The Rats in the Canal

Trolley in Canal

There’s a trolley in the canal that has joined the antique collection of dead pests and drowning shopping bags. The canal can be smelt before it’s seen. People scrunch up their noses and walk faster round here. No one wants to fix the problem. I used to hate that. Everyone complains but no one wants to help. Now I have to pray they never do. I hope they never drag up what lies at its bottom making the water foul. But he’s where he belongs now, with the rest of the rats.

Advertisements

Book Blogger Tip Tuesday #16

editing (1)

If you’re writing flash fictions and get stuck on one idea, given how short they are, it is wise to jump between two ideas to help get your creativity pumping. However never do this with novels, you’ll get nowhere.

They’ll Never Stop Staring

She had always liked her nails. She didn’t consider herself vain but she always felt pride when her nails grew long enough to draw beautiful swirling patterns over to mesmerise the eye. She smiled whenever she caught someone admiring them.

Now, she mused, no one would ever stop staring at them. Her thought was cut off sharply as the hammer came down again, cracking the nail of her index finger and rivers of red bloomed against mountains of white bone.

Editing: How to Start?

Introduction

So congratulations: you’ve written a book! Yay, give yourself a pat on the back and breathe.

Then it’s time to ask the next big question: What next?

The one thing no writer will ever tell is that the writing is the tiniest part of your journey, the editing is the huge task ahead. It requires painstakingly going over every single detail of your book to make sure its not going to be thrown in the bin on the first query read-through.

And that is a terrible task to start, to look up at the shadow of the mountain in front of you and want to run away from it.

But don’t worry dear writer I will be your guide and will lead you on this perilous journey.

 

Take a break

After finishing writing, it is best to rest your work for a few days. Because at that stage, your mind is buzzing with every little problem you view as important. It is good to go away for a couple of days and come back to it with fresh eyes.

writing (1)

Get stationary and prepare

This is my favourite place to start in: the stationary aisle.

I personally prefer to have a physical edit in my hand, so I need a grand pile of highlighters, pens and paper. As well as this I need a planner, perhaps because I like planners BUT ALSO because it is best to stay organised and on top of your word count to stay motivated.

However there are many who prefer to keep everything online, but still you will need to make sure you have everything necessary to keep yourself content and editing. A writer’s worst enemy is procrastination so make sure you have anything you might need:

  • Music
  • Food
  • Lots to drink (that one is important)
  • Chargers.

 

Start big

You have sat down and are ready to start editing. It’s easy to get bogged down just reading through your manuscript adding in and deleting commas. It is best to start big before getting to the details.

Depending on your planning style you may or may not have a story plan. Even I deviate from it so when it comes to starting editing, I rewrite my outline to fit the final story, this is the easiest way I find to look at a condensed overview of the whole story.

This is the easiest way to look at the plot and see any glaring problems.

editing (1)

Listen to your work

I can’t write, literally I can’t. I struggle with dyslexia. And so, having my work read aloud really helps me notice the small errors, but it also helps you notice when sentences just don’t have that punch.

 

Keep the consistency

Now coming down a bit closer, most likely your final scenes are better written than the first scenes you wrote. It may not necessarily be in chronological order, but it is good to give all your scenes a once over to make sure the general structure is the same.

On a more technical note, its easy to forget the small details of description when you are writing. Make sure that your main character’s eyes don’t go from blue to brown within five chapters and the sunny skies mentioned two paragraphs ago don’t suddenly become storming rains.

 

CLUNK

Now we get into the nitty-gritty. Once you have sorted out your plot and consistency, you can finally give it a proper read and examine your work. This is the time to start dashing out those clunky sentences and spruce up your descriptions.

 

Conclusion

Trust me, editing will take forever. You will constantly relearn how to write better which will make every time you reread your book make it seem like shit. But don’t give up hope and keep going. Good Luck Xx.

 

Further reading

Self-Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book

So I got Rid of my Manuscript

Soooo…. I scrapped my novel.

DON’T SHOOT I CAN EXPLAIN!

editing (1)

If you weren’t aware, on the last episode of ‘watching Kathy’s dreams burn to the ground’ I gave the first third of my book to my dad, who is also a writer. I really didn’t want to give anyone my book before it was finished. However the further I got into the edits, the more I realised there was something wrong with the story.

Something…and I didn’t know what. So I shoved it into the hands of my father. Who, after reading twenty pages sat me down and told me none of it made sense. I’d built this confusing society with complicated rules and laws that served no purpose. He was right, but that’s not why I scrapped it all.

He started trying to help and told me: if a house has a broken wall and you put on support after support against it, its still a broken wall, you have to demolish the wall and rebuild it. That’s when it hit me, I don’t want to write this story. There’s a story within it that I’ve clearly been trying to write for years but when it was stuck within a broken narrative (that I made up when I was thirteen), it suffered so much.

I like my book and it really hurt to give it up but it was fundamentally a broken story and fixing it over and over again wasn’t going to help.

So, new story! Hopefully a lot simpler and to ensure this I’ve made some ground rules:

1. Stop trying to make a multiverse: –

I blame Marvel for this one. I’ve always wanted some overlapping epic of several stories coming together for one final grand adventure…I can’t even write one book so let’s learn to walk before we run

2. Plan!:-

I do plan, I am a planner, but what I lack is asking why? I write down ideas for ideas in a random order without thinking as to why they are there? What purpose do they serve? So I’m now planning until I can explain every little decision like my own life story

3. Motivate: –

I struggle with building motivation for my characters and having started the plan for this next book I still do. My characters do things they don’t want to do for people who don’t care about them…and they don’t fight it. I don’t know why I find it so hard, I guess I like making my characters suffer through it, but I suppose the reader isn’t supposed to do so as well

I might post my main idea and plot summary on here so if you guys want to bombard me with criticism that would be great!!