Tag Archives: novel progress

Blogiversary Celebrations: Part One – A Reflection

Wow! I can’t believe one year ago today I made the very first post on this blog. I started this blog with the intention of sharing my writing journey with others, as well as sharing information and helpful links I found along the way. The blog has changed appearance in the course of the year (a new header, new theme, handy page links at the top and a cute little Twitter link), but the intention has always stayed the same.

By far the most popular posts I make are the ‘Helpful Website and Blog Post’ editions I post once a month, compiling all the helpful sites and writing information I’ve come across in the past month. (Look out for an award ceremony later today where I’ll be awarding some of my favourite sites of the past year.)

Lots has happened along my writing journey. I finished my YA novel and I’m currently in the last stages of tweaking it. My picture book story ‘Can You Jump Like a Kangaroo‘ came third in the Smories 2nd International Short Story Competition. My short story ‘Waiting on the Docks‘ was featured on The Australian Literature Review website. And I’ve met so many fantastic and supportive fellow writers through chats, forums and Twitter.

A big thank-you and lots of love to all those who follow my blog or even just visit occasionally.

xxx

PS Stay tuned, I will be posting throughout the day. I have lots of exciting things planned. And don’t forget the contest for 3 people to win a 5-page critique from both Peevish Penman and myself ends today, but if you’re quick you can still enter: Blogiversary Contest Details

PPS Don’t forget to pop over and wish a Happy Blogiversary to Peevish Penman too: Peevish Penman. Happy Blogiversary Carrie!

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The Revision Process

Back in February I talked about how I planned to do my first lot of revisions once I finished the first draft of my manuscript. Now I have finished those initial revisions, I am now doing more revisions (does it ever end !) so I thought I would dedicate a post to what my focus is in this part of the revision process. First a brief recap of what I did for my first lot of revisions.

FIRST ROUND REVISIONS

Main focus: Structure and technical elements

1. Listen to chapter read aloud on ywriter and highlight flaws.

2. Read chapter, fix spelling and grammar and make additional notes.

3. Go back over highlighted parts of text and rewrite (highlighted parts generally indicate telling rather than showing and awkward phrasing)

4. Read aloud chapter to myself and fix anything else that stands out.

SECOND ROUND REVISIONS

Main focus: Tightening manuscript and fixing plot flaws

1. Delete all unnecessary words, descriptions and anything not relevant to the plot. This includes getting rid of words like ‘that’ and backstory that contributes nothing to the plot. I also deleted the entire prologue.

2. Make a list of plot holes then go back and fix them.

3. Rewrite beginning (multiple times) until it hooks the reader.

4. Raise the stakes! Delete anything boring and add more conflict.

5. Restructure chapter breaks. Instead of ending chapters at mundane natural breaks (like falling asleep at the end of one chapter and waking up the next morning at the start of the following chapter) use chapter breaks in high-tension places to hook the reader into the next chapter.

6. Create more natural dialogue between characters.

7. Work with critique partner to pinpoint flaws I have overlooked and to see what impressions a reader would have of the manuscript in its current state.

What do you do when you revise? Do you follow a similar structure or do you revise in a completely different way?

NaPiBoWriWee

I promised in my last post I would talk about NaPiBoWriWee (it’s a little later than intended because I’ve been sick this past week).

In November I blogged about participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where the idea is to write a novel (50,000 words) in one month. NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week) follows a similar concept. The idea is to write seven picture books in seven days. It is still quite new, as this is only the second year it has run. It will be taking place from May 1 to May 7. You can visit Paula Yoo’s website to find out more information (and join in the NaPiBoWriWee fun:

NaPiBoWriWee

Since I’ve finished my first lot of edits on my novel I thought NaPiBoWriWee would be a nice break and an opportunity to try something different. Now I just have to think of some picture book ideas to use! It’s always a good idea to have a few back-up ideas too in case any of them don’t work out (or your muse refuses to cooperate).

What does a picture book entail?

I found this description from right-writing.com:

Picture books — Traditionally, picture books (also called “picture story books”) are 32-page books for ages 4-8 (this age may vary slightly by publisher). Manuscripts are up to 1500 words, with 1000 words being the average length. Plots are simple (no sub-plots or complicated twists) with one main character who embodies the child’s emotions, concerns and viewpoint. The illustrations (on every page or every other page) play as great a role as the text in telling the story. Occasionally a picture book will exceed 1500 words; this is usually geared toward the upper end of the age spectrum. Picture books cover a wide range of topics and styles. The list of Caldecott Medal winners, available from your library, is a good place to start your research. Nonfiction in the picture bookformat can go up to age 10, 48 pages in length, or up to about 2000 words of text.

And if you do decide to participate in NaPiBoWriWee and don’t know what to do with your finished products, there’s a new site called smories where authors can submit their picture book text every month. The best ones get chosen to be read aloud by children on the site and then voted on. The best stories win cash prizes. It’s also a lovely way to share your stories with children (since the site is primarily a way for children to hear stories read to them by other children).

Is anyone else participating in NaPiBoWriWee this year?

*icon from Paula Yoo’s blog