Monday, 20 October 2014

This Blogger Is Off Exploring

I'm currently off exploring Scotland, so I'll be back next week with your regularly scheduled posts.

A moody picture from Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Embrace Editing/Revising/Rewriting/Whatevering

When you start editing, there can be a sense of barely restrained panic, like "this is the worst thing
ever written. Imagine if other people saw the wreck that is this draft."
(For the purposes of this post, Obi-Wan is you and clueless C3P0 there is your MS ^_^)

Guess what. It's probably not that bad. And if it is, you can make it better. A lot better. Drafts aren't meant to come out  ready to be published or queried. Drafts are all about the initial rush, about getting it down so you can really sort it out into a proper book later. And that's why editing shouldn't be this thing you hate. See it as an opportunity to take the basics of your story and turn it into something amazing. And don't worry if your first edit or even your second edit doesn't turn that draft into a perfect final draft. For some people, editing takes one go (you lucky gits). For a lot of us though, it's a gradual process. I do it in stages, with different areas of focus. Like I've just started my second edit, which will be the wondrous, joyous process of line edits.

Hehehe...yay... ^^;

And as tedious and time-consuming as deleting FIVE HUNDRED buts was, I am nevertheless one step closer to having a shiny MS. And that's why editing isn't really so bad: it's a means to an end :) Hang in there, and get polishing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday - Autumn Has Arrived! :D

I can finally bust out a different button for Jaime and Erin's What's Up Wednesday! YAY! Autumn arrived at last.

Hi everyone! Hope you've all been well the past couple weeks. Sure is nice to be back... for this week only :P I'm in Scotland next week, and I'll be driving all around the Highlands next Wednesday, so I'll have to miss out on all the fun again. But hopefully I'll be back in two weeks with loads of pretty pictures ^_^

What I'm Reading

I've read a few books since I last took part, the best of the bunch being Clariel by Garth Nix. I love that whole world, and it was nice to read a prequel. Can't say more without spoiling it ;) Now I'm working my way through Tana French's In The Woods, a crime novel set in Ireland.

What I'm Writing Editing

The time for line edits has arrived... *gulp* Completing the first round of edits felt great and gave me a great sense of what needs work :) Also, I need to stop using the word "But" so much. It's got to be my worst habit. I deleted over 500 uses of the word. FIVE HUNDRED.

I chanted "first drafts are meant to suck" the whole time. It helped.

What Works For Me

Taking a break from blogging really gave me the time I needed to finish that edit. It's easy to forget that blogging is meant to take a backseat role to actually writing novels. Getting my priorities straight feels good :D 

Also, just enjoying Autumn. It has to be my favourite season. Yeah, I know, summer's nice and warm and bright, but Autumn is fresh and so, so beautiful.

<3 Autumn sunsets

What Else I'm Up To

Settled quite nicely into my new work hours, although we'll see how I feel after those eleven hour days :P Also continuing my epic Kingdom Hearts replay and drowning in nostalgic feels. Loving 1.5 on the PS3 and I am eagerly awaiting my pre-ordered copy of 2.5.

Ah, memories :D

See you all again soon ^_^

Monday, 13 October 2014

Miss Cole's Tea Time - Silver Lantern Teas

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. I'm back with lots more tea, hooray! :D

Today I'm sharing tea from the fantastic Silver Lantern, a company that encourages and helps you make your own tea blends! It's so much fun, and a great way for picky people like myself to branch out a bit ^_^

Each pack has suggestions of other types of tea to blend with it. I decided to make an afternoon blend to go with a Sunday afternoon editing session. Now, the exact mix is up to you, and I went pretty heavy on the Assam, but a pinch of Darjeeling and Oolong made a really delicious blend.

I'm definitely going to explore more blends. You can buy tea subscriptions from them (which is what my brother did for me), and learn to make a variety of blends. If you're a super adventurous tea drinker, or need a little encouragement to try different types, Silver Lantern is the place to go. Be sure to check out their Blendology page. Pick up a few different types and see what delicious tastes you can create.

Monday, 29 September 2014

This Blog is On A Break!

I'm taking a blogging break until October 13th. I'm off to gather ideas (and tea), ready to bring you an autumn and winter full of great posts!

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Writing Lifestyle: What Does That Abbreviation/Word Mean?

Don't know about you, but when I first started blogging and saw lots of unfamiliar terms, I felt a bit lost and way too nervous to ask anyone what they meant.

After a while, it all became clear, so I thought I'd put together a handy guide of the things you'll see on writer's blogs and what they mean. If I've missed any, please share them in the comments below.

MS: Manuscript
WiP: Work in Progress
MC: Main Character
MSWL: Manuscript Wishlist - and here's the AMAZING website where agents will post a list of exactly the things they want to read!
SNI: Shiny New Idea
ARC: Advanced Reader Copy
Pantsing/Pantser/Pantsed: Those of us who write without much idea of where we're going
Plotters/Planners: Those of you who plot out your story before you write it.
TBR Pile - To Be Read Pile. You know, all those books you've bought but haven't read yet. You know you have one.

I love how the writing community has its own language. It makes so much sense once you understand it all, and I'm here to make sure no one feels excluded for not knowing what everyone's going on about. "So, my MS is a WiP, but I just had this amazing SNI that totally fits in with an agent's MSWL post!" Makes sense now, right? ;)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Draft Done? Break time!

I mentioned during yesterday's What's Up Wednesday that I'm taking a break from my manuscript before diving into the first edit. Why? Well, sometimes it's great to take a step back from what you've just written so you can get some perspective. Two weeks away means I've had a chance to ponder a few of the issues I know the book has and make a few notes.

Time away doesn't mean I can't still make notes. Notes are important. Always make notes! You never want to forget that important little details you want to add in or change. 

You don't have to take time away, and I haven't always in the past, but for this book, I needed to let the draft stew while I came up with some solutions to its problems; which I now have, woo! I have spent the past two weeks enjoying a variety of distractions, many of which have given my brain the time to think about the problems without focusing solely on that problem. Sort of like letting the solution come to me while I beat up various creatures with a giant, blunt key.

Kingdom Hearts in a single gif


So, if you want to take a break, DO IT! Read loads, play loads, watch loads, walk loads... Don't feel bad about wanting time away. It can be essential to rediscovering your love for the story. Distance does make the heart grow fonder, after all.

But if you love that book too much and want to dive right in, don't feel like you can't. Everyone does things their own way, and I needed a break.

All I know is these past two(ish) weeks of not writing have left me full of enthusiasm to get back to it and make that book AMAZING. My draft is printed, my pens, post-its and notebook are ready, and I'm so excited! This is going to be the best thing I've written to date.