So, today (like many other days) I have spent it reading books, researching, writing, social networking and wracking my brains about how to go about my half completed MS.
I started off writing a story, completed 150 Word pages, then decided to move onto another story writing 100 pages, and am now onto my third story, 200 pages in. (Third time lucky, I hope!)
I always wanted to be an author. When I was in primary school, I would write Victorian short stories. I was obsessed with the Elizabethan era. The headmaster told an assembly I was a ‘budding Catherine Cookson.’ I didn’t know who she was then, but huuge compliment, I love her books. My mom still remembers that assembly.
As i got older, I would sit down and use my typewriter to create stories which my sisters and friends found entertaining and always urged me to continue, wanting to know what happened next.
Then, I went to college, studied law for 5 years, then got a job and finally worked as a trainee legal executive. My writing took a back seat.
At 27, I decided to start writing again. I absolutely love reading and writing. It’s by far my biggest passion.
Writing may come naturally and just flow for some. Sometimes this happens for me, sometimes I have to sit there writing notes, researching and trying my hardest to not get distracted by the bloody internet! LOL.
Anyways, I write because I LOVE it, I find it refreshing, chilling and not to lie, sometimes a pain in the arse. I’d rather be reading romance novels, realist fiction, true stories, bio’s than researching editorial, design, production, sales, marketing, publicity, rights, accounts etc however it has to be done.
The long process of submitting the story is terrifying. Commissioning Editor will have an ‘acquisitions meeting’ attended by all depts, discussions take place, final decision made based on estimates sale figures, likely production costs, authors track record etc. The finishing line can be some 10-12 months later!
It will then be reviewed again regarding structure, narrative pacing to characterisation, general style. Then the editorial team will structurally edit it to catch errors, inconsistencies from punctuation to spelling to facts, figures and tics of style. When the commissioning editor, copy editor and author are happy, it’s passed to the production dept to be designed and typeset. Then there’s a whole lot more to do and consider…. Hard work, eh?!
Here are some tips given by successful authors regarding writing that i thought I’d share:-
Write for your own pleasure. I want to educate myself and there’s no better way to do this than to research, and then attempt to write a book, (Claire Tomalin.)
If you enjoy your story then your excitement and enjoyment will show in the novel. You are an entertainer. (Bernard Cornwell.)
Writing mustn’t seem like a hobby, it must be your passion. Eventually it might also be your profession. Top tip is to read a lot. Second tip, perseverance, despite rejection letters. Third tip, emulate Nelson’s favourite captains and be lucky. (Katie Fforde.)
You have to be a complex contradiction. Sensitive and open minded and yet thick skinned and almost cocksure. It’s a certainty that you’ll get knock backs along the way but don’t ever give up hope. Talent, persistence and realistic. (Adele Parks.)
I am a writer because I’m a reader. (Mark Billingham.)
You have to care about it, really care about it and if that is the starting point of a good story, that story will definitely find a home. (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.)
So, 7 months on, I have three stories only half complete, which is good considering i have three completely different plots, ideas and work to go back to, but the big Q is, which one to tackle first? Hope I picked the right one!
Having printed all the pages I’d done, I didn’t like it in the ‘1st person’ so now changing it to the ‘3rd person’ and re-arranging all the chapters, taking sections of out each and re-writing it. Yaaaaawn! 😥
I promise to keep you up to date with my writing 😀