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Eighthours

How's the novel going?

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Fantastic news, Rudi! That feeling must be awesome.

As for translation, I've often through it must be an incredibly hard job, but being in a position to translate your own work must be the ideal situation.

Keep us posted.

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I've got two unfinished novels sitting on my PC at home right now...

The first is a sci-fi story about an assassin and his involvement in the nature of the universe... yup. Am actually >< that close to finishing it but haven't done any for ages.

The second is a contempory tale of life as a druggy in a British city and how the actions taken by one can have massive ramifications on others.

Oh and I've got a third that is just 1000 or so words long on paper but has been floating round my head for an age about a vigilante who decides it is up to him to clean up the streets. (I still have thoughts about this one combining with the one above but not sure how exactly... maybe the old two stories. path crossing....)

Anyway, all that is beside the point that I've been writing on and off for about 15 years and still haven't finished a bloody book! *sighs* ho-hum. I will get one done one day.... if only for my own satisfaction.

And then I wrote a horror story.

Phew! Have finally finished the first draft of my novel, 94,000 odd words (and some even ones too... ) and now I need to go back to the beginning and check for continuity, lose a character who I cut halfway through and do a general tidy/clean up.

Still, chuffed that I've managed to get this far! :)

EDIT: Almost four years later... FOUR YEARS...

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I wrote about 20,000 words of a novel on and off over about six years - losing myself in an edit/re-edit loop.

Now, I've just dinged 20,000 words on a new attempt at a new novel...in about 12 days. I just can't write it fast enough. When I'm not writing it, I'm thinking about it. If I stop what I'm doing and write a note about something to add, before I know it I've written 400 words about the note.

I'm trying to be disciplined with the not looking back this time, even though I can't shake the need for people to read every section as I complete it and clue me up if I'm starting to go wrong. (I just cannot write 100,000 words, worrying that the stroy might have turned to utter bullshit after the first 8,000 or something).

Still, 20,000 words in 12 days (not 12 days solid either)...I think I might be onto something this time.

The pace of the story seemed at first to suggest I might struggle to hit a small-novel target of 70,000 words, but all of a sudden, with a plot twist that occured to me on the way to bed, I think I'll have to reign myself in somehow as I near 100,000! :)

Heh, you watch, 20,000 will be the magic number and I will stop all progress now.

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I realised that the 1,000 words I wrote was bollocks and could basically be condensed into one sentence so I've given up.

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I wrote about 20,000 words of a novel on and off over about six years - losing myself in an edit/re-edit loop.

Now, I've just dinged 20,000 words on a new attempt at a new novel...in about 12 days. I just can't write it fast enough. When I'm not writing it, I'm thinking about it. If I stop what I'm doing and write a note about something to add, before I know it I've written 400 words about the note.

I'm trying to be disciplined with the not looking back this time, even though I can't shake the need for people to read every section as I complete it and clue me up if I'm starting to go wrong. (I just cannot write 100,000 words, worrying that the stroy might have turned to utter bullshit after the first 8,000 or something).

Still, 20,000 words in 12 days (not 12 days solid either)...I think I might be onto something this time.

The pace of the story seemed at first to suggest I might struggle to hit a small-novel target of 70,000 words, but all of a sudden, with a plot twist that occured to me on the way to bed, I think I'll have to reign myself in somehow as I near 100,000! :)

Heh, you watch, 20,000 will be the magic number and I will stop all progress now.

I know that feeling exactly. I ended up with about 62,000 words for my novel, and although that was over about three months most of the writing got done in three spurts where I blitzed through each of the three parts in a week. My record was 10,000 words in one day, writing from 9am until 11pm with breaks for mealtimes but nothing else.

The award was given yesterday, and I didn't get it. Never mind! The event was a good excuse to network and it seems that I am a natural at working a room. The Gaelic Books Council wants to pursue opportunities to make my novel into an e-book as well as being published in print - it might even end up being the first Gaelic book on Kindle and such.

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I'm still trying to get an agent for my book. The snobery against sci fi stuff is huge. In the meantime I've continued writing the second book and also creating more backstory to the character. Basically I fleshed him out a bit and the universe with it.

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Also if anyone has any contacts with agents/publishers then helo a rllmuk brother out!. And yes I di have a copy of the writers list of agents and publishers. Bloody book is great.

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I'm still trying to get an agent for my book. The snobery against sci fi stuff is huge. In the meantime I've continued writing the second book and also creating more backstory to the character. Basically I fleshed him out a bit and the universe with it.

Is it genuine snobbery against sci-fi stuff, or just general difficulty in getting published? A friend of mine has written a book which by rights shouldn't be hard to sell to agents/publishers, but he's had no luck for the past two years in getting any takers for it.

Good luck with it, anyway! Keep plugging away.

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Agents and publishing is a catch 22 situation. If you've been published before then you can get one quite easily. If you haven't been published before then the agents won't take you because your a risk. Of course to get published you need an agent. This is the big reason why may people are jumping on the kindle bandwagon.

Sci fi in particular has a real problem with agents. Very few are prepaired to take sci fi on. I've spoke to several agents on the phone who told me point blank about sci fi and to a lesser extent fantasy fiction being looked down upon. It seems to be very focused on who you kmow and less on how good you are. Sad really.

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Agents and publishing is a catch 22 situation. If you've been published before then you can get one quite easily. If you haven't been published before then the agents won't take you because your a risk. Of course to get published you need an agent. This is the big reason why may people are jumping on the kindle bandwagon.

Sci fi in particular has a real problem with agents. Very few are prepaired to take sci fi on. I've spoke to several agents on the phone who told me point blank about sci fi and to a lesser extent fantasy fiction being looked down upon. It seems to be very focused on who you kmow and less on how good you are. Sad really.

Try American agents, fella, as there is far less SF snobbery there and most of the big agencies have at least one agent who handles the genre. There is absolutely no issue with UK authors getting US literary agents, and the vast majority of them take e-queries. Do a lot of research about who to approach, and get on querytracker.net which is a useful resource to search by genre and region. You can look up individual agencies at their websites and often on Publisher's Marketplace.

The US query system is a little different to the UK one. Typically you send an initial query letter only, which has a 2 paragraph blurb about the premise and plot of your book to get them interested, then put the title, word count and genre in a separate paragraph, and finally a small sign-off about any relevant experience you have. If you don't have any, that's fine. Refer to individual guidelines on the agent's website and always stick to them, but unless they specifically say otherwise, paste the first 5 pages of your novel below the query letter to give them a little sample. DO NOT send attachments unless it says to do so on their website.

Writing a good query letter is a fine art, and there are plenty of Internet resources to get you started. If the agent likes what they read, then you will either get a request for a 'partial' (first 3 chapters or 50 pages) or the full manuscript. But typically an agency gets hundreds of e-queries a week, so if you get a form letter or no response back, don't worry. It's assumed that you'll be writing to multiple agents at once, so keep a number of them in rotation.

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I wrote about 20,000 words of a novel on and off over about six years - losing myself in an edit/re-edit loop.

Now, I've just dinged 20,000 words on a new attempt at a new novel...in about 12 days. I just can't write it fast enough. When I'm not writing it, I'm thinking about it. If I stop what I'm doing and write a note about something to add, before I know it I've written 400 words about the note.

I'm trying to be disciplined with the not looking back this time, even though I can't shake the need for people to read every section as I complete it and clue me up if I'm starting to go wrong. (I just cannot write 100,000 words, worrying that the story might have turned to utter bullshit after the first 8,000 or something).

Still, 20,000 words in 12 days (not 12 days solid either)...I think I might be onto something this time.

The pace of the story seemed at first to suggest I might struggle to hit a small-novel target of 70,000 words, but all of a sudden, with a plot twist that occured to me on the way to bed, I think I'll have to reign myself in somehow as I near 100,000! :)

Heh, you watch, 20,000 will be the magic number and I will stop all progress now.

So, there I was nearly a month ago, at 20K words, wondering if I'd carry on or stop at 20K like I did with my first novel attempt.

I had a real struggle over the last two weeks. Hit a lull in my story that had until then, hopefully been pretty pacey. It was hard to write and I did about 2K words in two weeks. But, here I am today at 60K and going strong again. My story's going to come to a natural conclusion in about 10-15K words though, not the 100K I was dreaming of.

Luckily, a pal, (Danster from here) gave me a fab idea about some alternate perspective chapters to salt throughout my story. Plus, with my story flowing quite quickly, I can probably add about five thousand words in padding out locations and characters across the book.

I've never really had much of a positivite feeling about getting publushed, and reading the above about sci-fi is a reminder that I've chosen a tough genre. Still, "funny" light-hearted sci-fi "lite" will be an eaiser sell than a "funny" fictional story set in a badly-researched Hundred Years War, I'm sure. Kinda like a 0.2% chance of book attempt to getting published, versus a 0.1% chance for the first one.

Fab post about the American agents above this one. I think I'll submit to one Brit and one American at a time, and play it by ear. Rejection is easier to take when I can just shrug and flog it for Kindle.

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So, there I was nearly a month ago, at 20K words, wondering if I'd carry on or stop at 20K like I did with my first novel attempt.

I had a real struggle over the last two weeks. Hit a lull in my story that had until then, hopefully been pretty pacey. It was hard to write and I did about 2K words in two weeks. But, here I am today at 60K and going strong again. My story's going to come to a natural conclusion in about 10-15K words though, not the 100K I was dreaming of.

Luckily, a pal, (Danster from here) gave me a fab idea about some alternate perspective chapters to salt throughout my story. Plus, with my story flowing quite quickly, I can probably add about five thousand words in padding out locations and characters across the book.

I've never really had much of a positivite feeling about getting publushed, and reading the above about sci-fi is a reminder that I've chosen a tough genre. Still, "funny" light-hearted sci-fi "lite" will be an eaiser sell than a "funny" fictional story set in a badly-researched Hundred Years War, I'm sure. Kinda like a 0.2% chance of book attempt to getting published, versus a 0.1% chance for the first one.

Fab post about the American agents above this one. I think I'll submit to one Brit and one American at a time, and play it by ear. Rejection is easier to take when I can just shrug and flog it for Kindle.

80k is a nice sweet spot for a first novel. As soon as you start heading towards 100k, agents begin to worry about placing longer books and whether you have the ability to self-edit, unless you're writing epic fantasy of course. So seriously, don't worry about that 100k target. Surprisingly, 80k is actually a decent length novel.

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Yeah do try a stick to a reasonable amount. The problem I had was constantly thinking up new exciting things to put in the book. Thus it went from a target of 80k words to 117k in words. With all the new bits I've written the second book is at 30k words and climbing. And I have yet to get started on the main story!.

Anyway Thansk for the advice Eighthours. I have been thinking about going down the american route Although I do think its quite a "british" sci fi novel. Quite grounded, very british in its feel of comedy and life. No harm in giving it a try though!.

Thankfully I have this peice of awesomeness to help me search out the good people in UK and the USA

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writers-Artists-Yearbook-2012/dp/1408135809/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315873364&sr=8-1

Its worth every penny and comes plastered with advice from the best in the business. Also contains huge lists of agents and publishers and what they accept.

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Yeah do try a stick to a reasonable amount. The problem I had was constantly thinking up new exciting things to put in the book. Thus it went from a target of 80k words to 117k in words. With all the new bits I've written the second book is at 30k words and climbing. And I have yet to get started on the main story!.

Anyway Thansk for the advice Eighthours. I have been thinking about going down the american route Although I do think its quite a "british" sci fi novel. Quite grounded, very british in its feel of comedy and life. No harm in giving it a try though!.

Thankfully I have this peice of awesomeness to help me search out the good people in UK and the USA

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writers-Artists-Yearbook-2012/dp/1408135809/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315873364&sr=8-1

Its worth every penny and comes plastered with advice from the best in the business. Also contains huge lists of agents and publishers and what they accept.

Hey, pulsemyne! A sci-fi with comedy, eh? You sound like competition for me! Hah. Although we differ in that I wouldn't call my story "grounded" . Unbelievable, silly and trashy, yes, but never grounded.

I've not read any humourous sci-fi since Harry Harrison when I was a kid. What else is out there? Or are you and I basically a sub-genre by ourselves? :)

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Possibly! Mine does have some slightly dark humour to it. Like an incident involving the king of the liquid people gving an address to millions of his people via a series of enourmous horns. Thanks to terrorists his body becomes unstable and he ends up sloshing down the horns and splattering all over the first ten rows of people.

I was quite proud of that bit.

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Possibly! Mine does have some slightly dark humour to it. Like an incident involving the king of the liquid people gving an address to millions of his people via a series of enourmous horns. Thanks to terrorists his body becomes unstable and he ends up sloshing down the horns and splattering all over the first ten rows of people.

I was quite proud of that bit.

But, but, I'VE got a king of the liquid people in my story!

Just kidding, that sounds like fun :)

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I'm having lots of help from Argh in editing my book.... Thanks again dude! Who knew how many mistakes were so easily made?

I've got ands where there should be none, commas missing, speech marks the wrong way round, people turning up in the wrong place, incorrect place names, commas to add, commas to remove, commas, full-stops missing...

Elipses to get rid of... bad sentences to fix. ;)

I think I am about 50% through finishing the revised draft that I'd be happy to send off. And yet I am already thinking about doing it all over again with the next one! Must be mad.

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Of course you're mad. Anyone putting themselves through this is.

Commas, eh. So easy to go for too many or for too few. Take my comma-based advice with a pinch of salt. You know I love commas and would marry one, if it would have me.

Even as I'm advising you to put more in, I'm being strict with myself and trying to ration my own.

The bloody elipsis, though - frustrating. So, so useful, and yet so, so cheap! I've decided to hell with it, there are plenty of times where I need them, but I am only going to use them in speech.

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Do any of you budding authors have a writer's webpage, or anything of that ilk? Something where you let people read samples of your work. Is there any mileage in including a link to such a website in cover/query letters you send to agens and publishers?

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Is there any mileage in including a link to such a website in cover/query letters you send to agens and publishers?

In a word: no. Not unless you host a blog that serves 50 zillion readers. Literary agents get hundreds of queries a week, so everything they need has to be in there with no extraneous fluff.

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Yeah lots of agents can be barely bothered to reply to you so the chance of them checking out a website is zero. They get swamped with requests so their time is very pressured.

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I've written 4 out of the planned 10 chapters of my childrens (8-12 years) book. I was going great guns, but managed to get ill and lost the momentum a bit. Happily, all my planning and stuff is held on Scrivener which I find brilliant for organisation. Got to get back into doing my 1000 words a day.

I'm going very much for the write the first draft, and don't go an edit until finished - so as not to get caught up in a constant reread/rewrite loop. Although at the back of my mind I'm a little worried that the style of the writing between the beginning and the end could change... but that's what second drafts are there to resolve.

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I'm going very much for the write the first draft, and don't go an edit until finished - so as not to get caught up in a constant reread/rewrite loop. Although at the back of my mind I'm a little worried that the style of the writing between the beginning and the end could change... but that's what second drafts are there to resolve.

This is exactly what I did and it worked really well for me. I even had to go back and write out one of my main couple's daughters because I'd dropped the character halfway through! :)

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First draft finished. 79,365 words in about 45 days. Not bad for a habitual quitter!

Some people find it hard to quit things. For me, quitting is the thing I can't quit. Oooh, clever play on words eh, you can imagine how much bollocks my book is! :)

I've written a novel. Holy shit.

Now, do I have the staying power for the editing and all the bits I already know I need/want to change?

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Well done! Took me a lot longer than that! Seems like you had an idea and ran with it. Thats the best way to do it. Hope it all goes really well.

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Well done! Took me a lot longer than that! Seems like you had an idea and ran with it. Thats the best way to do it. Hope it all goes really well.

It's going to go: failure, failure, failure, sell twelve copies on Kindle. But, I had fun writing it! :)

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