single word? I think not.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

My Website

I've been busy today setting up my website. It's a free one - I can't afford to pay for one at the moment! It's been a steep learning curve, and frustrating too, when it came up with an error after I'd completed a whole page. I then had to redo the page.
It's not complete yet by any means, but take a peek, and see what you think

Click here for