Editing…

editing

Recently I got book 2 of Little Somerby back from my lovely editor at Aria, and I’m currently embarking on putting her feedback into action. It’s been  bit of a journey back into the book, as I got totally wrapped up in writing the early sections of book 3 at the end of June, but I’ve whacked on the book 2 playlist, cracked my knuckles (and my neck, which is suffering a bit with all the desk work at the moment) and gone in.

This got me thinking about my approach to edits and rewrites. And I’ve realised that I do have a process, of sorts. Firstly, I read through my editor’s comments, and then I skim through the manuscript, look at the marginalia that she’s written and do the odd tweak here and there. It’s nice to start with the easy stuff! If there are repeated words, light inconsistencies or a misplaced phrase, I pretty much action those on the first read.

Then the real work starts. At the moment, after a really useful brainstorm with my agent, I’m writing the new bits for the book. Since I write my novels out of sequence anyway (hey, I can say ‘novels’ now – that’s cool!), I like to write the scenes as they occur to me, and then slip them into the MS at a later stage. This also helps me to get a feel for where things need to be developed (some positive character development needs to occur, so I’m working on that at the moment). These scenes are all rather disparate at they’re written, but I know I’ll find a place for them when I go back to the whole MS. I also write them back in Scrivener, as it’s far too overwhelming for me to work on the Word document of the MS at this stage – I can never see the wood for the trees!

After this, I’ll go back to the MS and think about threading through some lines and paragraphs for plot development. One thing I’ve learned a lot about over the time I’ve been writing novels (yay, there it is again!), is that you need to do a little bit of shadowing and signposting, and this can often be sprinkled in later, if the major plot developments are already there. I know already what needs to go in, it’s just a case of finding exactly the right spots to use it.

From there it’s read, read, read, until I’m sure it all makes sense. It’s hard to do this on the same screen I edit on, so I tend to export to Kindle and pick up errors that way. When I’m happy with the amended MS, I then ping it back out to readers (often, those who’ve read the first version) and wait for feedback.

So that’s my process – would love to know yours!

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

And this, darling TWG, is why you rock as a reviewer ❤ . So happy to have been reviewed by you this year, and here's to reading many more of your lovely, well thought out reviews 🙂 xxx

The Writing Garnet

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty:very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructiveTwo completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue…

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Review: “A Thousand Rooms” by Helen Jones

A great review of a wonderful novel!

writerchristophfischer

A very intimate and engaging novel about a woman’s journey after death. The writing style involved the reader immediately through a close-up examination of the dead woman’s experiences and sensation, all of which are confusing to her and only gradually settle into making sense. I found this particularly accomplished, as it takes the reader right under the skin of the narrator.
Judging from the cover I expected this to be more girly than it turned out to be, but it felt almost like a psychological thriller at times, with plenty of excellent scenes as our heroine moves through life and death experiences and a thousand rooms.
I must confess that I flirted with spiritualism in the past and therefor took a particular interest in this book, finding much that agrees with various strands of spiritualism and similar philosophies. In that respect I would call the book well-researched or at least…

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A Lot of Strut, a Pinch of Sass, and a little bit of Sauce: Little Mix at Gloucester Rugby Club.

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I need to get one thing straight immediately. When Matthew Carter quips in The Second Chance Tea Shop that his taste in music stopped evolving when Kim Wilde was better known for her singing than her gardening, I was basically referencing myself. I’m not really a ‘modern music’ kind of girl, especially when it comes to, er, pop music. I also don’t like reality TV talent shows. Well, I say that, but I do have a soft spot for Will Young (Pop Stars) and Lucie Jones (The X Factor), but that’s not because I’ve ever watched the shows; I Love Lucie for this song, and Will for this one!

Anyway, I digress. Last night I took Daughter #1 to see Little Mix at the Gloucester Rugby Club with some friends (her friends and my friends – that’s handy!). I know nothing about LM except for the song that is my guilty pleasure, ‘Black Magic’, and that they won some TV show or other, didn’t they? No, I’m not being facetious; I really don’t know!

I’m not sure what I was expecting. Oh, OK, actually, I do know what I was expecting; scantily clad girls shouting into their mikes, dressed in next to nothing, gyrating wildly in ways that I might find a touch inappropriate for my seven year old daughter. Now, let me just qualify this assumption with the fact that I had never seen them perform any song, ever, before last night, and my knowledge of them was supremely limited to that one song. I was guilty of that worst of sins; forming an opinion based on no knowledge or experience whatsoever; *cough* Daily Mail readers, I’m looking at you!

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Well, I’m thoroughly ashamed of myself. I saw four supremely talented women performing last night. OK, so musically, it’s definitely pop – catchy tunes about boys, friends and lost love feature heavily. But, my goodness, they know how to deliver. Four strong voices rang out across the stadium, belting out lyrics with an assurance and musicality that showed they are already veteran performers. I loved ‘Black Magic’ (2nd song of the set) and the rest of the songs, which I didn’t know but were all delivered equally professionally and without a hint of knowing irony. The other song I knew, ‘Shout Out To My Ex,’ was their encore, and they also did it brilliantly.

They know their audience, too, which consisted last night of mainly women and girls. There were girls of all ages there, from a few weeks old to tweens, to teens, to twenty, thirty and forty somethings. And the show was pitched to be mindful of that broad spread of ages. While I’m not concerned about the raunchier aspects of any art (provided it’s pitched to the right crowd), I was a little curious as to how Little Mix would pitch their gig, given that the promotional material seemed so aimed at teens and young girls. I needn’t have worried; there was a lot of strut, a pinch of sass and little bit of sauce, but nothing I would have needed to explain to my seven year old. They wore their trademark (so I understand) Beyonce style leotards for a lot of it, but these were no more revealing than you’d see at the local pool (actually less so!) and left plenty to the imagination. Likewise, they danced skilfully and sassily, but not in a way that would make me raise an eyebrow in the company of my young daughter. In other words, they got it spot on.

I’m sure this isn’t news to those of you who know more about Little Mix than me, but to me, last night was a bit of a wakeup call that, no matter how I pride myself on not making assumptions, this time, I was really pleased to be surprised, and totally wrong to assume I knew about this group of very talented performers. I would definitely go and see them again, and, because I’m old, I would definitely compare them to The Spice Girls in terms of Girl Power. What a night!

Ask the Author: Teresa F Morgan

Fab interview with the lovely Teresa Morgan :).

lisahillwriter

Teresa Morgan originates from Surrey. She moved to North Somerset in 1998 and now lives with her two sons and a budgie called Rio.

Family holidays in Cornwall have lead to the scenic Cornish coastline and the city of Bristol being the back drop for her novels.

In 2014, Teresa was a contender for the Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon New Writer’s Award with her debut novel ‘Plus One is a Lucky Number’.

Teresa is her happiest baking cakes, putting proper home cooked dinners on the table (whether the kids eat them or not), reading a good romance, or sitting at her PC emptying the thoughts from her head onto the screen.

Teresa loves writing contemporary romance, creating heroes readers will fall in love with. Men who in reality, let’s face it, just don’t exist. She loves creating stories with a touch of escapism.

Good morning Teresa and welcome to…

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Fanvid: The Lake House

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I haven’t made a fanvid in ages; in fact, the last full length one was the Holmes/Elizabeth Reincarnated vid for the film Young Sherlock Holmes that I made back in 2013, but the minute I sat down to watch The Lake House,  I felt my vid senses starting to tingle. It’s an achingly romantic tale of two time-crossed lovers, played gorgeously by Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, and I loved every sentiment drenched second of it. It didn’t take long before I settled on a song, and started to chop.

The result is this – a Lake House fanvid set to the brilliant ‘Need You Now’ by Lady Antebellum. Although the song is about a breakup, actually, in my mind it works really well for the film, as it’s all about wanting something you can’t, or shouldn’t have. 

Technically, this isn’t my most ambitious video, but then I don’t think it needs to be. The idea was to capture the romance and the angst, so there wasn’t a great deal of need for bangs, flashes and effects. I made do with cross dissolves and fades to black to link the scenes, and, narratively, as the song’s a duet, it works well to have Kate’s POV for the first verse and then Alex’s for the second. I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do for the climax of the song, too! What I hadn’t remembered, though, was the sheer hell of cutting dropped frames on cross dissolves, which made my eyes a bit square, and the additional hell of spotting flaws after the umpteenth export of the project (sort of like visual spelling mistakes, I guess!). What can  say…I’m a perfectionist!

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 18.41.51Vidding also gives you the chance to really appreciate the subtleties of film and the quirks of actors. An example that made me smile while I was doing this vid was when I noticed, during the dancing scene, where Keanu Reeves has his hand on Sandra Bullock’s back, and under her cardigan. I might be reading entirely too much into it, but I think that was more Keanu than Alex – and perhaps, a testament to the ease that these two actors have with each other. Thoughts?

It was really lovely to stretch my vidding muscles again, and I got quite caught up in cutting to the right frame and telling a love story. I hope it works as well for a viewer as it does for me! Would love to know what you think :).

 

Meet me on 20th June 2017…

Fabulous news! I can’t wait to read it :).

lisahillwriter

For many years than I care to remember, this blog has been an integral part of my writing and my journey to becoming an author. It has been like a diary in a way, somewhere to document what I’ve learnt; what’s worked well and not so well and what has inspired me along the way.

So, it only seems right to announce on my blog today that I am exactly two weeks away from publication, whoop!  Meet me at Number Five will be published in ebook with my publisher, Choc Lit on Tuesday 20th June 2017:

Everything else is hush, hush until then so I’m afraid you will have to sit on your hands, twiddle your thumbs and eagerly await hearing more about my characters and the antics they will get up to.

So, Meet Me back here on Tuesday 20th June where I will be so excited to share…

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