Here is a tip for when you decide to start your second book. Whatever you do, don’t read incredible books like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, as they will leave you paralysed by feelings of inadequacy. These fantastic books are the sort of books that should be read when you are polishing your completed MS and you smugly think that it is done. Think again. You realise, after reading such titans, there is always more you can do and you throw yourself back into editing mode with keener eyes.
I am at that tricky stage where I am working on my debut, trying to make it the best that it can possibly be, whilst aware that the sequel isn’t going to write itself. The age old dilemma, when to let the first book go and move onto the second. And is it possible to do both at the same time, an act of rubbing your tummy whilst patting your head?
Well, there’s only one way to find out in writing, and that is trying it for yourself (after trawling the internet for advice from other writers!). Writing is so idiosyncratic that even you won’t know what your method is until you’ve gone through a few attempts and finally, after much trial and error, settled on what works for you. But I guess that’s what makes writing so interesting, you are always learning on the job.
Good luck with the writing, and remember we’re all just making it up.
In April/May I went on a competition entering spree.
It meant pestering friends to proof read my entries and staying up until midnight to hit submit before the deadline bewitching hour hit!
I started thinking that I should be writing, rather than fiddling around with my first 3 chapters so that they were under 10,000 words. I was wrong. Entering competitions was precisely what I should be doing. They hone your editing skills, force you to look at your first three chapters like never before, (chapters you might not have looked at for months) and they give you enforced deadlines. It’s also a chance to take stock at how far you’ve come on your writing journey. You’re a real writer now, entering actual competitions!
And there’s always the chance you might win. Like I did. I’m ecstatic (and still in shock) to announce that I won WriteHereRightNow.
Competitions are the way forward.
It’s competition time and so far I’ve been shortlisted for 2 writing competitions.
First Novel and WriteHereRightNow. I’m very excited and feel like I’ve won just being shortlisted.
I recommend entering competitions when you’re at the point of submitting your MS to agents. It will give you a good indication of whether your novel is ready for the world and competitions are good deadlines to give yourself to get your MS up to scratch.
It is so easy in writing just to drift along and realise that a year has past and in many ways your no further forward. I need goals to keep the momentum going and to feel like I’m achieving something, be it an editing goal or getting a submission in for a competition.
A good website to look at to see what competitions are out there is Aerogramme Studio.
Good luck with the writing all!