I Finished my Novel…

I’ve been writing for years, and although, I’ve made tons of first drafts, I’ve finally finished a peice that I am happy to share! It took seven years, god knows how many drafts and 105,477 words to finish and I can’t explain how fulfilled I feel.

Now, my next aim is to get it published.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for the rejection letters to start coming, but even world-class authors were rejected at first, so maybe I have a chance!

Although, it does depend on whether or not I find the right words to put in to a synopsis. I’m sure someone said once that writing is a breeze compared to writing the synopsis…

However, I’ll be sure to share it with all of you! Here’s to the next step. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long this time!

Although for the moment, I’m going to try and rest my brain, read some books and maybe start writing the next tale in the story.

The Final Draft – Some Editing Tips!

So, I’m (hopefully) in the final drafts of my first finished novel! It’s taken a while to get right, and it’s only now as I edit my last piece that I’m starting to think that it could be good enough!

I went through the motion a while back of thinking that my story was boring and didn’t have enough depth,or that people wouldn’t have the same love of the characters as I do, but this last edit has been so revealing and I’ve developed things I never thought I would develop, and even some of my characters have surprised me! (One of them made me cry…)

I’ve learned a lot about editing whilst doing it and can honestly say that the time varies. It can take three drafts to complete or it can take nine (mine leaning towards the latter), it all depends on the holes in your plot and your characters and whether or not writers block comes to visit.

The following are just some tips I’ve learned whilst editing, and some tips from the writersdigest and creativepen that I think really help:

  • Let the manuscript rest

I think this tip is the most important! Once you’ve finished writing your book, take a break from it and don’t go straight in to editing. Stephen King does it and just look at the wonders he creates! Go away from it. Maybe start a new novel, write some short stories, develop some ideas or do all the things you haven’t done yet because you spent all your spare time writing! You will come back with a clear head and be able to see all those plot holes and problems you didn’t see when you wrote it first, and you’ll be able to make it more cohesive.

  • Try and print out your manuscript

I know for some, this can be hard, but if you have access to a printer whether it be at home or at a library, printing out your manuscript makes it easier to read. It also allows you to write edits down on the page and means you can use sticky tabs, washi tapes or highlighters to make it easier for you to distinguish chapters or viewpoints etc.

My current piece has two places it takes part in, and to make sure I even out the chapters right and don’t have too many chapters from the same place one after each other, each of the corners have washi tapes to help me distinguish my adventurous group from my homebodies.

  • Using Word processors to edit

For those who can’t print it out, Word processors have track changes and the ability to highlight and add comments! Most word processors also have the ability to find typos and spelling mistakes, and you can easily use find and replace to change place names or character names, or replace those typos you find littering your words when you really were in the moment!

Also, some advice when you come to editing, it’s so much easier to keep it all on one file, and have a page between the chapters. It can easily look like a load of paragraphs as you scroll down without any proper breaks between them!

  • Take breaks

Remember to take breaks when you edit, keep yourself fueled and hydrated and give your mind a rest every now and then. You could watch a movie, a TV show, read a book, play a game, just distract yourself for a bit. Too much editing all at once can make you doubt what you’ve written even more, when really, it’s absolutely fine!

  • Find your place to edit

Find our the best place for you to edit. Sometimes I switch between the busyness of my downstairs and then the quietness of my bedroom. I become so engrossed in my story sometimes that it doesn’t matter if I have the TV on in the background, or the hustle and bustle of home life happening around me, but its different for every person.

For some, they have to be out of their house, sat in a cafe or a pub, and for others, they need to sit in their bedroom or office!

  • Keep a writing journal, spare paper or folder handy

Sometimes an idea will strike you as you edit one chapter for another chapter later down the line, or maybe you’ve changed something that will effect a later chapter. It’s always handy to have a notebook with you, and keep all your notes in one place.

  • Let someone else read it

It could be beta readers, or it could be your mum. It gives you an insight in to how someone else might take it, and be ready for any criticism their probably going to give you!

  • Be original

Don’t write like J.K Rowling, or George R.R. Martin, write like you! It gives the reader world something new because no one writes like you do.

And watch your prose, sometimes your style can overwhelm your content. Sometimes words can be too beautiful. An author called Georges Simeon once said whilst reading a piece “That’s a beautiful sentence, cut it”

  • Character development

Make sure all of your characters have a bit of depth to them and try and show that their three dimensional people. A great tip I’ve found is to write the characters back story, you could write about where they were born, who their relatives are, about what they like and dislike.

Even without writing it in your story, if you have better knowledge on what happened to your characters before, it can show in your writing and help you with developing your characters once you start editing.

90618-Ernest-Hemingway-Quote-When-writing-a-novel-a-writer-should-create

  • Don’t be afraid

Look at editing as colouring a picture you drew. You can colour it however you like, you can add bits and you can erase bits, and, if you need to re-write a whole chapter, or add another, do it! Even in my final drafts, I’ve added new chapters. Half way through my editing process, I added a whole new story that I had to integrate with my old one, making sure that all the chapters slotted into place.

Don’t ever worry about how many drafts it takes you to get it right. Sometimes first drafts can be near perfect and others far from it. Writing a novel is the easiest part, it’s all the things that come after your first draft that make you want to pull your hair out!

Escaped…

Lightning blinded me once more as I opened my eyes, bringing the thunder everyone hates the sound of, and the rain that terrorises men and animal alike.

My breath catches as I realise I can breath again, a fresh taste in my mouth as I am flung forward and thrown towards the ground.

I can feel stone beneath me, wet, rigid. I scramble to my feet desperately, waiting for the water to seep in to my skin, for the pain to start, but when I look at my hands, I do not see blisters or sores. The water trickles in droplets down my palm and back on to the floor.

I do not look back, I am drawn to the light, the opening in the dark where the rain pours and the lightning strikes, smashing in to the rock and breaking away at what surrounds me.

My legs stumble and falter, but somehow, I keep myself upright, drawn to what my people call the acid rain.

I trip and fall to the ground, the light on the horizon goes dark. It is wet and cold, but again, the water does not burn like it is supposed too. It has no flame, no power. I push myself to my knees, the light on the horizon appearing once more.

My eyes must have adjusted. I can see the raggedness of the caves opening in to the world, I can see the stone tear apart as the lightning crashes against it.

So, why on earth am I still walking towards it? My father once told me an old saying of our people, that curiosity killed the cat. I don’t even know what a cat is, but it sounds evil.

I come to the edge and my heart freezes as I look upon the bright lights and sounds of a city as far and as wide as my eyes can see. 

There are towers of windows and lights high in to the sky, things that move across straight roads seemlessly in all different colours. Sounds, so many sounds I’ve never heard before, ones that ring in my ears, ones that fill them with joy. There is something though, something I recognise in amongst the new.

People. Other people.

I kneel down, entranced by the scene. It looks like a city from one of the photo’s, of a world that had once been. People are running around, trying to escape the rain like I would, but their rain is not like ours. They run without cover, their skin bare to the elements.

Are they immune to the acid rain? Have they evolved? I hold my arm out, my body shakes as I wait for the familiar pain, but it does not come. It does not burn or melt my skin like it once had.

Had the nuclear storm ended as I’d been trapped, had the wasteland been rebuilt, taking back what was once ours on the barron land. How long had I been asleep? I touch my face, expecting wrinkles and leather skin like grandma had once, but it is still soft, still untouched by the old.

I stand with my arms opened, embracing this new world, a world where acid rain did not melt childrens faces and elders could walk outside without fear that their own translucent skin would betray them.

I look down at the cliff I’m on. If I am careful and do not falter, I could reach the bottom. I turn back, sending a silenf promise that once I found the city safe, I would return for my people.

After only two steps down, I was at the bottom. As if there is no cliff there at all. 

I turn to the city. It looks even taller now. I am on one of their roads, they are grey like the ones they used to talk off, yellow and white lines running across them.

I notice the similarities more and more as I walk. The things that move pass me run on wheels. I am sure I have seen the wreckage of what a thousand years of a nuclear storm can do to them. The slabs on the pavement are familiar too, I have seen them used to build a wall, to keep out the monsters the acid rain had created. The towers of windows, the buildings, they are made of brick, of concrete, just like ours once were.

I feel an immense sense of fulfillment as I begin to run towards the center. I have woke in a place that had rebuilt the wasteland. A place where acid rain does not burn my skin. Has the nuclear storm finally ended?

People run pass me, I hear their voices complain about the rain, of how their hair would ruin or their make-up run. Do they not realise that they are in a place where rain does not scar your skin or make your face melt, in a place where the sun does not bare down on you and cook you from the inside out.

The people stare at me, look at me weird, as if I do not belong to this place, but as I look down to my blue overalls, I feel under dressed. The clothes they wear are different to ours, their more colourful, colours I have only ever seen faded. My feet do not stop to worry about such things, my mind wants to take it all in. Am I dreaming?

Am I even smart enough to think up such a place?

A chubby man get’s my attention. He is stood next to a newspaper stand, the papers flutter around as he tries to collect them up, to shelter them from the rain, but one escapes him. We both watch as it flies up, way out of his reach and he looks away, disheartened when it lands in a puddle near me. He walks away as I pick it up.

The words do not fade straight away. On the front page, it has The Times written across the top, it’s almost like the one I had found before, but it was fresh, white; not browned and aged and brittle. The photo shows me a family. A mother, a father and a child I think. The child looks sick, tubes coming from his nose. Cancer. An old illness that my people do not fall ill too. I look through it, the paper ripping as the wet sunk in, but I could not find anything of my world in it’s words.

My eyes get drawn to the date. The 26th April 2017. It is the same date, the same month, the same year, but this can not be my world. My world is a wasteland.

The rain continues to fall, but another bright glow from the sky makes me look up. The clouds have began to shift. 

Is it the sun. It must be the sun. The clouds shift over, showing a white globe in the sky, but it does not blind me like the sun does.

Is it the moon. How can it be the moon. The moon was blown up, destroyed by a nuclear strike that had come for the world seconds after.

Thats because… I’m dreaming…

This is not my world. This world has never been a wasteland. They have not faced the acid rain. They have never faced the monsters that had evolved in the radioactive waters. A blip, a blip in the line of the universe. A world where nuclear war did not take our homes, or the beauty of the moon..

I look backwards, towards the cliff I had scaled and see only buildings. The cave I emerged from is gone. I had escaped the wasteland, but now I was trapped…


This piece was inspired by a promp fromimg_6397 thinkbreathwriteblog.

 

The featured photo is from atideswellman

I don’t really know what caused me to talk about nuclear war and a wasteland, but it’s the first things that popped in to my head as I started to write. It’s also the first time I have written anything in present tense, so hopefully I’ve not messed up anywhere.

Have a good Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

The Joust (Ryans Squire Story)

They had passed over a rocky river and her leg had slipped. From there on, lameness had over took the old mare. A young Ryan Crye, a red headed squire to the great Sir Trent, a Kings Knights, had found himself almost begging his Lord for them to stop, to let her rest before they got to the Kings tournament, but the Knight had no compassion for such things. If she could not keep up, she would be disposed of.

The young squire had considered leaving her in one of the inns, just until they passed back through, but when he had asked, the Knight had said it would be a waste. He was not willing to spend his money on the old mare; he would rather spend it on the whores. Ryan had considered leaving her in a camp they had erected on the fourth night. It was safe from wolves and bears, and was one they would pass through on their way home. However, when he had left her, she had followed him.

The mare had never liked being alone, and she must have thought the pain worth it to stay with her young rider. Even if she would never make it.

It had been an early morning when she had fallen for the last time. She laid there on her side, her breathing was heavy, but it was constant. The mare was trying so hard not to give up, to keep herself alive for the boy she was so worried would turn in to his superior if he cared about no one else, but himself.

The squire, her rider, her Ryan, sat with her in her last moments. Moments that would have come much later if the Knight had not slit her throat.

“Horses die just like men, we move on” the Knight said. There was no compassion, no respect.

The mare had once belonged to him, but he had turned old and nasty; or maybe he had always been that way. Ryan had looked up at him once, but now, he could not help but feel ashamed. How had he not seen what this man was truly like. He’d left his father, a coward, a beater, to follow someone he thought was different.

Ryan walked the rest of the way, following in the back of the Knights procession. The Kings tournament would only last four days, but still the Knight had taken his whole house with him.

He had his cook to ensure the meat was not poisoned, his three servants to make sure his weaponry was sharp, his two young handmaidens to ensure his tent was clean (amongst other things), his stable hand to ensure his horse was looked after, and Ryan for everything else. They had also acquired another on their travel, a blonde headed whore who took a delight in sitting on the back of the Knights horse with her small arms wrapped around him.

She had taken notice of Ryan, sometimes flinging herself at him when she thought the Knight did not look, but he had no need or want of her. The Knight did not care if his squire shared his whore, but he had got so lazy on his choosing’s as of late, that his dick was spotted and his balls were red. As beautiful as the whore was, Ryan did not want to share such things with his Lord.

The tournament had only just begun when they rode in. Tents had been erected all around the Kings field, the castle dominating the skyline. The Knights tent had already been erected before they had arrived, and the servants made quick work to make it to the Knights liking. Before he had settled, the Knight had pushed Ryan in the direction of the stable, telling him and the stable hand to pick out a horse. He told him to get something young, sturdy, something that would aid both him and the Knight during the tournament if his black steed ever fell.

He had not wanted to choose another, not so soon, but as the Kings stable hand, an old grey headed man had showed him what was on offer, Ryan strayed towards a blue colt. It had looked at him curiously and he had looked back at it. There was something about the way the colt held himself, something Ryan could not explain or understand.

“He is a fine horse with a soft heart. If you show him compassion young Sir, he will give you his all” the grey haired man said as he walked up behind him. His own stable hand grimaced at the thought of the horse, there was something about it he did not like, but then maybe he had been around the Knight far too much to care about helping a quiet soul. Despite his obvious annoyance, Ryan chose the colt.

The horse was six years old and his name was Bezel.

The Knight had not cared for him, just as the stable hand had said, but like I said the Knight did not care for much these days.

King of the kingdom, Rhyne Collonau, did not take part in the tournament, knowing that the men would let him win. Anyhow, the King’d had his fill of war, of fighting. He was happy to watch, to spectate the lives of his followers.

He had seen the Knight arrive, as always, with a procession of people; followed by a young Ryan Crye. He looked like his father, but despite his name and his likeness, he fought like a warrior, held himself like a young Knight. He had already competed in and wan five sparring games with older men before the first day ended. He was no coward like his father.

The Knight had won his seventh jousting match by noon on the second day. He was in the lead, and would most probably again, be top of the board by the tournaments end.

It was on the third day that Ryan took part in his first joust. He could feel the adrenaline running through him as he’d adorned the armor. It was not steel like the Knights, but the poles were much duller, less likely to kill. He could feel Bezels excitement as he mounted him. He enjoyed being ridden, to run -just as much as Ryan did. Ryan remembered running at the horse, remembered putting his jousting pole down, but then it had cracked, stabbing the other horse in the chest. It fell and the rider toppled on to the ground.

Bezel had stopped in his tracks, throwing Ryan off the top of him and causing him to do a roll in the air before hitting the ground. He had looked up, his head spinning as people had rushed to them. The other horse was dead, and the man had smacked his head on the fence between them; death would come later for him.

The Knight had been both impressed and disappointed. Disappointed more that he had fallen from his horse. It had not been Ryans fault, the man’s horse had tripped and fallen towards the pole, but still the Knight had congratulated him. It was not the first man the squire had led to death, and it would not be his last, but it was not one he had intended. The man had been in his forties, his wife had cheered him on at the side. They had come for the fun of it, to be a part of the Kings celebrations, not to die. The Knight had already considered taking the crying widow back to his tent, it was the first thing that had popped in to his mind. She could be Ryan’s prize once he he’d had his fill.

The blue colt had not moved. His feet were firmly stuck in place. Ryan had been helped up by two men he couldn’t remember the faces off, instead, his eyes were transfixed on the man next to him. Silently, he begged the Gods he did not believe in to let him live, for his daughters and sons to keep their father, but then the Knight would slap the frozen horse on the arse. It would bolt, smashing right in to the Knights black stallion who stood awaiting his turn.

In a fit of pure rage, the Knight drew his sword, heading for the pile of horse. Bezel was the first to stand and, as the Knight raised his sword, he brought it down on the colt, only for another to smack it away. It was the last time the Knight would ever have a squire called Ryan Crye. Ryan swiped his sword to the right, hitting the Knights hands and making him drop the steel sword he’d considered stealing once. The Knight had never had many words, only actions, but as he went to grab Ryan, to bestow upon him the things only legend said he could, Ryan held his sword to his throat.

“Goodbye my Lord” Ryan said. He considered ramming the sword through his neck, he may have had the Knight not took a step back. Ryan turned and flung himself on to Bezel. He could not stay here; he could not squire for a man so full of hatred.

He would return home to his father, to his house.

The King had watched quietly. Many men had stood up to Sir Trent, but never had a man made him step away. It was the day the King had decided that the Crye family name would not go down as the ones who had fled from the great war, but be one of the ones who would save the Kingdom from the threat that was so far away.


This is a little insight in to some back story of my current WIP. I wanted to write it so I knew a bit more about a secondary character. Sometimes they only talk to you when you write about them.

Until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x