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Weekly round up including August Writing Progress Report: Possible delay until early 2020, Working on Scribophile vs a course, Editing the third novel.


It's been a busy and tiring week so nothing much has happened. I've just being going to work and coming home. Literally that. I've even cut down my walking because I've been so tired after work.  It's more or less the one of the busy seasons of my job. 

August Writing Report


There is nothing writerly about the image but I thought it was nice. It was taken on Parliament Hill about a week ago, and it shows a misty view of the London skyline. Let's talk writing...

I seem to be treading water and my book still isn't coming together so I'm thinking of a 2020 release date. It's a hard one to say why because the big picture works well, and I even took Holly Lisle's How To Edit Your Novel course but it didn't do what I thought it would. I've also tried using my old editing notes and 'how to write' books but I've got overwhelmed with the different approaches to the same thing. Also as I said, funny enough it all works on the tick box level, its just prose. 

Having gone through the options and talked to a couple of people and gotten good valuable independent feedback there is one final course, I'm considering. 

I must add, if I did have the time I would workshop it on my online workshop Scribophile. It's an excellent site, more than value for money - subscription is very very reasonable and probably a tenth of a writing course -I think it's about $60 or £50 something like that. Or for FREE using the basic membership, if I plan a tight schedule and keep to it. Basic membership has some restrictions but it's very possible, I know people who have used this method, its just a writer is restricted to the main spotlight, there is no karma-free (that's like scribophile money) beta spotlight, and a limited amount of Personal Messages (DMs).  But if you are on really tight shoe string, and can plan, stick to a schedule basically  you can get at least 80% of the benefit of the site for free. And there is also the networking factor, and lots of groups to join in.

There are really good writers there. So why not for me this time? I've already had nearly two/three novels done, and flurry of short stories, so I'm just in a post online-workshopping mood. I want to try something new and develop the skills to evaluate my work without relying on the online model. Workshopping and beta-reading add plenty of value but now and again, it's good to try something new.

What next for Editing the Third Novel?

This looks like a retreat doesn't it? It was one but a health one rather than a Writerly one. Sis treated me to a detox weekend however lets not digress from the topic at hand. 

So having looked at the courses and knowing I could get most of it on my online-work for free or 5% of the price. Yes, a huge whacking 95% discount or the one I decided against was 97% more than Scribophile. Literally. 

Most of the course outlines are pretty much the same, plot, characterisation, scenes, show vs tell etc. There is nothing much to reinvent, if you are experienced, you know all that stuff. It is what it is. So what one is really paying for is the tuition and insights of the course material. So I've decided to apply for on off-line course. 

NOTE - I've been saving for five years! I need to point this out, because when I joined Scribophile around five - six yeas ago and one self-published author was saying how much things costs, another writer said, oh it was time she started saving like a $10.00 a month. I'm not sure if it was in jest, but I took it to heart and started to squirrel away £10 a month, and then gradually as my wages increased, I put a little more away, so I have a little writing pot for which I pay writerly things out of - unless they are really inexpensive. 

Anyway, moving on, I'm going to apply for the Faber course, not because I'm learning anything new, but I'm interested in the insight of the tutors.  What will be new, is their way of explaining things. I have to apply and send them what I have. I'm not too bothered about feedback because the tutor will be accessible. What can really make or break a course can be the course participants but I have no control over that. 

I have dropped out of on-line and off-line courses because of that. The online course was because it wasn't moderated well and after a while the participants became catty and mean in their feedback. It just wasn't a supportive atmosphere, and I could work through the course material on my own. Also the tutor wasn't that good, seemed disinterested and the moderation was poor. 

The off-line was a long time ago. We were allowed to read out stories in class, and the one of the participant read out a story with very inappropriate material and I'm not taking sex scene. It was just inappropriate, the tutor didn't stop her so I just thought, 'you know what, I can't deal with that' and I didn't go back. 

The outline is fairly basic and there is a reader's report. What is really value is having the tutor there, so I guess I can ask other questions, if I'm an early bird or stay late behind to corner them. It's a select course, which means I have to apply. 

I'll need to ask when I get the reader's report. If the reader report is going to be a couple of months after the course, which will push it to March 2020. 

Considering Jericho Writers

In a last ditch attempt to get my novel off the ground, I signed up to Jericho Writers - not the editing course - but the actual site just to get a glimpse of some of the videos on offer. Despite my seemingly desperation, I decided just to try the monthly charge at £30 and see how it goes. 

I was just going to focus on two of the masterclasses, I've been for two live Jericho Writers' events before so I was okay with this experiment. Before heading to the master class, I was a bit curious about the How To Write Video Course presented by Harry Bingham (the owner/co-founder of Jericho Writers).  So I selected a few that resonated with me and I was pleasantly surprised, however I'm not breaking out into champagne just yet. I did that with Holly Lisle's course and it wasn't a good fit for my novel. 

However Harry is in a different league - Oxbridge educated, former city banker and now business man/ full-time writer.  I've always found him an interesting character, especially the way he adapts his business model to suit the times. Not to digress, I'm going to sit down and work on the areas pointed out, mainly characterisation and prose. 

I've had a brief look at the master classes but I feel parts of Harry's course resonate better for now, otherwise it's information overload. Proof's in the pudding, let's see if I can tidy up some of it by the first of September. The Faber course deadline is the 4th. 

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