Tag Archives: editing

4 Ways Not to F*** Up Your Novel’s Tenses

I’m in the home stretch, for both my books, the glorious finish line is in sight… like the marathon runner entering the stadium I am high, the lactic acid burn is intense but like an addict, I love it. Things are going well…and then I realise…I’ve messed up, BIG time. Ballsed up like a big pile of chunky vomit, covered in word poops and a distinct time distorted tense cock up.

Now, I am tense. Tense, because I fudged up my fuckling manuscript. I’m trying not to throw my toys out the pram, because this is supposed to be the last edit, and it is, kinda. It’s just a chuff ton bigger than I thought it was going to be.

Here’s what happened: I gave my manuscript to beta readers they provided some delightful and useful feedback, I processed said feedback and then I put it down whilst I finished off 13 Steps to Evil my non-fiction writing craft book that teaches writers how to craft better villains. Three months elapsed and when I came to do the final edit of Keepers. I started writing, and could not for the life of me understand why I couldn’t get it right.

Something was off, something intangible, a murky jelly-like substance that was just out of reach. I knew the problem was there I just didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until I shared the paragraph with a friend who asked me why I’d switched tense that I realised the ALMIGHTY cock up.

Because of such a significant time  gap, I’d started editing in a completely different tense. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except I preferred the new tense to the old one, which means a total rewrite.

CUNDYFUNKINGBALLSACKS

*Takes deep breath*

“Do I really need to do a full tense rewrite for my whole manuscript?”

“Yes, Sacha, yes you do.”

&)@£%$*$7″$£$^””%$

Be smart, don’t do me and balls up your whole manuscript 2 meters from the finish line here is how… Continue reading

6 Ways To Organise Your Beta Reader Feedback

beta-feedbackForget the fountain of youth, no one needs to live forever. I mean, can you imagine the botox bill? and not just for your face… EWW. Moving on.

Beta feedback is a gift from the holy fountain of book perfection. 

For some, it makes them face plant into a vat of sludgey self-loathing and bookpression. But for others it turns their sleep deprived eyes into glinty, sparkling ones accompanied by feverish hand rubbing and villainish cackles.

Your book, if you listen to your beta readers, will be oh so much better. That word-turd you vomited out over months of sleepless nights, will finally become a polished glitter covered book.

But receiving beta feedback can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if like me, you don’t do detail.

I’ve finally managed to get on top of the beta feedback and have almost finished going through it.

This post is dedicated to my amazing beta readers, there are no words to quantify my gratitude.

Here are 6 ways to manage and organise your beta feedback.
Continue reading

4 Top Tips For Self-Publishing Your First Book With @Pokercubster

Self pub tipsWriters have a shit load of decisions to make:

Who to kill today, knife em or hang em, daily word count totals, book prices, whether to drown your book blurbing sorrows with vodka or wine… the list goes on.

But one of the biggest of all decisions of all is whether you’re going to run the rat race to traditional publishing, or  push the shiny red button yourself and claim the indie badge.

I made my decision. My blood runs thick with indie colours.

Publishers have their place, I’ll never see my books in a store *weeps* but that sure as shit ain’t enough of a reason for me to go begging book in hand to their doorstep.

Maybe there will come a time when I might need them and I’ll wander up tail between my word covered thighs. But I haven’t slaved over my book for two sodding years, only to be told what cover I’m having, or when I can market or change the price or a myriad other things that would piss me off and I certainly ain’t accepting the 79p pittance for a book sale.

When this goes live, I’ll be in Paris, so your comments might be delayed in appearing.


Today’s lovely guest is the gorgeous and totally glam, Debby. Someone who has become a dear friend to me through the blogging world and one I truly hope to meet her.

Debby is a self-published author who has taught me more than a thing or two over the time I’ve known her. Today she’s giving us top tips on self-publishing.


Continue reading

13 Things I Learnt From Completing Draft Two of My Novel

draft twoWhen I wrote THE END on my second draft of Keepers, I cried. Just two tears mind, I am dead inside after all.

I cried because it was the end of more than just a marathon of RSI, obscenely late nights and incessant tapping that drove my wife to distraction. It felt like I had achieved my first real step towards freedom and the life I really want because a) I’d completed something real and tangible, all 72108 words were staring back at me like tiny dancing stick men.

And b) because I knew, this time, unlike my first draft, it wasn’t a total pile of turd.

After my two lonely tears rapidly dried up, I glanced at the clock on my laptop. The time blinked back at me, it read 1:04am. I’d sat and written 4025 words in the last 3.5 hours without moving. I was gobsmacked, that was four days worth of writing. In. One. Go.

Something told me to check the date. So I did. August 20th. I frowned. That rang a bell. I checked the post I wrote after completing my first draft. To my utter bewilderment, I completed my first draft the previous year on August 20th at 1:04am. If you don’t believe me, check the post.

It’s a beautiful thing, synchronicity. Perhaps I should publish it at 1:04am on the 20th August next year!

Here’s 13 things I learnt writing this draft. Continue reading

The Best Editing Trick I Ever Learnt

Editing TrickGUYS – sorry if this landed in your inbox in 2017, I did not mean to repost it, my bad.

***

Editing is a bitch. I’ve written about the differences between editing and revising before. But my dear friend Ali recently taught me one of the best, most practically useful lessons I’ve ever learnedd when it comes to editing.

See for a long time, I wrote linearly and then when I finished, went back to the start and edited.

That’s good. But no matter how many times I did it, I still found a shit-tillion mistakes. Which resulted in a sort of crazed, goggle-eyed, fuzzy haired – I’m going to commit arson on my manuscript – type look. It wasn’t pretty, my hairs curly enough thanks.

So, I listened to Ali and started tweaking the method to suit me. I’m going to share this editing trick with you, and hopefully, it will help you to clean up your scripts too. Continue reading

Everything You Need To Know BEFORE You Start To Edit

Before EditingI finished the first draft of my novel in August last year. I was B.U.Z.Z.I.N.G I’d finally done what I said I’d do – write a book… Ok, I finished a draft.

I listened to the advice you gave on what I should do next, which was… Nothing – Lock the manuscript in a dark cupboard and throw away the key for months. I did. Sort of. I may have peaked at the first few chapters.

That was a mistake.

It was of course, total shit. More than shit, I wouldn’t have wiped my butt cheeks with it. Seriously. I may have cried, ok, I didn’t cry. But I did shed some tears on the inside. All those months of sweat and tapping, for what? A massive steaming pile of turd. A twitch formed on my eyelid as a heady mix of panic and fear set in. How was I ever going to rectify this mess? I hated editing. I can’t do detail and didn’t know a comma from a bloody apostrophe. So how I was ever going to be a writer? I was blocked. Big Time.

Then, I had a realisation. Continue reading

8 Top Tips To Prevent Insanity When Resting Your Manuscript!

8 Top Tips For Resting Your ManuscriptIt took precisely 5 days and 23 hours after finishing the first draft of my novel before I lost the plot and felt like a rudderless ship. I know (stamps foot and pouts) I need to rest my manuscript. I’ve heard it said enough times to know it’s wise advice and that I have to do it (for as long as I can, which wont be that long).

But how do I cope in the mean time? I mean WHAT DO I DO NOW? I have spent the last year of my life pouring my soul into 400 pages of what is probably utter drivel. I have bled, cried and got finger blisters over this manuscript. So now….What am I meant to do now? It’s all over. The hard copy of the manuscript is sitting in the corner of my livingroom collecting dust whilst I try and be a good girl and not touch it…. LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT.

Ok. Fine. I’ll behave. I guess I am not the sort of person who is able to… you know… rest, relax… do anything other than burn the candle at both ends and in the middle. So here, are my top tips for preventing insanity while you rest your manuscript. Continue reading

Nine Secrets to Successfully Completing That Elusive First Draft

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 01.02.24

At 1:04am, on the 20th of August, after exactly 292 days or 41 weeks and 5 days of writing my first draft of my novel, I wrote those two long awaited words… ‘The End’.

I was in bed, in the dark, laptop on my knees, with my sleeping beauty of a wife next to me. I stared at the screen, the cursor still blinking… and the first word that came into my mind was, “oh.” I stared around our darkened room and my gaze fell upon my wife. I searched for signs she was stirring… I had just finished my novel, of course she would just wake up… wouldn’t she? This was a momentous occasion… But her light sleepy snuffles continued. I couldn’t wake her.

I turned back to the screen. The cursor was still blinking. I read the two words in the middle of my screen. My eyes widened, my mouth fell slack… I really did finish? I wasn’t hallucinating or delirious like I had been many a time during this process…?

Nope. I really did finish. So what did I learn? Continue reading

The Secret To The Quickest Edit You Can Do

Quickest Edit

I have these awful words that plague me. I call them crutch words.

‘Crutches’ are pesky words that appear when I am in the zone writing a first draft.

They creep like monsters at midnight into my work…over and over and over again. They are an annoyance, an irritation, a PLAGUE on my prose!

The most frustrating thing about crutches is that they are ‘go to’ words. By that, I mean, I don’t even realise I am using them, they are salient in my mind so throw themselves at my metaphorical stage like school girls at a Take That concert. UGH.

So how do you fix them?

Continue reading

To Edit or Not to Edit? That is the Question

halfway-point

HELP…

I have a wonderfully rare gift tomorrow. A day off from work, almost entirely child free that I intend to dedicate to writing. Whilst I am acutely aware I now have an overdue assignment, tomorrow is dedicated to my novel. But I have a problem.

I have 50 something thousand words written – that need a heavy edit, I have some major character development needed too, and probably before I carry on. I have also lost a bit of confidence due to the mis-timed feedback and I’m not sure how to get it back. But it has knocked me significantly off track, and now I feel like I need to go back and edit major storylines, sub-stories and character lines.

But here is my question, Should I go back and spend the time I have between life admin editing the 50K? Or do I spend a couple of hours on character development and then soldier on with the story and edit at the end?

Now – before you all charge in and tell me to plough on (because thats what everyone has said without exception)

There are a few caveats –

I need to either raise my confidence with what words I already have down on the page or I am not going to be able to continue, OR someone needs to provide me with an extremely rational logical argument as to why I should continue.

Listen to me. I already know the answer, I am inviting you to tell me to continue, but I am stuck. Stuck wanting to edit, to critique and perfect what I have before carrying on… the urge to edit is overwhelming.

Also now I haven’t looked at my novel since the 26th Nov when I completed NaNo, the usual ‘carry on to keep the flow going’ doesn’t really apply, as I am a bit out of the flow now anyway.

So what do I do???

Answers on a blogpostcard!