No Safety Net

As a novelist-do you use an editor? Writing without one is like home schooling your children. It can work, if you treat it seriously.A professional editor is an expense many self published authors try to do without. Personally, I had n assessment for my first three manuscripts then, going on what I had seen them do, continued on my own. However, I always use beta readers and have outside help with proof reading.

Recent discussions on editing have alerted me to the detail required for the job. A good editor considers characterisation, structure, plot, continuity and style, giving an assessment of whether the story captures and holds the imagination of a reader and suggests cutting unnecessary waffle to keep the action tight. People who add nothing to the story have to be eliminated or merged. Points of View should be adhered to whether they be first person, third person or omniscient narrator as a multitude of voices clamouring to be heard can spoil a good story. The balance of internal thought, dialogue and description should be kept and characters should act consistently. Can the reader differentiate between them or will they get Millie and Maisie confused?

A professional editor will also ask who the book is intended for and, while for most of us it is just something we want to write, if we want to be commercial we should listen to advice. I intend to learn more about editing as I believe it could be even more important than marketing!bookwormclipart

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SWWJ meeting

The local meeting of the SWWJ in Chichester was a very enjoyable and constructive day. We began with refreshments and then discussed venue options with some folk supporting the status quo while others suggested Liphook or the Yacht Club in Chichester. It all depends whether we want to change the activities and find a free venue with lunches or keep to the options of packed lunch or finding somewhere else to eat. We do need to be close to public transport as not everyone is a driver.

We moved on to the programme for meetings and, while it was suggested we bring work in progress to read the general consensus was that we enjoyed having a speaker, as long as there were enough people to support the cost and we could revert to the half day workshops that we used to have a few years back.

In the afternoon Margaret Mounsdon told us how she became a successful author of Pocket Novels, with examples, and fired our enthusiasm for the genre.

It was great to meet up with members from all over the South East and, hopefully, we shall look forward to more such meetings in the future, wherever they are.

My mobile

I really miss my old phone that only took calls. I have transferred to a smartphone and have it on a contract but I don’t understand about data. I can get a list of all the apps I have used under settings , with the amount of data they have used up but I don’t have any idea how to reduce it and the phone sent a message to say I had gone over my quota.

It seems the apps go on working even when the phone is turned off and I haven’t a clue how to stop it. I’m going to have to go into town and get them to fix it. I only downloaded one app and the graph shot up. I suppose I should uninstall it.

It’s going to take me months to learn how to use this blessed thing.

launch ALFTT

Coconut Ice

With a bit of luck I can get a picture of the poster for Coconut Ice on here. I haven’t got the booklet yet but I’ve seen the proof and am just waiting for the cover to be finished.

We are giving the profits to the Salvation Army and I’ve ordered 200 copies to start with. A friend said ‘You can’t sell poetry,’ but I hope to prove him wrong.

Coco launch poster

Smart dog

So many pictures of Diesel as a woolly dog and at last I have taken one of him when he has just had a haircut. He’s 14 years old and a bit wobbly on his legs now. It’s so sad because we have to walk very slowly when we take him out or he can’t keep up. He used to bound along ahead of us until this year. There’s no point taking a ball to the park. He tries to chase it but gives up. He still enjoys sniffing and sniffing and sniffing!

Tom Uttley in the Daily Mail had a gripe about rescue centres today and we know how he feels. There were so many ” You can’t have that dog as it must be walked on a lead” and  “That dog can jump a six foot fence,” that we came away without one and ended up adopting Diesel from a lady who was moving into a flat that didn’t allow dogs. All our previous dogs , except the first one, have been from rescue centres so perhaps they have got stricter over the years. Our first dog gave itself up by walking into a police station and refusing to leave. He was a collie cross. The next two were unidentified mongrels and then we got our beautiful collie/lab cross who was just perfect ( except on long journeys) Finally came Diesel, our first terrier -lots of personality in a small package. We have had him for ten years and watching him age makes us feel old, too!smart diesel

Daring to change

I know I’m a dinosaur but I really loved my little phone that was only a phone. However it began to cut out or not register and told me there was no more space for new contacts so I gave in to the boys and switched to a smartphone. It isn’t a new one and I have had it for two years but only used it as a camera. Now I am going to have to keep it turned on all the time as people ring me about the Friendship Centre programme and I have a couple of friends on Whatsapp. Also. one son sends videos which I could never see on my old phone. I had to put my contacts on one at a time as they hadn’t transferred so I have yet to discover if it works OK. It does do text messages. Apparently it didn’t work as a sat nav because it was pay as you go!

Of course I was advised to update but one change at a time is enough for me.I’ll look out my android poem and attach it. Android poemAndroid poem