I’ve been talking about this for a while without actually explaining what it is. The time has come!
The Write Feeling; this is the name of my business offering critiques, editing and proofreading services. I’ve been working quietly on getting the background organised and now, I’m live. I’m trading, it’s official.
I am self employed!
Please use the banner to visit my website and see what’s going on. ^_^
I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for a while. The time has finally come.
Last week I received official confirmation of my redundancy situation and the projected severance pay. The letter also included notification that my employer has agreed to honour my desire to waive the four month notice period. So… as of 11 Feb 2013, I will no longer be employed. Today… I am no longer employed.
Out of work. For the first time since I started working at 16 years old. By choice!
Hang on a second while I breathe into this large paper bag.
*huff huff huff huff*
When I looked at the letter properly and saw, in plain black and white, what I have known to be the case for several months, this is pretty much what I looked like: I still feel that way, but knowing where I stand offers clarity and comfort that I was lacking before.
The time has never been riper to strike out on my own and since making the decision, I have been slowly (like glacially) pulling together the threads of my plan to go freelance. I have taken courses to improve my skills, practised on anybody and everybody willing to let me try, and gathered testimonials with which to populate the website I now intend to build. All this towards my final goal; I will be offering an editing, proofing and critique service!
I don’t want to talk too much about it yet; there are details I want to smooth out and ensure I have straight before I start publicly committing to things, but the sense of liberation I feel is well worth the potential financial nightmare this could bring with it. Freelancing isn’t easy at the best of times. Offering a service such as what I have in mind requires advertising, networking and most of all time before it comes close to paying back what you put in. I’m in the fortunate position of having a tiny amount of cash to help in keeping our heads afloat, but the time really has come to step up and get started.
In the coming weeks this blog won’t be quiet, but posts will be shorter and of a more scattered nature while I prepare my business for launch. When the time comes, I’ll link in to here and let you all know what’s kicking off.
Then, when that is settled, I can talk some more about the other things I want to do; self publishing some of my work!
In the meantime, however, I have a survey that I would really appreciate you guys filling in for me. I want to be sure that there is a market for what I’m offering and answers to these questions will help me figure out some of the finer details, whilst matching what the clientèle want. If you have a second spare, would you fill it in for me? It’s only ten questions long and they’re all multiple choice. Also, when I have a suitable number of answers I’m going to put the names of all those who completed a survey into a hat and pick out three to receive a free critique of any 1000 words they chose. And everyone gets a virtual cookie of gratitude!
Just ping me a comment to let me know you’ve filled in the questionnaire and I’ll add your name to the critique hat. ^_^ Thanks guys!
That is the question. I’ve powered my way through several first drafts now and I seem to have done this a different way every time. Since SORB is first and foremost in my mind (still!), I’ll talk about that for a moment.
While writing SORB, I broke the action according to scene. I made sure that each one had a beginning, middle and end, and if I could, I ended the chapter on a cliff hanger or a moment of emotional tension. However, some chapters, despite my best efforts, ended in a gentle, almost cosy way. I’ll talk about why that bothers me in a moment.
The other extreme is last year’s NaNo novel (Escape To Elethra) in which there were no breaks at all. I don’t know if that’s because I was moving through it so quickly, but that’s how it panned out; just the occasional text break when I switched POV.
When reading, I get quite distressed if there are no breaks in the text. At the moment, since all my reading tends to happen on the loo, or in a coffee shop, I only have five minutes to give to it each time I pick up a book. As a result, short chapters or regularly broken scenes make it easier to stop. It gives me a clear point to come back to. This also serves the purpose of ensuring that I do come back, because, more often than not, these breaks come before a POV shift or at a cliff hanger. It’s a common and very effective device to keep a reader turning the pages. For this reason, I worked hard to give SORB sensible breaks and compelling endings. What I also find is that a reader (myself included) sometimes needs a break. In a high octane action novel, or a chilling thriller, is is important to get a breather. Not least because if everything is high powered and tense, then nothing is. Contrast is paramount to show off the dips and troughs of the narrative.
These things tell me that I, at least, have to have regular breaks. If not chapters, then at least text breaks. These give me the chance to pause for breath and/or enjoy the anticipation of waiting for the solution to any given cliff hanger.
What about you guys? Do you regularly break up your text with chapters? Do you prefer just having the story roll out at you with no space at all?
I LOVE this time of year. Everywhere I look people (of the blogging world) are talking about NaNoWriMo and what they plan to do. Should they attempt it or not? What are other people doing?
I’ve been so wrapped up in my editing project that I’ve barely given it a scrap of thought. Its been mental. Now however, with the last hurdle in sight, I suppose its worth trying to decide whether or not I should even attempt it this year.
In truth, my brain is fried. So filled with vampires, Egyptians, knives and blood that even when I’m awake I’m seeing scenes from the novel. I suppose that’s just how it goes sometimes. The fact that it really does look like I’m going to finish in time is also exciting me and keeping it at the front of my mind.
But would writing just for the hell of it, be a nice break? Probably. I love writing first drafts. I find it so easy and NaNoWriMo is so freeing. No need to edit or critique yourself, just go and go and go and go. You have to admit there’s something beautiful about having complete freedom like that.
The twins have settled into a routine of sorts; in bed by six and a couple of feeds during the course of the night. I’m not as tired as I once was and I could actually see myself managing to do it without having a meltdown. I don’t have work to worry about, because I’m still on leave and there are no other deadlines or writing commitments looming. Not that I know of, anyway. All of this means that so long as I am realistic about my expectations then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t make the attempt this year. Ha, did you see that? Talked myself into it.
One problem though.
I’ve no idea what to write!
I had this problem last year, but I fixed it easily enough by choosing to write up a dream I’d had which gave me the final scenes. That novel isn’t even finished, but this year I want to finish the novel. Even if I don’t reach such a massive word count (like I normally do) I want a complete story. I think that’s a more realistic goal than trying to reach 100k. Particularly since my story this year might not need to reach that far.
I don’t have anything in mind. I have a number of somethings. This time, however, I have a plan. I’m going to let you guys pick! ^_^ Bwah ah ha ha ha hah a ah ahaa!
Over the next two weeks I’m going to give you an overview of the stories I have in mind. I’ll give you an idea of characters and plot (though no spoilers of course!) as well as genre. Then I’ll post a poll asking you guys to vote for your favourite idea. The idea with the most votes will be the novel I write for NaNoWriMo. That interactive element will make it even more fun and I like the idea of not knowing what I’m going to do until the time comes. Yes, I know, I’m crazy!
So stay tuned. Come Tuesday, I’ll be posting the first of my ideas. Hope you like them!
What about you guys? Any of you joining the crazy this year?
Okay, not really, but it feels like it. Today is my fourth outing to the Novel Writing Workshop run by the Leicester Writing School and Writing East Midlands. Rod Duncan is taking the course this term and I am grouped with a small cluster of talented individuals all with the same goal in mind; to write a novel.
I’m so pleased to be going; it was a little treat to myself. Spend some money and learn some new skills to better my writing and take me closer to my goal of publication. So far, so good. I’m picking up tips left, right and centre, reinforcing what I’ve learned through other channels – mainly you fine bloggers out there! – and exposing myself to the writing of my peers.
I love this group. I haven’t been able to return to the Phoenix Writers with any sort of regularity, but the push is there with this class, mainly because I’ve paid for it. The experience is very different too and I look forward to the point that I can regularly attend both. I like to think that as well as getting plenty of help for myself, my words can offer help to others.
One thing I find that is certainly improving is my critiquing ear. I used to find it incredibly difficult to listen to a piece of writing with a mind to critique it. These days, though I still prefer to see the words before me in black and white, the way I listen to words has changed considerably. I pick up repetition, clunky sentence structure, tense and tone. Things that not long ago would have flown straight over my head. I like to think that as this improves, my ability to spot it in my own writing is also getting better. Since that is what we all strive for – constant improvement – I’m really pleased to say that I can see it happening.
I’ve read portions of SORB to the group and feedback has been very positive. I’m pleased to say that some character changes that I’ve introduced have worked rather well and in some cases too well. Some comparison, to a well known vamp loving damsel in distress, who shall remain nameless, means that I need to do a bit of fine tuning, but its nothing that will stop me meeting the deadline for HarperVoyager. Its all coming together now. With the weekend behind me and a good chunk of the work done insofar as major changes, now I’m applying the grammatical and spelling changes that came up from various readings.
Do you guys take any writing courses? Or attend any workshops? I know lots of you attend conventions, but are there any regular groups you visit to help you with your writing? What sort of things do you take away from working in/with a group?
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