Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Noise. Turn it down

So, I'm trying to improve my marketing skills. I joined Facebook and a bunch of Yahoo groups. Suddenly my inbox was flooded with emails. I found myself scrambling to keep up with them. I wasn't getting any writing done, and I really wanted to get started on my new story.

Eventually I decided I wouldn't check my inbox until I'd got my day's writing done first. It's been working pretty well. Beginning a new story is always an exciting nerve-wracking time. I have to learn about my characters and the paths they choose to take. It's a time of writing, reading, listening. And it can't be done with twenty emails breathing down my neck whispering "Read me". So I'm glad I've turned the noise down.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Revision

For the past few weeks I’ve been deep in revisions, and sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end. When I’m writing a first draft I’m in love with my story, my characters, everything. But when I start revising it, suddenly there are so many things to hate. Revision requires putting on that critical pair of spectacles, and sometimes it’s hard to take them off and re-discover the things I loved about my story in the first place.

I’ve been reading James Scott Bell’s Revision & Self-Editing book, and it has some useful tips. One of these was to emulate the prolific writer Isaac Asimov who had several typewriters in his writing space and would jump from one project to another. I find this fascinating as I’m one of those stick-in-the-mud plodders who has to finish one task before starting another no matter how grim it makes me. Maybe I should take Bell’s advice and swap between revising one story, drafting a second, and brainstorming a third. At least I’d be able to take off those critic specs off now and then.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

My First Cover!



The cover artists at Carina Press have woven their magic. I'm so thrilled to see my very first cover!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ereader

I recently bought my first ereader. (Yes, I’m slow, what can I say?) After a lot of dithering, I finally bought the Sony Pocket Edition. I’m a bit miffed at having to pay $229 for it when it sells for US $180 in the US. Why do Australians have to pay so much more? Anyway, I know I could have got it for a lot less over the internet, and there are a lot cheaper ereaders out there, but I want to be able to take it back to a bricks-and-mortar shop if it breaks or doesn’t work.

So far I’m really happy with it. It’s light, easy to hold, and much nicer for reading than the PC. It’s also easy to prop up for hands free reading while you’re eating. Compared to a paper book you do a lot more page turns, and using the touch screen to turn the page can sometimes tire your arm if you’re a fast reader, so it’s handy to have the page turn buttons available. I find using the stylus a lot more comfortable, and I discovered that a cotton bud makes a perfect substitute stylus! (Also keeps the screen cleaner.)

 I’m still waiting for my local library to offer ebooks. Apparently only three libraries in NSW offer this service, so maybe I’m in for a long wait. (Or maybe I should move to Canberra)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Procrastination

I went for a long walk this morning just to avoid writing a synopsis. Now I’m writing this blog and still putting it off. I don’t know what it is about writing a synopsis that makes just about any other task seem more urgent. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of school and writing those dreaded book reports. Maybe it’s because my synopses seem to turn out rather stodgy and indigestible because I tend to do a lot of ‘telling’ and not much ‘showing’.

Photo by Petit Brun
July has been a month of procrastinating. First, there were the school holidays to distract me. Then I lost a good few days staying up late watching Cadel Evans win the Tour de France. Now there’s someone to inspire me. I don’t know the first thing about cycling, but the sight of him hauling himself up those Alps, every mile of his struggle etched into his grimacing face, was riveting. I don't see myself taking up cycling, but perhaps Cadel will inspire me to tackle my own alp — my dreaded synopsis.