Updated: Apr 19, 2019
I've finally made the move to get my Author page and blog up and running. Over the last few years I've been writing a novel- length manuscript for hopeful publication. It's been a journey and a half.
Previously a short story and non-fiction article writer, I've had to develop an entirely new set of writing skills. But I'm learning and developing every day.
I haven't done any of it all on my own though.
At the end of 2015, I attended a one day writing class with the incredible Fiona McIntosh. I'd been back writing for a few years and dreamed of writing a novel like most people on the planet. If you've ever met Fiona, you'll know how energetic, inspiring and motivating she is. Nor does she pull any punches. She lit a fire in me that refuses to burn out, and she assured me I COULD write well. She planted the seed of an idea and suggested I write a story about what I know: pug breeding. Well, you don't ignore the advice of Ms McIntosh, so I got to it and wrote a short story which came 3rd in the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems competition much to my utter shock.
Maybe I could do this!
Meanwhile I'd discovered a shocking part of Australia's history that captivated me and tore my heart out at the same time. Why didn't I know about this? After months of research, I had my story idea.
Then I went to Fiona's Masterclass in the Autumn of 2017. This was a defining moment for me as an author. Not only was I given one on one advice from one of Australia's premiere authors, but I became part of a family of writers who continue to inspire, encourage and motivate me every day. I also pitched to a publisher who I will submit my finished manuscript to, hopefully in October 2018.
I went home from Masterclass and slashed my MS in half. There was an alarming amount of rubbish in it. I even had 2 characters named Jack and Daniel that Fiona kindly pointed out made her think of a bottle of whiskey. I was determined to keep going though and restructured the story. I completed that draft in December 2017, went back to it in Jan 2018 and realised half of it still wasn't working, so I deleted half again. I almost cried, but NOW I had the structure right. This 2nd draft was completed by May, and I'm currently editing before sending to Beta readers.
I've learnt an entirety from writing this first novel, and hope my second one that's brewing will be easier knowing what processes work for me.
In coming posts, I'll discuss my current manuscript and some of the research that has shaped it.
Until then, keep smiling.