So, recently, quite a few folks have been asking me… Read More »We Want Spoilers! A Trial of Sparks & Kindling Edition
As you all know, my summer was a whirlwind of… Read More »What’s Happening with A Trial of Sparks & Kindling?
Nothing feels real in my life anymore until I share it here. ◄ That’s healthy. 😛
I had some awesome news this week and I want to share it with you. You know, so it becomes real.
I belong to a writer’s group and they’re releasing an anthology later this year. Submissions opened November 2016, with the theme ‘elements’. I figured I’d submit – a thing that came loaded with first-timer’s angst. I didn’t believe I’d be selected, but there’s nothing lost in trying, right? What can go wrong when your story is scrutinised and poked at by people with much more experience than you? *Yolandie laughs forever*
The truth is, I’m not good at writing reviews. Not at all. It’s difficult to explain why you love something without including spoilers, nerve-wracking to find the good points in something meh, and I don’t even want to go into didn’t-like territory.
This book though, speaks for itself. It made me feel things. I held my breath and my heart made little jumps at times. I bit my lip until it was raw. I smiled when I caught up with Elke and Meisje, and went along with whatever Ndlela and Isabeau got up to. I laughed aloud a time or two. The ‘oh shit’ moments made me afraid to turn the page, even when I couldn’t not turn the page. My husband laughed at my reactions more than once, so it entertained him too. 😛
This is the kind of book that will stay with you forever, with the kind of characters that become your tribe. To say I loved it feels too weak, like I want to add a million exclamation marks to bring the thought across!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When you tell people you’re writing a novel, they’ll probably react in one of three ways. 1) You’re insane. 2) Ooh, that’s cool! 3) You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel (this, by the way, is said with the greatest frequency). This post is for everyone in the third group.
I’ve been following some authors on YouTube (because what can’t YouTube teach you) and I thought I’d share some of their stuff with you today.
When I first started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but I’m growing. If there’s one thing in life I hate, it’s stagnating. I’ve mentioned this before.
Where writing is concerned, I really think I have grown and I try to learn more with every word squeezed out through my fingertips. All I want to do is share the stories in my mind with you, in such a way that you and I pass something between us telepathically, like Stephen King says. I want the stories that keep me up at night, to keep you up too.
These are my first babies.
I’ve been following a lot of writing coaches, editors and authors via social media and blogs lately, and I’ve learned a TON about writing. The things to avoid, to embrace and habits to form to become a better writer have really impacted me. It also scares me.
When I sit down to write now, I’m so caught up in what not to do, that I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. 😛 Even so, I have to admit that there’s a notable improvement, though it still isn’t flawless. I’ll keep working at it. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer, but we can aspire.
One of the most freely floating bits of advice is to write what you know and that’s what I want to talk about today.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their condolences and beautiful words concerning my grandmother. If you missed it, my gran passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, because she was sick for a long time before she passed. It still hurts though. I wrote a tribute to my grandma here.
Since this is a current chaos post, I want to start you off with the song I’m listening to on repeat at the moment. It’s called ‘Build me up from bones’ by Sarah Jarosz. It’s amazing.
If you’ve been following the blog and had a look at my social media (check it out in the sidebar), you’ll know that my editor, Nerine, suggested I flesh out the world where my new series will take place. This added work is my own fault, sure. I finished The Physician’s Apprentice’s first draft in seven weeks, after all. If I had done all this stuff I’m doing now to begin with, it would have meant a lot less double work. Lesson learnt.
So, for close to two months now, I’ve been focussed on adding details and working out those things that don’t make sense in my world. Paired with my tendency to obsess, it’s been interesting.
So, it’s finally happened. I got the notes back from my editor a while ago and since then, only writing has been on my mind.
Let me first fill you in. I went through a bit of a bad patch last year with an editor. Not because of bad critique, but because of the complete lack of critique (there were only a handful of corrections throughout the entire novel). I don’t want to make a bad situation worse by muddying someone’s name. But I will say that when you pay someone for a service and they don’t provide that service at all, anyone would be angry.
Taking the step to hire an editor is a big one. Anyone in a creative field – or any field where your work will be dissected and scrutinized – will know how difficult it is to trust someone with your creative baby. Editors are there to tell you where you screwed up, whether it concerns grammar to characters acting crazy. It’s their flipping job to pull your work apart and tell you where you can improve it. THAT is what you pay them for.