Monday, 30 August 2010

Writing Goals - the action

Now I have the typed up session notes from the NAWE member, I can let you know what the goals and their objectives really are. I already mentioned about being a more well-known children's author, and esp one known for writing themes of today's topics eg health, environment with a magical twist, and the one way I can do that is to try to get more work in libraries and schools and their clubs. One other goal to tie in with that is to try to earn more money from these activities and other writing-related topics eg competitions, anthologies etc. That I am already working on as I've recently sent off one short story for an anthology and am working on another story for a competition and two more for one anthology.

Another goal was to find a part-time job, maybe not just yet. I have to phone up the job centre on Wednesday to get an interview but I will say that I do want to go back to work but not yet. I was given the idea of perhaps working as a secretary in a school. That idea has been growing on me, as a way to get in contact with children and the staff of a school. We shall see. I phoned up another library the other day but they no longer do a Chatterbooks group there, so I am going to start concentrating on another borough soon. Meantime, I have one this Saturday and an event on the 13 Sept.

Be published by a traditional publisher and get an agent. Well these I will work on once I have finished Allie again and have work to offer. I will approach both at the same time, and the agents esp at the party in a couple of weeks and at the conference in November.

Have to develop a clearer sense of focus and priorities around my writing. Well. This is more or less how to plan my writing time. I think I will go with what was said in the current issue of Writer's Forum. See if I can work out a timetable of 2-hourly slots per day over a week and stick to it. Be it one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, esp if I feel tired and want to nap.

The last one is to get an adult novel published. As said before that I will work on once I have completed this trilogy of mine, and then will work on future ones when I feel like it, in between children's writing. I would like to make my career mainly based on writing for children.

And there you have it. My goals and their objectives to do over the next three years. Will update you all when I get them done. One by one.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Allie's report

So yes, I have now got the Cornerstones report on Allie and there was a lot of it. There's a lot I need to do to make it a publishable standard inc the setting, show not tell (I'd been told that already by a publisher and had that in mind when I got back to it), world building, why Allie wants the school to help the environment. Have been given an idea which I will go with. There are a lot of dead sentences - sentences that don't move the story forward and I will go through all of those and cut if needed. It was suggested that I change it to third person but I am not going to do that. I tried it last month with a short story and it didn't read right to me but when I changed the story to first pov it sounded right and a lot better, so I'm sticking to first pov. I can't remember the rest of the report, I think they were the main points to change and I will do those when I get back to Allie. I have decided that I will do that when I have finished this current draft of Georgina, as I am itching to get back to working on Allie now, esp as there is an agent's party coming up in a few weeks. You never know I might be brave enough to approach one with a query about Allie, or I might get lucky and win the one-to-one raffle.

Will be working on Georgina this afternoon as well as a children's short story for a competition. The winners get prize money as well as being included in an anthology.

This is my news for now. Next post will be about the Planning Session again as I've got my notes emailed to me by NAWE now and will be going through them to work out what I can do. See you then.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Professional Planning

I had my professional planning session on Wednesday and it was very interesting and useful to do, well worth the money that I am going to pay for it. We went through where I am now, what I've done, what I'd like to do and where I see myself in three years. My answer was to be a more known children's writer, writing adult romance as a side line. Those were two of my three year goals. I was given a lot of reading material and resources to look at, some of which I've got and some I will look into. It really made me think where I want to go with my writing esp writing for children and possibly make some sort of career out of it. My goals for the next three years are:

1. Get a higher profile as a children's writer. Action-get myself out there personally and online. It could also entail another goal I mentioned about working more with children and doing workshops. Also, finding more markets to write for. Eg letters, stories etc.

2. Get a part-time job. Either in office or with children. That I will start in 2 weeks time by signing on at the local job centre and looking at job websites.

3. Get traditionally published. Action - research publishers who would like my work.
4. Get a literary agent. Action the same as for publishers.

5. Get an adult romance published. This I said I'd do when I've finished my three children's books, which should be about three years time.

I think that was all. I will get the full report in a couple of weeks time and will go through it again then. In November I will be contacted to see how my goals are going.

Next post will be about Allie and Georgina - I have got the Cornerstones report back!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Now on the what I hope to be penultimate draft of Georgina. I am on the what I call moving scenes forward draft. Yesterday I moved the ending of Chapter 3 to the end of Chapter 2 and changed the name of the second girl with allergic reactions, from another chapter. Now that I've done that it is down to over 36,000 words. Still 6000 to go to reach my target length. Have a lot of working and thinking to do. Won't be doing any tomorrow because it's my planning day tomorrow which I can't wait to work on with someone professional.

I am excited. For the first time this year I will be going to the SCBWI BI conference in Winchester, in November. I booked my accommodation yesterday and today I completed the booking form, which I am sending with part of Georgina for an ms review at the conference. This is with a professional/publisher so hope to get some good feedback on it. I am also taking it too the critique on the first night there to get feedback from other writers. All is good for it.

That is my news. Will be back later to let you know how the planning session went and some news about jobs.

Saturday, 14 August 2010


Thursday was my research day this week. My mum and I went to Horniman's Museum to see the Myths and Monsters exhibition. It had various life-like moving models of mythical creatures such as a dragon, a chimera (a lion with a lion's head, serpent and goat head) and Cyclops. The last one was rather gruesome looking. It had mentions of lots more mythical creatures like kraken, harpies and Nessie. It was quite interesting research for future children's novels. I bought a book that had all these creatures in which I can use later for children's books. I have yet to read it properly but I will. Some of the creatures my Mum hadn't heard of but I had after reading Julia Golding's Companion Quartet books, which have these and more in, so it was interesting to hear about them there.

The day also made me exercise. We got a bus there but walked back home, and I tell you my shins are still hurting now because the way back is all downhill, and it does pull on your shinbones. They will get better.

Well, this is my news for now. Later will be more about writing and Georgina.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

2nd August writing update

Still working hard on Georgina. Now down to just over 38,000 words. Have come up with an idea to change something I've put in it so will do that next draft. Should finish this draft coming week. Also working hard on the story for the anthology. It's a twisted fairy tale anthology and I am twisting the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. I still have nearly 700 words to add to it so a lot of thinking how I can do that. From what I've read of the book, there's a lot of tell and now show, so might have to change that side of things to add to it. After I have done that and am happy, have another competition in mind to work for. Another children's one which I have a good idea what to write about for. Deadline for that is the same as the fairy tales, end of October. So get my writing hat on me thinks and get to work.

Also will be researching ideas for puzzles for children's magazines. Need to find a book on animals in different countries for my next proposal. Also need to start looking at magazine websites in the US for ideas to send to them. A lot I have in mind, just need to make a proper plan, which I will do at the planning session in a couple of weeks time. Can't wait.

Well, this is all for now.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

August writing

So I am still working hard on Georgina. I have now got it down to just over 38,500 words so still quite a way to go. This isn't the last draft as I have more ideas how to improve chapters I've already revised, then there will be the read aloud draft, which is usually the last one. Meantime, am waiting now to get the critique on Allie so I can work on that again. Am working on a short story for an anthology with a deadline of end of October. I have sent a query about a proposal to do a puzzle page to a magazine and have another magazine in mind to send another query to with a different proposal. I got my last competition entry returned today so that was a no no. Not giving up though. Oh yes, have sent a children's story to another anthology, to be published next year. Won't hear until September about that one.

I have now got booked a professional planning development session in 2 weeks time, and it's taking place in a cafe at the Royal Festival Hall. I am so pleased it's somewhere I know how to get to and easy to get to. I am really looking forward to it as I feel as though I am just drifting along with my writing at the moment, not having a proper plan for the future.

Well this is all my writing news for now. Back at the weekend with more news.