Into the second draft….

Second DraftI suppose it’s because it’s that time of year but there are so many things going on, so many things to do and to think about, so much work to do to clear the desks and the mind…… And it’s not just because of Christmas. But what with one thing – and several dozen others – I have not made the progress I had hoped to make in my second draft of the book which may or may not be called Another Thread (probably not!).
Progress is slow, so much slower than the initial writing as there are so many things to check and correct before I hand the manuscript over to husband Colin to read through and criticize and give me the ideas for the inevitable re-write.
Google ‘Second Draft’ and you find so much advice, so many horror stories, so much that is discouraging but every writer/author must do their own thing.
So what is my approach?
Firstly, with the first draft completed I know some of the seeds I have to plant earlier on in the plot.
Secondly, I have to correct spelling errors Word has failed to flag up.
Thirdly, there are the inevitable grammatical errors when some of the first draft was pretty ‘stream of consciousness’.
Fourthly, there is punctuation….. ‘Is this the end of a sentence or should I use a semi-colon?’ (I hate them – they seem terribly American). ‘Do I put a comma at the end of that section of speech?’ – but then I remember this is something my Editor will pick up (or at least their editing software will.)
And finally, in the best traditions of Just a Minute, I am having to recognize and remove ‘hesitations, repetitions and deviations’.
In three weeks I am less than one third of the way through, though with the Christmas break coming up maybe I will get the document to Colin by 2016.
Happy Holidays!

How to buy books – an Indie author’s lament

BookshopHere we are – three weeks and a couple of days to Christmas, and thoughts turn (if they haven’t already) to thoughts of presents. And what is a better present for anyone from a few months to many, many years old than a book (or books!).
So – where are you going to spend your money?
The quick way is to go on-line and order the book you saw on the television, or the book most advertised, or the book featuring a favourite ‘star’, or a book written by a footballer’s wife’s hairdresser’s boyfriend? Or a book that that on-line bookseller wants you to buy?
A far more satisfying way is to visit a bookshop. There you will find books you may not otherwise come across. There you can ask a (usually) well-informed assistant for advice. There you can touch, browse more than the first few pages, get a real feel for a book. But even bookshops have their own agendas. They push you towards the books they want you to buy (usually stacked high just inside the door), the books that the publishers have ‘encouraged’ them to market prominently.
So how do you get to know about (and buy) an independent author’s books?
They are unlikely to be featured on online booksellers – though they’re there when you look for them. They may not even be stocked in many bookshops (apart from the ones the authors have personally visited).
So you probably won’t know about them and you probably won’t buy them.
So the best sellers lists will again be occupied by the usual suspects – the most advertised titles, the ‘autobiographies’ of ‘celebrities’ and the badly written sadomasochistic tomes with the word ‘grey’ in the title.
PS. To buy any one of my books visit www.carolynmccrae.com and buy directly from me (paying by Paypal); or visit my publishers’ websites www.troubador.co.uk or www.newgeneration-publishing.com  or visit a bookshop and ask them to order them or, if you really have to, visit the behemoth online bookseller and search for Carolyn McCrae.