The Kingmaker: Proof Copy Ordered!

Hello again, Kingmaker follower!

If you’ve read the title of this blog and are excited as I am, then thank you for your support! It’s been an arduous journey. Filled with sweat and tears (it gets hot in my flat and I like onions), not so much blood. But it has been one of the greatest achievements in my life, so far. Over 89,000 words on over 300 pages. How can I not be proud of that?

I’ve spent a lot of time self-editing the proofs and drafts myself. Learning from as many people as I can get hold of, reading articles and studying grammar. I seem to spend most of my free time at work perusing the articles on Writers Digest. Devouring anything I can to help me write and edit, give my characters character and my world seem more vivid.

What we all know (especially me) is that writing can be a steep learning curve. I never took any classes on creative writing and I don’t read heavily. I’ve read what I’ve liked really, Tolkien, Martin, Comics, Hoffman, Deaver. Anything that really interested me at the time.

But it’s all brought me this far. Now the hard work begins. I have my rough diamond coming in the post. My first evaluation copy. It’s time for it to be read by me — and then refined into the finest gem that I can craft it into.

The time for final release is nearly upon us. Till then, I’ve changed the Sneak Preview page, to the newer version.

You should also keep an eye out for some new pages that are being added. More details to come!

The Kingmaker: Everyone Has An Opinion

Hello Kingmaker Followers!

I’m writing this on a train journey, so I apologise In advance. This might be full of errors.

Yesterday I received an email from a fellow writer/author — whom shall not be named — ripping apart my first chapter. This, obviously, was incredibly disheartening. After spending so long toiling with my story and editing, I’d had someone verbally kick me square in the balls and yell, “you suck!” This is all metaphorical of course , but it felt the same.

The things this author said felt scathing to say the least. Basing the whole of my book on this chapter, which granted, anyone would do as it was the first chapter, but saying that one section was “dull as dirt” left me reeling and quite angry — to say the least.

After some back and forth correspondence, it turned out the writer simply thought my work had no hook and it lacked pace. That there were things in there that didn’t need to be in there. After a while I decided to re-read some books that inspired me — Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings, The Left Hand of God — none of them had particularly exciting starts. And although they were slow to begin with, they turned into wonderous, intriguing stories.

Since speaking to the author/writer, I have decided to re-write some of the chapter to try for a better hook.

What I’m trying to say is this: everyone will have an opinion on your novel, some good, some bad. Always stay open, though. Most people are just trying to help, but remember your opinion counts too.

The Kingmaker: Edit Update

Hello Kingmaker Followers!

It’s that time again, the time I update you on how the first novel is coming along. I’m excited to announce that — after many late nights — the novel will have finished its edit by tonight (Wednesday, 22nd of January 2014.) I’m extremely proud of this, the time and effort that I have put in will be amply rewarded once I get my first printed copies. As some of you know, The Kingmaker started life two years ago while I was traveling around Australia; since then, I had entered myself into NaNoWriMo to get it finished. I came out of NaNo with over 57,000 words and conquered my writers block, enabling me to push forward and finish it.

The word count continued to rise on the book, and still does as I edit (is that normal?) When I finished the first draft I was on 87,000 words, but have been creeping up to 90,000. I’m currently sitting on 89,000. The next step is to claim my free copies for competing in NaNoWriMo. The lovely people at lulu.com, Creatspace.com and CompletelyNovel.com are all able to provide me with copies of my novel, giving me four in total to evaluate and have read over by willing beta readers.

The last edit starts tonight, ten chapters left to go.

I’ll keep you all up to date on the release date of my debut novel.

The Kingmaker: January Update

Hello Kingmaker Followers!

I realise it’s been a while since my update. There have been many things happening in my personal life recently and I’ve been suffering (dramatically) with a head cold. The last few days have felt like I’ve been staring directly into the sun. My eyes burned at the back of my head, and there was a constant pounding on my forehead. It felt like a dwarf smashing his way out from the inside.

Anyway, it seems to have been beaten off by my young — and awesome —  immune system. Huzzah for youth!

The book is coming on strong. The last couple of days I’ve spent editing as much as I could with the head cold, and I had previously made a start on it before it attacked me. So far, I believe it’s seven chapters down. Only forty-three more to go. Depending on the chapter, it can be very time consuming. It’s also a testament to my fast fingers, typing the wrong words and leaving out grammar where there should be some. It’s hard not to look back and think, ‘wow, that doesn’t make any sense.’ Leaving me to edit things out, tidy them up or remove them completely.

I’ve also recently joined the lovely online forum of Mythic Scribes. These guys are brilliant, offering help and support to fantasy fiction writers in all corners. It’s great for bouncing ideas off people and helping other people out where you can. A community I cannot thank enough.

Thank you so much for your patience with the book. I know I don’t have a huge following, but the following I have means the world to me. I hope you’ll all be as excited as I am when the book is released. A lot of blood, sweat and tears has been poured into it.

If any of you want to get in contact with me, go ahead. There’s a contact page now!

Confidence

This blog post was taken from BottomlessBlog, by B Gunson.  I found it a wonderful piece on writing and confidence. Insightful, to say the least. Writing is all about learning and yearning. Learning to be better and yearning to succeed. As writers and authors, we are constantly doing both. It envelopes us, it consumes us; but we always turn out better for it. Embrace the humble pie, it tastes good. But always be confident in your own abilities, you can always learn something new.

Being a writer is about being bold and brave, telling the story you not only want to tell, but need to tell. From what I’ve read on his blog so far, B. Gunson has a lot of talent and a good story brewing. Give him a follow, I already have.

The Kingmaker: Editing Fiction For Beginners

How many times have I wondered, How on earth am I going to edit this thing?! The answer is, a lot. Now that I’ve finished the first draft, (spoiler alert, it’s 87,000 words at the moment,) I’m ready to start editing the manuscript. Now, if you’re like me and you have no idea where to start, I can help give a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way, from various sources and other authors. It can be daunting to edit your own work, you often find yourself very guarded over it. I love the idea of it, getting in there and improving the story, adding more detail, fleshing it out and cutting out bits that aren’t needed any more. Here are a few tips for the beginner editor.

1.

Once you’ve finished your manuscript, leave it for a week or two. Don’t look at it, don’t think about it. Just let it rest, leave it to cool like a freshly baked loaf of bread.

2.

Now it’s been a few weeks, you’ve managed to build up the courage to bring out your first draft and sit down with it. But maybe that’s not the best idea. Print it out! Get that manuscript in front of you, on paper. It’s better to read this way.

3.

Read Out Loud, this tip, I think personally, is brilliant. Reading out loud gives you the ability to hear where the pauses should be. How the dialogue should flow and if things stutter too much. You don’t want a book that reads like a menu, do you?

4.

Spelling. Now when I say spelling, I don’t mean “Oh god! I’ve spelt ‘Freelance’ with only one ‘e’!” I’m talking about the things you might have missed. Typing as fast as us writers and authors do, we often make mistakes that spell checkers would miss. For instance, I caught out in my first draft the word ‘soon’ when it should have been the word ‘son’. Spell checkers would assume this is right, but don’t trust the machines. This led to bad things for the world, have you never seen The Terminator?

5.

Description! This is a massively tough one, do you have too much? Do you have too little? Only you know. Personally, I prefer little detail. Enough to make the readers imagination come to life and paint the rest of the picture, but let them know the big things. Think about how you want people to see your scene and if you’ve added enough in.

6.

Beats, these are needed! Beats are actions that happen through dialogue. It stops your story from being an exchange of words between two people, who are doing nothing. They aren’t computers, they aren’t talking heads, they’re people. Generally, people do stuff while they talk. Walk around, eat things, play with stuff. It often makes the dialogue easier to digest and can be used to move the story forward.

7.

Cut the Repeats! No one wants to read “and then” followed by “and then” rounded off by “and then.” Nor do they want to read, “was” “has” “was” “has” over and over. No one likes that. It reads like a non-fiction book. It’s not a statement of facts, it’s a story. This is why beta readers are so helpful to you, they can help pick out faults like these too!

HELP!

Of course, if you need help, there are around a million sites out there that can do this for you. At a price. The alternative is to do your research and have beta readers go through your work with you. Remember how invaluable they are! Below is a list of links that might be beneficial to you!

http://anoveledit.com/

Creative Writing Now

Resources for Writers

Helping Writers Become Authors

There are, as I said, about a million more. Feel free to use Google, it’s your friend!

Follow me on twitter and Facebook, you never know what might be going on.