Monday, July 29, 2019

How to revise Your Novel Course

Instructor Verona Lorgsval at Port Olni

I used to hate revising/editing. Several of my complete novels are collecting dust in virtual drawers because of that.

Then, the course How to revise Your Novel started. And something major changed.

One step at a time, we identify the weaknesses of our story. All aspects of it are scrutinized and noted down.

Nothing is changed at this point. Only at the very end, do we make the changes needed, and we make them in one go. So, instead of dragging your red pen through page after page and dying of boredom, there's always something different to do and a different perspective to consider.

It's my first time using this method, so I take longer than a week for each task. I'm not worried though. Motivation and the will to soldier on are crucial.

As you can see below, the course is 22 weeks long. It's a big commitment and it's totally worth it.

In case you'd like to attend, this course will start at Milk Wood soon.

Syllabus for How to Revise Your Novel
Instructor: Verona Lorgsval in Second Life
                 Victoria Lynn Osborne in Real Life

Week 1. Despair: The Novel you got. Here we will be printing out your novel. And doing the first read through and tracking down your novel.
Week 2. Promises Promises, Finding your biggest first draft wrecks.
Week 3. The Hunt for the slippery Scene. An Interlude.
Week 4. Promises Promises the plot you got.
Week 5. Conflict and What Matters.
Week 6. Sharpening Your Characters Bringing Fictional Folk Into Focus.
Week 7. How to Triage Your World.
Week 8. Wrapping up Triage Final Details of Target, Promises, Story and Theme.
Week 9. How Manuscript Surgery Works.
Week 10. Theme and Story Take Two.
Week 11. Plots and Subplots.
Week 12. Committing to your Characters.
Week 13. Tracking and Completing Conflicts.
Week 14. Simple Time Dealing with Time Crises and Modifying In-scene Story Structure.
Week 15. Complex Time: Time Between Time.
Week 16. Becoming Consistent.
Week 17. How to Cut the Manuscript.
Week 18. Cosmetic Surgery I. Line Editing with Style, Grace, and Commas.
Week 19. How to Improve Dialogue, Description, Action, and Flow.
Week 20. Beginnings, Ending, Pace and Step-by-step.
Week 21. How to Survive and Thrive with your Type-In.
Week 22. Surgical Review: Streamlining the In-Depth Revision Process.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Tierra de Fuego

Those bags looked interesting, he thought. He walked closer, watching the passengers, checking if anyone was keeping an eye on them. Nope. He sat next to them. Vintage. He could sell them for a nice amount, plus all the clothes inside, perhaps even a computer. As he walked away, he felt something wiggling inside one of them. He hid behind a building and opened it slowly. The clothes were moving. The moment he decided to close the bag and leave it behind, something jumped from underneath and bit him on the face. His last words were “Curiosity killed the thief”.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Milk Wood
"Learning never exhausts the mind." 
Leonardo da Vinci


June 12 - Workshop on The Pomodoro Technique for Writers  - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

February 13 - Workshop on Using Tarot Cards to Overcome Writer's Block  - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

(continued from 2018) January 8 - July 15 - How to Revise your Novel - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)


December 4 (continues in 2019) - How to Revise your Novel - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

August 15 - October 11 - Speculative Writing - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

August 14 - October 2 - Mystery Writing - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)


May 11 - June 7 - Heart Health (University of Reading) - a Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease (character building).

April 20 - May 31 - Psychology and Mental Health (University of Liverpool) - How a psychological understanding of emotions and behavior provides new ways to improve mental health and well-being.

April 20 - June 14 - Introduction to Cyber Security (The Open University) - Essential cyber security knowledge and skills.

April 13 - May 15 - Forensic Science and Criminal Justice (University of Leicester) - The use of science in criminal investigations and its role in the criminal justice system.

March 9 - 27 - How to Succeed at Interviews (The University of Sheffield) - Tools to succeed at interviews and land a dream job or course place (character building).

March 2 - April 10 - Dysphagia: Swallowing Difficulties and Medicines (University of East Anglia) - The administration of medicines to patients with dysphagia (character building).

March 2 - 20 - Introduction to Dutch (University of Groningen) - Introductory course (character building).

January 5 - February 13 - Introduction to Forensic Science (University of Strathclyde) - Methods and scientific underpinning of forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case.


December 1 - 12 - How To Read a Mind (The University of Nottingham) - Introducing cognitive poetics: the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

October 27 - November 3 - How to Read Your Boss (The University of Nottingham) - Linguistic techniques to enhance business communication.

September 29 - November 9 - Introduction to Journalism (University of Strathclyde) - Key principles and debates in journalism in the context of an escalating story.

June 23 -July 11 - Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics (University of Birmingham) - The form and function of the human brain.

June 8 - August 1 - Forensic Psychology (The Open University) - How psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations.

April 28 - June 20 - Start Writing Fiction (The Open University) - Fiction writing focusing on the central skill of creating characters. - Review

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo July

A week to go till the end of Camp NaNoWriMo July and I have already finished the 30 hours I committed myself to. I'm quite pleased with the amount of work done and its quality.
After starting the Novel Revision course with Verona Lorgsval in Second Life, Victoria Lynn Osborne in Real Life, I am now moving forward with the revising of my latest novel (the others are gathering dust in a dark drawer because I hated revising).
Slow steps, but steady steps.
This month, I worked on characters and promises to the reader. While writing, we often present a character or a certain object, hinting something about them. Are those hints followed through? Or will the reader wonder what happened to them?
I have also worked on accuracy and continuity. Simple things like "X stands up" when he was already standing by the door are quite frequent in my writing. I make them all stand up for some reason, multiple times without even sitting down!
Verona suggests we don't actually touch the text yet. At this point, we are identifying the weak spots in the story. And that's what I'm doing.
The next step is to work on the scenes. I'll be hunting them down! Literally. PACTS! You're probably thinking, huh?! Yes, Protagonist, Antagonist, Conflict, Twist, Setting. That should be fun.

I think I'll be a Rebel this year for November's NaNoWriMo.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Tierra de Fuego

He was devoted to his hobby and he had the best tools. He looked up. Days under the blazing sun hadn't discouraged him. The pole had to be perfect for the challenge. It took him a while to accomplish his goal but he chopped it off. A blaze of sparkles scattered in all directions as the pole hit the sand.
“One more. Victory!”
What followed was a lot more impressive than a few sparkles. He didn't even see it coming.
The military knew nothing while the media spent weeks debating if there had been any victims of that misguided bomb.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Black Kite

The current state of affairs is grim. What did I do to deserve this. All I wanted was a little garden with a touch of originality. But that greenish tone. I hate it. It makes me want to puke. And those little ducks floating about in a neat little line make me want to kill them though they are fake ducks. I sit here and wonder. Could I paint this in black and fire the decorator?
“Honey, help me here. I'm not sure whether to go for a twisted branch or for a straight one. Just love the green tone!”

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Simple Reason

Salt Water

The reason why I've decided to leave was quite simple. I was tired of everything and everyone. I was especially tired of him. Yes, that guy who worked at the cafeteria. He didn't do anything to be honest. He never said anything either. He was just there, staring at me all the time. When I found him standing across the street from my door, I packed and left. Now, I live by the sea. It's beautiful. It's actually more than I could've wished for. The guy next door... He stands at his window and stares at me all the time.
Pick two: reason, discretion, zone, stunt, simple, deadwood, Tuba