A Writer's Life

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bloody deadlines

This past month really drained me. My analysis for Dracula was due May 28—this is a full Story Grid workup in the vein of a PhD thesis. The drop dead date had been haunting me for months. If I missed it, my book wouldn’t be published in October (which is ideal for a book about Dracula).

I mean, let’s be honest. There was a lot at stake here. 

I’ve deconstructed Bram Stoker’s classic novel according to Shawn Coyne’s revolutionary editing method (a massive project which drove me batty). Shawn is an editor with 30 years experience working with some of the top names in the business and in some of the biggest publishing companies. This man knows story better than anyone I’ve ever met and his methodology is transforming the way writers approach their craft.

I have a lot to learn from Shawn. After all, I can’t Count on charm and good looks alone to build my career. I have to master the art of storytelling. The work I’ve been doing on Dracula is part of that study and to be published, my work had to first be reviewed and approved by Shawn himself.

Obviously, getting the analysis wrong would really suck.

If I botched it up, everything I’d been working on since October 2017 wouldn’t see the light of day. 

It was a grave situation; an undertaking so massive that I had to get through it one bite at a time. And frankly, that slow, systematic approach was a real pain in the neck. It was truly all-consuming, but I’d be damned if I’d miss my deadline.

By May 28, I was dead on my feet but I was done. I was ready to submit to the publisher for Shawn’s review.

That’s when I found out that the publication date had been pushed to 2020. They’d moved the due date for my analysis to September.

I’d sweat blood for nothing.  This is the life of a writer.

In honour of Father’s Day (and to breathe some life into my story), I filled this month’s A Writer’s Life with as many dreadful puns as I could.

How many did you find?
Comment below and let me know!

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Valerie Francis

make good art

I’ve been working on this post for over a month. Many drafts have gone into the bin and it’s taken me thousands of words to find the three I needed, and the three words aren’t even my own. They’re Neil Gaiman’s and they’re simply this; make good art. During this

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Valerie Francis

Shakespeare didn’t have toilet paper

As I was thinking about how to frame this month’s post, I came across the following tweet from Roseanne Cash.  Shakespeare also didn’t have laptops, central heating or electric lights. What he did have was free and easy access to his imagination.  Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? Many writers

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Valerie Francis

good enough

I’m always pressed for time at Christmas, but this past season seemed worse than usual. I ended up with a very small window in which to get my tree up and decorated. That meant I had to skip steps in order to speed up the process. I dragged the tree into

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