Fair question, really and one that I guess will change from writer to writer but for me it's like this...
I have an idea for a scene, rarely a full story but definitely a scene full of what I think are fully developed characters. I then have to ask myself why. Why this setting with these people? Why are they doing this? After the whys come the hows and whats.
I then set to writing. I don't plan the story. I know some writers that have each story planned on a scene by scene basis but I just can't work that way. As I write I learn about the characters and they behave in ways I didn't expect or say things I never knew they would.
I tend to edit as I go which slows me down considerably. Before the days writing commences I trawl through fixing aspects of what I've put down and then add to it. Once the story is finished it goes into final edits and I beat the story into shape.
After it's in good shape I save and close the file and ignore for at least a week, preferably more, and then re-read. The glaring errors I missed previously make themselves known and another round of edits begins. When that is finished I'll send it to a publisher.
If it is accepted the publisher may want further changes, theEditing Phase as I call it. The first time I went through this process I reacted badly, angrily even. I now look forward to this process, it helps get the story into a condition that makes it readable for others.
Then, if I'm lucky, it's published.
So, what does a writer do? 10% writing, 30% editing and 60% procrastination. I have this blog and Facebook open, both covering the OpenOffice document that contains my work in progress...
My publisher has confirmed that 'Growth Spurt', the second part of my Blue Jackets series is scheduled for an October release. I am both delighted and anxious. The rewrite/edit phase that is about to land on me with hobnail boots is simultaneously exciting, exhilerating and exasperating. I have been promised great things in terms of design and cannot wait to splash the cover art across this site :)
Oh and I've rejoined Twitter. I can now be found @GeordieWriter
Finally, my thoughts go to those who were caught in the horror of this day, ten years ago. Never forgotten.
Part 2 of the Blue Jackets has been submitted and is now in the edit phase. I love this part, the rough edges are sand-blasted and the story improves. I have also been writing quite heavily for Part 3. This is the part I'm looking forward to :)
I have completed the first draft of Growth Spurt, Part 2 of the Blue Jackets. Tomorrow I will proof read and rewrite any sections I feel need it. After that I will send it to the publishers and then the edit stage begins. I'm hoping that this time round the editing process will be a smoother process than 'Induction'. This part of the story follows the story of Lydia who undergoes a sudden and unexpected manisfestation of her powers. Life as a depressed teenager suddenly got exciting!
As well as finishing the book I had a huge amount of odd jobs to do. I'm not going to bore you with the details of them all but I did have a great esult with the Gateshead Housing Company. In mid-April I put a repair in for the access I had installed to allow access to the garden. Eventually, sick of waiting, I phoned today to see when they were going to carry the repair out. The rather bemused lady on the end of the phone told me it had been done. Oh no, it hadn't! 'I'll call back' she said. About twenty minutes later a car pulled up with two managers in. They wanted to inspect the job as the workman had filed the paperwork for a completed job. It became obvious that the wrong job had been completed. The manager initally said that it wasn't his department's job then had a change of heart and said they'd be back tomorrow to do the job. Result!
I also had a great catch up with Anna, a girl who I went to school with and who I haven't seen since the day we left. Anna is doing a lot to help promote me and I am very grateful for that but it was more amazing to catch up with someone who I haven't seen for so long. I'm very happy about the meeting.
I've been ignoring this blog again. Sorry! Yes, I realise that I need to update more regularly. Yes, I realise that without regular updates I won't find an audience. Sorry! Must try harder...
So the week since I updated last? What's happened?
Sadly no humorous wheelchair-based anecdotes. But what has happened has been fantastic.
Firstly, the promotional trip that my publishers were talking about looks like it is happening in the autumn. They are travelling from the U.S. to spend time with their U.K. based authors so I'm extremely excited about that. I need venues to hold a author reading/meet and greet for my eBook, so any recommendations would be gratefully received.
Secondly, progress on the second part of The Blue Jackets, Growth Spurt, has been more than satisfactory. I had reached a bit of a block on it but I had a fit of creativity and all is going well now.
Lastly, and more importantly, I was interviewed for a local newspaper. I am to expect a photographer soon to take some shots to accompany the piece. The details I have are so sketchy that they are currently unavailable but more details will come as soon as I have them.
I am now officially a *professional*!
Paypal now contains the (token) payment for my story 'Olverston Grange'. It's not a fortune, barely a pitence actually, but its value is not monetary - it's psychological.
I have had quite a few stories published and had previously signed a paying deal (but that was royalties). This sale represents a change in my confidence levels. To believe in myself to try to sell a story was a major step.
Just goes to show if you believe in yourself good things can happen.
Don't forget - Induction is still available and if you don't have an eBook reader you can get the software for you computer and smartphone - free of charge - from those lovely people at Amazon.
Today I achieved another of my goals. I sold a story. For cash. Paid upfront.
It isn't the first time I have signed a monetary deal but the first one was for royalties only. So this marks a major step forward for me, it is the first time I have had enough confidence in my writing to attemp to sell it. Plus the story, 'Olverston Grange' has been lodged in my head for a good while so it's great that others will have a chance to share :D