Life Cycle of a Writer – Planning for submission

Hi everyone.

I feel as though it has been FOREVER since I have given you all my update. I also feel like a lot of my recent updates have been how I am not getting anywhere and how life is getting in the way… and to be fair, it was. It still is, sometimes! However, I have learnt that life will always throw things at you at the most inappropriate times and I need to suck it up and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!

So that is what I am doing. I had planned to start 2016 with gusto and get things moving along with my writing. However, all best laid plans and all that, Mum was taken seriously ill in hospital and boom, there goes three weeks of my life in a whirlwind of hospital visits, work and juggling childcare (thanks SO much to all my wonderful friends for stepping in and helping – I really couldn’t get by without you all.)

So fast forward a month and we are in February and I feel like I have achieved nothing. ZERO. ZILCH!

With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to write off January 2016 and start the year again, fresh, in  February. So…

happy-new-year-banner

And here I am, ready to make things happen and actually DO IT!

I have pulled together my submission plan  and I just need to do some editing for two of my novels before I send it over to my agent for submission. I am hoping to submit my plan, as a whole, to show editors that I have more to offer than just one book. I have 5 synopsis’ to send over as well as two complete novel drafts (one more polished than the other but two complete nonetheless). So I just want to run through another edit on them both so that I am happy and then I shall see what my agent thinks. Hopefully she will love it all as much as I do.

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Well, there you have it – my submission plan. Fingers crossed life doesn’t throw anything huge at me over the next few months so that I can really get stuck in – I think I’ve had my fair share recenetly, time for a break.

Best of luck to everyone who is submitting either at the moment or in the near future – I would love to hear your updates, too. Lets do this and work it through together.

Lots of Love

Lucie x

Motivation Monday 1st February

author picSue :

Monday is here upon us again, I hope you all had a good weekend and ready to tackle the week ahead.

My To Do List isn’t very big, but if, I mean when, I get it done it will be a huge relief to me. So, here it is …

  1. Final read through of manuscript on Kindle.
  2. Tweak as necessary.
  3. Send to editor.

edits 2

 

Dragonfly

Celia: This is my first time on Motivation Monday, for a  very good reason – I haven’t had any writing motivation to report! The day job is syphoning off lots of energy and the writing part of it hasn’t been much fun. BUT, the new area for creating works of fiction is waiting for me upstairs in the spare room, and this week I’m aiming to use it to:

  1. Redraft and enter 2000 words and synopsis in the SCBWI Slushpile Challenge for the start of a YA love story.
  2. Write the next part of the Year Five spoof Greek myth play.
  3. Continue with edits of WIP, even if only a couple of chapters.

Launch 017

Follow up Friday

Here’s how I got on with my targets this week – how has everyone else done?

Vanessa:

Finish my edits! I’ve set myself a target of sending the revised ms to my lovely agent by half term, which is w/c 15th Feb, so I’m hoping to finish the edits this week so I have a couple of weeks to polish it and make it all nice and shiny!

I’ve finished!!!!!! I got to the end mid-week so I’m still on target for sending to my agent on the 12th February – I’m just hoping I’m still happy with it as I read through over the next couple of weeks!

Polish first 3000 words of ms for a novel competition

I’ve put this back a bit – now the edit is done, I’ll be polishing soon anyway!

Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline

Didn’t manage this one – but I do have some scribbled ideas.

Non-writing related: make birthday cake for father-in-law’s birthday, calm nine year old’s nerves before her first youth theatre panto appearance next weekend!

The cake is baked and the 9yo is VERY excited about Saturday’s premiere!

Vanessa x

Life Cycle Of A Writer – Face Palms, Facebook Adverts and PowerPoint Presentations

Keyboard

It’s been a challenging few weeks in the James household, with the male of the species succumbing to the awful flu virus, and the females under pressure to learn and relearn skills, be it for forthcoming exams in my daughter’s case, or me putting together a slide show for a talk.

I also had to contend with my PC being absent from my desk while Gajitman upgraded it, and my laptop throwing a hissy fit, presumably because it was brought out of hibernation. At one point, I wrote a blog post from my phone. Thank goodness for apps.  And thank goodness for a teen and an IT engineer husband who made everything all right.

Upon the return of my PC, I had to get to grips with Windows 10. For the first two days, my grasp was weak, but I’m pleased to report, it is acquiring strength. It is a matter of time, as one of my friends told me. I will get used to Windows 10 and everything being in a completely different place …

In the meantime, my second Choc Lit novel, Follow Me Follow You was, and still is (until 31st January), on promotion, so I thought I’d try my hand at creating a sponsored advert for Facebook.

Here’s what I learnt:

The advert cannot possess more than 20% text.

FOLLOW ME_front highresThis became a problem when primarily I wanted to promote my book by showing its cover. A cover which consists of my name, title, and the publishers name and logo. Needless to say, on my first few attempts, I fell foul of the 20% text limit imposed by the Facebook rules and received emails inviting me to examine why I’d failed.

I even failed that task.

Face palm.

So I asked Google.

Phrasing the question took several attempts, but eventually I put all the right words in the correct order and was led to this very informative blog: http://bit.ly/1pukRrO from Jon Loomer, where I learned it’s all about where the text is placed. I tried using the FB grid, as suggested in Mr Loomer’s post, but as I IMG_2308mentioned earlier, I was having all sorts of technical difficulties and the grid would not load, so I drew my own grid to fit my laptop screen, and later, another to fit my PC monitor.

IMG_2314Using Canva, and it’s template ‘Facebook Post 940px x 788px’, I created my adverts, ensuring text did not take up more than five boxes. I had to move the image and the text around until I’d got it right, but the advert was approved and accepted by Facebook.

The trick with the text/sales pitch is to write it in the status box, including the links to the product, leaving the space for your advert free for a clean, clear image.

My ad read:

SALE. Digital download 99p.
http://bit.ly/1OsLFCT
‘Follow Me Follow You’, the second novel in the Chesil Beach series is on sale at 99p.
‘Original, uplifting, poignant, it’s a must read.’

With the risk of them breaking, will Victoria Noble and Chris Frampton follow their hearts?

If you like your romantic reads darker and set firmly in reality, the Chesil Beach books are for you.
Second in the series, ‘Follow Me Follow You’, can be read as a standalone.
A 2014 lovereading.co.uk Editorial Selection.

99p (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was my first advert success! Whether or not it made an impact on sales remains to be seen.

My next challenge was to produce a PowerPoint Presentation for a talk a writer friend and I were to give at the Weymouth Civic Society. Our title was ‘Inspired by the Jurassic Coast’, and photographs were required to enhance our talk.

It had been some years since I last played with PowerPoint, but I volunteered my services to create a slide show.

Actually, truth be known, I volunteered my daughter’s services, as she’s far more knowledgeable than I about techy stuff. Thankfully she didn’t mind and came to the rescue, giving me a crash course on how to create slide shows. Between my daughter, with her patient teaching methods, and Gajitman showing me how to connect the laptop to the projector, slide show presentations are GO!

I’m available for gigs …

Laura.

 

 

Motivation Monday

Is it Monday again already?! It’s a new week and a new list of targets for some of us…

Vanessa:

  1. Finish my edits! I’ve set myself a target of sending the revised ms to my lovely agent by half term, which is w/c 15th Feb, so I’m hoping to finish the edits this week so I have a couple of weeks to polish it and make it all nice and shiny!
  2. Polish first 3000 words of ms for a novel competition
  3. Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline
  4. Non-writing related: make birthday cake for father-in-law’s birthday, calm nine year old’s nerves before her first youth theatre panto appearance next weekend!

What are everyone else’s plans for the week? I’ll let you know how I got on on Friday!

Vanessa x

Lucie: Wow, it’s Monday again – where did that weekend go?  I had better set my weekly targets then…

  1. Carrying over from last week, write up a plan for my contemporary series.
  2. Complete more of my Autism training.
  3. Write the blog posts that I need to do.
  4. Get some editing done!

Hopefully I’ll have a more successful week, writing wise, than last week. Good luck everyone! X

Follow-Up Friday

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How did your week go? Did the freezing temperatures spur you on or keep you tucked up in bed?

Here’s how the Romaniacs got on.

Laura:

1 – Attend my writing group on a more regular basis.

2 – Give a great talk at the Weymouth Civic Society, and sell some books.

3 – Write or type up 5000 words of the wip by the end of the weekend.

4 – Help my daughter with her photography studies.

5 – Restore my family’s health with good, wholesome food.

6 – Celebrate with Catherine Miller.

I’m still working on attending my writing group on a more regular basis, but the talk at the Weymouth Civic Society went well. It was a great evening, with the Power Point presentation well received, and I did sell some books.

I read through the wip from the beginning, and it was a wonderful feeling getting to know my characters again. As long as my current headache and dizziness remains at a low level, I should be able to type up my hand-written pages this morning, but I won’t hit 5000 new words. It’s a start.

DD and I discussed her ideas for her photography studies, and I did my best with the wholesome food, but cooking isn’t a natural talent of mine. DS is feeling better, but Gajitman is still poorly.

Boy, the celebrations with Catherine were great :D – see below.

 

Catherine:

1 – Have a fab day celebrating Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You promo day

2- Collapse in a heap and wonder why I didn’t wait until the twins were at least in school full time

3- Get a couple more quotes for having a new heating system put in

4 – Get back to the WIP after Monday’s excitement

Catherine's WFY Cover Pic

After a successful promo day, Catherine is now hibernating.Catherine's WFY Promo Day Chart

 

 

 

Lucie:

1/ Complete the writing related tasks that I am doing for other authors and send back the work required.

2/ Write up a first draft blurb for the two new ideas that I have had for my adult and children’s series.

3/ Clear my ironing pile (I don’t like this one AT ALL, but it has to be done :-()

4/ Consolidate the plan for my book series ideas and have a clear focus of where I am going with them.

5/ Speak to my agent with an update.

6/ Continue work on my Autism course.( I’d really like to complete this before I return to Uni next month)

7/ Sleep…at some point.

Well, lets see how I got on this week. I did lose a day from being ill with a migraine which wasn’t in the least bit helpful, but hey ho!

1/ I completed the tasks I needed to and sent back my feedback – before my deadline! Get me!

Don’t get too excited, this is about the extent of my achieving…

I have written up VERY simple blurbs for the two new ideas but not in enough detail for me to even call them first drafts. I am hoping to complete these over the coming weekend. Number 4 just did not happen AT ALL! I spoke with my agent and am hopefully meeting up with her soon, so that’s good and I did get some sleep – always good. I didn’t do any work on my Autism course (not good) and nor did my ironing pile get done (you didn’t actually expect me to have done it, did you?) So on the whole, I achieved some things… and some just roll over on to next week. Here’s hoping I have a productive weekend!

All round, not a bad week, and certainly worth celebrating with a bun or two.

We’d love to hear about your weekly celebrations – every one counts.

xx

Open Season!

Open Season!

This February, we Romaniacs will be celebrating our 4th birthday, and we’d love for you to join in with the fun.

Here’s what we’d like you to do …

Ways to contact us:

email: romaniacgroup@yahoo.co.uk with your videos and/or questions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRomaniacs

or by leaving a comment below on this page.

Remember, the 1st of February is the deadline, and we know how much you all love a deadline :D

We look forward to answering your questions …

The Romaniacs