Writing a Novel

It has been a while since I gave an update on my writing and I thought I’d better confirm that I am writing – or should I say rewriting/editing.

Chapter 7 has been finished. My word count to date is 25,023 and part 1 has been completed, with all major points covered. Chapter 8 will be more difficult. I have to rewrite what was previously 2 chapters but I also have to incorporate extra information. I can do it. It’s just a matter of planning.

I’ve given myself the goal of completing to chapter 11 by Monday 21st March. This will be the half way point and it will be all inspiring to try to finish the rest within four weeks.

Consequences Update

I had a visitor yesterday afternoon – my oldest son. It seems my refusal to let him move in, along with other refusals from other people, made him return to his father and work things out.

My son didn’t stay on the street for longer than it took to phone everyone he knows, and be refused by all those people.

With luck, he’ll realise that his options are limited in the future and he’ll endeavour to do the right thing by his father and stepmother. He thought I’d side with him and rubbish his stepmother and he got a shock when I stuck up for her. I told him that while he lives under her roof, he must abide by her rules.

It was a relief to know that he wasn’t sleeping in dark alleys though.

Writing Children’s Books

I had a dream, a vivid dream which would make a great children’s book. However, although I’ve done lots of research over the years, I’ve never researched writing for children. While the details are simmering in my mind, I’ve been checking out some links other writer friends have been sharing with me.

How To Write Children’s Books is a good website by a published children’s writer, Ellen Jackson. There’s heaps of well written advice to be found within the pages which is easy to read and digest. Don’t forget to check out the links in the sidebar. I’ll be going back to read every word for sure.

Tolkien

This is a rant so feel free to skip this post if you want.

Lord of the Rings by Tolkien are the most boring books I’ve read. In fact, I couldn’t finish the first one and will never attempt to read the others. The writing is stiff and long winded, and it takes the author forever to say something that could have been said in a single page. I know the series was written over 50 years ago and that accounts for the style and I could make allowances for that if the writing wasn’t so boring.

So…having said this, I will now say that I know few people who actually did enjoy the books yet many writing discussions are turned to LotR. The discussions could be about anything and then someone mentions LotR and that’s the end of the discussion. It happens all the time and it makes me so mad.

Personally, I believe the movies are much better and they have built up an author to be something he’s not (or wasn’t). For those people who aspire to produce a novel in the same light as Tolkien, let me say one thing – it’s Tolkien’s light and you’ll be in his shadow. Your manuscript will never become a book, and if you did manage to find a fool to publish it the world will rubbish you for years because you can never fill the shoes of Tolkien. Thing is, who’d want to? Books are meant to be enjoyed, not bore us to sleep.

Forget Tolkien and become your own person. Write your own story, make your own history and above all – do a better job than Tolkien!

Looks Count

They say looks don’t count but sometimes they do. I’m not talking about how a person looks but what a publisher’s website looks like.

I’ve visited a few dozen websites in the last two weeks and whilst some present themselves in a manner that makes me feel “yes, I’d like to be publishered by these people”, quite a number of them make me think “if this is how shabby their website is, what’s the business like?”

I know they are publishers not web designers but really, if they don’t care about their image online then I can’t see their author’s books doing very well. There’s an old saying — you have to spend money to make money (or words to that affect) — and I believe those publishers should have a professional looking site.

They expect us to be professional in our dealings with them and I expect the same from them (and their website is included in this). Maybe I’m too fussy but first impressions are important. Don’t you agree?