Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Linguistic squirrels

I have reached the half-way mark of my revised manuscript and I am realistically still a few weeks away from completion.

Many suggested edits were of value. I've tried to make the text look as American as possible - quite a task being an Franco-Englishman living in France - and the difficulty is in reducing the British-English and Gallicisms from creeping in. A small number of friends and I call these oddities 'linguistic squirrels' (my slip of the tongue for the word 'skills').

Progress has been made on other matters relating to the book's publication. I'm investigating possibilities for use of photos on the future book cover and I'm in touch with a few people who may just help me turn my blurred ideas into material reality. I'm a dinosaur when it comes to image remodelling software and I know my technical limits. Outside help, as I have mentioned before, comes in handy at this stage. People tell you they never judge a book by its cover. Well, after reading on the subject, I discovered they were dead wrong. Apparently a decent book cover and a good title come as the most important criteria in a book purchase, after price naturally.

Speaking about the title, I'm 90% sure of what it will be. My draft title was 'A Turn for the Worse'. But after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to drop it. I thought it sounded nice, well in a British-English sort of way.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Edits Have Arrived

Hello everyone.

My trusted proof-reader sent me the edits to my novel over the weekend. Lots of red words and comments on the side. The task will be challenging.

Having my manuscript proof-read was crucial. No matter how many times you go through a text, the chances of leaving careless mistakes always remain high. After a while you become oblivious to what you have written and it's necessary to seek outside help. To be frank, some issues my proof-reader highlighted are painfully obvious and quite embarrassing.

In my case, it was the first time I let someone read the full manuscript and sharing work that is so personal isn't an easy thing to do. You have to be open to honest and sometimes harsh judgement. There's no room to hide any more. It took a lot of courage to ask him.

Anyhow, the end result looks great and I'm looking forward to working on the final draft of the manuscript.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 short story competition

A few months ago I submitted a short story to the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 short story competition. Entitled "An Evening with Walter", the story is just under 2,000 words long.

The competition, organized by the Bloomsbury Publishing Group, leaves a lot of room for writers to expand and work on basically what they want. The theme is "The Visit".

Should you be interested in contributing, you can do so, but before February 15th. Check this link to find out more: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions

The winners of the competition will be announced sometime in March. Who knows, perhaps some agent might spot "An Evening with Walter"?

On another note, I am literally days from receiving comments and revisions from my trusted proof-reader. I am sure that there will be many matters to rectify and that there will be some wise advice for the further shaping of my novel. I guess I have several busy weeks ahead of me.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

January 2, 2014.

Today, I officially inaugurate my crime fiction writer's blog. I have already written my first novel, which I aim to publish early this year. Stay tuned for more updates.

Simon Duke