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Emma Darwin
I write novels and short fiction and I live in South East London.
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The point about four instalments is really just that aspiring writers often read the headline figure and assume that the publisher sends you the cheque when you sign the contract. Whereas publishing schedules being what they are, especially if you haven't written the book yet, the time from contract-signing to paperback might be three or four years
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four instalments for an advance? Signing - acceptance (often the same if you've already written the book, of course) - hardback - paperback. Although, yes, with a small advance in particular more of it may be up front. With my Writing Historical Fiction book for Hodder it's just Signing and Acceptance. I do agree that 1) isn't easy to achieve even when you do write a book or three a year. But it does depend how many mouths one's feeding, I guess. And whether one feeds them on dry bread, or caviar.
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Alan Hollinghurst had a piece recently - I think in the Grauniad - about how incredibly difficult he finds it to make ends meet. Re the industry ... I think teaching is a very natural instinct, as it wanting to learn. There are a few snake-oil salesmen, but it's funny how the art teachers and music teachers don't get accused of snake-oil-hood...
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Yes. Although I'm always reminded of Philip Gross's reply on the Today programme, after he won the T S Eliot prize, when John Humphries said "Does anyone read poetry nowadays" and Philip said, "Not as many as write it, which is something we need to change." There are moments ...
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All sorts of things are possible - it's a matter of understanding what the possibilities are, I think (hence this post) and then which one YOU want to go for!
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;) It's the definition the book industry uses - or used, last time I looked - when they're doing surveys and analyses of book buyers. One of my writer friends has a father who hasn't read a book for thirty years. And a swathe of the population calls "a book" what most of us would call a magazine...
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Glad you approve, Adele, and thanks for the share.
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So the the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society has done a survey, and found that the median average income for professional writers in 2013 - those who spend the majority of their time writing - is £11,000 a year, down from £15,450 in 2005. The number of writers who get all their income from writing is down from 40% to 11.5%. And I know anecdotally that advances are down by 30-60% compared to ten years ago: a typical £5-10,000 for a first novel from a big publisher in 2005 translates to more like £2-7,000 now, still paid in up to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at This Itch of Writing
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YOu're welcome, Edith. Glad you enjoyed it. (If you heard it while the end was clipped, you might fancy catching the very last sentence, which is now there...)
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Paul, thank you so much for pointing that out - and you're quite right: it got clipped in the uploading. I've got the BBC to sort it out, and that last sentence and the credits are now restored! If you were listening on the iPlayer it should go straight to that bit. Glad you enjoyed it. There is a difference, I realised at the recording, between someone reading a story aloud - delivering it, as it were - and an actor, who will always edge more towards performing it. I wrote it for the character-as-narrator - and of course he was cast for that, whereas I'm not an old man in Sussex in the 1920s... I don't know if I'd write a story differently if I bore an actor acting in mind. Certainly one has to deliver colour "on the page", as it were, in a written story, which in a spoken one can partly be supplied by the actor. I dunno... Interesting to consider.
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Jim, they're very common in hist fic too, these days, and I think on the whole that most times the same job would be done better by another means. Which isn't to say they don't have their (good) uses. If you're thinking about prologues you might want to follow the link up in the second paragraph, to "zingy prologues", which is my main post on them. It's also in the ToolKit link up at the top of the page.
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"I need to separate the beginning of the story in my head from the beginning of the story on the page." Yes, I think that's exactly it. It may be, it may not be: but you certainly don't want to be assuming it is, without interrogating it. A friend on Facebook says that a scriptwriting book he read recommends starting from the mid-point scene: the big turning point, as it were, and building outwards both ways from that. Which is a really interesting way to think of it.
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You're welcome, Edith.
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You're welcome, Daniel. I still find the "was" thing deeply bizarre. Mind you, not that popular bestsellers are necessarily the place to go when thinking about prose, in the sense that as long as the prose is adequate to the job, what sells at that end of the market is plot and story. If that's in place, rather bland or stodgy prose isn't going to matter so much. OOn the other hand, if they were fantastically well written as well...
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Although anyone who's heard me speak will know that however big I write SLOWLY, I probably forget...
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Oh, I hope it goes/went well. And you're welcome - glad it helped.
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Hope to see you there, Sally. Yes, last year was such fun - and it felt very natural, I thought, if that doesn't sound odd. As if it had always been there...
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Apologies for adding to your to-be-read pile, Edith! But enjoy!
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Yes, it is of course. But like all sorts of things ("showing" and "telling", for example), I guess it's useful to have quick labels for things which are actually complex collections of interacting elements.
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Yes - "drunk" in the broadest possible sense... In an altered state, as it were.
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Yes, I love Chuck Wendig's blog. My language is a bit more moderate, but I so often agree with him...
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:)! You're welcome, LEH. I exist solely to save others trouble.
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