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So this is my first attempt at an author’s website, so I’ll ask you all to be patient with me.

I have finished the alpha (hopefully, beta) versions of Consequences and have sent them to beta readers to have a look over. I am hoping to send one of them to the editor (the wonderful Jeanne) by the end of the month (I can see Jeanne’s face now!).

Now that I am in waiting mode, I have returned to Dark Reign, the sequel to Dark Dimensions. I have a page exclusively for Dark Reign and will pop some information in it there.

I do hope to have Consequences out soon for all to read. In the meantime, please keep the word going about Dark Dimensions and, just as importantly, KCEditions, my publisher.

New Tech

Well, we bought a new keyboard and mouse this week. What a difference.

Before I go any further, I have to apologise for being so late with my writing. I got carried away with medication and suffered the consequences. But we’re back on track now, so I’ll be able to bore you more regularly. (Insert laugh)

So back to the keyboard. One of the things we’d noticed was that the last 2 keyboards – one is still good so we’re keeping hold of it for “just in case” – was that they were really loud on the reactions. Stu could hear me typing all the way out in his room! And by Friday night the mouse was travelling all by itself. Well, It was a case of ‘you get what you pay for’ and for $10AU you don’t get a a great deal! So we spent a little bit more this time and this keyboard and mouse are soooooo quiet, it’s amazing!

Any way, I’ve been working on Dark Reign. Consequences 3 is simmering the background and I have no clue what I’m doing for this year’s National Novel Writing Month! But I’m sure something will turn up.

But back to Dark Reign. I took it to work and was reading it on my breaks and found very early on that I had made an assumption. So teasing that assumption out and looking at it from all angles has been fascinating and may solve the issue I felt was in the book.

Push yourself

So, I’ve finished the rewrites to Consequences 3 and it’s being checked over now. True to my word, I pulled up Dark Reign and went over that in word to see what I needed to do and where I needed to do it.

Having done all that, I realised I should have kept notes instead of just reading it. Did I? Noooo, of course I didn’t.

So that’s my tip for everyone – if looking over work that hasn’t seen light of day for a few months, take notes while you’re in it – especially if you think you’ll be using it. I know I’ll do that now. Go back into word but this time I’ll make notes so I know what needs fixing.

Procrastination

So, yes, I’ve been hit by it. I’m supposed to be rewriting a huge chunk but I’m doing everything but.

It’s great seeing what all my friends and acquaintances are up to but it’s not helping me get this big mess sorted out. So I thought I would write about that today.

It usually comes after getting feedback that you don’t expect and you look at that feedback in an objective manner and realise that the person is right. And you need to fix whatever it is that doesn’t seem quite right.

So, I teased the problem out, asked myself what would fix it and ended up relating this book to the two that went before it through the 2 antagonists in each of those books. Which surprised me no end. So, I told myself. Well and good. Let’s get the thing done.

So these new characters will assist the antagonist in this book but before the final confrontation, they will be caught by the authorities. No matter how much they try to break these three, they never disclose their accomplice’s identity until just before that confrontation and then only to tell the authorities that the antagonist is going to turn up there. Nothing else. No name, no description. And that’s because my protagonist in all 3 books managed to kill off the antagonist in book 2 and helped someone kill off the antagonist in book 1. There’s no way they’ll interfere with his plan to take out the protagonist and his cohort. They would rather die than let him live.

But getting that discussion into the 3rd book is the trouble I’m experiencing. And I have to go through a lot of already-existing scenes because there are references that I need to either alter or take out or, even, insert to make this change as smooth-flowing as possible. Because I want my readers to believe that what the antagonist and his party are doing is plausible and for reasons they understand. They don’t have to agree with his reasons, they just have to understand them.

And now I’ve successfully distracted myself again for a further 15 minutes by writing about my distraction. Good one! Oh well, back to it, then.

Writing from an antagonist’s point of view

So, I got some feedback regarding a book and it was very good feedback. So I came up with a concept to rewrite that part of the story and realised I needed to do a side story from his point of view to make sure it would work. Of course, as I usually do, I’ve done a very good job and may have another book for the series. Oh dear.

But I’m still only half-way through the side story and it will take me a while to finish that – the biggest task is yet to come and I’m looking forward to it.

The interesting side of this is that I merged what I’ve written so far with the main book (different file, don’t panic!) and then read it all as one. It is actually working! Which I am pleased as punch about. Mind you, it has been mainly background information and actions and the next part is where the new side of the antagonist interacts directly with the main book. Which means I’ll be writing that side of it and then rewriting the main book so that it makes a lot more sense than it does now. And that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.

I have finally revisited an interesting style of writing – writing with a cat between the keyboard and myself! We swapped tables out and I have our smaller dining table as my desk and Fizzgig is liking it because she finally has enough room to curl up or even clean on the desk between the screen and me. Which means if there are any errors in this typing, please excuse them as although I’m a touch typist it’s been a long time since I’ve typed without looking at the screen at the same time!

Numbness

Okay, before you start trying to guess what I mean by numbness, I’m going to tell you.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and had a wisdom tooth removed. That’s where the numbness comes from. Wow! six needles it took! Just as well my dentist had a tv on the ceiling with coral islands showing. It looked like it was a drone video but it was greatly calming. Because I thought that darned tooth would never come out! It was stubborn!

But, out it came and I am up to eating soft foods and liquids. Yesterday was cold foods and drinks and today was lukewarm. Of course, being the rule-breaker I am, I had scrambled eggs for tea last night. I swear, I let them cool down a little!

Main thing is, apart from the jaw itself being tender for having had to sit in a skewiff position (I swear, the online dictionary says that’s a word and my mum used to use it all the time!) and losing a tooth, I am just about back to normal. I’m not going to have a lot of crunchy things for the next few days but I should be back to full on vegies and toast after that.

I will admit, there was one point that I almost said ‘no, don’t do it’, but I endured it all the way to the end. I will say, though, don’t go on Facebook straight after you get home – the mistakes you make are eye-opening! Now, though? Now I’m going back to Consequences 3.

Investing in yourself

So I’ve decided to invest in myself. I have signed up for an editing course. It’s something I struggle with, I don’t know any other writer who doesn’t, but I decided to do something about it.

It’s an online course and although it’s through an American education company, it’s endorsed by the Australian Medical Association. I know, I know. Weird. But it seems quite comprehensive and I just have to remember when I’m doing the course to think like an American and then when I’m applying the learning to my own work, to think like an Australian. Easy to do?

I’m not really sure. I will find out sometime after I start the course. I could have taken the course that started on 17 June, but I thought that would be difficult to catch up with, so I’ve signed up for the next one – 15 July. That’ll give me time to prepare for it. I am looking forward to it because it should up my skills and hopefully expand my working life to something in the editing industry.

For now, I can ask all to wish me luck! I’m probably going to need it!

Achievements

I did it! I completed my editing course. It’s not an accredited course, but it sure has opened my eyes to the world of editing. To be a more successful editor, I’d probably need to do a more intense course but this has worked fine. And it works for proofreading other people’s work, too.

I have definitely embraced style sheets. These are really handy as you’re writing because it helps you remember the spelling of names – especially important in science fiction and fantasy where a lot of names are just made up words and nothing remotely like any name in English, Latin or any other language.

Mind you, I don’t know how other writers get past the unusual name side of things for Sci Fi and Fantasy. I usually hit a dozen keys on the keyboard simultaneously and then put vowels in where the word seems to need it to sound all right. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard to say, but there are a few names in my dragons’ vocabulary that are downright tongue twisters! Oh, and that’s the dragons in space, not the ones on the Gold Coast – those names are easier.

Style sheets also tell editors and publishers how you want to deal with trademarks – if you use them – and acronyms – again, if you use them. You can also put a rule in on how you want numbers dealt with – I think the old unofficial rule was 1 – 100 were spelled out and numerals used after that. But any writer can decide if they want to break that rule.

Because style sheets are there to ensure consistency. I have people with titles in the Consequences books. The style sheet reminds me how to deal with those titles in today’s contemporary world. For the Clans in Conflicts books? Not so necessary because those are generally feudal titles but I’ll still use a style sheet when I get back to Dark Reign to ensure consistency.

Where is the year going?

Wow, two weeks into training and I suddenly realised the year is more than half-way over. What happened to it? Did it just slide down the drain? When I contemplate it, we really did have a lot happen.

In March, Simon and I went to Terrigal to meet my editor, then we headed back home, arriving a day after the border had closed. So, we had another two weeks at home.

Then in May I got a cold and had to get tested for covid-19 (nasty test) and was given the all clear. In June, I got an email back to request that I participate in an online/auto interview. Which I did, then got invited to an assessment day, which I also did. Then came the interview and referees and now, 5 weeks later, I’m half-way through training in a new/same job! Which is an amazing company with a 70 year history!

So this year has been really, really super busy and finishing the trilogy of Consequences. Once they’re done, I’m hopping back into Dark Reign to finally finish that one and start on one of the others in the Clans in Conflict series. Then again, November will rear its ugly head and I’ll be itching to do new writing – which will either be Delta Recoveries or something entirely new!

So fun and full-steam ahead for one busy person. (Wow, I nearly said Chick but I don’t know if I can be classed as that any more!)

Eight lessons down

Wow! I’ve already done eight lessons in my editing course. Now this may not be one of those super-dooper courses that give you a certificate, but it is, indeed, helping me with my writing and my own editing.

I used to go through my works in whatever writing program I was using – Scrivener or yWriter – and then put the first-edited version into word and throw that one one screen with the Scrivener or yWriter version on the other screen and minimise every other page on both screens. Then I would take every sentence and turn them around in notepad to see if I could get them to sound better. Once that was complete, I would then put it into a tablet computer, and, coupled with the work’s notebook (usually one with a beautiful cover) and sit somewhere and go through the work page by page noting down errors and where a new scene was needed.

What I am trialling now is to open the work in word, save it as a different version and use track changes on the file itself along with a style sheet to keep track of names, spellings, how I’m noting any trademarks I might use (yes, it does happen, sometimes) and how I want numbers handled – when I switch them to numericals rather than write them out. I also keep names of places in that style sheet, too.

Now, I’m pretty sure that Scrivener can keep track of all that for me, but this is great practice for me because I’m a plantser. Let me explain that in another post.

But now I have an issue. Yesterday I started a new DnD game with a group of new people. And I’ve told myself that I need to write up a background to my new character – even though, like my characters in my stories, my DnD character evolve as we go. Because this is good practice for me in my character creation in my novels. Although I don’t necessarily have to have their background already created (after all, my characters don’t usually exist until they’re suddenly in the book) when I first mention them, I do, at some point, need to write down some information relating to them.

So, excuse me while I go and write a background to my new DnD character.