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What does it take to write a book?

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What does it take to write a book? 

Five years, numerous re-writes, unexpected plot twists, blood, sweat and tears but it’s ‘finally’ there. Yep, that book I started many moons ago is ‘finally’ finished. You may wonder why I keep putting the word ‘finally’ in inverted commas. That’s because I’ve been here before, lots of times. Let me explain.

When I started writing my book 5 years ago, or at least when I had the idea for it, I threw myself into it all guns blazing. I rewrote chapters, edited like a person possessed and sent it off to a publisher who agreed to take me on on a two-book deal. When the first edits came back it was full of red pen marks and lots of notes in the margins and lots of crossings out. I was taken right back to my school days and considered myself a complete failure. I placed the draft in an envelope, stuffed it in a draw and never went back to it.

I know, I know. I can hear you screaming WHAT! at me. What can I say? I was naive, I had no self-confidence. I know now that it was to be expected but my stupid ego (as fragile as it was/is) couldn’t face rejection.

But, the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept pecking at me, like a… well, like a pecking thing. It wouldn’t go away. It kept me awake at night. I’d wake in the early hours “I should have written this.” “I should have added this character.” Until one day I could take no more. I took myself off to my Shed (garden office) and just sat and rewrote the entire thing, but it was a VERY different book.

Originally it was a whimsical romance novel about a girl who ran away from a turbulent life with her son and met a handsome stranger and after many obstacles, they fell in love. The End.

What I actually wrote was supremely, ridiculously, nowhere-near-the-same, different. I appeared to have entered the Dark Side. There’s violence, attempted murder, sinister plot twists, evil characters…. and I love it!

So far, I’ve written three drafts, done numerous amounts of edits and rewrites and I dare say I’ll do some more. I want to, I want it to be the very best it can be before I let it out into the world.

I have learnt so much, and I want to keep on learning my craft. A big turning point came when I took the Curtis Brown Creative courses. I did all three; Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel and finally, Edit and Pitch Your Novel. The content of every course was invaluable. So much so that I return to the modules time and again when I’m stuck or struggling with a certain aspect. I would highly recommend any of them, wherever you are in your own writing journey. (This post isn’t sponsored by the way lol, I just recommend them!

So having completed the final course, I had a pitch package ready – I just needed to finish the book!

Here’s the little blurb that I created as part of the course.

The Lie She Told - Catherine Yaffe

And now the difficult bit… I want someone else to read it. Not edit it or point out the grammar mistakes. Just read it, from start to finish. I need to know if it makes sense! I’ve signed up for and Scribophile with the hopes of garnering beta readers so we’ll see how that goes, and of course, I’ll keep you up to date with the feedback.

Oh, and if you’re interested in reading the first chapter just drop me a message via Twitter (@catherineyaffe) and I’ll send a copy to you (I’m also happy to return the favour).

So there you have it, my writing journey so far… onwards and upwards!

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