7-7-7 Writing Challenge

777 Writing challenge featured image

The 7-7-7 challenge encourages writers to go to the seventh line on page seven of their work in progress (WIP) and share the next seven lines.

The lovely KJ Chapman and Mollie both nominated me for this challenge and I’ve been typically rubbish at getting round to it. I’m sorry 😦 They are both wonderful writers and people, so please check out their blogs!

In very exciting news, KJ is publishing the second book in her EVO Nation series – EVO Shift – on March 1st. More about that here.

I’ve cheated and taken what were nine lines (they come out at more than that in the format they’re in below) from page seven of my current WIP which is my second, as yet untitled, novel. More contemporary women’s fiction. Some context: our heroine, Fran, is reluctantly helping a young man find a book in the university library.

777 challenge snippet from Plan for the Worst by Claire Huston

 

As is always the way, I’m not convinced by my use of commas here. Hey ho, it’ll probably all get cut before the book’s finished 😉

I’ve got round to this so so late, I won’t tag anyone because I’m sure everyone’s already been tagged. However, if you’re reading this and would like to do the 777 Challenge, please go ahead and let me know so I can check out your post!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

 

 

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Exciting writing times and why I may be absent for a while…

Exciting developments, my friends!

Excited gif

 

But first, the story so far. Skip this if you’re up to date on my writing-related wafflings…

I’ve written a book (see Art and Soul for more about that). I’ve been sending the first three chapters to literary agents, but haven’t been getting anywhere. I recently sent it to an editor and he suggested deleting chapters 1 and 2 and starting with chapter 3. As a result, I’m currently staring at a huge pile of edits.

And now back to the exciting news!

Having thought I hadn’t made the cut (and been rather disappointed), last week I was beyond delighted to receive an invitation to join the Romantic Novelist Association‘s New Writer’s Scheme. The Scheme allows unpublished novelists writing in the romance genre to submit their manuscript to an existing RNA member for critique. You also get to take part in all RNA activities and events.

Continue reading…

Editing your own writing: identifying your errors and bad habits

Support group for writers editing cartoon

Back in December, I wrote a post asking whether you can ever really finish editing a piece of your own writing. I talked about how I’d recently re-read my entire novel after a six-month break and been surprised by how much I wanted and needed to change.

In this post, I thought I’d share some of my editorial findings and pet problems. All punctuated by some good cartoons, of course 🙂

Peanuts Snoopy Editing and writing cartoon

One of my most common editing notes was “fix flow”, which makes it sound as though I need a plumber rather than an editor! These were places in the story where I felt the connection between sentences or paragraphs was too sudden or jarring and needed smoothing; as if reading were like climbing down a ladder and suddenly a rung was missing. I blame these absent rungs on a previous round of harsh word-cutting prior to submitting to literary agents. From “internet wisdom” I became convinced that if my MS was over 90,000 words I had no hope of anyone asking to read it. And so I cut as many words as I could, leaving things a little too bare in places. However, now it seems I’ll be self-publishing, the book can be as long as I damn well think it needs to be! So the words are going back in (you can’t stop me, mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha… you get the idea).

Continue reading…