Engagement and supporting indie authors

This week, I have had a week off work. Not that it has changed my surroundings much because in this old-new working from home world, I am still at home, just not at my ‘office’ desk.

It has been productive. My plan was to get some good editing of my work in progress novel done, and sitting here at just after 10.30am on a Sunday morning, I can say that I achieved that.

In particular, I tackled a really knotty plot issue that had been bothering me for a long time. I had the epiphany a short while ago and the wise part of past me (I do have one) wrote it all down in my notebook that I keep here on my writing desk, ready for the day when I would need to refer to it. I also tagged it with sticky notes on which I’d written

PLOT RESOLUTION

Future me patted past me on the back for not thinking ‘oh, I’ll remember that’ because you know what, future me never does!

Present me (OK, I’ll stop now) is feeling satisfied, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do. I’m about two thirds of the way through my editing, so the bulk of that stage (words wise) is done. The next hill or mountain that I’ve started to tackle is engagement. Engagement with the writing community on Twitter for a start. I’ve had an account on there for a few years but wasn’t really that clear on how to make it work. Over the past few days, because I’ve had the time, I’ve worked it out a little bit more and got involved in a few conversations and gained followers. I shall stick with it. Instagram is less of an issue because that is the one thing that I’ve stuck with over the past few months, as you know. I think it’s going to involve some hard work to gain a decent following in the Twitter-verse, but I shall stick with it.

The future of my book is at stake.

Well, the future of my book being read by lots of people, that is. It’s not a pandemic after all (or is it?).

Talking of books – I bought and have started reading a novel that was recently published by a fellow author I have met through Instagram, City of Immortal Shadows by T.J. Swackhammer.

It. Is. Really. Good.

Take a look at her website, get a feel for the world of Emaldin and if dark, foreboding and endlessly strange is up your dystopian alley, do buy a copy.

Well that’s me for the week. See you on Halloween!

This-stopia

I have an Instagram account (@freyathewriter). Instagram is an amazing place to be for writers – the community is great. Readers, writers and others that find themselves caught up in the web of the community are having a great, supportive time over there. I bought a book only 11 days ago that was an independent writer’s first publication – and it was excellent. If I hadn’t joined Instagram, I’d likely never have read it. Congratulations to Nicholas Crivac for getting Apotheosis to print. Take a look at his website if you want to know more!

Anyway, I digress. On my Instagram account I got involved in a conversation about how the way the world is at the moment means that any ideas us dystopian writers might develop seem to have been stolen by, or been the inspiration for, various regimes around the world (looking at you, governments of the UK and USA!). It means we have to push our plots further and harder so that they don’t just end up being non-fiction tomes. Having said that, in my experience what it has meant is that the tiny news articles that slip through when we are all being supposedly distracted by the latest scandal (which seem to focus very much on the Royal Family these days) have been the jumping off point for some quite interesting and unexpected plot twists. I can’t decide whether to be pleased or horrified at my schadenfreude. It just goes to show, we are all a messy mix of light and shade.

This takes me to my next point (I did have a plan for this blog post, honest). I’m so focused on my burgeoning novel that other writing is taking a back seat. I’m in the throes of my first edit of my book. It’s both challenging and revealing and I find that I edit best with a cup of coffee, under the duvet, in bed (who knew?). I wonder if it’s because it reminds me of when I was a law student and the only way I could have access to all the law books I needed when writing and studying (it was before the internet!) was by spreading them out on my bed? Anyway, once I’ve made some more editing progress my flash fiction and poetry brain cells will kick back in. I do have a list of ideas, inspirations and whatnot, I just don’t want and can’t get too distracted by them for now. I used to contribute a lot to DVerse and I want to get back into that, definitely. It too is a fun place to be.

Which takes me to my final point, which is a bit of a shout out to Helena Hann-Basquiat. She too has been off the radar for a bit (I think the youth across the pond are still saying ‘a hot minute’), but I am reliably informed because I follow her and comment on her blog posts (not stalkery at all), that she is also getting back into the writing gig. I’m so pleased because (a) she’s a brilliant writer and (b) because I reaaaaaally enjoyed being part of the Jessica collaboration back in 2014. it appears that the final book in the trilogy is in the works. All being well I can unleash my really dark side on a bloody slice of this final book, if she still intends to go down the collab route with it. I have a dark dystopian soul and an even darker horror soul. And then there’s my fantasy soul too which is really quite a doozy. Anyway, all hail Helena. I’m looking forward to working with you, if you’ll have me.

There. I think I’ve written all I wanted to for now. I intend to be here on a weekly basis, every weekend, all being well. I’ll be in my dressing gown and PJs, allthough you won’t see that – or will you? Who knows who is watching and by what method?

We are in This-stopia after all…

 

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SoCS Jan 4/20 – Tap tap tap

‘Ow!’

That’s what my brain is thinking as I stare at the computer screen yet again, and begin tapping away at my laptop – yet again. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my break from work over the festive season, relaxed, eaten tasty food, cooked tasty food, had lie-ins, all the usual ‘stuff’ as we’ve hunkered down against the short hours of daylight at this time of year. BUT (and it’s a big but, hence the shouty capitals!), I’ve also been working very hard.

Thankfully, it’s been pleasurable work. The only person standing over me and wagging a judgemental finger has been my inner taskmaster (and believe me, she is quite the taskmaster!).

Also thankfully, I have finished said work – at 6.37am on 28th December to be exact. I was so excited, I posted about it on my Instagram account – @freyathewriter

By the way, the writing community over there is absolutely lovely. I only joined to see if there was such a thing as a writing community – and there is! It’s been a happy accident to find friendly and encouraging fellow writers.

Anyway, the work that I’ve been, errr, working on (use your vocab, Freya!) has been the first draft of my dystopian novel. Quite wisely I think, I’ve taken a few days since completing it to have a break so that when I start my editing, I’ll see it with fresh eyes. At this stage, I’m looking forward to it – although I recognise that I might think differently at some point in the future!

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It’s time for Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the lovely Lynn invites us to write using a word that includes ‘ingle’ – I just added an M!

Please do join us to read, or let your mind wander and join in!