Another year lies ahead and I’m really looking forward to it.
2017 saw me spending time with the Golden Egg Academy. I completed their ‘Foundation Year’ which is an amazing course. (See my other posts on the GEA for more detail). Suffice to say, I feel I have benefitted massively from the tutelage of the fab Emma Greenwood (my editor) and the first draft of my work-in-progress (a middle grade dragon fantasy) is much the better for it.
Having self-published two middle grade books already, I had been through the process of getting a book finished and editing it, etc. Just finishing a book is a huge achievement but it was one that I knew I could overcome. What I needed was to better understand how to structure a story and start to perfect the various techniques involved in knowing how to improve it and make it better in the planning and editing stages. The Foundation Year has ticked all these boxes for me and has exceeded my expectations. It has propelled me forward far better equipped now to write and edit a story into a compelling shape and style.
Of course, there’s still a huge amount to learn (from others and my own efforts and practice) but I now feel like I have all the necessary tools in my writing kit, I just need to practice them and deploy them in a way that others will enjoy (which is easier said than done!). But, I have the tools, and that’s an enormous leap forward from where I was this time last year. Back then, I had a few bad habits (hopefully now gone) and I had a few good ones too – gut reactions as to how a story should be along with a rudimentary understanding of story structure. The difference now is that I have a better understanding of why some of my techniques and approaches worked. I understand story structure far better and no longer have to rely on my gut!
As a plotter (not a pantser), this is the way I like to be.
So, tools in hand, I march into 2018 in the hope that I will be in possession of a pretty decent middle grade dragon fantasy by the end of it; one that might be ready for submission to SCBWI’s ‘Undiscovered Voices’ competition and more.
That’s my goal and I will be spending another year with the GEA on their ‘Work on your novel year’. Seriously… I can’t wait.
All I have to do now is find the time that my book needs from me!