Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Alpha beta

So I think I will re-launch This Time Next Year with a new cover prior to launching the sequel, This Year (Maybe). That way I can make them tie in together better, using the same fonts and background but with a different colour scheme.

I have just advertised on FaceBook for beta-readers. Hope I get some response as I find it really hard to critique my own writing. (Probably because I've worked on it for so long that it's perfect, obviously!)

I've self-published two books, the first with Lulu and the second with Amazon. I found it much easier to do on Amazon - but do you think I can remember how? Note to self: this time record every stage as you do it.

In fact I'll do that now as I've begun the process.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

A chip off the old self-belief

I gave up submitting to agents/publishers a few years ago because my self-belief was rapidly dying. Instead I went down the self-publishing road. Very occasionally I still submit something but try to avoid it on the whole.

Then yesterday, on Twitter, there was a One Day Opportunity to pitch a Twitter blurb to an agent. I said to myself, 'She probably won't reply but what have I got to lose?'

I had a blurb ready written so it was a simple matter of tweeting it. Here it is:
Rescuing an illegal immigrant.  On the run from a criminal millionaire.  She was only supposed to be making a few sandwiches but now Tabby finds herself in a real life adventure, with her mum, a disgraced policeman, a farting dog, and two homeless friends to help. 

I'd have wanted to know more if I'd been the agent! But she didn't. And what I had to lose I lost: a chip of confidence, of self-belief, even of happiness.

Foolishly I went back today to see how many she'd requested. A lot.

Big big sighs.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

HELP please!

Driving myself mad trying to design a cover. I know best advice is to get a professional - but they cost money! As I've probably made less than £100 in my fiction writing life it isn't viable. So the hammering my head against a wall continues.

These are some of the ideas I've had - bearing in mind that I want it to have some link to the original.

Alison goes to Ibiza for her hen do, hence the sun cream. Comments included, 'Why have you got a carrot on the front?' (Viewed from a distance.)

Incorporating suggestions from children.


There are two reasons for the handcuffs ...

Saw the picture and just fancied doing something completely different.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Title and cover advice sought

I have finished the first rough edit. To give myself a break I'm now thinking about a) title, and b) cover.

Husband suggested What Aliss Did Next, which I am using as the working title but, on reflection, probably not the final.

Let me ask your advice. Here is the cover of the original:
I was thinking something similar for the sequel - to 'something' the brand i.e. make it identifiable. (Assuming anyone remembers the original, a rash assumption.) So maybe a diary page again but this time with a tube of sun cream in the corner: they're going to Ibiza for a hen week. Would that work? What do you think? Or maybe wedding rings? (I don't think it will come as any great surprise to anyone to discover Alison is getting married this time round. Or is she?)

If I used the sun cream I'd use a recognisable brand - carefully edited obviously - and pick up the colour in the type and side edge. I was also thinking of a donkey for reasons that would become clear to anyone reading the book but maybe not on sight. So scrap donkey.

Thinking about it I'm coming down in favour of wedding rings. 

Any thoughts?

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Woman in search of a title

Yesterday I started editing my work in progress. 

I have changed odd bits, and cut out a few words here and there, but either I'm not seeing what needs to be edited or I'm such a good writer that first draft is perfect (!), as there's not much to do.

I do think a lot before writing and compose carefully and edit as I go along but still ...

I think I need some other eyes, beta readers maybe, or is there another stage before that?


And - quite importantly - I need a title, a working title at least. This a sequel to This Time Next Year so logically I suppose I need to find a way to link it, a way that will connect readers to the original.

Any suggestions?

Monday, 29 June 2020

We're cleverer than we know

I am a jolly clever person. And so are you. 

We know far more than we think we know - even if we don't know that we know it.

Before I lose myself in a word-hole let me explain. Have you ever wondered why we always say ping-pong or zig-zag rather than pong-ping and zag-zig? No, you probably haven't because when you say it you don't think about it; you just know that's the way it is.

What we're actually doing is obeying a rule of the English language, which is that in a two word phrase the word containing I or E comes before the word containing A, O or U. It's the rule of ablaut reduplication.

Bish-bash-bosh demonstrates the order if there are three words: I, A, O.

Nobody really knows why we use this sequence. Some suggest it's because of the movement of the tongue. One way is easier than the other, flows more smoothly.

Another rule that nobody ever teaches you - not as far as I can remember anyway - is the order of adjectives. Opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. For example, the lovely small old rectangular red French wooden serving tray. While you're unlikely to go into quite so much detail in one sentence, if you did you would know without thinking what order the adjectives should go in.

Now I bet you're trying to think of examples to prove these rules wrong.Well, you don't have to go far to find an exception to the adjective rule.

Little Red Riding Hood is fine but what about the big bad wolf?

Oh yes, I remember! Ablaut reduplication! 

Friday, 12 June 2020

What's in a name?

Yesterday I completed the first draft of the sequel to my first novel! One hundred and one thousand words, give or take a few. 

I'll probably need to cut out some bits that may be waffly but I am pleased with the decision I made that got me to the end a little faster than I had anticipated.

Now I need a title. I always find that the hardest bit. This Time Next Year took us through a year in the life of the heroine, at the end of which (SPOILER ALERT but not really because you've probably guessed that I love a happy ending) she got her man. The sequel has jumped forward a few years and she and her man have set a wedding date, and we follow her through the ups and downs of the months ahead.

So what to call it? I could be here some time.