Friday 26 February 2021

Writing Book 12: Starting Draft Two

Writing Book 12: Starting Draft 2

It's been almost seven months since I last blogged about writing Book 12 - and just as long since I worked on it. 

After finishing the first draft at the beginning of August 2020, I filed the manuscript away to have a little break, working on my 2020 Nanowrimo project (for now, known as Book 13) which took me up to Christmas. At the beginning of the new year, I set out my writing goals for 2021:

2021 Writing Goals: 1) Draft 2 of Book 13  2) Draft 2 of Book 12  3) Publish the paperback of A Beginner's Guide To Salad  4) Plan Book 14  5) Take part in Nanowrimo 2021Plan

As you can see, although working on the second draft of Book 12 should come first, it isn't at the top of the list, and this is because I was a bit apprehensive about diving in again. I remember the book was quite messy (global pandemics and home-schooling don't mix well with trying to write a book, it turns out) and I knew there would be quite a lot of work to do. So I wimped out and took on the easier task of continuing to work on Book 13 first. I'd finished that first draft before Christmas and I knew I was happy with the structure of the book so it wouldn't need as much work as Book 12.

But with the second draft of Book 13 now complete, it was definitely time to tackle the second draft of Book 12.

Mickey Mouse mug in front of laptop

I started working on Book 13 on Monday, easing myself in by re-doing the character profiles I'd printed out before the first draft. There were loads of scribbled notes on the sheets, so adding those and reprinting made a tidier set of notes to work from, but it also gave me the chance to get reacquainted with a bunch of characters I hadn't 'seen' since last summer. 

I'd also set up a Word document of notes for the next draft when I finished the book back in August (because even then I knew it would need a LOT of work) and I added more thoughts that I'd had about the story and the characters during the past seven months, because although I'd been working on another book, Cleo's story was still there, in the back of my mind.

With my spruced-up character sheets and my notes printed out, it was time to actually do it. To actually dive into the draft I'd been wary of tackling for so long. And do you know what? I've loved it. I've loved getting to know Cleo all over again and all those months away from the book have given me the detachment I need to delete all the unnecessary details and info-dumps. Whole paragraphs have gone because I can see now that they're not needed.

Most of the heavy work - the shifting and rewriting - will be coming up very soon, so although I know I've been eased into this draft so far, I'm not nearly as apprehensive as I was and I'm looking forward to really getting stuck into Cleo's story and making it the best it can possibly be.

Friday 19 February 2021

A Quick Catch Up

My last catch-up post was before Christmas, so I thought we'd have a quick one now. Let us know what you've been getting up to in the comments below.

What are you working on?

At the beginning of the year, I set out my five main writing goals for the year, and I've already crossed off the first on my list.

My writing goals for 2021

With the second draft of Book 13 complete, I'm having a little editing break and working on the paperback of A Beginner's Guide To Salad, which I'm hoping will be ready for release within the next month or so.

What are you reading?

I started off the year by re-reading Jane Green's Jemima J. It's an old favourite and I wanted a comforting read to begin another crappy Covid year.

Jemima J (Jane Green), The Escape (C L Taylor), Watching You (Lisa Jewell) & The Thursday Murder Club (Richard Osman)

I've also read The Escape by C L Taylor, Watching You by Lisa Jewell, and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, and I'm currently reading Mike Gayle's Half a World Away.

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

What are you watching?

I loved watching The Masked Singer and trying to guess who everyone was, so I'm gutted that's finished. It was just such a joyful show and I miss it.

I'm also devastated that I've worked my way through all six seasons of Schitts Creek. I was really late to watch it, but I'm so glad I did and I'll be watching it all over again very soon, I'm sure. In the meantime I'll be watching the rest of Dancing On Ice and inhaling all the crime dramas ITV can throw at us. The teen and I have recently binged our way through series one and two of The Bay (I'd already seen the first series but was more than happy to have a refresher re-watch) and Unforgotten (again, I'd already watched the first three series, but we caught up/refreshed on Netflix before watching the new series).

On a less gritty note, Isobel and I have been watching Sister Sister on Netflix, which is a massive nostalgia hit for me and I'm pleased to report that Isobel is enjoying it too.

What have you been Instagramming?

Instagram Grid

Books, writing, daffodils (spring is coming!) and pupcakes for Luna.

You can find me on Instagram here

Anything else?

I took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and registered 2 magpies, 1 woodpigeon, 1 pied wagtail and 1 grey wagtail (which was better than last year's offering of 3 wood pigeons).

I also went on a bus for the third time since March last year (it was an essential journey as my daughter had a medical appointment) and we celebrated the teen's 18th birthday (yes, I know. 18. How did that happen?)

So that's about it from me, but what about you? Let us know what you've been up to in the comments :)

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Read My Free Short Story To Get You In The Mood For Valentine's Day

Free Valentine's Day Short Story: Lost & Found by Jennifer Joyce

My latest newsletter will be going out this Friday and as we're approaching Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write a new short story for my subscribers. Lost & Found is a quick, fun read and I hope you enjoy it.

As well as the free short story, I'll be sharing a little bit of book news, plus you can enter my subscriber-exclusive giveaway of a signed copy of The Accidental Life Swap.

If you're not a newsletter subscriber yet but don't want to miss out, it isn't too late! You can sign up here - it's quick and easy, and you'll receive my free ebook quick read, Six Dates, which is only available to subscribers.

Jennifer Joyce's Newsletter: Free ebook (Six Dates), Short Story (Lost & Found) and giveaway (The Accidental Life Swap)

Friday 5 February 2021

Writing Book 13: The End (Again)

 Writing Book 13

Earlier this month, I set out my five main writing goals for the year - and I've managed to cross off the first item on my list: Draft Two of Book 13

My Writing Goals for 2021: 1) Draft Two of Book 13

I was happy with the structure of the book after the first draft, so I've spent the past few weeks polishing the manuscript - cutting unnecessary bits, adding necessary bits, tidying clunky sentences, making sure there's a nice flow and ensuring I hadn't accidentally changed somebody's name part-way through.

Floral mug in front of laptop

Once I was happy with the draft, I went back to the beginning and read through the whole book again, using Word's Read Aloud function, which helped me to pick up on a lot of little errors that I'd missed during previous drafts and read-throughs. You wouldn't believe the amount of 'the', 'a' and 'of's that were missing, or the uses of 'him' instead of 'his', and don't get me started me on the amount of repeated words (how did I miss those???)

So, I'm happy with the story and the structure, and the manuscript is as clean as I can make it. Which means it's time for the book to meet another set of eyes. And that is the scariest bit of all.