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Long listed for the Bath novel award

(13 Posts)
Lipsync Tue 21-Apr-15 12:31:31

Just found out my novel was long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Very pleased, but need to have the full MS in by April 30th, so as am in mid re-edit, lots of work to do!

Any advice from anyone on self-editing an entire novel at speed for maximum impact???

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 21-Apr-15 12:45:27

That's fab - well done.

My advice is: stop mumsnetting ;)

HerBigChance Tue 21-Apr-15 13:15:27

Ooh congratulations!

I am about to embark on a relatively speedy writing process myself for a competition later in the year (not even entered it yet!) so will be watching this with interest.

Lipsync Tue 21-Apr-15 13:19:52

Thank you! John, you are of course quite right. Kick me if I reappear grin.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 22-Apr-15 11:25:02

Congratulations Lipsync! Good luck!

I suppose you already have 'Self-editing for fiction writers' by Browne and King? It's invaluable.

Otherwise the main thing is to start from the bigger picture stuff (plot, characterisation) and with each successive draft you home in on the more detailed things until you end up with the really little things like cutting passives and unnecessary adverbs and looking for overused words. Using fiction writing software/online writing tools can speed the detailed stuff up (eg there are things that can highlight all the passives, or count the frequency of words for you).

You would do the checking for typos etc last of all because otherwise new errors get introduced during the other phases. However, personally if I was pushed for time and was going to have to skip some of the other phases I would still make sure I did a typo check because it would look so unprofessional to hand in a piece with lots of typos even if it has too many adverbs, iyswim.

Lipsync Wed 22-Apr-15 20:30:58

Thanks, Countess. I've now moved past the 'utterly pleased' stage and onto 'how in god's name do I manage a full re-edit to fix structural problems in a stupidly complicated dual narrative with non-linear time schemes in a week and a day???'

Have ordered that book on your advice. I'm not worried about grammatical/spelling things, as I'm a stickler for that even in initial drafts, but I've messed around with a complicated structure so much in redrafting (since anyone else has read it) there are times when I worry it doesn't 'flow' at all...

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 22-Apr-15 22:15:49

23 out of 806? You've done brilliantly so far.

Hows it going?

I think a big advantage is that you've presumably had some time off from it, and you can now look at it with a detached eye. Don't worry too much about flow. Be bold.

Lipsync Wed 22-Apr-15 23:14:13

Thanks, JFR. I'm delighted, and very surprised, because all its had so far are a few rejections from agents. Unfortunately, the MS is a bit of a baggy monster which still needs clarity and structure, plus I have no childcare over the weekend, so I'll be right up against the deadline for submission of the full novel. Aargh.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 06-May-15 11:29:32

How did it go Lipsync??!

Lipsync Thu 07-May-15 06:38:53

Kind of you to ask, JFR. I got the full MS in with three quarters of an hour to go before the midnight deadline, after ten days of skimping attention to my job, using tv to babysit my son, getting my husband to take a day off to cover childcare etc etc.

They shortlist 5 out of the longlisted 23, and I tend to think my chances are pretty slim, but it's now a much stronger, more streamlined novel, at 30 k words less than the previous wordcount, so that's already a boon. I will just go back to sending it out.

Lipsync Thu 07-May-15 06:44:29

Oh, and Countess, I meant to come back and thank you for the Browne and King recommendation. It was very useful, especially for very concrete things like how to unroll a complicated backstory gradually by thinking about it in terms of what the reader needs to know at any particular point.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 08-May-15 13:16:47

Thanks Lipsync - so glad it helped!

Well done on getting the revisions done. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you - keep us posted smile

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 11-May-15 09:56:12

It sounds like it was the push you needed to get it re-done so regardless of the actual Bath outcome, things could be looking up for that novel...
It must have been a nightmare though!

Are you sending to agents? or publishers too. The good thing is that you can say in your covering letter, 'Long-listed for Bath, etc, etc'...

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