Almost Perfect – Editing Advice From Joanne Phillips

Today’s ‘Editing Advice’ comes from Joanne Phillips who’s blog is excellent for advice and tips on eBook publishing. Back in May Jo published her first book through Kindle, called Can’t Live Without which has an average of 4.9 stars on Amazon and 4.11 stars on Good Reads.

Jo has recently published a selection of short stories, A Life Unpredicted and is currently preparing her 2nd novel for digital publication, The Family Trap.

I recently listened to an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Carole Shields, who said she enjoyed writing poetry because it was possible to get a poem just about perfect. But not a novel. Novels, she said, are too long to get completely right. When Vikki asked me to write a post about editing, this was the first thing that sprung to mind. I think the best place to start is by accepting you will probably never get it absolutely perfect. And go from there.

So, if you’ve just finished Nano and have a good 50,000 words sitting in front of you, or if you’ve some other unpolished, unedited or generally rough draft calling ‘Look at me!’ from your computer, here are my top tips for the editing process – from as-rough-as-they-come to almost-perfect.

1. First, read it in a different form. I like to quickly format my first drafts for Kindle and read them on that, but anything that is different to the form in which you wrote the draft will work. If you have to read it on your computer screen then at least save it as a pdf. This does two things: it enables you to see the story in a different way, and it stops you making changes as you go along. At this stage just read it. Make notes. What do you enjoy? What bores you? Try to go macro not micro – focus on the bigger picture. This is probably the hardest stage: not the hardest work-wise, but the hardest psychologically. You’ll probably think it’s rubbish. If you get any external feedback at this stage you might be put off it for life. But remember, you can’t edit until you have something to work on, and you’ve already put in the time to get this far. No matter what you think, keep going.

2. Plan your first re-write. Next I make up a kind of scene-by-scene list, describing each scene (not chapter) in one sentence. This is a technique I learned from the excellent Roz Morris, whose book Nail Your Novel is full of great editing advice. If you can, get the whole book on one or two sheets of paper. Then get out the red pen and make any structural changes. This is the structural edit, where you might move things around, make a scene from the middle the start of the novel, or cut or add an entire subplot.

3. Don’t re-write yet! At this stage I write my blurb. I try to get it perfect. Imagine what will end up on the back of the book, or your pitch to an agent. Once you get it right – and remember you are describing the kind of book you want it to be, not the kind of book it is right now – pin it up where you can see it. It will help keep you focused when you start re-writing.

4. Now I start re-writing, following my new plan, and ironing out any other problems – typos, spelling, inconsistencies etc – along the way. This can take a long time, and depending on the book and the changes you decide to make, can involve two or three more run-throughs of the process above. As you get closer to the overall structure you want, begin another read-through – this time in Word – focusing more closely on the language, atmosphere, setting etc. Really get inside the text, analyse each sentence, make sure every word is the right one for the job. This is the line-by-line edit, and this is the most fun. (I think so, anyway.) J

What can you do if you get stuck? If you read your work and just hate it? Should you give up and start something else, or just keep plugging away? In my opinion, writing – even the hard work of writing, which is what re-writing and editing is – should be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, then maybe put the book aside for a while and start something else. But if you have a contract or a deadline this might not be possible. Then you have to find a way to fall back in love with your book.

Often, once any structural problems have been sorted out, what most people end up with is a sense of flatness. Rarely do people struggle with editing because their novel is too exciting or pacy. Here are some tips for injecting life into a lifeless manuscript:

Think contrast. Contrast is good for the reader. Try to make sure you regularly change between settings, viewpoint characters (if multiple viewpoint), fast paced and slow paced sections, dialogue and description. Inject some humour, even in a sad scene, or add a sense of sadness to a funny scene. Contrast characters with each other – give your heroine a friend who acts as counterpoint; make your characters as different from each other as possible. Contrast speech patterns in dialogue.

Surprise yourself. If you think a scene is boring, throw something into the mix. Stuff happens, even during arguments (the electricity suddenly cuts off, the postman knocks at the door, the neighbour’s dog starts going crazy), and it can lead off in a different direction and provide (you guessed it) contrast.

Go with the senses. Everyone says this, but you’re bound to have one or two senses you lean towards in your writing. I’m visual and auditory, but rarely does it occur to me to describe how something smells or tastes. This can add telling detail and bring your work to life.

So, be brave, take a deep breath, and jump right in. Editing does not have to be scary. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. But it will be hard work. And it will definitely be worth it.

Thank you so much Jo! Some great advice there. I hope you all found it as helpful as I did. 🙂

Yes, senses….I am so guilty of not thinking about sound and smell. Which of the senses are you guilty of forgetting?

Editing A Novel – Tips From Della Galton

Continuing our theme of editing this month I have a very special guest today *grins*

Today’s blog guest is the wonderful Della Galton who is a working writer (just tap her name into Amazon!!!) and agony aunt for Writers Forum Magazine. She has had over 1,000 short stories published in national magazines in the UK, and throughout the world.

Editing A Novel
So you’ve written a novel at top speed – what now? Package it up and send it out to all the publishers and agents in the Writer’s Handbook? Hold on just two ticks. Here are my top five editing tips.

Tip One
Put it to one side for at least a fortnight, preferably longer, a month is good. Then you can go back to it with your cool editor’s head, not your passionate writer’s head.

Tip Two
Read it through in its entirety. Make some notes based on these points.
Does it begin in the right place?
Is it in the right viewpoint?
Does the plot work?
Is the main character really the main character?
Is the middle saggy?
How is the dialogue – good, bad or indifferent?
Can you tell the characters apart?
Does it end well?

Tip Three
Rewrite, based on your notes.

Tip Four
Repeat Tip One.

Tip Five
Edit again, as follows:

Cut Repetition
For me, the number one fault in first drafts is repetition. I often repeat myself when I write a first draft, both in meaning and with words. I don’t know whether it’s they way my brain works, but I’ll very often find that I’ve repeated a word either in the same paragraph or in the one below. It’s almost as if my writing brain is saying, that’s a good word, we’ll have another one of those, shall we?

I also have favourite words. You’ll have your own, but these are some of mine: just; quite; suddenly; that; and bit. I sometimes use the word search facility to go through and delete these words in my final edit.

Another way of repetition is to say the same thing in a different way.

And standing there in the sun, on that dusty afternoon Pam realised she’d never felt quite so happy in her life, which wasn’t all that surprising when she thought about it. Pottering around a car boot sale was one of her favourite ways to spend a Sunday morning.

These two sentences are both telling us that Pam is happy. Only one of them is needed, although in the end I discarded both in favour of showing Pam being happy rather than directly telling the reader.

Check for overused punctuation
I’m also rather fond of dashes – I litter them through my work – and it’s a difficult habit to break. You’ll find plenty besides the two in this paragraph that I’ve put in deliberately.

A good rule is that less is more. Be sparing with exclamation marks. They tend to be very visible.

Watch for telling when you’ve already shown

This is effectively another form of repetition. There is no need to show the reader something and then tell them as well.

i.e. Tears streamed down Laura’s face. She was very unhappy.

Cut adverbs
Fashions change, but I am of the opinion that adverbs should be used sparingly. They tend to weaken writing, rather than strengthen it. If possible use a strong verb instead. For example, instead of saying, he ran quickly, try he raced.

Cut clichés
Most clichés came into being because they were the perfect way to say something. So why change them? The answer to this, I think, is that anything we hear too often is less meaningful – after a while it loses its meaning, and hence its impact, altogether.

They will certainly not make your writing original.

These are two good reasons to try and avoid them.

And finally, is it possible to over edit?
At the risk of contradicting myself, then I’d say, yes it is. Our first work tends to be a splurge of words that pour out – well they pour out on a good day! On a bad day it might feel more like pulling teeth with no anaesthetic. First drafts have a rawness about them and hopefully a sparkle. And I think that it’s possible to take this sparkle out with too much editing.

I’ve seen writers who have actually managed to polish all the sparkle away from their original piece, leaving a final draft that is flat and rather emotionless. Please be careful – but in the final analysis you’ll have to trust your instincts about when enough is enough. This gets much easier with time and experience.

Thank you so much Della, some great tips there!

If you found that useful, (i know i did!) nip over to Amazon where you can download Della’s eBook The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed – Your Quick Read, Straight-To-The-Point Guide To Writing and Selling Short Fiction (Writer’s Toolshed Series)


Originally written as a series for Writers’ Forum Magazine, this snappy, no-nonsense guide has been expanded, amended and updated. Using new examples from her own published short fiction, Della Galton takes you from ‘story idea’ to ‘final edit’, and demonstrates how to construct and polish the perfect short story, ready for publication.

Ahhhh, yes, repitition lol….I have a HUGE problem with that. Did any of those tips strike a chord (CLICHE ALERT lol) with you? 😉

After NaNoWriMo – Editing Part 2

Part 2 of the guest post by Bridget Whelan which I’ll be making much use of this month 😉

After NaNoWriMo
Three bite-size guides to editing and revising your NaNoWriMo novel.


Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it – Collette

Five ways of editing that first rough draft

1) Cut and cut again. Be brutal. You thought you’d written 50,000 words of your NaNoWriMo novel? The harsh truth is that you probably need to ditch 20,000 of those words. You’ve got a copy of the original so you can chuck everything away knowing you have the freedom to change your mind. In fact, keep a copy of every major revision. It gives you confidence knowing that nothing is lost, and that every major change can be undone. The reality is that once paragraphs, pages and chapters have been deleted you’ll wonder how they ever had a home in your manuscript.

2) Remember that adjectives don’t get lonely: they do not have to travel around in pairs – the kind and pleasant man; the warm, dry day. Every time you see two together ask yourself which one you really, really need. Or if you need any.

3) Take a long, hard look at any descriptive passages, especially the ones you like the best. Samuel Johnson said that if he you ever come across a sentence he had written that struck him as being particularly elegant and finely crafted then he knew he had to cut it. It was probably written for his own enjoyment rather than because it helped the reader to understand what was going on.

4) Have you started in the right place? Classic advice is to start a story in MEDIAS RES – in the middle – in other words dive in. Have you chosen to start your NaNoWriMo novel a long time before the big event occurs? Why? If the answer is because it’s a good introduction or it sets the stage, then cut. Sometimes we write a beginning more for ourselves than the reader. We are working our way into the story, getting a feel for the characters and their take on the world. You might need that introduction to get you started, the reader doesn’t. So, write it if it helps you to launch a story and cut it out at the editing stage – which is now.

4) Show don’t tell is the command burnt into the heart of every creative writing student, but sometimes it’s ok to tell. The reader can’t live through every moment. Use dialogue to dramatise the big scenes, or the moments where important elements of character are revealed. It is not for the ordinary do-you-want-a-cup-of-tea exchanges (or boring small talk at parties unless it propels the narrative in some way.)
5) Don’t introduce all the characters at once. Do it one at a time with a little physical description or back story so we can remember them. (For example: Cara tucked a strand of her sand coloured behind her ear and swore softly, her previous career as an advertising writer meant she knew how to make words work for her.) Ask yourself if you have to give a name to all the minor characters. Remember that a name may be the least interesting thing about them. They could appear as their job or the function they carry out in the story. For example: the teacher said…. the neighbour smiled…

Courtesy of Carlos Porto freedigitalphotos

Coming up in PART THREE six tips that will help you get your NaNoWriMo novel ready for a reader. But if you want to read that post, you’ll have to pop over to Bridget’s blog tomorrow 😉

Please leave a comment for Bridget with your thoughts and opinions, or pop over to Bridget’s Blog to say Hi

After NaNoWrimo – Editing Part 1

So how we all feeling this morning? Any Wrimo’s take it to the wire last night? We had one lady on the Kent FaceBook group who finally hit the 50k at just before 11.30pm (UK time). I couldn’t go to bed before she’d finished and validated.

So that’s it, my official ML duties are over! Awwwww, it’s been fun, but now this is where the real work starts. We have our 50,000 words, so now what? The theme this month on the old blog will be editing, and to start us off, a guest post by Bridget Whelan who teaches Creative Writing. I think this will be very handy 😉

After NaNoWriMo
Three bite-size guides to editing and revising your NaNoWriMo novel.


Write drunk, edit sober – Ernest Hemingway

The relief is wonderful. Nanowrimo is over, done and dusted for another year. You have so much freedom and so much time to do other things. Some of you may even have a NanNoWriMo certificate to prove you took the challenge and won and – as long as you didn’t write your name over and over again – you should be proud of yourself. Very proud.
​Of course, some of us didn’t mange 50,000 words, but as long as you have more words written now than you did on November 1st you’ve made an important step in your development as a writer. And you know that yourself until a small steely voice sounds in your head and says, it’s all rubbish. And the bits that aren’t rubbish have been done before.
​That’s the voice that stops you writing. That’s the voice that NaNoWriMo silences with a frenzy of activity. That’s the voice of an editor. It’s a mean-spirited companion, dismissive of hard work and effort. It won’t offer any rewards for sticking with it, reaching goals and staying up late. All it cares about is what’s on the page and when you come to look at what you’ve written during NaNoWriMo, that’s all you should be care about too. Even when it means blood on the floor.

Three things to do before you pick up a red pen or press delete

1) Rest and Recover. You wrote in a fever. You need the story to settle in your mind and you also need to create some distance if you’re going to listen to that editor’s voice. How long? At least two weeks.
2) Read. Anything except your NaNoWriMo novel. Read poetry for the language. Read cheap trashy novels you hate to learn what not to do. Read cheap trashy novels you love to learn how they captured you. Read action novels for pace and crime fiction for suspense. Read horror and speculative fiction for imagination and fairy tales for permission to push the boundaries (A brother and sister abandoned by their parents and enslaved by a female cannibal? Did you go as wild during NaNoWriMo as Hansel and Gretel?)
3) Watch the video of Kurt Vonnegut describing how to plot a best seller. It will have you laughing and thinking.

Four things to do when you read your NaNoWriMo novel again

1) Breath deeply. Dive in. If you can, try to read all the way through in one sitting. Ignore your emotions: horror, embarrassment, mild pleasure, surprise. Read with a pen in your hand and summarise every chapter (or five thousands words if it isn’t broken down into chapters yet). No one will see these notes so they can be as clunky as you like. Stick to about 100 words for each summary – these are working notes and shouldn’t take up too much of your writing time
2) Imagine you are being interviewed on radio. How would you describe your main character? What does your main character want? No waffle: be specific. The radio audience won’t like vague phrases about rites of passage or someone finding themselves.
3) Even if you have written The End in big bold letters and drawn a line underneath it, consider possible alternative ways of resolving the issues in your NaNoWriMo novel.
4) Ask yourself if you want to spend a lot of time living with this story and the people who inhabit it. Vikki described herself as being haunted by the story she was trying to tell in first Nanowrimo writing. That’s a very good place for a writer to be.

Coming up in PART TWO (tomorrow) five ways of editing that first rough draft.

A great article Bridget, I will definitely be following your advice 🙂

Please leave a comment for Bridget with your thoughts and opinions, or pop over to Bridget’s Blog to say Hi

NaNoWriMo – The Last Day

Today is the last day of Nano (so should that be YAY or SOB ? lol) So if you haven’t hit the 50,000 words by now you have approximately 22 hours (in the UK from the time this post went live) to pull your finger out and write!

It’s been a funny old month for me. Full of highs and lows. My first year as an official ML has been great fun. Elizabeth asked me a couple of days ago if I’d do it again next year, of course I would! 🙂

I’ve met a few Wrimo’s I didn’t know before who have now become FaceBook friends and learnt that I can write 9,000 words in a day. I went on a writing retreat (which was fantastic) and discovered that Mills & Boon books are much harder to write than you think they’ll be. I also learnt that my netbook cannot be trusted and have decided that he will retire from service before next year 😉

So what’s next? What do we now do with all those words? You have to edit *shudders* 😉

The lovely Bridget Whelan who teaches Creative Writing, has written a series of 3 blog posts for me, all about editing. See me, I never really know where to start when it comes to editing, so I’m hoping Bridget can sort me out. You’ll find part 1 and part 2 here over the next couple of days and then part 3 will be posted to Bridget’s blog, but I’ll give you the link 😉

So all that remains is for me to say CONGRATULATIONS! it doesn’t matter if you only wrote 10 words or 75,000 (yes, I do know someone who wrote that much and she has a baby and toddler!). Everyone who takes part in Nano and wrote something is a winner as far as I’m concerned.

So now it’s time to Party!

Courtesy of Simon Howden

Do try to get to a TGIO Party if you can. We have ours tomorrow, I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Me? I finished up with just over 55,000 words which is more than 2011 but less than 2010…..and the less said about those 65,000 words the better 😉

But Not Forgotten Needs Forgetting

Ok, what can I say about the critique *laughs hysterically*

If I just say that it looks like 65,000 words will be going in the bin within the next couple of days does that indicate what they thought? 😉 (a metaphorical bin of course!)

Seriously, I knew it was a mess, which was why I decided to use that piece. I just didn’t realise how much of a mess it was 😦

I knew I’d tied myself up in knots, I knew that was why I hadn’t been able to come up with an ending, but, what I was hoping was that I could tinker with it, make it better. What I didn’t expect was to find that the general consensus is/was to start from scratch!

A different angle, a different POV, don’t start with the suicide, in fact, don’t kill him off….WOAH! Concentrate on one aspect of the story and forget the rest! OMFG!!!!!!! I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT!

So now what? Complete restructuring that’s what! A completely new novel really, only using the same characters and only part of the original plot line *slumps*

I don’t know if I have the energy!

Don’t get me wrong, everyone was helpful and sympathetic, but I came away thinking perhaps I’m not cut out for this, and what the hell am I doing in this class? Be prepared for a major self pity trip post on IWSD next month, honestly 🙂

I went for a Spa day today. I was going to cancel because all I wanted to do was sit in my jim jams, drink hot chocolate and sulk lol. But, I made the effort, went, and had my nails painted. I went for a walk and contemplated stuff. It was a nice day 🙂


I’m signing out with Edwin Collins

I need to think……

This Weeks Goals 28th to 3rd

Yesterday’s postcard from the Tate prompted a story for me about a guy who had been thrown out of his apartment, on to the street. All he has left in the world is the sofa and some black bags. The question is….why has he been thrown out? I’m kind of thinking along the lines that he’s divorced, and lives with his son. His son has got involved with some very dodgy characters, which has resulted in the fact that he’s taken all his dads money to pay the debts off….and now he’s disappeared……

I’m guest posting today, over at Creative Writing Studies for the lovely Anthony Haynes. Go and have a peek to read me talking about why I blog, and what I LOVE about it! 🙂

I’ve had a pretty productive week 🙂

Last weeks goals were:

1. Turn the prologue back into 3rd person (again lol).

2. Try to nail chapter one, so that I have something to read out at class on Wednesday night.

3. Finish sorting out the formatting/layout of the whole thing.

4. Have another read through and work on the ending. I think I’ve worked out where I want it to go, I’ve just got to write it now, which means changing stuff in other places. So yep, I’ve been avoiding that lol.

Oh dear, well ok, it wasn’t that productive. I don’t know why I’m avoiding it so much. No, yes, sorry, I do….because its hard work, because I’m confused and don’t know exactly what I want to happen, because I know it will mean changing other stuff that I’ve already written 😦

So this weeks goals are:

1. Finish sorting out the formatting/layout of the whole thing, and I mean REALLY finish lol.

2. Have another tinker with the Blurb.

3. Try to do something constructive towards the ending, even if it’s only 500 bloody words! Lol.

4. Get Chapter 2 sorted, polished up and in ship shape 😉

I’ve come to the conclusion that overwhelming myself with a to do list doesn’t achieve anything, so I’m trying to be a little easier on myself (ha ha ha).

so what are your writing plans for the week?

My current read, recommended by Jeff Goins


This Weeks Goals 21st to 27th

I had lots of ideas about The New Zealander, but in the end I decided that he had come to find his family in the UK. After lots of struggles, problems, highs and lows, he finally finds that his birth parents are dead and that he was in fact kidnapped when he was a baby. Perhaps the happy ending could be that he either finds a sibling, or the love of his life on his journey 🙂

Yet again, I didn’t get as much as I’d like done last week. I blame my birthday lol

I had some lovely comments about my prologue from my Writing Group, but the general consensus was, why was it in first person POV? Hmmmmm lol.

So the plan for this week is…..

1. Turn the prologue back into 3rd person (again lol).

2. Try to nail chapter one, so that I have something to read out at class on Wednesday night.

3. Finish sorting out the formatting/layout of the whole thing.

4. Have another read through and work on the ending. I think I’ve worked out where I want it to go, I’ve just got to write it now, which means changing stuff in other places. So yep, I’ve been avoiding that lol.

I’m going to a “write in” with some fellow writers tomorrow morning, so that should motivate me 🙂

On Saturday, I went up to Foyles in Central London (my favourite book shop!) to spend my voucher that hubby got me for my birthday. Here’s what I brought home…..whoops! Lol


so what are your writing goals/plans this week?

This Weeks Goals 14-20th May

So did you give the photo prompt a go yesterday?

I was thinking along the lines that it was a guy returning to his family home to introduce mummy & daddy to the latest girlfriend. Mummy & Daddy are Lord & Lady Hampton and the new girlfriend is a cockney, who drinks pints of Ale, smokes roll ups and works as a lap dancer 😉

Right, where was I? Ahhhh, yes, the goals…..

I’m afraid, I failed miserably 😦 My reason? I had to have my dog put to sleep on Wednesday night (the 9th). It was fairly sudden, she became ill over the weekend, vet gave her antibiotics for a chest infection (she was having trouble breathing) and by Wednesday night we ended up at the emergency vets, where an X-ray confirmed a tumour on her lung. Too large to operate on and causing her distress. Always a difficult decision, but we didn’t want her suffering any longer. The vet said it was only her spirit that was keeping her alive. She was 12.

So as you can imagine, I’ve been on a huge downer….bouts of tearfulness and generally the inability to even pick up a pen 😦

My darling Georgie, I will miss you so much….the house feels so empty without you….but, I know I have to pick myself up, carry on, because I know you’re somewhere, reunited with Bill (our Shih T Zu who died of a heart attack in 2010). I know in my heart that one day I will see you again.

*blows nose and wipes eyes* Does how you feel emotionally affect your ability to write? It feels like I’ve just been plunged into a dark space, and I’m finding it hard to focus my eyes. Oooo, that sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it….I’m fine really.

Right, so lets crack on, I needto focus…… I needto get back into some kind of routine 🙂

The original list from last week was:

1. Finish the spell check (and do it again incase there’s something I’ve missed). DONE
2. Check that’s it’s set out correctly (ie paragraphing and indenting dialogue). STARTED
3. Check punctuation (I have a tendency to forget all about it during dialogue). STARTED

The rest, I’m afraid, didn’t get tackled….however, I did print all 202 pages off. I find it much easier editing it when it’s on paper in front of me.

Yep, so guess what the plan is this week?

4. Change tense where needed (one of my worst habits, I tend to flit between past and present during a longer piece lol). STARTED
5. Print off to start the re-write (I’ve decided to change a few things quite considerably). PRINTED OFF
6. Do the research needed.
7. Write the ending (GULP).
8. Write a synopsis.
9. Decide who to pick on as Beta readers lol (Think of questions to ask Beta readers)
10. Think about what to do with it next (depending on Beta readers comments, I could be starting back at number 1 lol).

What are you hoping to achieve this week? And how about editing Do you do most of it on the PC or print off and use the red pen?

The Work In Progress

Affectionately referred to as WIP 😉

I haven’t exactly told you anything about it have I? Oh dear, me bad lol. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t a WIP until recently, it was more like an WNP (work not progressing) lol

Back in 2010 I decided to take part in Nano, which, at the time, was a ridiculous task to undertake, as I’d only been to a couple of creative writing lessons at my local Adult Ed and hadn’t written a thing (fictional) since leaving school (and no, I’m not telling you how many years ago that was lol). But, always up for a challenge, I threw myself into Nano, and wrote 65,000 words in just under 2 weeks. Once I’d started, I couldn’t stop 🙂

But, once I did stop, I couldn’t start again, and the poor little MS ended up languishing on my Netbook, unfinished, until last month.

My success at Nano (I’ve completed both 2010 & 2011) I put down to the fact that I don’t edit, at all, not in the slightest. So there are spelling mistakes, full stops missing, capital letters that have wandered off, you name it. I find it very easy to write like that, but, the mammoth editing task has meant that summoning up the strength and courage to attempt to edit has been my downfall 😦

So with the encouragement of my tutor at writing classes, last month, I tentatively opened the file for the first time in, ooooo, 16months lol. It did have an outing in August 2011, where the first 2 chapters were printed off and given to Emma Darwin for a critique. Her comments and thoughts about it were pretty positive (thank heavens) so why wasn’t that enough to get me fired up to finish it?

To be honest, it’s my age old problem…..I don’t know how to finish it, I don’t know how I want it to end lol. I even did a poll on FaceBook, asking my friends, do you prefer a happy ending? The general consensus was yes, but, that as long as it was “satisfying” it didn’t necessarily need to be happy. Oh, come on guys, you’re no help, I wanted a definitive yes or no answer!!!! Lol

Sooooo, anyway, I have now edited the prologue, changed it from 3rd person to 1st person at Emma Darwin’s suggestion, and I’m just about to start editing the first chapter *gulp*


So now you know the title 😉 as for genre, that’s a hard one. I haven’t written a synopsis yet (something else that needs doing lol) so the only way I can describe it is by saying its a family saga about 2 brothers and it’s written in the omniscient POV (each chapter is in 3rd person centring around a different character). It starts with a suicide, theres murder, corruption, love, sadness and a young woman who discovers the father she thought was her father was actually her uncle lol. When my husband read it he said it was like reading a film, ie different scenes. Sounds confusing I know, but I guess, once I finish it and get a couple of Beta readers, we’ll see if it really is readable 😉

So how about that ending? do you agree with my Facebook friends? Do you prefer a happy ending?