As the title suggests, this is going to be a bit of an update.

Yesterday we went to a panel at the local Readers and Writers Festival. If you’ve never been to one of these, I thoroughly recommend it. If you’re a reader, you get to learn a bit about the people who actually create those worlds that you love to immerse yourself in, and if you’re a writer then you may learn a bit about how to actually create those worlds.

The talk I went to was with Charity Norman (https://www.facebook.com/CharityNormanAuthor/) and Nalini Singh (http://nalinisingh.com/) and focused on the categories which both writers and their writing are put into and how this affects them. It was really, really interesting. To be honest, I have been bubbling along with the lovely belief that I don’t need to categorise me, or my writing, and that people will read my works because they like the story, not because it’s a particular type of story. Yes, well, turns out the real world isn’t like that. Writing needs to be classified. And it is remarkable how different the perceptions of each category are. To use Nalini’s example: think about what you would expect from ‘paranormal romance’ as opposed to ‘urban fantasy’. It’s definitely something I need to think about, before heading into the marketing and publishing of my book. The author is also given labels, such as gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, even age. These labels are hardly ones we choose for ourselves, but they do affect the way people view our writing and what they expect from it.

The authors gave a lot of really interesting information which I would love to share with you now, but I fear that this post will turn into a full blown thesis if I head that way, so perhaps not. I’ll include more of what they talked about in some of my later posts instead. One thing they did speak a fair bit about though was the importance of editing, and not just editing once or twice, but up at around 10-15 drafts. Nalini pointed out that with the availability of self-publishing, a lot of new writers are publishing their books after the first couple of drafts, just wanting to get it out into the world. So, with all this in mind, after I have finished this draft of my book (the fourth) I will be placing it aside for a few months. When I come back to it in March, I should be able to do so with fresh eyes and more as a reader than its writer.

“But what are you going to be doing in the mean time?” you ask (and believe me, lots of people have asked me that. Generally with a raised eyebrow and the rather judgemental look on their face).

Well, I have two months of travel organised with my partner and my family. I am also going to prepare for and plan my next book. Somewhere in there I’m looking to complete NaNoWriMo again this year. Somewhere else in there I’m going to be looking at ways to increase my writing as a business, including writing services such as editing, so watch this space. Quite a few people have asked me what’s actually involved in writing a book so over the next few months I will also be sharing with you some of the steps and stages that I went through to get my book to where it is now.

So there you are. Lots has happened, and there’s a lot more to come.

‘Til then x