Tuesday, 28 May 2019

"It isn't work if you love it" ... but what if you don't?

A couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with a retired friend who asked me how I found the discipline to actually sit down and write. At the time, I gave him a bit of flippant answer, saying, "It isn't work if you love it. I get up and I want to write, so I do."

Which is true. At the moment. I'm still loving writing the trilogy. And editing it. And editing it some more. In fact, I've yet to have a bad week with it (though I'm sure I've now tempted Fate, and the rest of the year will be spent grinding it out, loathing the thing...).

But it absolutely wasn't true just over a year ago. When I was finishing the first and second drafts of "book 4" I would rather have completed my tax form, done the housework, had root-canal work with no anaesthesia or pulled my nails out with pliers, than sit down and write.

So how do I make myself do the work, when it's not all roses?

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

When is a trilogy not a trilogy?

The number of books the 'trilogy'
may end up having!!
I finished typing up the edits to the middle book of the trilogy the other week (still a few changes to be made, but the majority of it is done), so naturally, I started on a re-read of the final book.

The third book of the trilogy is at an earlier stage of completion than the others. It needs some work! But as I was reading it over, I realised that while I was writing it, I'd thought about whether there was a fourth book (making it a quadrilogy?) - see my post 'Trilogy...'. Then, as I continued writing, I wasn't sure if there really was another book to come after the third and so tied off various strands and sub-plots in the third.

Maybe I was getting distracted by all the other projects I have buzzing around my head that are desperate for me to finish the trilogy and so I 'finished' it too early and there really is a fourth book to be written... certainly on re-reading the third book, the bits that are tied off don't feel right. They feel hurried. They need work.

However, maybe there isn't another book in the series. Maybe the trilogy should finish at the end of the third book. Maybe I just don't want to leave these characters yet, but I'm outstaying my welcome.

The only way I can work it out, is to explore what, if anything, would go into a fourth book. If there is enough material, then I need to rewrite some bits of the third book so that they lead into a fourth book better (and don't get tied off). If there isn't enough for a fourth book, I need to rewrite some bits so that those strands are tied off properly in the third book.

Enter a new notebook, a freshly filled fountain pen, and a delay in getting on to the next draft of the third book while I work out what would be in any further book(s). I have a variety of worksheets I use when I'm planning a book, which make me focus on what the key parts of the book are. I'm going through them to see if the trilogy isn't in fact a trilogy, but a quadrilogy (or quintilogy or sexilogy (which sounds like something else entirely)).

I may be some time...

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Why IS Ryan Gosling so sexy?

No, this isn't a gratuitous post about attractive actors... this post is the result of a discussion I was having both on- and off-line about why Ryan Gosling is so sexy. And that conversation arose because I was trying to describe what made a character sexy - they weren't good-looking, but yet they had a definite appeal.

Now, I understand that many people will disagree with me on this, but I don't find Ryan Gosling classically good-looking. But, I do find him sexy as hell. Mind you, when I Googled "What is considered good looking" (hoping to find a line-diagram of what is considered good-looking), the first image that came up was of Ryan Gosling, so what do I know?

From: https://www.kisspng.com/png-golden-ratio-face-mathematics-decagon-facial-1115755/
According to a variety of (not entirely scientific) sites, key features that make a male face attractive, include a square jaw, stubble, high cheekbones, thick eyebrows, fuller lips, a symmetrical face, a higher facial width to height ratio (i.e. a wider face rather than long face)... and I'm not 100% convinced that if you did a photo-fit with those characteristics, you'd come up with Ryan Gosling's face. I think his jaw isn't all that square and some might argue his eyes are a bit too close. That said, there was an article in Marie Claire that took a variety of facial measurements and came up with the 'top 10' men, and apparently, Ryan Gosling has a perfect nose... (the article is here, if you're interested). The slightly odd image above is one which creates a face from various ratios/ measurements, based on the Golden Ratio (though I'm fairly sure you can create any measurements you want from that, to make it fit your theories of beauty...).

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Reedsy - what was it like to use them?

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you how to find an editor via Reedsy. So, how did I get on?

I used Reedsy, mostly because I found the idea of going through a list of editors, checking their websites to see if they edited fantasy (as it's an editor for the Trilogy I'm after), reading testimonials, sending them a sample to edit and asking for a quote, etc... just too daunting and too time-consuming. Even going through an 'approved' list, such as on Joanna Penn's website, would have taken me days. Instead, I looked at Reedsy, where I could easily filter a list of several hundred editors, by what I was looking for (copy edit, genre = fantasy, language = English UK etc.). I could then read over their CVs, look at their testimonials and draw up a long-list and a shortlist. I wrote a brief to be sent to five editors, included a sample of ~3000 words, and compared the offers. The ms is about 78,000 words long. I'd hoped for quotes of about £11-12/1000 words (based on what I've paid in the past and what seems to be 'the going rate'), but was prepared to pay more if the copy edit was what I was looking for.


I sent the same brief to 5 editors via Reedsy, and one who I'd found on Reedsy, but then approached directly through their website. I won't name names, but here are the results I got: