Comfort Zones

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Have you ever tried writing an unfamiliar genre?

I’ve always been more interested in looking forwards than back, in science fiction rather than history, so this week when a friend challenged me to write a short story for a competition that required you to use one of three given photographs for inspiration – all of them taken around 1900 – I laughed and said no.

It was so far out of my comfort zone of contemporary fiction and, knowing there were so many potential pitfalls I could fall into (like failing to get the language, social customs, beliefs, locations, and practicalities of the time accurate and vivid without overdoing them), I felt there was no way I could write historical fiction well enough.

That’s the thing about comfort zones, one of the first challenges as a writer is to find your voice, your style, and where your stories naturally ‘fit’, but once you have found your niche it’s far too easy to get stuck in that comfort zone – and it becomes a scary thing to venture into the unknown.

Before we said goodbye, my friend handed me a spare leaflet with the details of the competition and again asked me to consider it. Now, there’s a part of me that quite enjoys a challenge. That evening as I read the leaflet properly, I realised there was one photograph of two men in Navy uniform that would be ideal for the type of story I enjoy writing.

Perhaps I could do this after all. I was tempted to think of a way to adapt it into a contemporary, or maybe a time-travelling sci-fi story, but something niggled at me, telling me it needed to be set in the past. But what about all the essential historical facts that I had very little knowledge of? It was quite overwhelming, but then I considered that perhaps because I was aware of this shortcoming it was something that I could fix.

Could I really write historical fiction? I had all the resources I would need right on my doorstep… it would be a lot of work… but perhaps it would be fun? Okay, here goes nothing. Challenge accepted!

Next stop the Naval history museum to search for plot bunnies and to get a proper feel for the era…

Could you step out of your writing comfort zone and try something new?

Professional Fiction Editing

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Full Package*

£8.70 (€10.50 or $13.00) per 1,000 words

This includes a developmental edit, a line edit, and a proofread at this discounted price if you book all three stages in one go.

Developmental Edit*

£3.00 (€3.75 or $4.50) per 1,000 words

You get a report that analyses your manuscript and covers the following areas:

  • Plot and structure
  • Pacing
  • Character development
  • Narrative voice
  • Point of view
  • Continuity

Line Edit*

£6.00 (€7.50 or $9.00) per 1,000 words

This is the most extensive edit and corrections/suggestions are made directly on your manuscript using track changes. The following areas are covered:

  • Consistency
  • Repetition
  • Timeline inconsistencies
  • Chapter, section, and paragraph breaks
  • Tense
  • Improbable or impossible actions
  • Dialogue and dialogue tags
  • Confusing similarities
  • Basic factual errors
  • Copyright and libel
  • Irrelevant detail
  • Awkward or irregular sentence structure and word usage
  • Unnecessary adjectives and adverbs
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Proofreading*

£4.00 (€5.00 or $6.00) per 1,000 words

A final polish before you self-publish or submit to a publisher or agent. It is assumed that your work has previously been line edited, and checks for any minor errors that may have slipped through during the main editing process, including:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Ambiguity
  • Inconsistencies
  • Chapter numbering
  • Potential copyright or libel issues

 

* A copy of the terms and conditions is available at http://www.victoriamilne.com. There is a minimum charge of £20.00 (€24.00 or $30.00).

Valentine’s Day eBook Giveaway!

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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Read – Writer’s Lock by Victoria Milne

Aspiring novelist Phil is looking for inspiration, so he travels to the City of Love to write his first romance novel, but after a week he finds himself suffering from a severe case of writer’s block.

Local musician Laurent has been there before and sympathises with Phil, taking him on a romantic tour of Paris in an attempt to inspire him. Suspecting that Phil may be falling in love with him, and battling with his own demons from the past, Laurent knows he has to decide quickly if he is strong enough to return Phil’s affections, or if it would be better for them both if he walked away.

Enter by midnight GMT on 13th February 2017* for a chance to win one of five epub copies of Writer’s Lock** by Victoria Milne.

To enter, simply complete the form below.

*Winners are selected at random and the judge’s decision is final. Epub copies of Writer’s Lock will be emailed to the winners on Valentine’s Day.

**contains adult content.

Victoria Milne’s Published Works

*** Details will not be shared with third parties, and will only be used for the purposes of the newsletter. If, at any time, you would like your details removed from the list, simply email your request to us.

Valentine’s Day eBook Giveaway!

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Read – Writer’s Lock by Victoria Milne

Aspiring novelist Phil is looking for inspiration, so he travels to the City of Love to write his first romance novel, but after a week he finds himself suffering from a severe case of writer’s block.

Local musician Laurent has been there before and sympathises with Phil, taking him on a romantic tour of Paris in an attempt to inspire him. Suspecting that Phil may be falling in love with him, and battling with his own demons from the past, Laurent knows he has to decide quickly if he is strong enough to return Phil’s affections, or if it would be better for them both if he walked away.

Enter by midnight GMT on 13th February 2017* for a chance to win one of five epub copies of Writer’s Lock** by Victoria Milne.

To enter, simply complete the form below.

*Winners are selected at random and the judge’s decision is final. Epub copies of Writer’s Lock will be emailed to the winners on Valentine’s Day.

**contains adult content.

Victoria Milne’s Published Works

*** Details will not be shared with third parties, and will only be used for the purposes of the newsletter. If, at any time, you would like your details removed from the list, simply email your request to us.

20% Discount in January – Final Day!

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20% off all editing and proofreading services when you contact us on or before 31st January 2017

All regular terms and conditions apply, please follow this link for details: Editing & Proofreading.

Please get in touch today using the Contact form if you would like to take advantage of this offer.

20% Discount in January – Last Few Days

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20% off all editing and proofreading services when you reserve your slot before 31st January 2017

Slots must be booked before 31st January 2017, but the slot itself does not have to be in January.

All regular terms and conditions apply, please follow this link for details: Editing & Proofreading.

Please get in touch using the Contact form if you would like to take advantage of this offer.