New Year’s Day is a good time to look back and see what has been accomplished over the last year. Last year was mainly spent working on my debut crime novel. I sent my draft copy in February 2021 to, ‘Cornerstones Literary Consultancy’. They have a column in the monthly Writing Magazine, which I recommend to all writers. I find it full of good sensible, reliable and honest advice. A book I would advise any wannabe writers to consult is Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook which is produced yearly. Your Reference Library will have a copy of it, or you can buy one from Waterstones. You will not find any ‘scam’ or ‘vanity’ publishers who want you to pay your hard earned money in these publications.

I had to pay Cornerstones, but before you part with your money, do your home work to see what you get for it. They are taking my draft copy to make it suitable for publication. I have 50 x 1 hour slots with a mentor. Think how much you would have to pay someone on minimum wage. My mentor is a published author himself. When my book is ready it will be put in the hands of an agent or publishers. Those who set up Cornerstones were publishers themselves but had many manuscripts coming to them that were not ready for publication. There was a gap there that needed to make manuscripts publishable.

I have learnt much and my manuscript is a lot better now than before. Many people had told me to ‘Show, Not Tell’ (SNT), but never told me how. My mentor did! He told me about ‘Point Of View’ (POV). I was taught each chapter had to deal with one thing, and one thing only. Then the same with a paragraph, then a sentence. It was pointed out that my sentences were too long and I repeated myself. I am now on my final draft. Once this is completed I have to put it away for a month and not think about it, but get on with something else.

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