The editing of Little Museum of Hope is now complete. It is winging its way off to be proof read. Hurrah!
Sarah, my Ruby Fiction editor, was full of wise advice and suggestions to improve the overall story arc and pace. She also has eagle eyes that spotted several inconsistencies in the manuscript, such as ages of characters which didn’t tie in with the music I’d mentioned, plus I had someone being 22 in 1981 and 50 in the present day. And I spotted an engagement ring change from sapphire to diamond half way through a chapter. This has taught me that going forward I need to be rigorous in keeping a detailed timeline and lots of notes for each protagonist. Every day is a school day, as they say!
I’ve also been learning about Instagram. You can now find me on there as @sallyjenkinsuk. I don’t have many posts to my name yet but will get more familiar with the platform eventually. If you’re an ‘Insta’ person please drop by and say ‘Hello’.
Since I last posted I’ve also had a big ‘0’ birthday which involved family, gin, a weekend away in Chester with two schoolfriends both hitting the same age (obviously) and prosecco. This leads me to: Never think you are too old to write a novel or to be published: through all the ups and downs of my writing career I’ve never specifically been asked my date of birth or how old I am. But, if you meet me in the flesh, my face might give the game away!
Finally, I spotted a great blog post from Kobo Writing Life on writing a fast first draft. I like to get the first draft completed as fast as possible so that I know the whole story and can then go back and flesh out/delete/change as required. But writing 60 – 90,000 words is never quick. One piece of advice in the blog is to write the whole novel in bullet points in order to get the complete structure down on paper while it’s in your head and without getting bogged down in description, dialogue and all the other minutiae. I am very tempted to try this next time I start a new project.
What do you think, will it work?
#1 by Emma Myatt on March 28, 2023 - 7:01 am
Some excellent ideas here…. Like the bullet point one to get the story arc in place. Happy step closer to publishing, and happy belated birthday! I found inconsistencies once I’d finished – well, my beta reader did. It’s amazing how much you can miss….
#2 by Sally Jenkins on March 29, 2023 - 6:56 am
You are so right, Emma – being so close to the text means we read what we think we wrote, not what is actually there. Three cheers for beta readers, editors and proofreaders!
Best wishes with all your projects.
#3 by Arnie Witkin on March 28, 2023 - 9:54 am
Fantastic, Sally. Congrats on turning 40. My best decade was my fifties, but the forties were also good. What I learnt from your email was that even the very best need editing. Had someone submitted your manuscript to you, you probably would have picked up what your editor picked up. A doctor can’t operate on himself. I guess it’s something like peer group review.
I had some amazing news about my book, ‘It’s Not A Big Thing in Life’. The Western Cape Education Department is distributing my book to each of its 6 000 Life Orientation teachers in the province. Life Orientation is a compulsory subject in schools in South Africa. I think that it is as much for the education of the teachers as well as the students. It has given me a lot of energy.
Life coach and mentor
#4 by Sally Jenkins on March 29, 2023 - 7:02 am
You say the nicest things, Arnie – if only I was turning 40 again!
Congratulations on the link-up with the education body – I’m not surprised it’s energised you. Well done!