advice · editing · writing

Useful tips for writing and editing

I wandered across this list of writing advice and number 17 was about not being distracted. Which was funny because I am currently on the second draft of Jumpstart and switching between internet pages. I mean sweet Jesus, I must have rushed writing this manuscript because from chapter nine onwards it’s 50 to 70% red from track changes. I must have skipped adding some sentences because some times I don’t know what I’m the fuck I’m trying to say.

 

Untitled
Second draft example

 

My memory of completing this manuscript was of joy because I had actually finished it. But god damn. I’m only halfway through this edit. I think the only thing of decent quality relating to this story is the cover image I managed to create. Hopefully, after I tear this baby apart it’ll be better on the next edit.

writing

A new novella is created

It’s 1.30am Edinburgh time and judging by the date of this post, I just finished a 31,000 novella in 24 days! I’ve been saving over the file so I don’t have exact dates. But that’s damn impressive 🙂

I’ve changed the main character’s name because it was annoying to write it as I kept spelling it wrong. I’ve thought up a title that I think will stick, I know what I’m changing in my next edit and I’m getting together some images that may help me with picking a cover image.

I’m telling you the more I write the better and faster my first drafts come into being 🙂

writing

New science fiction mystery in the works

For the past few weeks, I’ve been digesting and forming a new science fiction mystery novella. As I write this post I’ve already written around 9,000 words and I do not know how it’s going to end, but I’m capable of thinking up something 🙂

That being said I’ve already created the blurb for it. Tell me what you think of it.

It’s been six months since the Chloris, a survey and colonist team from a nearby planet have touched base with the Buwembo Depot Station to collect the next round of supplies. Unable to make radio contact they wait for its sister ship the Electra to arrive for resupply and reassurance. Except, like the Chloris, it doesn’t.

Not knowing what has happened and knowing that they are dependent on said supplies, a small crew is sent out to inspect and assist the assumed mechanical repairs. Except they find no crew. The residents of the two ships appear to have vanished and there is not much to go on.

Along for the journey is Sarojini, a former resident of the Chloris whose been residing on Buwembo as a carer for a cancer-stricken child. She is there to assist in their understanding and attempts to solve the mystery of the missing crews of the Chloris and Electra.

emotions · personal · writing

What are your writing goals?

I have a goal of writing 10 books by the age of 30. That means I have to publish 6 more in the next 30 months, or a new book every 5 months. At the moment I have The Things We Do in its ?fourth? draft (strangely I haven’t been keeping that much of a record). The first draft of Jump Start is done, I’m halfway through two more novellas (Beyond this Little Moon of Ours and yet-to-be-titled novella) and I have a few other incomplete dormant stories sleeping on my USB.

I’m not one to be motivated by self-imposed deadlines. In fact, I freeze up in fear and have a miniature freakout, despite having gone through university and gotten me a BA and Postgrad Diploma. I like to go my own pace and that pace can be all over the place. Nothing for days and then a few thousand words in one sitting.

What I have is what I now consider a short-term goal (I know, I now consider myself getting old). I’m just starting to get into my groove writing and when I hit thirty I do not know what to expect. I hope I will have reached my goal. I’m certainly going to aim for it. But I wonder how much of my life will be the same or different.

What about you? What are your short and long-term writing goals?

advice · editing · emotions · personal · writing

How do I write my books faster?

Can’t I just look at a screen and have it materialized through my thoughts alone!?

If only.

Personally, I’ve found that there are a few tips that make writing my books faster.

  1. Be passionate about writing. Emotions will fuel my desire more than anything else.
  2. Knowing your destination is half the journey. I usually have a rough idea of where I want a new story to end. That means I have to work out what happens along the way so I can get there.
  3. Actually, like your story idea. If I don’t then I don’t bother with it.
  4. Keep at it. It is not the smartest or most talented that succeed, it is the ones that persist the most. Remember brilliant authors started out terrible.
  5. Have fun and write for yourself. Writing for pleasure takes me further than writing for money or market. If what you’re writing is hard then something is probably wrong with it. ie, number 3, not enough research/limited life understanding, doing it for the wrong reasons.
  6. Edit like a machine. What I like may not be right for the story and characters I have created. So I change them to make them work for the story’s overall theme/idea.
  7. If something seems not right, then it’s not right. My intuition about something out of place is usually correct, something I have honed in over time. But it may not be for the reason I think. That’s why it’s best to leave your work for a week or month. Or get others to read it and have them tell you what they think.
  8. Accept that it will be flawed. To be human is to error and be imperfect. Accepting this view makes me less of a perfectionist and it frees up my mind so that I’m not afraid to write that first draft.
  9. Forgo other things. Ultimately, like any other skill, the more your write the better you become. To be a great or proficient writer you have to sacrifice the time you would have spent on others things and divert them to sitting in front of a computer. Less time socializing, less time at the gym or doing other hobbies. For some people, this is an issue, but if you think yourself as a full-time writer then it is not.