This article about word-count came my way last night via my Twitter feed and I thought I’d share it.  Interesting and also surprising that aspiring writers are still struggling to figure out appropriate word-count what with all the information there is out there about it.

I’ve polished my first four thousand words to be sent off to the Undiscovered Voices challenge.  Final re-read today then off in the post into the land of who knows what!?  It is very exciting and nervewrecking.

Last week I had the chance to meet up with some Headline authors at a blogger event they held at their lovely offices near Warren Street station.  I am a big old fan of the lovely Julie Cohen who has written one of my favourite books of all time: Girl from Mars.  It is full of geeky references and it is a contemporary romance novel.  I lost my heart to it because of its strong writing and characters and I don’t really read that many contemp romances, so I was genuinely invigorated by the author’s fresh voice.  Fact: Julie Cohen is a fantastic writer.  And she is also a fan-girl.  So we got to have a brief chat about Hellboy.  I know, right?  I am a huge fan of Hellboy, as the world knows, and so is Julie.  She has a massive crush on Abe Lincoln, or “FishStick” as one of the other charaters tend to call him.  On the other hand, I am all about Prince Nuada.  And Hellboy and Liz.  But mostly Nuada.

I digress.  What I’m trying to put across is how fantastic Julie is.  Look her up and buy her books.  But even MORE important than that to me is her fantastic blog in which she answers a myriad of publishing and writing questions.  Today’s article: Is your heroine boring? Be sure to check out on the right hand panel links to other articles she’s written about things like character arc and point of view.  This girl is a treasure.  I do <3 her.

I also got – on my kindle – a copy of Writing a Novel in Scrivener by David Hewson.  I do like David Hewson A LOT.  His novels are fantastic escapism and he is incredibly approachable and has a lot of patience answering questions about writing and Scrivener.  In fact, it is because of David and one or two other people, that I converted to Apple for my writing and subsequently became a fan of Scrivener.  The ebook for the kindle is a great resource.  I’m downloading the Kindle app for my iMac so that I can check out some of the diagrams and screen shots out in colour.  Scrivener is a fantastic writing application which I’ve come to use for my scribblings.  I know for a fact that I’m not making use of it to its full capacity and that there are things I can learn from this software to make my writing-life easier.   I’m looking forward to it.

Back in February I bought this:

Due to various reasons, he only arrived this week.  I unboxed him and immediately and irrevocably fell in love.  As a limited edition of 2000, I thought it was pretty cool that I got a pretty low number in the region of the 600’s.  The quality of the statue and the mythology behind the character – Dream of the Endless – combine to make this an incredible item to own.  I immediately felt that I could not own only Dream.  I had to have his sister, Death too.  She’s due to arrive next week, I think.  I am very excited.

I got to meet up with my crit partner Sarah before the Headline event last week and we headed to Foyles where we chatted to the best booksellers in the world – Jenni and Neil – for ages and ages.   Then we dragged Neil off to have lunch with us – it was his lunchtime already, so we didn’t really drag him away – but it was so great to get to chat to him.  Sarah bought me a copy of :

I have become a recent convert to Catherynne M Valente’s writing.  She is a superb storyteller and her The Orphan’s Tales (2 books – for which she won the Mythopoeic Award) draw heavily on fairy tale format and echoes the grace and style in the more lyrical translation of the Arabian Nights stories.  The books are for adults as some of the content is quite mature but there is a whimsicalness about them, an otherness, that really appeals.  She has become a tremendous influence on me.   Oh, and the above book is her first novel for younger readers.  It has wonderful illustrations.  I am a bit in love.  Find her website here

And that has basically been my life in a nutshell these past few weeks.  Editing, thinking, doing Real Life work, more editing and dreaming of winning the lottery.  Oh, and research for a new book once Grimm is done.

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