When I met the publisher, I learnt that my crime novel needed to be at least 90 to 100k words long, so I’m pleased to know that I have more room to expand my plot, though I shall still stay focused on keep my writing tight and well written.

It is far too easy to get carried while writing your first draft. I know because I did this with my first two novels.

I know, as a new writer, we are told what’s important is to get your story down, and then started editing once you have finished the first draft, but I found I was overwhelm by the thought of wading back through 100k words after months of writing.


Writing short stories and getting them published has help me to refine my editing skills, so now while working on my novel I’ve started to edit as I write. Making your work the very best you can should be your main aim as a writer, this means to me that I should take my time and finely polish my MS as I work.

The publisher told me, when I asked, if she received any unexpected gifts along with MS, said you would be surprised what people send in. She said she didn’t get them personally but they did come into her office. I said I wouldn’t be sending in any severed heads with my crime novel  as I wanted to be professional about my writing.

She told me that I needed to go through an agent as that’s the way one normally approached a publisher. This I was very much aware of as it was my dear friend Maggie Lord who had set up the meeting for me.

Learning as we go.I know now I have a long wait ahead of me, so I shall keep on working on my novel. My friend, Joan has just returned my first 10 chapters and has pick up on eight inconsistences  in the plot, which is a great help. Mostly these are to do with the timeline i.e. night & day.  Little things that can so easily be overlooked while getting the story down.

At the weekend, I went to see my friend, Debz,  She’s amazing author and has just had her first novel published ‘While no one was watching’ 

She had a quick look at one of my chapters as I took it along so she could tell me how much she thought my writing had improved as a few years ago I used her critiquing service to find out where my weaknesses and strengths were so I knew where I need to concentrate on making my improvements.

I’m pleased to say she told me I’d  improved greatly though she did point out in the chapter where I could make something a little clearer for the reader. I’m busy making improvements to my finished chapters with Joan and Debz’s help today.  Once I have finished the whole novel I shall send it to Debz. It’s money well spent.

I must get back to my writing now, as tomorrow I shall be at my writing group.

Have a great week,

Paula R C.




    1. I have signed up to firstwriter.com so I get to know about writing competitions as and when are updated. Another way is through the ‘Writing Magazine’ if you living in the UK.


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