Writing: Works In Progress

work in progress projects

     Live from the interwebs, from no semblance of a studio with me Fionn Grant, this evenings news or morning or afternoon depending on your location…

      APART FROM WRITING short stories and posting ideas on writing what else have I been up to?

For starters my first finished manuscript As Yet To Be Titled (not the actual title…) is still in the lap of the writerly Gods aka literary agents. Of the submissions I sent out in April, I have had one nibble also known as a reply to an email, and five rejections. The rejections took the typical format of ‘Not for us’, and one was nice enough to wish me luck.

Tentatively titled Down To Earth, my thriller, is 50% written sitting just over the 40,000 word mark, and I hope to have it finished within two to three weeks. I printed off that first half and I’m pleased with the development especially for a first draft having learnt from some mistakes from previous projects. The best advice I can give you when writing a book is to review it half way through or as soon as the plot, characters and story details get a little out of hand, e.g. not remembering how many special agents arrived in chapter five.

Iron out the details, make some brief notes and continue writing. Your head will be clearer, there’s no snags you’ve forgotten about ready to ruin a plot point, without niggly worries you’ll write faster and better. There is nothing worse – I really mean this – nothing worse than finishing a novel and realising something that happened in the early chapters you forgot about affects the entire story, meaning that the second half of the book requires major revamping. Having to switch around and chop and change scenes, characters, plots etc is painful. You’re left to fix a broken puzzle of your own creation. Every time you switch something, it has a knock on effect, the demon butterfly, meaning everything from that time point is effected and doesn’t work anymore.

What else? I’ve been editing a large batch of short stories from flash fiction to lengthier pieces. Still deciding on when to self-publish a short story collection and looking to send some more out to publications to get rejected. Still amazes me how some stories hold up over time, and others I thought were great need some major revisions. Check out Useful Links For Writers if you’re needing some inspiration.

Over to you WordPress for the weather…

 

lion around 2

 

17 Comments

  1. I find that continually reading what’s gone before, and doing one or two edits as I go, helps to sort out the inconsistencies. Better still, get someone else to read it for you, if you can.

  2. Are you submitting your novel to UK or US agents, Lion? I was curious because here in the US, most agents don’t even bother to respond to queries unless interested, leaving one up the air for weeks or months.
    Best of luck with all your writing endeavors!

    1. Im keeping it local for now. And the same happens here, they say give up to 3 months to reply. I would assume based on current submissions the good agencies will reply with a yes no within 2-3 weeks sometimes sooner.
      Thanks for your well wishes ☺

  3. First, thanks for the links. Did I understand this correctly, you have 40,000 words done in your current manuscript and expect to have it completed in three weeks? Is that right? Sending out a few short stories to get publishing credits can’t hurt your author bio. Best of luck with your project and with that nibble. Rooting for you.

  4. A great update with some helpful advice. I can’t imagine how horrifying it must be to notice an error of that magnitude! Even more reason to congratulate you on finishing the damn thing 😄 Best of luck with your other projects!

  5. I always think it’s funny that people like to scream at me “Wait! You wrote a book?!?!” as though writing the thing was the difficult part. No one else seems to realize that the creation is easy– getting it out there is a challenge. I received 160 rejection letters before one agent was nice enough to finally tell me that my novel was too long to take a chance on. I immediately cut it down to a more reasonable size (which was, again, SO much harder than the initial writing was), but by that time the damage was done. Agents didn’t want to look at it again after they’d rejected it once. (I was also told by two agents that my cast of nearly-exclusive female characters wasn’t something a YA audience could “relate to”. Hopefully I’ll get enough support from other writers and readers to be able to publish it through my current attempts and prove them wrong).

    Anyway. All that being said, it seems like you know more about what you’re doing than I did at the time, and I’m excited to see your success. Thanks for keeping us updated. 😉

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