As I review every book I read on Goodreads maybe that’s where this should go, but I do know I have some writer/readers who follow me and I have become aware of a real problem with the books I have been getting out of the library. As I choose books by reading the blurb on the back I don’t often follow one author and I have been picking up random books and finding when I got them home they are part of a series, and usually not the first book.
I have also written a series, although I didn’t realise that’s what it would be when I wrote the first book. I think there should be instructions on how to follow on with the same characters in a new story. Recently I have found the books I am reading either tell me too much about the previous book, going over old ground in a ‘tell not show’ fashion which holds up the action, or tells me too little so I have no idea about the connections between the characters and often cannot identify with the main protagonist because I am expected to have carried over my sympathy from the previous book.
Then the most recent book, by Koontz, ends like one of those programmes on TV when one problem is solved but another looms so you are expected to wait eagerly for the next instalment. Such a shame, as I like his writing style, but I don’t feel I need to continue with the story as I found it rather confusing.
The book I’m reading now, The Silver Stain, by Paul Johnston is the fourth book in an Alex Mavros detective series and it is having a strange effect on me. I am very aware of the author. I almost feel compelled to edit it as I go along. I have never felt like that about a book that I have read for pleasure before. I feel distanced from the plot. I don’t know if I’ll finish it. Anyone else feel like that?
A really busy week with an interesting meeting at West Sussex Writers where Raine Geoghegan gave us a talk on the Art of Performance and had us all doing breathing exercises. Some of us also had the opportunity to read poems and monologues that we had written, after which we had very positive feedback from the group. Raine gave us a taste of her own poetry and told us a little of her own fascinating background.
The Sea Scribes also had a productive meeting with helpful comments and a decision to attempt a book sale rather than the usual ” Tunes and Tales,” event. We will, hopefully, give proceeds to a charity, this time ” Breathe Easy” part of the British Lung Foundation.
As soon as the date is confirmed I shall add it to my website.
I was going to cook the Christmas puddings this weekend but I always use my favourite stout and none of the local shops have any. I suppose I could use beer or cider but it wouldn’t be the same.
The short story I have written for December is complete and ready for posting.
This morning was spent recording a talk for the Sussex Coast Talking News. Originally it was called ‘Sussex in Fiction’ and was written as a 40 minute talk for the Womens Institute but they still prefer me to talk about my life and works so it hasn’t been used. Therefore when it came my turn to make an audio magazine for SCTN I decided to precis it and record it instead. However, 30 minutes of one voice is too much to expect people to listen to so I invited another author to join me and inserted an interview with him into my talk.
There are so many authors who use Sussex as the setting for their books, including Peter James and Simon Brett and lots of others from years gone by, including A A Milne, that I could only scrape the surface but I added Christopher Joyce’s ‘Creatures of Chichester’ books and he gave us an insight into how he came to write and produce them and I read a few snippets from my books, as six of them are based in Sussex. The interesting fact is that both of us have made audio versions of books, and without actors reading them.My first story, Lane’s End, is in Calibre audio library.
This is one aspect of writing that deserves more investigation as I believe audio may overtake ebooks in popularity at some stage.
I just looked at my last post and realised I had used a comma instead of a full stop in my website. No wonder no-one ever looks at it. Anyway I have had a request for some sample chapters of my next book so I’ve plenty of work to do. Maybe the blood test I have just had will explain why I’m so sleepy these days. I also got some breathing exercises from the chemist. That should sort me out! Writing magazine came yesterday and I’m trying not to sit down and read it from cover to cover, especially as it also has a list of competitions. If you are a writer this is a wonderful resource.
I have just completed the story I am intending to send off to a publisher, something I haven’t done for twelve years. They only want a synopsis and the first two chapters and I am ready to accept that changes may be desired, especially with the names of the characters but also, maybe, with the plot. I have backed it up so I don’t lose the original. It is a bit like sending your child off to university. You know they will change but you hope you have done enough for them to remain the people you have brought them up to be.
I didn’t realise I would be so nervous about the process but it is very different from sending a manuscript to a printer as a self publisher. Then we only get comments after the book has been published and often they are from people who have enjoyed the story, not someone who is looking to see if it could be popular. The only book I sent to a publisher got the response, ” This isn’t commercial.” but I believe, this time I might have written something with a wider appeal. We shall see. The best thing about it is that I am not dependent on it for an income so I have time on my side. I’m happy to take editorial advice on board, no matter if it takes weeks, or months, to come to an agreement.
If they don’t like it I am willing to make it my eighth novel.
At last I have completed the first draft of my new novel. Now the hard work starts. It needs to be a few hundred words longer, which shouldn’t be a problem as I do tend to skimp on description and my typing skills are so poor that the spacing is often out.
The rest of the Sea Scribes are listening to it and I’ll be able to ask one or more to be a beta reader. There’s no way I will think it completed until I have a full edited manuscript. I can’t edit on the computer.
I have also written a poem for the folk club tonight so I must be in a creative mood. I hope it lasts. It’s too long to use here but will add to my collection for the next time I am asked to recite verses.
The new website is getting discovered. I had a typing error which I have corrected. Now to proofread my manuscript. Not my favourite occupation!
It may be slow growth but I’m over 190 followers now and will be thrilled when I reach 200. Meanwhile I am going to revamp my website. I had two but one has gone so I’m putting all my efforts into promoting the new one. It might take some time but I’ll let you know when it is ready for viewing.
I am told I will have a story in Worthingflash in August. It’s a good job something is going out because the next novel looks as if it will take until Christmas. I’m half way through the first draft on the computer and have just written the possible ending in a notebook but until I know how many words I have written I can’t tell if it is the end.
Sea Scribes will be selling books at Salvington Windmill in September. Meanwhile I must get back to trying to set my poem to music. It’s just a pity I can’t sing in tune!