Starting the second book.

Completing a structural edit

Did you know when you’re done writing your first book, or even before you’re completely done, you’ve got to turn around and start again right from the very beginning if you want to publish a second? Pretty rude if you ask me. I was under the impression all subsequent books would materialize fully formed once I’d proven my ability to land that first publishing contract. Continue reading

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Tearing down the walls (the structural edit).

Untitled Design-3

Three months on from receiving editorial notes and I’m out the other side of my first structural edit. I feel equally wrung out and exhilarated by how much better my manuscript is looking at this point. Here are some editing stats I collected along the way:

  • 60+ hours of editing
  • Manuscript is (only) 5,000 words longer. Ouch. Now sitting at a much healthier 55,000 words. I’ve fixed plot holes, pacing issues, formatting, thin secondary characters, and the ending
  • Soundtrack: Camp Cope, Sia, Thelma Plum, Missy Higgins (basically Australian/women/feelings)
  • Snack of choice while editing: Popcorn, chocolate
  • Coffee consumed: far too much
  • Most neglected part of my life: housework

The manuscript is now off to some sensitivity readers (I will do a post on this at a later stage) and once I’ve received their feedback and edited accordingly, I will send it back to Jane at Text Publishing. Hopefully I’ll have done enough for it to be ready for a line edit, but we’ll see. This is my first time and it’s a huge learning curve, so if it comes back for another structural edit, that’s OK too. I hardly feel qualified to give advice at this stage of the process, but I thought it might be worth sharing a few of the things I’ve learnt so far. Continue reading

Let the editing begin.

Finding the way back to writing-2I received the first round of notes from my editor at Text Publishing late last month. It’s the email I’ve been waiting on for months. It’s the green light after being at a red long enough to wonder if it was all a dream, or if someone somewhere had changed their mind. The notes are detailed, kind, and so spot on. My book is going to be infinitely better because of them, and because of my editor Jane Pearson. I feel like I should be in turmoil, but instead I’m thrilled. A little vulnerable, sure, but I can’t believe I can finally get going. Please Don’t Hug Me is going to be a real book! Continue reading

The one where I sign with a literary agent.

Finding the way back to writingThere is a lot out there about whether or not a debut writer needs a literary agent, or if signing with one is even something that can happen without a published book to your name. I can’t give a definitive answer about that, but I can say that signing with Danielle Binks and Jacinta Di Mase has been one of the best parts of my path to publication thus far. So I’d love to share a little bit about how that came to be and what it’s done for me. Continue reading

Motherhood and writing.

Untitled Design-2Some days here in this house is my whole world, and others I am itchy to be part of something outside these four encroaching walls. There’s a constant tug between this small person who is blossoming with every minute of nurturing and play, and a tiny voice inside my head reminding me ‘I’m a person with needs too’. I want to be and do everything with her, but I want to model what a woman following her goals looks like too. Continue reading

What #OwnVoices means to me.

How my debut novel was born-3If you’re a writer and/or on Twitter, chances are you have come across the term ‘Own Voices’ at some stage or another. If not, the basic gist is that the hashtag was started as a way to “highlight kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group”, as explained by Corinne Duyvis, the writer behind the term. Further, the non-profit organization ‘We Need Diverse Books’ defines the term ‘diverse’ as “including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native (it’s an American org so I’d add Aboriginal people here), people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities”. So that’s what it’s about in a broader sense. Continue reading