Another fortnight gone, another quick update blog post. It’s been a familiar tale; bursting with ideas, no time to get them down. Such is life. It’s not easy juggling writing and editing a book with a full-time job – well, not if I want to also see my husband occasionally, have some semblance of a social life, and sleep. But it’s worth remembering what it is possible to achieve if you really want to. This time last year I was immersed in NaNoWriMo (that’s national novel writing month to those not versed in this odd annual ritual, in which aspiring authors attempt to write a 50,000-word book in November). 50,000 words in a single month is a challenge to say the least: I’m proud to say that I achieved it on the first attempt, with a couple of days to spare, and with a reasonable degree of quality control. The experience was exhilarating, and a real education in writing, but also utterly, utterly exhausting – I didn’t feel like I could face it again this year. Also, I still haven’t done anything with my draft novel from last year, so I figured I should finish that off before I create a new one. Don’t want to end up with a hard drive cluttered with half-first drafts. So, best of luck to everyone doing NaNo, maybe I’ll join you again in 2013 if I’ve managed to tick off my writerly to-do list.
What have I been doing with my precious spare time then? Well, I’ve received the feedback on The Heartland of the Winter from my beta readers – thanks guys! Fortunately, they liked it, and had only minor suggestions for improvement, which was a relief. I’m now about half-way through the final edit in Scrivener: the plan after that is to export it into Word, format it properly, do a last trawl for typos (there are always more typos), and then submit it – I hope by the end of this month.
The main thing I seem to be editing is the dialogue – I’ve cut quite a lot of words out to try to make it snappier and more naturalistic, and also added in more speech tags where it wasn’t quite clear who was talking. I’ve also cut a lot of adverbs which on second reading were unnecessary – at one point I had written ‘he said, bathetically’. It’s a learning experience for when I come to write book number two – dialogue clearly isn’t my strong point so I need to do some work on it. I missed the session on dialogue at my writing club but some of my friends have passed on the tips, which I have found very useful.
In other news, just after finishing ‘Amanita’, my fairy tale of folklore and mycology, previewed on this very blog, I found some proper toadstools while out walking. I’ve never been so excited about fungus before, and have chosen to take this as a good sign for the success of my story. That’s just about it from me for the moment – more scribblings in a week or so!