challenge tagged posts

Episode 56- Memoir, Movember and More!

October 27, 2012

This post was written by Damien

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Episode 56- The Newbie Writer’s Podcast

Memoir Again!

 I will have just completed a tele -summit on Memoir so I’ll include the notes from that project into our podcast.

Is eg acceptable instead of e.g.? Especially in tech writing. Adam asked.

To see the full post – go to

Sometimes the easiest way to start your memoir and to get going is to consider not only the big events in your life but also the small, seemingly insignificant memories.

Why do we remember these at all?

Damien you had some big memories that you began writing about, and they are very powerful. But what about the smaller ones? Here’s why I bring that up. The small memories, add to your work and give depth to the memoir as well as give the reader a brief rest from the intensity of the stronger or moreRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

June 5, 2012

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie Novelist  4 comments

Deciding what time of year to set your book can prove quite a dilemma. And it’s a dilemma you need to resolve before you begin to write, because it permeates the whole story.

A no brainer, you might say? But, when you become immersed in the writing of a novel, it can be easy to forget how many times it rained, what the weather was like on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, depending on your timescales…

Seasonal weather can have a big impact on your storyline. It not only affects the way you dress your characters – you can’t have people running about in shorts in the middle of winter, or trussed up in hats and scarves in the midst of summer – but also the mood and atmosphere you wish to create.

An Unfamiliar Murder is set in November. Why? Because in November, in the UK, it can be icilyRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

November 18, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie Novelist  6 comments

These past couple of months I have found myself in unchartered territory.  Honestly, I never expected to get a book deal and, perhaps naively, didn’t research what comes next.

I’ve talked about marketing and developing a platform already. I’m still navigating the learning curve there. I’ve done some more edits and I now understand how that all works.

My latest challenge was the book cover. How important is cover art? I’ve been a voracious reader of crime fiction for many years and it got me thinking – how much does the cover of a book really matter? Does anyone buy a book based on the cover?

My publisher house, Rainstorm Press, have been very supportive. They asked me for my ideas, wanted it to be something I was comfortable with and proud of. Hmmm. An Unfamiliar Murder is aRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

October 26, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

How do you deal with rejection?

Rejections are a real part of every writer’s life, a legacy of the subjective world of creativity that we choose.

There are numerous reasons why publishers reject novel submissions: their lists are full; the genre is wrong; they don’t gel with your characters; you haven’t adhered to their submission requirements; story isn’t fresh or original or they simply don’t like it; writing style, etc. etc. The list is endless…. And for the most part, we receive no explanation, just a standard response.

Honestly, if my rejection pile was compared to my acceptance pile it would crush it outright. So, how do we turn them around? Here’s my way:

  1. Don’t take rejections to heart – we are in a subjective business, what one editor hates another loves.
  2. RevisitRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

September 14, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Mid May 2011

Feedback arrived about a week later. My Agent alerted me that these were unguarded comments between Agent and Editor. The literary world is a subjective one, we all love some authors, hate others. Editors have personal opinions too. But that doesn’t necessary make those authors’ bad writers.

So, with trepidation, I opened the email and….was pleasantly surprised. The feedback was positive! In fact, very complimentary in places. There were a couple of Editors that didn’t quite gel with the characters, a few that would have liked another twist to the plot, but most of them really liked it – it was just bad timing.

My Agent was disappointed to say the least and, since he only submits to publishing houses that pay an advance large enough to satisfy his commissionRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

September 4, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Early May 2011

With the interest in my novel to date, I should be ecstatic. Two Agents interested – should be a fiction writers dream. But I was about to learn that securing an Agent doesn’t automatically ensure publication. It just gives you a foot in the door.

In May I received the rejection of all rejections. With the major UK publishing houses passing on my novel, my Agent struck out. He was unable to secure a deal which offered sufficient advance to satisfy his commission requirements. I was back on my own.

Jeffery Archer was rejected by thirteen publishers before he secured a contract for Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less which later became a bestseller. Even J K Rowling received rejections. I was joining an established club. The problem was that this information didn’t easeRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

August 21, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Late March 2011

How can we tell if our manuscript is ready for submission?

If writing is re-writing and editing, then there is an argument that it is never ending, that there is always some prose that could be improved upon. But I guess you have to end somewhere.

By the end of March, my Agent called me up to say my novel was ready for submission. Exciting times… He would send it to the major UK publishing houses on my behalf, with the synopsis of the sequel. He was intent on selling the series.

I’ll admit I was nervous. I wasn’t following the trend in crime fiction. I had spent hours, days, months, years even, studying creative writing and specialist crime fiction, deconstructing favourite novels, avidly working out what I liked/disliked. In my psychological thriller I worked hard toRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

August 9, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Early Feb. 2011

What’s in a pen name?

February brought good and bad news from the Agent. He actually liked my edits – phew! I was learning that the points he had raised were suggestions for me to consider, not set in stone. Relieved, I was growing in confidence. The bad news was that he didn’t like my pen name.

As soon as I realised that I would actually finish my book, I decided that I wanted to use a pseudonym for my fiction work. Why? I can’t tell you exactly. Maybe I wanted an alter ego, maybe I wanted to protect the privacy of my family. No idea. It just seemed like an important move. My regular name is Jane Lobb – regular in every sense. So, I had spent months thinking long and hard. I wanted something usual, something different, something that stood out. Eventually IRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

July 23, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Late Jan. 2011

At a recent literary festival, Sophie Hannah talked about the importance of being on board with your Agent. This is a critically acclaimed author and poet, her work has been recently televised on the BBC in the UK, who was revealing how she had been compelled to part ways with an Agent when they couldn’t agree the changes to her first crime thriller.

Turning my book into a marketable product was proving to be a compromise and I wasn’t sure how far I could, or indeed needed, to go to meet my Agents requirements. It wasn’t that he wasn’t approachable; he had seemed like a great guy when we had met a month earlier. But this was a new relationship and we had never worked together before. As a potential debut novelist, I didn’t want to upset the apple cart, but I alsoRead More

Diary of a Newbie Novelist

July 19, 2011

This post was written by JaneIsaac

Diary of a Newbie NovelistSubmissions  No comments

Mid Jan. 2011

At a recent launch of the new James Bond novel ‘Carte Blanche’ Jeffery Deaver read out a page of narrative he had written for his next book. Like most of his writing, it sounded gripping, compelling, a real page turner. Then he read out his re-write of the same passage. It consisted of a couple of sentences. We all laughed, applauded heavily, but it left its mark; most writing is re-writing, honing our work to get the message right.

Rosamund Lupton, author of the debut 2010 UK bestseller ‘Sister’ (well worth a read by the way), recently spoke of the importance of her editor. How she keeps her ‘on track’ with her current book. As Newbies, most of us don’t have the luxury of editors to call on. We re-write, try to make every word count, but how do we know if thatRead More