Three hoodies save the world

Constant moaning and whinging about everything

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

Been slacking a bit.

I love Spring. I love the emergence of new life, and all that guff. What I truly can’t bear is my front lawn, satisfyingly dormant for the entire winter, suddenly springing to life one Tuesday afternoon, and by the next day almost waist deep. It also provides the local foxes and cats somewhere to procreate with all the blood curdling screams the act apparently requires.

I’d love to cut it, except that this is England and it never stops bl***y raining. I tried to other day, but one wheel fell off the mower half way through and now my neighbour, with whom I share the lawn, is upset because I managed to tear all the grass out of the ground in one foot wide strip on his side all the way down to the road, and he doesn’t believe that I didn’t do it on purpose.
Alright. It’s not as bad as that, but I just felt like whining.

Something I knocked up when the cruddy weather was annoying me.

Finally I’ve stopped plotting and begun my new novel now that I’ve finally come up with a suitably rubbish name for my character. The only thing is, it’s a real name so I might leave a dedication at the front of the book and a grovelling apology if I can’t modify it, since according to the laws of chance, an old friend of mine (with just that name) might read it. How I’ll convince him that it’s just a coincidence and my stupid bungling idiot of a character with the IQ of a carrot, but an earnest belief he’s God’s gift to the entire world isn’t him, I’ll never know. As a result I’m going to call it (perhaps) Sod’s Law, which to any American is the same as Murphy’s Law.

Can’t wait to get started. The only thing is that as my android tablet has finally croaked and I’m saving for a new motorbike, and I spend the majority of my time at work these days, I’m going back to the basics by writing it with an actual pen. I wrote my first three novels this way and began to look like some kind of mutant until the heavily muscled fingers which were the result, shrank back down to normal size.

Editing and re-drafting – a checklist, part one


Hi Guys,

Heather here. This week I thought I’d write a blog post detailing some of the things to look out for when re-drafting and editing your novel. I’m currently at this stage in my own novel writing journey and it’s arguably the hardest stage so far – perhaps even worse than the dreaded first draft. I will be referring to this list continuously myself  as I draft, re-draft and hone my novel and I hope it will be just as useful to you. I have split this post into two parts as it would have been a little bit too long to be one! Don’t fret though, part two will be posted soon.

  1. Dialogue tags

    When writing dialogue, keep fancy dialogue tags to a minimum. There is nothing wrong with plain old ‘said’. Changing it up every now and then to add variation and drama is fine, but if your novel reads…

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A Comma’s Job Security?

Writing-Insight-Success

bewilderd commaThe comma stood on the corner, bleating, “Please, can someone help me? I know I belong somewhere, but I can’t quite remember where.”

Devon Taylor, copy editor, sat at the counter of the diner across the street and watched as passers-by skittered around the pitiful punctuation mark. They looked away determined to not notice it.

Devon (destined to become The Nib) couldn’t really blame them. Commas were notoriously slippery creatures. But there was something about this comma that made Devon think it was truly in trouble.

The editor set down the empty coffee cup and wandered across the street.

“What brings you to Conjunctionville?” Devon asked the punctuation mark.

“Oh! Thank you for helping,” the comma was practically hopping. “I think I’m supposed to meet a couple of independent clauses for a job, but I can’t remember all the details. It was supposed to be set…

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My usual escape from writing.

I don’t know why I’m painting instead of writing. All week long I’ve been plotting – yes I know I never plot. Regardless, the work’s been going well on my new novel and I’m ready to begin. But for some reason I just can’t start. It feels as if I’ve never done it before.

Maybe the meteor(ite) is a subconscious way of warning myself; but of what I have no idea.
I decided not to begin a new genre but stick to what I love – humour, or at least my version of it.
I wasn’t amused last night when I decided, after wading through the knee deep grass on my front lawn, to cut it, as they who supposedly know about that stuff, predicted that it would be dry on Friday. About half way through it began to rain early, not good when one is using an electric lawnmower. Luckily I finished before being fried alive. The next thing to do is what I’ve been promising myself since last September, which is to wash my motorbikes, or at least the pathetic versions of bikes that I now possess.
Is all this another way of deferring my writing? It might be. I’ve just discovered a living mass growing inside the garage. I’d better eradicate it before it eats the cats. It’s not even as if I have the dreaded block. I know exactly what’s going to happen, for the first half a dozen chapters, anyway. But as in the last time I plotted a novel about twenty five years ago, it will probably be nothing like I envisaged it. That’s what I’ve always loved about writing – the uncertainty of it. Hmmm, I think I’ll dump all the plotting and begin with a word, then see what happens.
Sorted.

Did You Miss It?

Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor

Did you miss the live feed last night? Never fear, you can still watch it at the half hour mark or so I do a reading from Goddess of Night – it was hard to find a scene that wouldn’t spoil too much!

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Goddess of Night Cover Reveal

Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor

gon-reveal-coming

At last, the cover for Goddess of Night…

ebook

And if you’re stopping in I have another surprise, early pre-order links! To make up for having to push the book back, Goddess of Night is available for a limited time to pre-order for only $2.99 (instead of the usual $3.99). It hasn’t appeared everywhere, but it is on Amazon and Kobo right now. As it shows up on B&N and Apple I’ll do a new post.

Amazon | Kobo

A war four-thousand years in the making.

In the mists of time, Lilith sealed her immortal lover away. Awakened, Samael has only one plan: revenge.

Linked to Samael and caught in the middle, Katelina watched as Lilith took both her best friend, Sarah, and a child vampire hostage. Now, it’s up to her and Jorick to get them back. Joined by a group more foe than friend, they search for the ancient…

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Had my head reamed.

I’m back from the doctor.
After waiting there for almost an hour after my allotted time, the nurse beckoned me in and shoved some telescope thing she could barely lift into my ear. Than after squeaking, retching and gulping a few times, she returned from the corner of the room to where she’d scuttled and with a pale face said: “You’ve got about half a ton of wax in your ear.”
I resisted the impulse to kill her or say something flippant like: well it’s a good job I made an appointment with you to have them syringed, then. Instead I asked her to get on with it.
Fifteen minutes later, her tiny groans of revulsion drowned out by the roaring and the very loud shrieks of my own agony, we were done. The noise of my heart was so loud that I firmly believe my ear canals now meet in the middle of my skull.
“You’ve still got skin down there,” she said with disgust. Don’t we all have skin down there? After once more forgoing the impulse to throttle her I asked if she could do something about it

.
“No that’s a different procedure – and it hurts.”
“And that didn’t?” My fists clenched for a moment hard enough to make the seat arms creak in alarm.
“And, anyway, that’s another appointment. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for that.” But as her low murmurs of joy were already splitting my (hairy) eardrums, I demurred. My ears hurt, my head hurts but once more I can hear.
I never realised before just how loud my computer was. And even caressing the keys on my keyboard is deafening enough to give me a headache.
Fat chance of me going back there again unless it’s in a straight jacket.

Two hours to go.

A visit to the doctor is approaching and I’m not looking forward to it.
Two weeks ago I lumbered out of the bath to a very quiet house.
Has the world been destroyed, I wondered, because a house with a young lady in it is never quiet. There’s always some rumpus emanating from the battlefield that is her bedroom, like her mumbled obscenities into Facechat or Snapbook or whatever is this week’s latest must-have app. But it was very quiet. Until I noticed it was only quiet on my left side. Has the entire left side of the world been destroyed I wondered.
No, as it turned out, I was completely deaf in my left ear. Had I accidentally wedged the bath plug in my left ear? Had I left the loofah in my port orifice? Cursory examination disproved these theories.
Regardless, I went to work the next morning stone deaf in my left ear. That’s alright, I decided, London’s loud enough as it is. Until later that day, and then the night when I was pummeled by the most incredible pain in my head which didn’t let up for a single nano second.
I put up with this for nearly a week until I was finally able to see the doctor.
“Infection,” she declared with joy.  “You’ve got about three tons of wax in your ear.”
“What? ” I demanded.
“Take these,” she bellowed. “Antibiotics. You’ll have to come back when the infection has gone. But you’ll have to…”
What?” I demanded again, already sick of the condescendingly smug grin on her face.
She began again, enunciating slowly and clearly as if she was imparting the knowledge of the world to a semi retarded cactus.
“Twice a day, every day, pump warm olive oil into your ears, and then next week come in and we’ll syringe it out.”
“With what, A pitchfork?”
Ushering me out and refusing to answer any more questions or gesticulations, she slammed the door in my face.
Well today is the day. In a couple of hours I’m going to have an industrial drain cleaner wedged into my head.
I’ll be back later, maybe.
What?

I finally realised.

For months now I’ve been plodding on, making time when I can and getting a few lines here, a few chapters there. I’ve been struggling on with two sequels.
But it hasn’t been right.
Have I lost it, I wondered. After thirty years, had the writing bug finally been cleansed from my soul?
Then last week I finally realised. Just chugging away at sequels wasn’t what I love. I love writing just for it’s own sake. And although I’d like to be rich – who wouldn’t? I wasn’t putting my heart into it because I wasn’t doing anything new.
So I am, and I will. I even toyed with the idea of writing under a pseudonym so that people wouldn’t associate it with my older novels. But why should I? I write in a variety of genres, so this next new one might as well be just another in that long list.
I don’t actually know what this one will be about yet, but I’m excited to discover what it will be.
At last, I’ve found my mojo. Time to trash a few keyboards.

So you think you can write a book…

Sad but true, though if you’re a writer at heart then you’ll still go for it.

Have We Had Help?

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Big deal – so what?

If you put your mind to it, anyone can. What you have to ask yourself is whether or not more than a dozen people will actually want to read it? Reality dictates that invariably the answer will be probably not. So what do you as a writer seriously need to consider before writing word one?

Firstly If writing is merely a hobby with you, read no further… Secondly, find out which of the genres is currently popular? Thirdly, is it the genre for you, and more to the point, can you write in it? Fourthly and most important of all, is your standard of writing of sufficient quality? In other words does it meet acceptable standards? A lot of what is currently on offer fail miserably when it comes to the fourth in my list. I mentioned this in today’s previous post when I said…

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