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 πŸ˜‰

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

 

 

Editing your novel. My experience of getting professional feedback

To date, I’ve submitted the first 3 chapters of my first novel, Art and Soul, to 23 literary agents to no avail.

So, before continuing with submissions, I decided it was time to ask a professional editor to look at those first three chapters and give me critical feedback.

I researched my options, selected my editor, sent off my first 3 chapters and synopsis, and waited for their report with a mixture of excitement and dread.

Editor writing cartoon

The good

I paid for critical and I got it. However, for the sake of my own self-esteem I must keep repeating an opening comment: “on the whole” I write well. That’s a relief. I shouldn’t chuck it all in just yet then. πŸ™‚

The improveable

There were bits and bobs I won’t bore you with, because the headline, Dear Reader, was tremendous: cut chapters 1 and 2 and start with chapter 3.
Continue reading…

Editing your own writing. Can you ever be “done”?

When is a book finished? And other writerly ponderings…

I finished the first draft of my first novel, Art and Soul, back in November 2014. I spent two months editing, then sent the manuscript to my first two readers. While they were reading, I read a couple of books on self-editing and realized I’d committed a lot of glaring errors.

I used my readers’ feedback and what I’d learnt from the books to do another complete manuscript “fix”. I then sent this draft to more readers. Their feedback resulted in more re-writes, particularly to the beginning of chapter 1, which I freely admit I’m still not 100% happy with.

The writer funny by Tom Gauld cartoon writing problems

Continue reading…

Short NaNoWriMo 2015 wrap-up

writing is difficult writer's problems cartoon

A couple of weeks ago I did a NaNoWriMo 2015 mid-point update.

And I know you’ve all been losing sleep wondering if I managed to stick to my target to write an average of 1,000 words a day in November. Haven’t you? πŸ˜‰

The good news is… *insert drumroll*

Calvin and Hobbes dancing

I did it! As you can see from my stats here below, I reached my goal by the skin of my teeth, but I did it.

Continue reading…

#NaNoWriMo 2015: mid-point update

For those of you who’ve seen NaNoWriMo popping up all over the place the past couple of weeks and are wondering what it’s all about, the following cartoon gives a neat summary:

nanowrimo cartoon funny will write for chocolate @inkyelbows 3

I decided writing 50,000 words was an unrealistic goal for me. Instead I decided to use November to write an average of 1,000 words a day on my work in progress, my second novel. This project has been stalled for the last three months. Back in July I hit 47,000 words and the difficult “middle section”: not as exciting as the start, not as thrilling as nearing the end. I think it may be the writing equivalent of “the wall”.

And… so far, so good! As of last night I have written 15,421 in fifteen days πŸ™‚

So although I won’t write 50,000 words in November and “win” NaNoWriMo, it looks like I will be 30,000 words further towards “The End” and hopefully closer to the original plan of having a first draft written by Christmas.

To everyone else doing NaNoWriMo and those having to live, work or interact with anyone taking part: keep going! You can do it! 15 days down, only 15 to go. Oh, and I find chocolate helps…

nanowrimo cartoon funny will write for chocolate @inkyelbows 2

If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo 2015, how’s it going? If you’d like to be writing buddies, you can find me on the NaNo site under my Twitter handle: ClaraVal πŸ™‚

Β Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Writing progress 5 July 2015 (JuNoWriMo wrap-up)

Peanuts Snoopy Schultz cartoon Snoopy writing returned by rock

Another week, another (very polite and kindly worded) rejection. So that’s 3/5 rejections so far for the first round of submissions to agents for my first novel, Art and Soul, which I sent out at the end of May. The positive way to view this? There are two who haven’t rejected my submission yet! πŸ™‚

Wait! There’s more. Click for my JuNoWriMo 2015 writing challenge wrap-up!

Writing progress 22 June 2015 (JuNoWriMo Challenge)

calvin-cartoon-on-procrastinating-and-rationalizing

Sorry, but I have nothing new to report on getting a literary agent to represent my first novel, Art and Soul. I’m still waiting for further responses to my first round of submissions.

Wait! There’s more. Click for my JuNoWriMo 2015 writing challenge update!

Writing progress 15 June 2015 (JuNoWriMo Challenge)

I came through on my promise about the chocolate fudge cake! If you haven’t checked it out yet, go here now. πŸ™‚

Enough with chocolate (ah, but can you ever have enough?)! Back to the writing…

Snoopy peanuts cartoon even typwriter hates stories

If you follow my ramblings, you’ll know that 2 weeks ago I sent the first 3 chapters of my first novel, Art and Soul, to 5 literary agents. In week one post-submission, I got 1 rejection. In week two, I got another.

Wait! There’s more. Click for my JuNoWriMo 2015 writing challenge update!

Writing progress 8 June 2015 (JuNoWriMo challenge)

There will be chocolate fudge cake here next week, I promise! I’m a bit behind with my posts. In the meantime…

Snoopy writer on rejection cartoon peanutsLast week I submitted sample chapters of my first novel, Art and Soul, to five literary agents.

I already have my first rejection.

Wait! There’s more. Click for my JuNoWriMo 2015 writing challenge update!