Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A2Z Blogging Challenge, L is for...

Line by Line Editing:

This is where you go line to line, chapter to chapter making sure that chapters, paragraphs, and sentences say what you want them to say in an understandable manner. Make sure that the points that you are making are clear. Can be done in the next pass.

Listen to your work:

There are programs out there that will read back what you have written, and some E-Readers do as well. Failing that you could read it out loud, notice where you change up what you are reading (as we do sometimes), then make a note to change accordingly. I suggest this because sometimes the only way to catch something that you have read and reread quite a bit, is to listen to it. It may not work for you, or even me, but if you can give it a shot and see, especially if you are stuck.


Make sure all your plot links are added, and followed through on, make a note of any that need an end, or you had forgotten in your work.

A2Z Blogging Challenge K is for...


Keep Going:

It is especially important to keep going, do not let yourself be dissuaded. Your novel is going to be awesome when you are done.

Keeping Drafts:

Don’t forget to ensure that your work on the computer is backed up and each draft you go through is kept in a folder with the name of the working novel as it’s main name,  it’s own individual number or letter which makes it easier for you to find.

Kill your darlings:

If a character is not working, or can easily be replaced by another character, then it is time to get rid of them. We must be brutal at this stage, we may love this character and enjoy writing them, but if they serve no purpose, and don’t move the novel along, it’s time to get rid of them, and as mentioned previously, if a plot point, or scene is not working, get rid of it as well. Learn to cut out what doesn’t work (besides as mentioned before, you can save them to a separate document in case you need them later, or for something else).

Being kind to yourself:

When reading through what you have written in your first draft, don’t be negative about your writing or ability, that was the first draft, it’s supposed to be awful, you were just getting the bones down. Now I know that it sounds like repetition, but the more you hear / read it, the more you will be prone to believing it and actually feel good and be kind to yourself about your writing.

Write what you KNOW:

It’s an old adage and for beginner writers complicated. The way I look at this writing what you KNOW thing is this, I may not know how to pick a lock, but if I research it, so that I can either do it, or explain it, then I know about it right? If I read a lot of true crime and can recognise how a crime scene looks then I can write a crime mystery, if I research the PI business I can write about a P.I, I don’t always have to physically ‘KNOW’ something for years and years, doing it does help (I don’t condone murder, theft, or kidnapping), but research helps you KNOW stuff if you get what I mean.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Video, Blogging A2Z, J is for...


This is the J is for Jotting down notes video.

A2Z Blogging Challenge, J is for...


Jot down all thoughts that come to you in your notebook:

As you read through the printed-out chapters of your novel, or review it on screen, make sure that you jot down everything that comes to mind about the plot / characters / description. I know I have mentioned this previously, but I am mentioning it again here so that it sinks in. This second draft / Editing that you are doing requires you not to change things now, but to read through what you have written and make tonnes of notes for the next draft.*


Okay, now you are probably looking at this post and saying, “Aww come on Gina, how can this possibly be anything other than grump inducing hard work.” Well the answer is, because it can be fun to rearrange things, to discover silly little mistakes and correct them, laughing at the fact you put ‘the hat on the cat’ or whatever.

It is indeed hard work, but it is fun work, there is much joy and excitement to be had during this process, the further along you get, the closer to being done with your novel and sending it to be published you are. So, take a moment, sit back and let yourself feel that little spark of joy…

Justifying the time:

This goes with the Imposter Syndrome. As writers, who wish to have a completed novel, that will sit on someone’s bookshelf, or be purchased and downloaded to be read on an electronic device, we must take what we are doing seriously. Explain to your family, friends, significant others that you need to take aside the time you have allotted to editing and do the work.

Sometimes those closest to us don’t understand, and will interrupt us with teas, coffees, questions about where their shoes are, and when was the last time you put oil in the car, and if you will cook dinner now.

If you give in, if you don’t make your work important, then how will they take you or it seriously? Just as your writing time was sacrosanct (and if it was not it should have been), your editing time must be cherished and abided to by all.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Video for Blogging A2Z Challenge, I is for...


Have you removed any chapters from your novel when editing? How did it feel?

A2Z Blogging Challenge, I is for...

Is your tense consistent?

Now this one is mainly for me, I have a habit of ‘accidently’ switching tenses when I least expect it, so for me I will have to pay attention to my work, and mark the sections in my notes as to where I do this.

 If I remove this chapter will it make a difference to my novel / plot?

If the answer is yes, then leave it be, if the answer is no, then you should delete it.

Inner Lives of the characters known:

Is the inner life of you character, their background, history, likes etc., known? Now you do not need to do long chapters, paragraphs or that on their lives, but you can drop things into your novel, like a memory regarding his or her history, hopes and dreams, nature, love life, level of intelligence, and education. It’s all part of making your characters three dimensional rather than flat.

 Imposter Syndrome:

A little word about this condition that we all suffer from, especially those in the arts, and that is the feeling that we aren’t as good as others think we are. How many times have your friends told you that your writing is awesome, or you have told a friend that their Knitted or Crocheted throw is amazing, or the artist friend who just finished a piece for ‘fun’ that they should be exhibiting, or a photographer who should be selling their prints, only to respond or be told…No way, it’s only a hobby for fun.

It’s a battle, one we all must fight and win. You are good enough, in fact, you are amazing, and so is your novel so there!

Video for A2Z Blogging Challenge, H is for...


Hope you have enjoyed this video. 

Blogging A2Z Challenge, H is for...


Have you made it clear what your characters want?

From the guy on the street who smiles into the interview camera at the scene of a crime, to the villain of the piece, have you made sure that it is clear what the characters in your novel want?

Have editing equipment on hand:

Such as dictionaries, thesaurus, or encyclopaedias on hand, or bookmarked on your computer if you are editing on your computer or with your computer. You should also have highlighters, multi coloured index cards, spreadsheets and post its on hand depending on what method you are using for editing.

Have I included all the senses in my writing?

You need to include all the senses you can in your writing, seeing, hearing, taste, touch, smell, are they all there?

Have I covered everything that needs to be covered with the character and plot?

During this read through, make sure that you have everything in the novel pertaining to the plot and character that you need to move the story forward. If you find yourself thinking “Oh I forgot to put the trap door in earlier” make a note of it and add it in the next draft.

Have you had enough dramatic moments?

As you read through your novel, ask yourself, do you have enough dramatic moments, that can change the character through revelations? From the Hook through to the Payoff, have you succeeded in doing what you set out to do?

Have you removed all unnecessary summaries?

You know the bits you put in to explain why this is all happening, as if the reader were not paying attention…also note if you have done this…you might want to rewrite the section so it’s as clear as day.

How long should the novel be?

A novel should be about 100,00 words, most writers seem to prefer to keep all their chapters at about 5,000 words and have approx. 15 – 20 chapters. Some writers however maybe only 1,200 words long or 6,000 words long depending on the pace of the story or plot development. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Video for Blogging A2Z, G is for Grammar...


Today's video is about Grammar and how important it is to us as novel writers and how much I suck at it. If like me you are bad, very bad, and down right awful at grammar, so much so that 'eats leaves and shoots' can't even help you, then like me you may have to start saving in order to have someone who does know about grammar go through it for you. 
Remember that at this stage we aren't rewriting just yet, we're still making notes, so when you are finished with this pass of editing, and you have rewritten what you can, then, find and hire someone to check your grammar.

Blogging A2Z Challenge, G is for...


Give Yourself Time:

Editing is not a rush job, it takes time, if you give yourself a week per chapter and like me have 60, that brings you to February 2022 (started in April 2021). Take the time, do the best job you can do, before sending it to the beta readers.

Grab your reader from the start:

Ensure that your novel, your plot grabs your reader from the very beginning, don’t take three pages, two pages etc., to get into the story, your novel should grab the reader straight away.


You do not need to focus on this until you have looked through the whole thing and fixed plot, character arc’s etc., of course if you are reading through it and notice the glaring grammar mistakes, then make a note to fix it when you are typing the second draft.

Give the work to beta readers who are not related to you:

This is to ensure that you get back proper feedback. You might think that your family or partner, or friends could be unbiased, but that isn’t always the case, they don’t want to hurt your feelings, they want you to believe you are the best, so they might innocently tell you everything is awesome, when it isn’t really.


Make sure that all tech, science, and gadgets in your novel are appropriate for your time, or what you have told readers is appropriate for your world.


 You will find the link to the videos under the letter image on the video posts. I know these are kinda hard to see, I will try to change the color so that they stand out better.

A2Z Blogging Challenge, L is for...

Line by Line Editing: This is where you go line to line, chapter to chapter making sure that chapters, paragraphs, and sentences say what yo...