Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Valley of Shadows questionare

'Valley of Shadows' survey

Some of my writing friends have put together a survey of their latest book. I thought, "what a brilliant idea." So decided to have a go. They chose to leave out certain questions, I may well do the same, but anyway here goes.

Valley of Shadows

1] What's your word count? 70,645

2] How long until you finish? How long is a piece of string. Seriously though, I am finished, bar the editing process.

3] If finished, how long did it take you? I guess in all, around three years.

4] Do you have an outline? Not as such. I generally have a good idea of the story, where it's going, and how it will end. I do make a list of characters with their with their distinguishing features. Mind you, that often changes as the stories progresses. But on the whole, I like to write like a mad thing, and follow my imagination.

6] How many words do you write a day? I suppose, a thousand, maybe more.

7] What was your greatest word count for one day? About 5,000.

9] What inspired you to write? You will think this strange, and it's certainly sad. But it was the death of my sister.

10] Does your novel have a theme song? Not really, but if it did, it would be 'The Lord's my Shepherd.'

12] Which character is most like you? I guess there is some of me in Cyella.

13] Which character would you most likely be friends with? That would have to be Mary.

15] Who is your favourite character? Sunrise.

16] Have your characters done something completely unexpected? Not really, everything they experience is unexpected.

17] Have you based any of your novel on personal experience? My whole novel was born out of the tragic death of my younger sister.

18] What is the best line? The wide path panders to mankind's incessant desire to reach their destination as quickly as possible. no matter the consequences.

28] Summarize your novel in under fifteen words. What Cyella faced in the valley, messed with her mind.

29] Do you love all your characters? Goodness, no! some of them are awful.

32] Describe your main character in three words. Plucky, Strong Willed, Sensitive.

35] How many romantic relationships take place in your novel? Two.

36] Are there any explosions? No

45] Who has pets in the novel, and what are they? The Mistress, and Remstiss the Necromancer both have black cats.

46] Are there Angels, demons, or any religious references? No Angel, but yes, to the other two.

51] Is there humour? A little, yes.

52] Is there tragedy? Yes, I'm afraid so.

57] Has your novel provided insight about your life? In some ways I guess it has. Probably because I buried my grief over the death of my sister within its pages.

59] Has your novel inspired anyone? From what I have heard, yes.

68] How would you react if your novel was erased entirely? You don't want to know, and nor do I! But, such an horrendous idea is not likely, as it is backed up all over the place.

71] What advice would you give a fellow writer? Stay committed. Make it as good as is humanly possible. And don't allow rejections to put you off. Stay confident, and keep believing in yourself.

72] Describe the ending in three words. Romantic, Positive, Victorious.

75] Was it worth it? You bet it was!!

A Positive Accident.

It was strange, the other day I was busy editing and accidentally deleted a few words, but it was enough to throw me.
So I fetched the original copy of the book, [which incidentally had been published,] and went to the same place and found the section I needed. After replacing it, I read a little from the old book and found myself thinking, actually you are that bad. Okay maybe not as professional as I hope the new edited version will be. Nevertheless, there was a naive honesty which I found appealing and details that I have since decided to incorporate into the new version.
Thorough editing as I have since learned is paramount, if a book is to be of a professional quality. However, it is also important not to lose ones voice. To hold onto the sincere honesty found in the books pages. To keep alive the essence that made the book important to the author in the first place. The reason the book was written and what the author was trying to say, can be lost in the editing process if one is not careful.
 I am so glad I deleted that small section, and realized that the first book was in all honesty not that bad. Now I can take what is good from the one and combine it in the new and God willing end up with a well written quality product I can be proud of. A book that will be read and enjoyed for years to come.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


I am feeling a little confused to say the least! Hope it's right this time.