Proof reading again

At last the lockdown was eased and some of our group could meet in a garden. Three turned up and I read the story I had submitted to a competition – only to find I had made a rather important error, writing ‘girl’ for ‘boy’ and ruining my argument.

It was more proof, if that were needed, that reading out loud can find things that reading on line or on manuscript miss. I felt such a fool.

Not the only one, ‘though. A clothing catalogue came today and about a quarter of the size conversions from centimetres to inches were incorrect – often on the same page as the correct numbers. I couldn’t resist telling them.

Writing Magazine came yesterday. Perhaps I’ll get inspired soon.


Another story

I have returned to the children’s book I was writing before I started to get excited by the next novel. It is only 37 pages but so completely different from anything I have tried before. Today I was adding chapter headings. Then I’ll look on line for some possible cover images. I don’t intend it to be published this year but if it is ready it would make a fun Christmas present.

It is called ” Penny Down the Drain,” and my illustrator is doing some drawings for inside. It is a very crowded field but may be easier to sell than my adult books. It will depend on the price and the health situation ,I suppose. It is full of animals so I’m going to look on wordpress for a suitable image for this post.

bunny cute ears easter bunny
Photo by Mike on


Right, I’ve deleted the comment that appears on my top line. Now let’s see if I get my name back.

I’m planning to change my website as the only people who used it were folk offering to review my books. I don’t want to pay for reviews and I wouldn’t have known who to choose. Our writing group wrote a combined story¬† and I have been adding chapter titles to my children’s book but don’t feel very inspired to write anything new. Maybe designing a new website will keep me occupied.

It is the first wet day for ages and there was a little mouse on the bird feeder while the wood pigeons weren’t there. I couldn’t take a picture as the window was covered in raindrops but I found one on wordpress. Best Wishes to all.

animal cute little mouse
Photo by Pixabay on

Ripping up manuscripts

I must be desperate. The house is so full of paper that I have started to rip up original manuscripts of my novels. After all, I have published copies. Why would I need the draft notes?

It seems that the virus has at last made me start to clear out stuff I have held on to for years. This must be a good use of my time but it is very depressing. It’s like destroying history.

I can’t feel creative since I wrote the Daffs poem. The only thing I have written this week is a menu chart for five days, just to make certain I am using what is in the freezer while trying to get a balance. This craving for sweet stuff cannot be a good thing. I’m only walking to the end of the road but I did do some gardening yesterday so that was exercise.

Now, what do I do with two sacks of ripped up paper?img_0244

new story

Now the novella is with a beta reader I am back with the story for children that I started. Having a break has made things much clearer but it is going to end soon and is much too short to be a novel. What do I do with a long short story? Could I make it part of a book of stories? That would keep me busy for a while.

Actually, the poetry anthologies did sell quite well but it might be expensive to have a book for children printed as it needs illustrations and although I know a brilliant artist I think that may put the price up. I need to check that out.

Struggling to keep up with goings on here at present and finding it hard to stay awake in the evenings. I hope it’s just to do with lack of daylight. Getting old is no fun.


Now what have I done!

Yesterday I had the news that my novella is not required by the publisher I sent it to. I’m not really surprised and I did feel a bit constricted by their requirements. Now I have the freedom to turn it into something more exciting. The trouble is, I’m in the middle of my children’s book. Which one do I leave? I think the novella would be the easiest one to work on, and I might get it out in 2020, whereas the children’s book is going to take a long time, especially as it will need illustrations.

I’ll tell you all, although it might not happen. I would like to make it a little more spicy ( I nearly used the word erotic but that makes it seem like the whole book is full of bedroom action and all I wanted to add was one scene) When I have novels to sell I get asked two questions – “Is there a murder in it?” and “Is there any sex?” So far I have limited myself to a suicide and married sex but this new book gives me the opportunity to be a bit more daring. Should I try? Will it sell? There are so many books out there.

You know, I really think I will!bookwormclipart

One Pair of Eyes

is not enough!It has taken me twelve years, a writing course and lots of advice to recognise the truth – that self editing one’s own work is not good enough.

Luckily, I had an editor for my first two novels and she pointed out my worst errors. I needed to add more internal thought and beef up my description – cutting out anything that did not add to the knowledge of the character or the progress of the plot; simple things, but so necessary.

We writers seem to write because we can’t stop, putting down every idea we have without thinking of the reader.We know where the story is going, we know the characters, we know what happened before the story started but we need to make sure the reader is fully informed. Flashbacks may be useful but how many readers can easily assimilate the dates at the top of a chapter? We have to resist introducing too many characters and avoid changing the point of view within a page ( ideally, within a chapter)

Finally, even if we can correct the kind of mistakes we make it is still important to let somebody else read our manuscript before publishing, not just for proof reading but also for inconsistencies and clarifications. To save money I now use beta readers for my books as well as reading chapters out loud to our writing group. Then, with my editor’s hat on, I try to look at my work as if it was written by someone else. I have just rejected three pages of my latest story because they didn’t ring true. The characters weren’t acting true to type. Who said writing was easy?