NaNoWriMo editing…

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NaNoWriMo editing…

I made a promise to myself that after the final day of NaNoWriMo 2012, I would not look at my completed work until I had finished my University degree. Well, I made it! My degree is over and I have spent two blissful weeks reading some of the books that are precariously balanced on my over-flowing bookshelves, downloading yet more Kindle books published by indie authors, and writing short stories and flash-fictions, finally indulging the pounding plot bunnies that have been thumping around in my mind for the last few months. But now, after catching up on some much needed sleep and deserved time of lazing around, the real work begins.

Having a look at the calendar on my wall, I joyfully crossed out in bold red ink the dreaded Dissertation deadline and Positive Psychology exam date, and then flicked to the month of June to see what was looming overhead.

Yep, and then I saw it…that terrifying date.

“30th June 2013 -NaNoWriMo Createspace discount ends.”

The one thing that I both hate and love about NaNoWriMo is that you have to write under pressure. Unless you are one of those amazing authors that I worship who can whip out 5,000 – 10,000 words a day, writing 50,000 words in the space of 30 days is a touch challenge. However, last year I surprised both myself and my cosmic sister, who is also a writer, by thundering through the words at an extroadinary pace, and at the end of November gave a huge sigh of relief thinking; “Well that’s the hard bit done.”

And now comes the editing.

From what I hear from my twitter and facebook writerly friends, editing is the worst part of writing. I’ve always agreed. Over the last three years I have loathed the proof-reading and editing of my University essays, where after too long every comma looks like it is in the wrong place. So I sat down with my freshly printed NaNoWriMo in front of me, preparing myself for the great slog.

So maybe it is just the euphoria of proof-reading and editing something that does not in any way relate to psychological measurements, stress effects on memory or dreaded spreadsheets of statistics data, but I am loving every minute of this editing experience.

Having taken a break of six months between writing and editing my novel, I have come back to it with a fresh mind, and I instantly remembered why I loved writing it so much. By spending time away from my characters and the situations that they face, I can now see them in a new light and find it easy to cross out whole paragraphs of interactions and replace them with some more appropriate.

My only worry is finishing the editing and formatting of the novel before the end of June, but other than that lingering worry, I can honestly say that this has been one of the most inspiring writing experiences of my life.

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‘The Soul and Beauty Within’ by Ahmad Saeed ~ Chapters 5 and 6.

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‘The Soul and Beauty Within’ by Ahmad Saeed ~ Chapters 5 and 6.

Chapter 5 ~ The Eyes Repose. The Water of the Mountains the Kunhar: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence?chapter=5

Chapter 6 ~ Silence in Pain: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence?chapter=6

 

For links to earlier chapters, see here: https://oldvictorianquill.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/the-soul-and-beauty-within-by-ahmad-saeed/

 

Book Review – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (Bailey’s Boys #1) by Lucy V. Morgan.

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Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan.
(Bailey’s Boys #1)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary.

Beautiful Mess (Bailey's Boys #1) by Lucy V. Morgan


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SYNOPSIS

Warning: contains pet rats, hot YouTube celebrity roommates, and one spurned girlfriend about to get even…

Working in a wedding cake shop sucks when you’ve just been dumped.

Bailey Frost has a recipe for disaster: one cheating ex, one big glass of liquor, and three well-meaning male friends who think her lack of a sex life is funny. Before she knows it, she’s confessed that she’s never had an orgasm with a man.

Now Bailey has to navigate sappy couples at work, while her friends are hell-bent on helping her get revenge on evil Craig…by dressing up as werewolves, on YouTube.

And one of those friends – the tall, shy-but-gorgeous Linc – might just want to help Bailey with that other little problem…

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Book Review – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (Bailey’s Boys #1) by Lucy V. Morgan ~ 3.5 Stars.

This was a fun quick read that took about an hour to finish, and it was great fun to slip away in Bailey’s troublesome life for an hour and laugh along at her and her roommate’s antics.

Bailey’s relationship with her roommates was so much fun, and the way in which Lucy Morgan wrote the interactions between the three of them was superbly done. I felt she perfectly depicted the type of relationship a girl would have with her two male roommates, with the harmless and not at all serious flirting as the boys exit the shower wearing only a towel to protect their modesty, and in turn the serious protectiveness the boys feel towards her well-being, and their desire to hurt anyone who has hurt her. This was heartwarming to read, and I laughed out loud at some of the embarrassing discussions that the boys managed to lure Bailey into.

However, there were a few issues that made me rate this book a little lower than I would have liked to. I know that this was only meant to be a short story, but I felt that in order to lower the word count, some of the backstory to the characters wasn’t given the attention it needed. You have to be so careful with shorter stories because the time-frames can seem really rushed, which I felt was the case in the development of Bailey and Linc’s relationship. Not knowing anything about Linc’s other than that he is good friends with Bailey’s roommate Olly and hangs out with them. I would like to have been given a little more information about Linc that explained just how close he and Bailey were as friends, and whether they did in fact ever spend any time together alone before the time-frame of the novel. However, I thought the decision to skip four months was an excellent device which allowed us to see from Bailey’s monologue that her and Linc’s relationship wasn’t all sunshine and daisies when they first got together. I would have preferred to see a longer story which included these moments in the present tense, rather than just having them thrown in as an afterthought because I would have loved to have seen how Bailey’s confidence developed from the end of her relationship with Craig and the beginning of her relationship with Linc.

Overall though, this was a fun read that had me laughing and awwing in equal measure. 3.5 – 4 stars.


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Book Review – ‘Back to You’ by Natalie-Nicole Bates.

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Back to You by Natalie-Nicole Bates
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Back to You by Anna Nicole Bates


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SYNOPSIS

Twenty years ago, Nick Lincoln broke teenager Lynsey Reznor’s heart when he decided to marry another. Now she is back, along with a chance to reclaim her love. But Lynsey wants answers from him that he may never be able to give out of duty and guilt.

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Book Review – ‘Back to You’ by Natalie-Nicole Bates ~ 3.5 – 4 Stars!

This was a fun, quick read that I really enjoyed. I always like stories where we see characters reunite after years apart and have to come to terms with the decisions they made in the past and how they can overcome their problems to start fresh. This was a wonderful story that not only showed the relationship between childhood one-time lovers, but also the relationships that they have with their family and childhood friends which was lovely to see.

This book started off really well, and I liked seeing how the characters developed from the start to finish. I also really enjoyed being given information into what the characters relationships were like when they were younger, gradually, almost as though we were slowly given pieces to the puzzle that was their past. But whilst the first two thirds of the book were well written with good solid storytelling, I felt a bit let down by the last third as I felt the end of the story was rushed in order for it to fit a lower word count. I didn’t feel like there was closure for all of the issues that had arisen in the story, and there were some characters that I would have liked to have seen how their story ended, particularly Suzy’s who I felt didn’t get the ending she deserved.

There was also the issue where Lynsey felt that Nick wasn’t a particularly experienced lover, and planned to teach him herself, but then this wasn’t addressed as Nick suddenly seemed to have higher standards in the next few chapters.

However, overall this was a good, fun quick read, that you can while away an evening with if you’re looking for a teensy bit of angst and a happy ever after. I’d give it a solid 3.5 – 4 Stars.


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Natalie-Nicole Bates

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The Soul and Beauty Within by Ahmad Saeed.

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The Soul and Beauty Within by Ahmad Saeed.

A dear friend who I met through goodreads is currently writing a beautiful memoire of his journey to the Kaghan Valley. I’ve been privileged enough to read his chapters before he is posting them, and offering any feedback I can on spelling and grammar. It is an incredibly beautiful ongoing piece of writing which will speak to anyone who has a deep love for nature and the world we live in. I will be posting links to his goodreads page everytime a new chapter is posted. Please do give it a read.

Here are the links to his work so far:

Chapter One: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence

Chapter Two: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence?chapter=2

Chapter Three: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence?chapter=3

Chapter Four: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/332276-soul-the-beauty-within-silence-speaks-to-silence?chapter=4

Book Review – ‘Awaken’ by Jaime Guerard.

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Awaken by Jaime Guerard
(Awaken #1)
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance.

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SYNOPSIS

Three things run through my mind at this very moment…

ONE, my life as I once knew it will never be the same.

TWO, the person I’m in love with might not even exist.

THREE, the deception that has unfolded before me has the power of life and death.

Sixteen year old, Breanna Davis, has heard the saying; life isn’t always what it seems…well, that saying rings true now more than ever. As horrifying visions appear before her, revealing tragedies that will forever change the fate of those she loves, she realizes that she may be the only person who can stop them from becoming reality.

Amongst the chaos of this new discovery, Bre is faced with a stranger, Eve, who moves in on Bre’s friends and begins to follow her every move. As Eve’s true motives begin to surface, Bre must fight against, not only the visions, but the dangers Eve holds close.

There is another secret kept- Collin, a boy held captive in Bre’s dreams, the boy she is secretly falling in love with but isn’t sure he even exists. As she tries to make it work with Austin, an old friend who could possibly be more, Bre battles against her feelings for Collin.

Bre is faced with an almost impossible decision, to choose her life or follow her destiny. If she doesn’t intercede, people will certainly die. If she does, her own life could be at stake. In the end, if she fails, she’ll lose everything.

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Book Review – ‘Awaken’ by Jaime Guerard ~ 5 Stars!

Wow! What an incredible read! The storyline was fascinating and I really connected to the characters (especially Collin #TeamCollin fangirl right here).

Jaime Guerard’s writing style was electric and I found myself reading for hours at a time before realising it was about 3am. Bre was a wonderfully complex character, and from the start I found myself wanting the best for her, first when it came to her relationship with Josh and then when it came down to her wanting to spare the feelings of Austin when she fell in love with his brother.

The characters had amazing depth and I loved seeing how their relationships with each other formed. The relationship that Bre had with Austin was beautifully written and I felt so heartbroken for Bre that she was caught in the middle of two men who she really loved. Austin had been there for her after she’d broken up with her boyfriend, and showed her that she deserved to be treated better in life, and their friendship was so strong that I felt bereft knowing I don’t have a friend who I am so close to. That Austin believed Bre, even when any sane person probably wouldn’t believe that she could see the future before it happened, was something that really strengthened their bond. However, when the story began to suggest that Austin and Bre should be together, I couldn’t identify why that made me feel awkward. When Collin arrived however, I really began to see that whilst I love Austin, and his relationship with Bre, I saw him more as a brother and confidante, and couldn’t really see the two of them in a romantic relationship.

Collin was a great character and when he first arrived in the book I immediately felt that with him Bre could reach her full potential. Whilst with Austin she would be safe and happy, with Collin she could reach for the stars so to speak.

The character of Eve was one that really drew me in. I loved the way her storyline added in a psychological thrill to the mystery Bre was trying to unravel, and I can’t wait to see more of her character in the next book.

The last book that I became so engrossed in the drama action scenes was ‘The Hunger Games’ and I can only compare my feelings when reading ‘Awaken’s’ car-chase scene with the thrill and adrenaline that I had whilst reading ‘The Hunger Games’ action sequences. I was literally on the edge of my seat, and everytime the car bumped, I’d tense up as though I too was in the car. Extroadinary story telling!

Overall, this was a fantastic debut, and I can’t wait until the next book is released as ‘Awaken’ had an evil cliffhanger!

5 stars and a definite recommended read.


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Jaime Guerard

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