April Update: 5 year writing project

It’s all taking much longer than I anticipated, but I’m getting there. Slowly

do you have goalsI’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.

I am supposed to be sending my finished novel, The Reluctant Scribe, out to agents. But, instead, I’ve been focusing on my non-fiction book, Walking the English Coast.

Work done this month, after feedback from my editor:

  • Added a few more anecdotes and personal opinions. These, my editor said, lightened the text and made it more interesting. It’s a difficult balance to get right, but I’m sure the book has been improved. Anyway, I love writing about myself, so adding personal anecdotes is never a problem for me.
  • Clarified some words and phrases. Doesn’t everyone know what ‘dubbin’ is?  Or what is means to ‘bag a munro’?  Apparently not.
  • Added some quotations. These are used to introduce various sections of the book. It’s been great fun reading through walking books and finding relevant passages to quote. Very distracting, of course, as I get carried away with re-reading the books I love.
  • Created a series of TOP TIPS. These have been scattered in a random (ahem) entirely logical manner throughout the text.
  • Agreed on boxed text. As Tyrean advised me on my last update, when writing non-fiction it’s important to break up dense blocks of text and create some white space.

Still to complete:

  • Photographs to be inserted. I think I have most of these already, but I need to collect them together. And there are a few specific shots I must go out and shoot.
  • Strip out and reinsert the references. To my horror, Microsoft Word couldn’t cope with all the text changes we made, and the references are seriously messed up. Sigh. I’m going to have to start again. Nightmare!
  • Final proofread and agreement on layout. That’s still very much in the future.

On a positive note, my editor said the manuscript I sent her was very ‘clean’, with few spelling or grammatical mistakes. That is reassuring.

It’s all taking much longer than I anticipated, but I’m getting there. Slowly.


Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, Doctor, woman, etc.

6 thoughts on “April Update: 5 year writing project”

  1. Wow! I’m honored you took my suggestion.
    Way to go on the work you’re getting done. I can imagine the nightmare of getting Word to do what you want it to do, but I’m sure that it will work out.
    And now, I’m curious, what do “dubbin” and “bag a munro” mean?

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    1. Dubbin = a waxy grease you rub onto leather to keep it waterproof and supple.
      Munro = Scottish mountain peak over 3,000 feet high. There are just under 300 of them and some people try to climb them all. When you climb one successfully, you can say you’ve bagged a munro. 🙂

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  2. Yup, white space is good. Dubbin… to dub…dub tracks…something people do in the music industry? Dubbin… Dublin… Ireland… to drink at various pubs, see also “pub crawl.” Without context, those are my guesses.
    Keep working on the goals!

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