Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Editing is essential for good writing

Editing, believe it or not is fun.
It polishes our writing until it is perfect for the market we are writing, or even just perfect for you.
You can't be afraid to delete what doesn't work, what takes too long to say even if you think it is your best work. This is ego. Many writing gurus have used the phrase "murder your darlings". These are the bits you are particularly proud of. It may be hard but it is worth it in the long run.
Guaranteed these "darlings" don't fit the writing and it will save time (and pain) when you are asked or requested to delete it from an editor or publisher, or even a reader may not get it.
By doing this we grow as writers. Editing helps to polish and give us the best our readers can get.
Rob Parnell just wrote an excellent article called How Does your Writing Grow? i would recommend you read it. But pertinent for editing is the part:

You have to make writing 'work'. And if you're reworking material, don't just fix things, rethink the whole piece. Take onboard the suggestions, yes, but also be mindful of the entire package. Do the suggestions change the way the writing works? Do you have to approach the manuscript again - and make it work, again?

If so, don't be afraid to do that.

Rob Parnell

My novel is currently undergoing a re-write. I am taking on board my readers advice and the advice i have received from Rob, and where sometimes it is hard to "murder my darlings" i can see how it works to make my writing work and make it better.

Good luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Edit, edit, edit

Well after six months of mulling my novel over in my head i am back to editing it. Or should i say re-working it.
Based on what readers have commented and the advice from Rob Parnell - which is invaluable by the way! - i am re-writing my novel.

I thought i would hate this part, but it is actually really nice to re-visit my hero and heroine and tighten their story. Other characters are popping out for possible sequels as well as demanding to have more of a part to play in Gabrielle and Wayne's story.

I have decided to change the ending as well. After contemplating the impact of the original ending i have decided it would be more dramatic and fulfilling to make a change. Sorry can't divulge how i'm changing it, you will have to buy it once i have it finished!

Editing can be boring but if you think of it as a re-visit and polish you find yourself enjoying it, especially if you do it in small amounts, like a chapter a day.
Already i am finding i am enjoying the story more with the changes and hopefully it will be more successful when i submit to agents and/or publishers.

Kerrin Hearfield

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Use of the Pseudonym

A friend and i were discussing the use of our real name versus the use of a pseudonym when writing.

For me, i have always envisioned a book on the shelf (of a bookstore) with my name on it, so the use of a pseudonym has never been a serious issue with me.
But if i was to use a pseudonym how would i go about choosing the best name to grab a potential readers interest? It would be much like the creation of the character's name i think. And to me this opens up a whole space of confusion and stress that is not needed.

My friend made the point that the use of a pseudonym is appealing for the fact that if your story was to fail - after being successfully published it gets bad reviews etc - the name shields you from anyone knowing it was YOU.
But then if it was very successful it also retains your anonymity if you are shy and don't want to be stopped by people you know who have heard of your book.

Personally i would want to be recognised for my hardwork. Otherwise what would be the point of all the hours at the computer, all the deleted and agonised words, all the successful paragraphs and chapters?

But then comes the other issue.

What part of your name do you use? Would you use just the initials and then your surname like J.K Rowling? Or perhaps your first name followed by your middle initial and then your last name? What about the whole shebang? Or do you perhaps just use part of your name to make it shorter, like if your name was Stevenson would you shorten it to Stevens?

So not only does a writer have the dilemma of finding the perfect name for the characters of a work and the title (which i have heard the publisher may not use anyway), they also have to figure out what name is going to be showcased on the work for the public eye.

Name vs Pseudonym.
What do you think?