My Writing Journey, Uncategorized

Tweaks And Things – You Can Always Make It Better

So, I have my book baby in my hand.

It’s been read, reread, checked and checked again.

No room, or chance for error, right?

Wrong.

I received a (much appreciated) email from a reviewer, alerting me to a couple of missed punctuation marks and silly niggly spelling errors. She is aware of how much this book means to me, and knows how I want to put as perfect a version out there, as possible.

But how is this possible? As I said before, I read and reread countless times!

The problem is that I am too close to the story. No matter now much I read it, I gloss over bits, so end up missing thoes niggles.

I requested ideas from my main writing support group on Facebook (details below) and was given some great ideas:

  • read using a ruler so the next lines can’t distract you
  • read backwards, either from the bottom of a page up, or even from the end of the book to the beginning
  • read it out aloud in a monotone voice (impossible for me, as I am one of nature’s storytellers, and when I read aloud, I have to use expression, and accents – ask the kids in my class, and my colleagues), or
  • use a narrator facility available on most word processers like Word, and even Siri on your MacBook. Hearing your typed words spoken, can help to pick up certain discrepancies

These, along with the help of a proofreader friend of mine, allowed me to pinpoint some silly errors that grammar and spelling software would miss. Continuity errors were caught by said friend too.

Finally, I have a tweaked, polished proof, all uploaded again, and squeaky clean (well, almost. There might be a few naughty bits, but then, romance needs a teensy bit of sauce to, doesn’t it?)

And I have been busy writing content for some of the Blog Tour posts. All the bloggers I approached, have responded, and I officially have a tour planned! Next step – create the Blog Tour Banner!

I even arranged for my first book merchandise – a bookmark!

Another thing I did, was experiment with pens. Now, if you know anything about me, (and most writers), you’ll know that I am a stationery addict. I can never have enough pens or notebooks, and all the other stationery inbetween! I convinced myself that I need a special type of pen for signing my book. I am a bit specific. I love purple. My fountain pen has a bottle of purple ink that I use to fill it with. But, the ink bleeds on the paper in my book, so it’s not perfect for signing. And then, Amazon did this…

Okay, so Amazon didn’t actually do it, it was me. But think of me as the addict, and Amazon as the dealer. I have enough purple pens to experiment with, and to write with for a good long time now! Can’t say “I can’t find a pen!” now.

And then I did another thing. I mentioned a Facebook group a little earlier in the post. The group is run by our very own Sacha Black, and is called 13 Steps to Evil – Villain Masters. This group have been huge in helping me along with the last few months of my journey to getting published. From weekly accountability threads, a safe place to ask questions and get advice, writing prompts, and timely funny writer/villainous memes, to genuine friendships – I have found my writer people! Now, Sacha not only writes amazing fiction, superb writing guides and informative blog posts, but she has also started a podcast called The Rebel Author Podcast. I’ve listened to most of the episodes, and read the transripts of all. So good – I highly recommend. She’s already had some great guests, and it’s only ten episodes old! Well, now she’s branched out into her very own merchandise, and I just had to get my hands on some.

Here I am with my large mug, slouch T-shirt and spiral notebook. I know what I’ll be drinking out of, whenever I write now! Today’s Chai Latte tasted great! And if you want to check out her merchandise shop, click here.

Oh, and something absolutely amazing happened today. Someone I don’t even know posted my book and the preorder link on a Romance Facebook group. I am speechless!

Right, I must get back to that Blog Tour content, but I’ll be back soon, with a banner giving all the dates and details.

And, what are you waiting for? You know you want to put your order in!

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

My Writing Journey

Writing A Book Isn’t Easy

Writing a book isn’t easy.

Well, actually, that isn’t entirely true.

With the facilities would-be authors have at their fingertips nowadays, writing a book, and getting it out there is relatively easy.

What I should really have said was writing a good book isn’t easy.

When you have poured your blood and sweat into writing a story that you are desperate to get out into the literary world, the biggest disservice you can do is not making sure you have perfected it to the best of your ability.

And in order to create a piece of work that is ready, it requires not just the author, but a whole host of others, especially if you decided to self publish.

You need:

  • your support network behind you, both physically and virtually
  • unbiased people ready to read what you are writing, and happy to feed back truthfully
  • an editor who you gel with, someone who knows your vision, and can give you constructive advice
  • more willing readers
  • a cover designer who gets your story
  • copy editors possibly
  • some one who understands formatting to make the interior of your book look as perfect as it can
  • a group of people out there willing to help you promote your masterpiece at the right time

I’m at a crucial stage now.

I have a fantastic support network, thankfully. I have had readers feedback on my original, Ritu-edited draft.

I have reworked parts according to the feedback given.

I found a wonderful editor who has read my work and has given me all sorts of helpful advice and feedback.

I have a list of ready to read beta readers once I manage to finish the edits I wish to make to perfect my story.

I even have a cover designer who has designed a beautiful cover for what will hopefully be my first novel.

There has already been the offer of formatting from one of my dear Blog Family.

And lots of promised support when that release date finally comes to happen.

I’m still not sure of copy editing, but will look into that soon too.

But right now, I need time to get this book ready.

A couple of years ago, I used the month of August to really steam ahead with the writing of this WIP that had taken on teenage status. and it really worked. #RiNoWriMo (Ritu’s Novel Writing Month) was what I needed, and I used my blog as an accountability partner. EAch week I would update my followers on my word count and whether I managed to do what I had hoped. The encouragement I received pushed me to continue, and by the end of the month, my WIP was nearly 60,000 words longer.

Not finished but so close.

I was mentally exhausted though, unsurprisingly, because my month wasn’t devoted to writing, I still had to be a mum to my children who were at the age where they couldn’t occupy themselves for too long, so I was acting as a peace maker/screaming banshee mother as well as writing/typing away furiously.

This year, I have created another month for myself, to get this book to the stage where I can finally say “It’s ready!”.

#RiNoEdMo.

Yup, I’m sure I’ll be pulling faces like that!

I’ll be focussing my attentions on the editing required, and the changes that I need to make to my manuscript, to give it the best possible chance of being read by more than just a few people out there.

It means that certain writing challenges that I take part in on my other blog may be forfeited for a few weeks, but I think that is acceptable, in the circumstances.

“To realise a dream, you sometimes have to let go of others.”

Ritu Bhathal 2019

And I shall be updating you all on here as to my progress, so you will all be my accountability partners.

Here’s to getting this WIP to REAL BOOK state!