Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The Wrong Kind of Clouds

[a.k.a. The Call...]

I'm in the middle of going back over this book, ready to re-publish it and I'm irritated all over again by the 'copy-editor' that Joffe Books used!


I'm in the process of producing a 'core file' that will be the basis of the paperback version and the e-book version. It's an unformatted copy of the manuscript. The formatting is then added either in Word (for the paperback) or Kindle Create for the e-book version. But in order to have a core text, I've been comparing the 'final' version I sent back to Joffe Books, with the version they sent back for approval after their American 'copy-editor' had looked at it (the '' are because I'm not convinced she had any copy-editing qualifications).

She drove me up the wall then, and the comments she made then and what she did to the ms are driving me up the wall now! For a number of reasons, but primarily:

a) she didn't always use track changes
b) her grasp of vocabulary (and grammar) was limited
c) she introduced a whole load of errors and inconsistencies that my amazing editor (Gillian Holmes) and I had removed/sorted.

Not always tracking changes... really? I mean, that's bad enough, but she made changes that introduced grammatical errors! But, they weren't immediately obvious, because track changes was off (or she'd made the change and accepted it before sending the file back to me). I spotted most of them before Joffe published it, but as I'm going back through the ms now, I realise I didn't spot them all.

Her grasp of vocabulary... I'm not going to bore you with details of the kinds of things she didn't know, but if I wasn't sure of a word, I'd look it up in a dictionary, rather than 'correct' it to another (incorrect!) word. And if I did change something, I'd have track changes on so the other writer could see!

The errors/inconsistencies. Some of these were major. Some of them were trivial but very annoying (like, what happened to ellipses... Joffe style was to have them as: dot-non-breaking space-dot-non-breaking space-dot. No, I don't know why they couldn't just be the ellipses symbol, but, that was their house-style. Anyway, she changed some of the non-breaking spaces to regular spaces, but crucially, not all of them so that a find and replace now wouldn't find them all!).

As it turns out, most of these are not major issues, but only because I have a previous version of the ms - as it was before all these errors and horrors were introduced. If I hadn't got that, I'd be tearing my hair out. Anyway, it shouldn't be long before I have the paperback and e-book versions up on Amazon.

Keep you all posted!


Tuesday, 22 October 2019

NaNoWriMo and Page One


It's almost November and so some people will be attempting the annual NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, where participants write 50,000 words of a novel, in November.

For those who like (or hate) maths, that's 50K words in 30 days, or 1,667 words per day, every day. If you take one day a week off (5 days off over November) that makes it 2,000 words per day.

Now, I know a lot of people do this and find it useful, and/or an accomplishment. I am not one of them. I'm far too much of a planner to be able to write that much in such a short period of time. And I can tell you for free, that if I did manage to write 50K words in 30 days, they wouldn't be worth reading and I'd spend at least six months editing them into the equivalent of a first draft, so I might as well just spend 3-4 months on a first draft!

For those of you who are thinking of doing the challenge, I wish you all luck and hope that if you write the 50K you're happy, but that if you don't manage to do it, you don't feel bad. Either way, a plan may well help you keep those 50K both flowing and worth keeping, so let me show you a notebook I was given to review, recently. It's the Page One notebook, designed specifically for writers.

So, what's so special about it? Why is it for writers? And how will it help me through NaNoWriMo?

Well, the notebook has 192 pages, split into several sections: characters, plot, setting, scenes, notes, research... and for when the book is finished, a section for tracking submissions. It's actually very well designed. Some of the sections have a little structure to them - the character pages are particularly well thought out, with space to note various details and even include a picture (should you wish).


The other sections are largely free-form - space for notes with less structure, but it will keep all of your notes on one particular area all together. There's also a table of contents at the back so that you can quickly look up where you made the notes on x or y.

Will you write 50,000 words in November, just because you bought the notebook? No, of course not. You actually have to get your ass in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard to do that. But it may well help you write 50,000 words that won't need totally ripping apart and re-writing in December (and beyond).

As you may have guessed, I won't be doing NaNoWriMo (I'm eyebrow deep in editing and other stuff, even if I was otherwise inclined towards doing it), but I will be using the book for planning book 9, even if it takes me considerably longer than 30 days to write 50,000 words.

Anyone doing NaNoWriMo? Let me know how you get on?



Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Swings, roundabouts and rollercoasters...

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that I didn't post anything last week. Mum had surgery on the 1st October and it's been a rollercoaster since then, with her recovery being slower than she wants (not difficult as her expectations are utterly unrealistic...). I ended up staying with her for longer than expected when she came out of hospital (with no internet).

That's the rollercoaster... As for the swings and roundabouts... well, my physiotherapist has allowed me to start running again. I went for one run (it was okay... hard work as I've lost a lot of fitness, but I survived). Then I had a long delay before the next run (as I was staying with Mum). And then, the next run was great, but I pulled my hip flexor while I was warming down! The Achilles (original injury) is fine, but now I'm hobbling about with a rubbish hip.

Ah well.

As for The Trilogy... the first book is back with Fiona (my editor) for a final read-through; the second book is due back from her soon for me to work on; I'm currently going through the draft of the third book, typing up the edits I finished back in June, ready to send to Fiona for the start of November for her to look at. October is looking busy, both on the editing front and with family responsibilities.

Onward and upwards!



Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Still juggling too many things...


Okay, well, the ebook and the paperback of Lies That Poison are out. Woo hoo! One book out of the five that I was juggling is sorted. Just six months of solid work to go then...

That just leaves me:

  • finishing the editing of book 1 of the trilogy
  • typing up the edits of book 3 of the trilogy ready to send to Fiona (my editor)
  • doing the edits of book 2 of the trilogy as they come back from Fiona
  • getting The Call/The Wrong Kind of Clouds ready to publish
  • doing the edits of book 3 of the trilogy as they come back from Fiona
  • publishing the trilogy!


The current timetable looks like this:

  • End September/start of October - finish the book 1 edits and send back to Fiona for a last look
  • Start of October - go through the first tranche of edits of book 2 that have come back from Fiona and check I know what I'm doing with them
  • Middle-end October - type up the changes to book 3 of the trilogy
  • Beginning of November - send book 3 to Fiona
  • Also the beginning of November - sort of The Call/The Wrong Kind of Clouds and re-publish
  • November to early December - finish the edits of book 2 of the trilogy and send them back to Fiona for a last look
  • December - look at the first lot of book 3 edits back from Fiona
  • January - finish off the edits of book 3 and send them back to Fiona for a last look
  • February - get the trilogy ready to publish
  • March - publish!


So... not much then.

To try and unwind after long days (I seem incapable of actually taking a day off...), I've started knitting. I've done a lot of cross-stitch in the past and found that very relaxing, but the light isn't really good enough in an evening now to do that. I've been taking my mum to a 'Knit and Natter' group for about a year, but for most of that time, I've not known how to knit and did cross-stitch instead! Anyway, in the last couple of months, Mum's taught me how to knit (for the umpteenth time!) and I'm now knitting blanket squares for a blanket for me and hubby. I'm not terribly fast at knitting, so the blanket will probably only be ready for next winter! But, it's (hopefully) stopping me from burning out.