NaNoWriMo and Beta Reading…a writing update…

It’s been a while since I posted a writing update, and with NaNoWriMo starting at the end of the week, I thought now would be a great time to post one…along with some random photos from my media library…

NaNoWriMo

I decided early on (for once!) that I was participating in NaNo this year.  It will be my eighth year joining in.  I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, though I’m still unsure what I will focus on – yes, I leave it late every year (it’s becoming a tradition, I think) no matter how long in advanced I’ve been preparing for it. Never mind.

At the beginning of October, I had thought to allow myself to start a New Writing Project, even though I have so many unfinished WIPs awaiting my attention.  Sigh.  Yet, I have been making very good progress with one of my Wattpad novels, Oath Broken (very brief summary: the story of Oathbreaker told from Celyn’s perspective, which starts four months prior to the events of Eleri’s tale.  You can find the first 17 chapters that I’ve uploaded so far, and the original story, amongst other works, by checking out my Wattpad profile here.)

So, now I’m wondering if I might be better to just carry on with this. But…Not sure.  I’ve already drafted all the November chapter uploads for Wattpad and today I started on December’s so I could, in theory, set it aside without affecting my upload schedule…hmm…tough decision… I have a feeling I won’t have made up my mind until Friday morning…

If anyone wants to add me as a writing buddy over on the NaNo site, my profile name is… Sammi Cox.  Original, I know. 😉  You can never have too many writing buddies…well, that’s what I think.  Which is funny, because all mine seem to have been deleted when NaNoWriMo changed over to their new website this year.  Again, sigh. So, if I was buddies with you before, please add me as a buddy or send me your profile name (in a comment or email, etc) so I can add you again.  On the upside, I really do like the look of the new site.

The Winter Ghost Beta Reading

At the end of August I put out a call for beta readers for my fantasy novella, The Winter Ghost. The feedback I’ve had so far has been better than I could ever have hoped for, and I’m so grateful to those who have offered their time and effort to help me out.  When someone tells you not only that they enjoyed your story but want to read more – or hope for spin-offs with their favourite characters – well…it’s just the best feeling in the world!

I have sent out a few emails that haven’t got a response, so if you volunteered back in August but didn’t hear from me, I think something got lost out there in the interweb somewhere.  If you would still like to beta read The Winter Ghost, please let me know…

My plan (imagine me laughing maniacally as I typed that) is to dedicate December to the editing of the manuscript.  This means there is still plenty of time for more beta readers to have a read of The Winter Ghost.  If you think this is something that you would be interested in, here’s the link to my original post, The Winter Ghost – Beta Readers Wanted, where you will find all the information you might (I hope!) need, including what The Winter Ghost is about, what I am asking of you as a beta reader, and how to get in touch if you think this is something you would like to do.  As I mention in this post, I don’t expect you to do this for nothing – I’m offering to beta read in return for anyone beta reading for me.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you working on this November?  I would love to hear your plans…

Thanks for reading!

The Winter Ghost – Beta Readers Wanted

As some of you may remember from earlier in the year, I wrote a novella for a Wattpad-based competition that ran from January to April. That novella was The Winter Ghost.  It made the competition’s short list, even though it was only a first draft and had not been edited.  Not even a little bit.


Fast forward a handful of months and The Winter Ghost has now been restructured, extended and edited.  It would be great if at some point in the future I could get this little novella published (traditionally or otherwise), but before I can even start thinking of publication, it would be great to get as much feedback as I can on it.

With that in mind, I have a question for you…would you like to beta read The Winter Ghost?  Here’s everything you need to know…

What’s it about?

Here’s the original summary from Wattpad:

At nineteen, Rhyshard Pellian, son of Tershard Pellian, Lord of Kamvor, has been told by his father that he must take on the role of Acting Lord for the duration of winter. Sent to a town he can barely remember, to watch over a people he cannot recall, he is in a strange place, surrounded by strangers. But things are set to get all the stranger…
Folklore and real life are about to collide…As winter closes in on the town and the weather worsens, rumours of The Winter Ghost are whispered. Is this the year the ghost is set to return, leaving terror and death in its wake?
And what does this mean for Rhyshard Pellian? Mysteries and secrets abound as the Acting Lord of Kamvor does all he can to avert disaster. But is it enough?
* * *
The Winter Ghost is a paranormal mystery set in a fantasy world.

Here’s a little more information

  • The story is not overly grisly or gory.  It’s not a horror story.
  • There’s no bad language or adult content.

What will you have to do?

  • Read The Winter Ghost (obvious, I know).  It’s 100 pages long (A4, double-spaced); that’s approximately 30,000 words.  I’ll email it to you as a PDF.
  • Fill out the questionnaire that I will email with the PDF.  This document contains 22 questions and will be sent as a .rtf

I would hope that beta readers could have this completed and returned within a month, if possible.  You don’t need to have any prior experience of beta reading to help me out.  All you need to do is give me your honest opinion on what you’ve read.  The questions in the questionnaire are designed to help you do that.

What will you get in return?

  • My heartfelt thanks, naturally
  • A “thank you” in the acknowledgements section of the book, should it get published
  • I will happily return the favour and beta read something of the same length for you.  Whether this is part of a novel (don’t worry, I’m likely to offer to beta read the whole thing for you, should you need it, but I can’t commit to anything of that length right now), one or more short stories, a flash fiction or poetry collection…you get the idea.  Just send me an email and we’ll sort something out.

How do you go about volunteering as a beta reader?

Send an email to: sammicoxbooks@gmail.com expressing your interest and I will send you the two files mentioned above.

Any questions?  Let me know in the comments or send me an email.

I think that’s everything.  Thanks so much for reading…this was a long post.  Anyone who made it all the way to the end is a star 🙂

A Little of This, A Little of That

I must apologise for my lack of presence around the blogosphere in recent weeks.  I’ve been a little preoccupied with offline projects.  How I envy all those who can blog daily and juggle four or five WIPS! 😉  Anyway, I thought it might be fun (for me, if not for you) to let you know what I’ve been up to…

What have I been working on?

A couple of weeks ago I finished my revisions for The Winter Ghost, my paranormal fantasy mystery novella (gosh, that’s a mouthful!).  While I’ve been letting that sit quietly for a few weeks, I’ve returned to The Sacrifice and The Summoning, a novel-in-progress that centres on my amateur witchy sleuth, Andromache Jones.  Having not worked on this in over a year, my progress is slow but steady, and when it’s time to go over The Winter Ghost again later this week, I’m determined to keep this project ticking over.  I would love to have the first draft completed in the next couple of months, if I can…but…

Beta Readers

My main priority at the moment is The Winter Ghost, and the next novella in the series.  If, when I have another read through of TWG this week, and my alpha reader thinks it’s good to go, I am hoping to ship it out to half a dozen or so beta readers to see what they think.  If you would like to volunteer as a beta reader, I would love to have you read this story, so please get in touch!

Weekend Writing Prompt

Please know, that while I’ve not been commenting on responses to the WWP, I have been reading and liking them.  So if I liked it, I read it.  Some of you may know that I suffer with anxiety, including social anxiety, and sometimes I do struggle with leaving comments, especially if there’s a lot to leave; it just gets too much for me.  I’m not deliberately ignoring anyone or think that your writing doesn’t deserve a comment, it’s just the way I am and some months are worse than others…

Submissions

It’s also been a while since I submitted any of my writing to magazines / journals / anthologies.  The last piece I submitted was a short story to an anthology back at the beginning of November!  So that’s another thing I’ve been working on.  So far, three pieces have been sent out, and one of them has been accepted!  Woohoo!  Fingers crossed for the other two.  Submitting my work is another thing that effects my anxiety, especially when there’s been a big gap between submissions.  My aim is to try and reduce that gap so that it has less of an impact on it…

Whispers and Echoes

It’s been a while since I closed submissions to Whispers and Echoes – eight months, I think.  This long a hiatus wasn’t my intention at all.  In fact, I had planned to reopen to submissions back in January.  However, I was mulling over changing the format to one that required a little less time and commitment (but no less love!) and that issue seemed to take a while to resolve itself.  But it has now, and I’m pleased to say that I am opening submissions again on the 1st June!  Yay!  And everyone reading this is being favoured with advance notice.  If you do wish to submit to the journal, head over to the Whispers and Echoes site (I’m still putting the finishing touches to it – what do you think to it?) and check out the submission guidelines – and if you want to submit early go ahead!  I’m hoping to see the inbox fill up with your work 😉

I think that covers everything, at least writing-wise.  How’s everyone’s writing going? Let me know in the comments.

If you made it through to the end, thank you so much for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!