The prompt words from Colleen this week are lead and save which are appropriate for two reasons. First, I lost some of my manuscript! Somehow bl**** word, yes I am swearing profusely, lost three of my chapters which had me in a right old state… I knew something was going on when my word count dropped dramatically. Luckily, I’d backed up a recent copy so it could have been worse. Much worse. Secondly, the prompt words lead and save fit in very nicely with my sharing part of my YA manuscript The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone with you lovely peeps.
I decided to write a prose envelope which is appropriate as the story begins with an invitation.
Though, there is no invitation mentioned in this short excerpt from Chapter 2:
At that moment I heard a rustling in the nearby grass. Mitch let go of me startled by the noise. I turned, still clutching the camera to my side as I observed a young man who appeared out of the shadows near the edge of the path. His appearance caught my attention because he wore black jeans and a faded black tee-shirt washed so often that its original colour had all but vanished. His strange eyes sought me out. I stood gazing into two of the strangest eyes I had ever seen. One shone black as the richest smeared ink while the other glowed green and reminded me of the lushness of a meadow.
I continued to stare and noticed a dark shadow cloud Ryder’s face. I acknowledged this subtle yet powerful moment. When his eyes darkened, I swear they flashed thunderous daggers at the lads. Ryder’s face locked into a fixed expression as if he prepared to battle. His body became rigid, and his muscles tensed. I stepped back as I observed the hard ground beneath his feet crack, extending in a black shadow as he moved towards the boys. My hand went to my mouth, and I screamed.
To join in Colleen’s challenge: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/05/02/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-32-lead-save/
Hope you like the short excerpt, and the haibun too. Please leave comments to tell me what you think.
Bye for now,
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The prompt words really attracted me to Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week…. (It’s a long time since I’ve joined in as I have been so busy!) as they relate beautifully to my manuscript – The Curse of Time, which I am close to finishing! I’m doing what I hope are the final edits – you never know if it is truly completed until you send it to your betas/editors!
I’ve written two haiku and used Canva to make them visually pleasing. The second one is using my own photograph of a nasty looking shadow!
To join in with Ronovan’s Prompt – I think the deadline is today, hope I haven’t left it too late: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-145-beautifulcurse/
Bye for now,
Have a lovely Sunday.
This week I’m joining in with Sacha Black’s Writespiration. The prompt is the hug you’ve always wanted.
This short edited excerpt to be 200 words is from my current YA WIP, The Curse of Time, which I’m currently editing.
The main character Amelina really could do with a hug… Any offers..?
Cruel Time Had Him Prisoner
Still feeling dizzy a wave of nausea hit me hard. The room spun around like I was on an enforced merry-go-round. I closed my eyes willing the strange spinning to stop. As my eyes opened, a narrow tunnel of faded kaleidoscopic images came to me in a giddy whirl.
First, I saw my dad playing his guitar, with my mum laughing by his side. Then, the day my dad disappeared, followed by the day he returned.
All the moments I’d ever treasured, the mother and father I could laugh with, could hug.
Dad’s homecoming should have been a celebration, but it wasn’t. I’d just turned fifteen. It had been two long years wait, for this – what a joke. A life lived within the clutches of a curse. A tear fell from my eye, and then another and another as I recalled the events of the past. Soon they were spilling, splashing on the canvas – watercolour tears of sadness.
I looked at my painting. For a second, I saw dad’s face on my canvas. His sad expression scratched a raw scar on my vision. Cruel time had him prisoner. His watery old eyes stared back, begging me to help him.
© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
If you’d like to join in with Sacha’s Writespiration here’s the link: https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/06/29/writespiration-91-the-hug-youve-always-wanted
Hope you liked my short excerpt. Do feel free to comment. Got my sand timer ready… LOL!!!
I don’t look very friendly in my cartoon me, but it’s all lies, I am really a nice gal… Most of the time!! It’s that sand timer – it’s making me anxious… I’ve got so much editing to do to wrangle this monster into submission. Humph, I’ll get there, but it won’t be today.
Time to attack the house with my magic wand…. Tescos with my credit card, and wash down all I have accomplished today with a cup of tea, or perhaps a glass of vino. Later…
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys. It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...
It’s been a while since I joined in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday & Ronovan’s BeWow. I have a pretty good excuse as I have been editing my manuscript getting it ready for self publishing. With that in mind I’d like to do some quotes about this process. Editing is the hardest part of writing for me, the ideas flow fairly easily whilst getting the story down on paper but the editing is fraught with difficulties.
“There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Can’t”
― Jarod Kintz,
Perhaps that’s me! I’m that typo person….
I just find it so time consuming. A prison of my own neuroticism so to speak:
“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison
It gets to the stage when I just don’t want to look at my work any more, I’ve had enough, my heart is bleeding, and I’m leaping over the precipice…
“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity…edit one more time!”
― C.K. Webb
Don’t even begin to mention the word grammar to me…. this one will make you laugh!
“Making love to me is amazing. Wait, I meant: making love, to me, is amazing. The absence of two little commas nearly transformed me into a sex god.
― Dark Jar Tin Zoo,
Sometimes you get to the point when you are doing more harm than good. Your stories start to play hide and seek with you.
I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.”
― Jeanne Voelker
And never mind editing in your pyjamas it can have unknown effects on your underwear.
“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
― Patricia Fuller
I’m not sure about this breeding lark, Dr. Seuss really must have been in the grips of editing torment when he wrote this:
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
― Dr. Seuss
Yes, its making me want to kill someone… those words on the page are about to be machine gunned…
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
― Stephen King,
So today I’m taking a well deserved break, phew, and sharing some wonderful quotes with you about editing from some incredible authors, because I need that little spur to keep on going…. to push through the pain…
My favourite has to be this wonderful quote from Stephen King:
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
― Stephen King,
My forest is beginning to appear… it sure looks different than when I started!
I do hope that these wonderful quotes will inspire you to push through the editing process to reach your final goal, if like me you are editing your manuscript.. Keep on going…. big smiles…
Do join in with Colleen’s WQW and Ronovan’s BeWow here are their links:
Bye for now, hope you liked my trio of trees that I photographed and edited from my previous post. Yes, even photos have to be edited sometimes….
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
Reblog of some great tips on editing writing from Rachel Carrera.
A while back, I posted a call to all writers who wanted to share their editing tips, and the first to take me up on my offer was my good friend and blogging brother, Craig, known to many as C.S. Boyack. If you don’t already follow Craig’s blog, you’re missing a real treat. And if you haven’t read any of his books yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. (And I’m not just saying that because I got to design the cover to his most recent outstanding publication, Will O’ the Wisp.) So without further ado, here’s Craig:
Rachel invited me over today to post about editing. (Like I know anything about it!) I’m fumbling along, learning as I go.
I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’m willing to share these bits. I do my own editing for financial reasons. I know many…
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Fantasy Faction’s Interview with editor Abigail Nathan of Bothersome Words Writing and Editing Services. Part One – What is it like being an editor?
Reblogged from Sandra Danby. Very informative and detailed advice for writers about editing, writing, submitting.
This is an unusually long post from me today, as I want to write about copy-editing. One thing I wasn’t prepared for when preparing the manuscript (MS) of Ignoring Gravity for the Britain’s Next Bestseller launch was copy-editing. One of the conditions of the contract was that the MS had to be professionally copy-edited. This was something I just hadn’t got around to organising. Cue: last-minute panic. It wasn’t that I didn’t know it would have to be edited, but I hadn’t factored in the time needed. The novel has been read so many times, in its many forms and with its different titles, by so many different people, surely copy-editing is just picking up bad punctuation? Wrong.
I am so thankful that a journalist colleague now runs a copy-editing business. Dea Parkin [below] and I go back a long way, I trust her. Fiction Feedback gave me a brilliant…
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A mantra for all authors, editing is my friend, editing is my friend. Welcome new friend. Let’s hope we enjoy a long and happy relationship.
Editing is such an important process. Read over what you’ve written, edit. Then take a break. Return to it again. Read it aloud. Edit again, and again, and again. You get the picture.
But don’t become obsessed, editing is important but so is a life.
Joining a writer’s group can be really helpful. Also it can drag you away from the internet for a while and you can interact with people face to face which is nice from time to time. Not saying that it’s not nice having internet pals too. They’re cool too, but you know what I’m talking about. I found having other writers critiquing my work scary to begin with but it’s well worth it. Don’t be put off by what people say, accept changes that you agree with and ignore opinions that you don’t agree with. Believe in yourself, after all it is your work, your story, at the end of the day you have to be 100% happy with it. Yes 100%. I’m talking to writers here.
Simple editing mistakes are easy to make. I have just found some that I didn’t notice when I was typing the following short passage for a FutureLearn exercise, so I thought I’d share them with you, as an example of why editing is so important!
The Red Notebook:
I followed at a short distance behind her as she entered the refectory. She wore a plain white cardigan reminiscent of cling film. Her mother kept a clean house and was always wrapping everything up in neat little cling film packages. She hated it but her influence was all pervasive, even her socks clung to her feet, neat dancers socks, moulded to her skin, cutting all hope of circulation. Her jet black hair was tied back in a pony tail that seemed to be wrenching the very roots of each follicle of hair from her scalp. No lipstick blemished those full lips. Her only adornment was the bright red notebook which seemed at odds with the rest of her ensemble. The notebook took pride of place on the table in front of her and next to this, she discarded a heavy set of cumbersome keys.
I stood up and crept behind her. I tried to see what she was writing, but the words were as bloodshot, and unreadable as her wild eyes. She picked up a plastic cup of water, gulping it down in one ferocious gulp. She spluttered, droplets of water fell from her lips blemishing the creased cover of her notebook. She wiped the water away, staring at it hysterically as if she was searching for answers. Her fingers ironed the crease but the crease remained, mocking her.
She stood up, toppling her hair back in one swift movement. I caught it. I felt responsible but I didn’t know why. “Are you ok?” I asked. She looked right through me as if I was transparent. I picked up her keys, trying to elicit a response by saying ” Don’t forget your keys.” She ignored me as if I was transparent, an unnecessary interference to her otherwise perfect day.
At least one of my mistakes was amusing! Toppling her hair back! Well it could have been, who needs a chair? The rest as far as I can see were missing hyphens, and I said transparent twice.
Reading in the genre you are intending to write in is so important. I read a lot of YA because I write YA. Also it is equally important in my opinion to read all sorts of books, these help broaden your writing skills. Anyway I love reading so it is all good! Oh and do reviews. I’m new to this but I’m sure this will help too.
On the subject of books, I just love the artwork in the Shatter Me series, aren’t they fabulous?
Varying the structure of your novel using different words is an important skill. Short words add pace, as do short sentences. Leave out too many adjectives, and adverbs. (I find this one difficult!) Use a dictionary, and a thesaurus. Leave out clichés.
Don’t destroy what you’ve written. This sends shivers down my spine. Keep less than perfect pieces as a reminder of how your work has progressed. There might be a good idea in there that just needs reworking.
My fantasy YA novel is currently in its final stage of edit. I didn’t follow a plan. I just had lots of ideas and wanted to get them down quickly before they evaporated! I found this approach was great creatively but had the down side of an awful lot of re-editing and re-structuring, so I wouldn’t recommend this. A little bit of planning is important. So next time round I’ll do a rough plan which will allow me flexibility if I want to change it.
The level of research required depends on the novel you’re writing, e.g. I imagine historical fiction is one of those genres that involves masses of research. Even so, I had to research crystals, shadows, the Corpus Christi Clock, Grantchester, and Cambridge ghost stories for mine.
I joined a local writer’s group, Cambridge Writers, http://cambridgewriters.net/ and have found this very helpful. I would highly recommend finding a group in your local area.
Alternatively try an on-line writing group. My fellow Futurelearners suggested these two websites:
One thing that surprised me about the following FutureLearn exercise, is that I found an idea for a story from a radio prompt. I have never tried this before, so thanks Futurelearn, good tip. In the first draft I just quickly typed in some rough draft ideas. In the second draft I developed the idea by using different words, for instance I took out the word stared and used a different word, barrelled to suggest her eyes moving furiously in excitement, and I changed some of the other details to make the paragraph more interesting, using everyday words such as nettled, sting, mirror, signal, manoeuvre, tank.
Amy stared at the on-line application form for the local radio apprenticeship scheme. “I would make a great local apprentice because,” ……………The next prompt was easy, “If there is one thing I could change about where I live it would be…..
All of her eighteen years she had lived in Cambridge. There was one thing about Cambridge that really riled her. Public transport. She lived on the outskirts, in suburbia, and the buses were non existent in the evening. Nights out meant asking her long suffering parents to pick her up or get an expensive taxi home. Or even worse accept a lift from one of her friends. Not that they drove home drunk but their lack of attention to detail made her wonder if they had bribed the driving instructor to get their licences. Why had her parents decided to live in this no go zone? What was wrong with living in the centre of the town?
A message on her Facebook flashed up. Harry had liked her new profile picture. Her shoulder length blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and clear complexion, made her laugh. No evidence at all of all those late nights. She was the perfect candidate for a job in local radio. Six o’clock starts. No problem.
Amy’s wide eyes barrelled along the prompts on the on-line application for the local radio apprenticeship scheme. “I would make a great apprentice because,” I’m super cool, of course! The next prompt was, if there is one thing I would change about where live it would be.” Simple, child’s play.
All of her eighteen years Amy had lived in Cambridge. Sigh. There was one thing about Cambridge that really nettled her. Public transport. A sting in the backside. She lived in wretched suburbia and buses were an alien species in the evening. Night outs meant asking her long suffering parents to chariot her home, or get a taxi, sorry wallet. Or even worse steal away in one of her friend’s cars. Not that they drove home drunk, at least she hoped they didn’t, but mirror signal manoeuvre didn’t seem to be in their dictionary. Why had her parents, god love them, decided to live in this no go zone? Even combat troops have better transport facilities, a tank would be acceptable.
A face book message, flashed up. It was Harry. Hope he wasn’t flashing his pecs again! Harry had liked her new profile picture. Her shoulder length blonde hair, bright blue eyes and clear complexion were a hit with the boys. No evidence of those late nights lingered, she was an accused but flawless culprit. The perfect candidate for a job in local radio. Six o’clock starts, no problem.
Just to keep you from getting bored I thought that I’d end on a light, well rather silly note.
An earlier Futurelearn exercise using familiar words in unfamiliar places:
Arthur’s hair sat on his scalp like an apologetic cowpat. His life had turned into a hopscotch, he leapt from pat to pat but nothing changed. His horizons narrowed with every throw of the dice. He was not a gambling man but he sensed that his luck was out. The aloe vera juice oiling his biography had formed a stagnant, tropical pool.
Cowpat was a bit of a crazy choice of word but I thought it suggested that Arthur wasn’t a happy type of bloke and that he felt crushed, and trampled on. The hopscotch notion I used to convey a sense of childishness. I’m not sure about the aloe vera juice I think I may have gone too far with that one!
Thanks to Futurelearn for all the tips. Enjoying the course.
Photos courtesy of Google Images.