Revision, Revision, Revision!

How many times do you need to revise your writing?

For me the answer is as many times as it takes. I need to be happy that the work is as good as I can possibly make it. It can seem like a laborious process. But it’s one I get a lot of satisfaction from finally seeing a writing project coming together.

I’m writing a non-fiction piece at the moment and I’m trying to look at it from both the reader and a writer’s point of view. In addition, because I’m going to self publish the work, I have an editor’s hat on as well!

I try to leave a few days between each revision  Maybe it should be longer but once I’m into the revision phase I just want to move the writing onto completion. So what are some of my considerations during this process?

  • With a non-fiction work at the start I ensure I have a clear objective. A good solid, planned out structure helps. That way, hopefully, I find that I have not deviated from the initial objective.
  • Have I covered the information the reader would expect to find in the subject matter of this book? I try to put myself in their shoes.
  • Is the writing style I have used appropriate for this book?
  • If I’m giving the reader information, and writing from my own experience, are there enough practical examples supporting the facts? If not, add more.
  • Even though it’s a non-fiction title I try to ensure the introduction grabs the reader’s attention. They need to know right from the start they are going to get something out of the book. And that also means letting them know your credentials from the opening paragraphs as to why you are an authority on the subject matter.
  • The conclusion to the book is important. Does it bring everything together and is it going to leave a strong impact with the reader?
  • Does it flow well and is the subject matter organised in a suitable way for readers?
  • During each revision I also try to edit. The final revisions I read from an e-reader. This does seem to highlight further necessary revisions I missed. It also shows me exactly how it will look from a reader’s perspective.
  • Read aloud if it helps. Hearing the words can help spot the obvious – sentence structure, over-used words, etc
  • Share the writing with someone. In my case my wife will proof read it. She’s usually good at spotting errors in books and films that just go straight past me!

Well I better get back to my revision. I have a book to finish!

 

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Finish that draft!

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I find sometimes when I am writing I have a tendency to want to go back to the beginning to a piece of work and start my revision of this. Yes, I know it is a bad idea. But sometimes I cannot help myself. Maybe it is because I am running out of ideas? Not focused and motivated by the words I am putting on paper?

Whatever the reason I always try to turn my attention back to the draft as quickly as I possibly can. Eradicate that initial thought from my head. I know that when I finish the draft I will have an immense feeling of satisfaction and the real work will begin. The draft itself will not be the finished article and very rudimentary in its content and structure. But it will give me something to work on other than a blank piece of paper.

As the revisions of that draft pile up only then will I start to see something like the finished product. And only then will I feel start to feel truly happy.

 

A nice email …

I received a nice email from an unexpected source today. This really made my day! Here is an extract from that email :

We found “Living with Timmy” an absorbing read, which I’m sure, will inspire others to cope with potentially serious health issues. Whilst its main focus was centred on “Timmy” and its serious implications, the book also delivered some words of wisdom from your life experiences and gave the reader occasional reason to smile as you recalled, with gentle light hearted undertones, your initial interactions with the health experts.

From knowing you as a senior work colleague (although our paths only crossed now and then), your caring and loyal family support and the backup of, despite its criticism by some, a first rate NHS, I am confident you are in a good place to take on whatever challenges “Timmy” presents you with in the years to come.

This will definitely keep me going for weeks to come!

Onwards and upwards …

It’s been a busy old week!

Aside from putting in some time on a new book I have also managed to get out and about on that bicycle of mine. The weather in the UK is starting to turn spring-like with daffodils now sparking into life.

My first book, “Living with Timmy” is a personal memoir about living with a brain tumour. It’s fairly narrow market that I am trying to target but have had some success in listings on other websites. Two national brain tumour support networks have also purchased copies and if they like then that should secure further sales. I should hear in a week or two how that goes – fingers crossed!

The new book I’m working on is all about changing to a more active lifestyle and losing weight in the process. I hope to have this ready for release sometime in May.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’m off for a cycle ride in a couple of hours!

Book reviews … Living with Timmy

Nice to see some Amazon book reviews flowing in :

1. Amazon Customer reviewed Living with Timmy
An open and personal account. 8 March 2016
It is clearly an honest and personal account from a man, who finds out he has a brain tumour. It will be helpful to others that may find themselves in a similar situation. It is also clear that good research/experience has been carried out, when making references to medical terms and processes. An interesting read.
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2. Mags reviewed Living with Timmy
A very moving and honest account about the difficulties of … 7 March 2016
A very moving and honest account about the difficulties of living with a brain tumour and the impact of being given the news. It is a compelling read and will be of particular help to anybody who faces health issues.
View on Amazon.co.uk Add a comment View this book’s reviews on Amazon.co.uk
3. Amazon Customer reviewed Living with Timmy
A must read short story. 3 March 2016
A compelling,well written read,documenting an ordinary mans life and the hurdles he has faced.Leaping from personal heartache, and tragedy to open family struggles. A must read for a short story that every individual can relate to.
View on Amazon.co.uk Add a comment View this book’s reviews on Amazon.co.uk
4. Sharon H. reviewed Living with Timmy
How would you handle the news that you have a … 3 March 2016
How would you handle the news that you have a brain tumour at a time when you plan to retire and do all the things that pressures of work had previously prevented? Everyone is different and this is an honest account of how one man dealt with the news that everyone dreads. It was a very interesting read and makes you think how you would handle the news, the questions you’d ask and how much you’d let it interfere with your plans. It’ll be a particular help to those in a similar situation struggling to be positive.

Finally, my first book

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Well I finally finished my Creative Writing course last year and have got around to writing that first book.

It is a short personal story (about me) of 15000 words and is available on Amazon globally now. It tells my story of how I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour just before retirement about four years ago. It’ll take you through the trials and tribulations I went through at the time up to the present day. Do I opt for risky brain surgery or for a “watch and wait” strategy? Well you’ll have to read it to find out!

The link on the side bar will take you to the relevant page on the Amazon.co.uk site.

If you do buy, please leave some feedback – be it good, bad or indifferent.