Forever Blue Cover Reveal

I’m at the stage of writing which I like the least. I say ‘like the least’ rather than ‘dislike’, as there aren’t too many aspects of writing which I dislike, but this stage would have to be my least favourite. I guess I’m a little impatient.

Forever Blue is written. I’ve completed the first of the major edits and now I’m at the stage of those smaller edits and typos, the ones which my mind often corrects so I have to use various different ways to spot them. This can be fun for one or two chapters, but after an entire book the fun aspect definitely wanes. I’m also stuck writing the blurb. I would rather write an entire book than a blurb. Once I figure it out I’ll be able to let you know more about the actual story line. Hopefully.

This part of the process also includes sending it out to beta readers, something which is exciting but also nerve-wracking, especially since I have given out zero details regarding the book. My writers’ group may have got the odd snippet here and there, but not many. The reason for this is I wanted the feedback to be as unbiased as possible. The only details I’ve given are that it’s aimed at the YA audience and a romance. Sort of. Even though I’ve only sent it to a few people, the feedback so far has been good. (It still counts if it’s your mum, right?)

But the thing that frustrates me the most is I just want to get it out there. I want to click the publish button and see if people enjoy it as much as I did writing it. But I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. I would stick to my plan.

But there is one thing I can share with you . . . the cover!

Personally, I think it is rather beautiful. What do you think?

Cover

 

I’ve also been playing with an animated gif and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

Cover Gif

Anyway, that’s it for now. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break.

Abby Wilder lettering

Why do we procrastinate?

I love writing, I really do. It’s what I want to spend my life doing. I love to sit down at the keyboard with ideas running through my brain and my fingers struggling to keep up. At the moment I’m in the editing phase which isn’t as fun as the actual writing, but I still enjoy it. I have not looked at the draft of my book for six weeks and it gives me somewhat of a fresh approach. This week was the first time I got back into it after the school holidays. And by ‘it’ I mean the Abby Wilder part of my life. My boy and my girl started back at school and I had my usual day off work, so I sat down at my computer ready to get back into it.

The best way

I was excited. I had looked forward to this day for weeks. So why was it that when I sat down at my computer, I did everything else apart from work on my novel?

I opened Facebook and somehow stumbled across an article on Zero Carb lifestyles. I ended up on a blog with interviews of people eating this way and I was fascinated. A few articles in and I realised I was getting distracted, so I pulled myself away and determined to start reading/editing. Then I thought I might check on the sales of my books. I hadn’t done that in a while and since it was my first day back on the job so to speak, I thought it would be a good idea. I was pleasantly surprised by the sales and downloads ticking by, considering my lack of marketing. But since I had checked the sales, I thought I should really pop over to Goodreads and Amazon and check out the reviews. While reading reviews my thoughts usually vary from, ‘Yes, they get me! They totally understood what I was trying to portray. They loved my characters! Life is so wonderful right now I could explode with happiness,’ to, ‘Oh my goodness, why are people so cruel. I think I will curl up into a ball and gently rock myself to sleep.’

So it was about time I started editing. I was looking forward to it. I wanted to edit, but I found myself blindly clicking links on Twitter, looking at pretty pictures of characters on Tumblr, back on Facebook sighing over articles and chuckling over status updates, and checking out cute kitten pictures on Instagram. I have three cats. I like them. Most days.

Sox
My daughter’s cute kitten Sox.

I even considered writing this blog post, but I admitted to myself that writing a blog post about avoiding editing was in itself another form of procrastination, so two hours after I should have started, I finally did.

And I enjoyed it. I got lots done. And I was annoyed I had wasted so much time at the beginning of my day because I could have accomplished so much more.

20160207_130242
Yes, sorry it’s blurry but I can’t very well go publishing pages of my next novel now, can I?

So why do we do it to ourselves?

Why do we procrastinate even from the things we want to be doing?

If you think I am going to give some profound answer into the thought process of the human psyche, sorry. I am asking the question, not answering it.

I was told that writing is like a muscle. You must exercise it in order for it to grow. And for your muscles to grow, you’ve got to move. You can’t sit on the couch and think about moving. You can’t read articles on the benefits of moving or the ways in which you should move. You’ve actually got to get off your backside and do it. I needed to pick up the draft of my book and start. Which I did . . . eventually.

So I have forgiven myself for my little veer off course into procrastination and next week I will get straight into it. I promise. I hope. Well, let’s just say the intention is there. The best of intentions.

Okay, so maybe we’ll just wait and see what happens.

Abby Wilder lettering

 

 

 

Behind the Glass | Writing | Editing

editing

I thought I was rather good at noticing mistakes in writing, and because of this, I was confident I would be able to proof read and edit my story myself.

I was right about being able to pick the mistakes in writing, I was just wrong about certain aspects of that assumption. Firstly, that I would be able to pick all the mistakes in a 100,000+ word story, and that I would be able to pick the mistakes from my own writing. I wrote the story. I read what was supposed to be there, instead of what should have been there. Much like I did when I played the piano. I played what I thought the song should sound like, not the notes the sheet of music in front of me told me to play.

If you read one of the earlier versions of Girl Behind Glass, I’m sure you picked out some of the mistakes. To be honest, I hate even thinking about it. But I vowed when I started writing this blog series that I would be honest about my writing journey and this is part of mine. There were mistakes. I corrected the mistakes, uploaded the book to Createspace to get the paperback copies, and when my proof copy arrived, I read it.

I found more mistakes.

I felt sick.

The book was already out there as an ebook. I knew that people would see these mistakes. Most of the errors were silly ones, typos. I knew better than to make these mistakes, but somehow they had escaped me. I should have known better.

I scolded myself and deliberated never writing again, but then I pulled up my big girl pants and set off to correct the errors.

I made GBG free not long after that, and got a nice number of downloads. Some of the feedback I received mentioned some typos in my book, and so I read it again, and once more fell flat on my face when I realised that there were still mistakes. I’m sure everyone at some stage or another in their lives have experienced that ball of dread, that nauseating feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know you have made a mistake. I hate that feeling, but I had to overcome it, rather than succumb. I changed the mistakes I found and even sent Amazon an email stating that I had corrected some errors in my book and they offered an ‘update book’ option which I blogged about a little earlier this year.

Then I started the editing process for GBS. I knew a lot more than I did before, but still the errors escaped me. So I identified my weaknesses and started coming up with methods to correct them.

This is a very brief outline of some of the methods I used:

I read the manuscript on my computer and corrected the mistakes as I went along.

I read a printed out copy of the manuscript and highlighted the mistakes which I later corrected.

I gave printed copies of the manuscript to my beta readers and altered the errors based on their feedback.

I listened to a computerised voice read out my novel while I read along on the computer. I found this method very effective as it showed those little errors that my eyes glossed over.

While on a 12 hour road trip, I listened to my story, pulling aside to highlight any errors I heard on a printed copy on the passenger seat beside me.

I re-read the final printed version.

Now I’m sure there are still mistakes, and I’m sure I will make more in the future, but I do feel like I’ve learned a lot, and that with each book I write, I will improve. Editing also involved fleshing out scenes that were too light and cutting scenes which were unnecessary. I added over 3000 words to the final manuscript of GBS and cut over 4000. It is a hard but necessary part of the process. If a scene was boring to write, no doubt it would be boring to read. If I hesitated or felt unhappy with a scene, I cut it. There must have been a reason I felt that way even if I couldn’t pin point it. In the first draft of GBG, Bracken actually shoots Willow at the end. Things change. Plots change. I needed to allow for that.

And I still feel sick about the copies that exist out there with errors. But there is nothing to do other than own my mistakes, and endeavour to do better.

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!

The next post will be published on 1st October.

Behind the Glass | Publishing | Formatting

*If you haven’t read Girl Behind Glass yet, it is currently free in the Kindle store – http://goo.gl/KUGZrA