Category Archives: Writing Experience

James Hockley’s experiences of writing.

Up Close & Personal

It’s time for the latest part of my “implementing Deep POV” blog series. This is the seventh blog in the series, and this one is all about being up close and personal. Too cryptic I hear you say? Okay, this is all about depth issues. Don’t worry, I’ll explain a bit further down. And no, it’s not about being out of one’s depth. I’m definitely out of my depth, but I’m ploughing on regardless.

Now, in case it wasn’t obvious, this is part of a series of blogs where I’m applying the principles outlined by Marcy Kennedy in her fantastic book: A Busy Writer’s Guide to Deep POV. I’ve been through lots already, and if you missed it, you can find out more below.
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The Authorial Ventrilaquist

He’s back with the cryptic headings! What does this one mean? If you’ve read previous blogs, then you’ll know what this is about, but for those who don’t know, it’s all about “head-hopping” (which is a writing problem rather than something you do at a festival).

Now, this is part of a series of blogs I’m writing where I’m applying the principles outlined by Marcy Kennedy in her fantastic book: A Busy Writer’s Guide to Deep POV. So far I’ve taken a wider view and then grappled with that age-old advice: “show don’t tell”, and this month it’s time for another classic problem: head-hopping. Or more formally, POV violation. This is something that I can find jarring as a reader, and so I’ve always been more conscious of it as a writer, but I definitely feel I know it better now. Another invaluable lesson.
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Show me the … err, action?

As you may (or indeed may not) have worked out from the title, this blog is about that age old piece of writing advice: “show don’t tell”. This blog is actually a part of a wider series of blogs on implementing deep POV (from this little beauty of a book by Marcy Kennedy), but “showing vs telling” goes much further than just deep POV. It is at the cornerstone of writing, whatever writing perspective is chosen, and it is therefore very important.

It’s also something I really struggle to get worked up about as a reader, which is a challenge. But as I’ve already concluded in an earlier blog, this is about being an author and not about being a reader. I shall get back in my box.

Now, it’s time (apologies in advance) to “show” my hand.

Continue reading Show me the … err, action?

The Deep POV Effect

In last month’s blog we looked back at the results of running a series deeppovcoverof tests as specified in Marcy Kennedy’s cracking little book: “A busy writer’s guide to deep POV”. Most of the work I’ve done into deep POV has been with Mandestroy, and I thought that was pretty tight. But what did Marcy’s recommendations suggest? Well…

  • 23% of the sentences had deep POV errors in them; and
  • 31% of the word count was “infected”.
  • Some sentences had three separate errors in them!
  • And there were some pretty heavy and clunky 50 word sentences lingering around.

All in all, there were a few belts to tighten. So, better get cracking.

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How Bad Can it Be?

Implementing Deep POV

I had a month off with respect my writing experience blogs. Then again, it was NaNoWriMo, so it was onlydeeppovcover fair wasn’t it? Well now NaNoWriMo is over, and it’s time to dig back in.

Here I will be picking up where I left off – following and applying the principles of this little beauty of a book. And this month I start to get stuck in with a series of recommended actions and applying tests to the live version of Mandestroy. Now, I thought Mandestroy was pretty tight (see my Writing Mandestroy page if you don’t believe me!) but applying the tests in here opened up an eye-watering number of “errors”. Bloody hell. Read on to find out more.

Continue reading How Bad Can it Be?

How much is too much POV?

Last month I talked about my early investigations into a style ofdeeppovcover writing called “deep POV”. You can find the blog here. I concluded by saying that I would certainly give it a go, and so I will.

In response, I’ve been looking at a lot of detailed principles (as outlined in Marcy Kennedy’s excellent book: Deep POV in Fiction), and applying those to Mandestroy.  It’s fair to say that the results have led to numerous edits already (at least 15% of the book has changed!), and though some of it is deep POV specific, some of it is just good practise…

But I don’t want to talk about all this here – that’s for later blogs. Instead I want to go back to basics:

How many POVs should I have?

As a writer in epic fantasy, I have always had an inclination towards more point of view characters. But beyond that mantra, I have never really thought about it. Perhaps I should have…

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Do I need deep POV?

Last month I promised to talk about the reviews I’ve had so far, and to share my thoughts on where I’m going next.  Well, apologies for this, but I changed my mind!  That’s the self-published author’s right, I suppose…

But instead, I am deeppovcovergoing to talk about deep POV.  It’s interesting – honest. But where’s this come from? Well, I’ve been doing a bit of writing research – trying to tighten up my craft following feedback I’ve had so far – and the first step I’ve taken is to buy this little beauty here: Deep POV in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy.  Brilliant.

But what on Earth is deep POV I hear you cry?  Well…

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Editing Your Work

In this writing experience blog, I’m going to talk about a technique I’ve developed for editing my own work.  Before we go any further, this is not suggesting that proper professional editorials can be avoided – indeed, I have established a newfound respect for the work that gets done in editorials.  What this does do is to suggest a way that ‘self-editing’ can be completed in a more productive, albeit time-consuming (!), manner.

Well, it seemed to work for me in any case.

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Book Covers by 99Designs

James’s Writing Experience: Interlude 2

Given that I’ve just gone through the experience of using 99Designs.com for two book covers, I thought I’d get my thoughts down while they’re still fresh.  So here goes.

What is 99Designs?Mandestroy_Book_Cover

99Designs is a brilliant website where you can put out a requirement for some sort of graphic design, set a budget (by choosing a prize), and then reach out and get proposals from thousands of fantastic online graphic designers.  I used the service for book covers, but as far as I can tell, you could use it for just about anything.  I highly rate this service.

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Confidence

James’s Writing Experience: Interlude 1

It’s time for my monthly blog on my writing experiences.  Hurrah!  Now, at the beginning of the year I set out a loose plan for what I’d write about each month, and this month was going to be all about the fear of being a writer – that question that goes through all writers’ heads:

Am I any good?

Will people like what I write?

What if they don’t?

I’ve read many people who have said that this sense never leaves you, regardless of how successful you are, and for me this is true.  I’m not successful, but it certainly still haunts me.  But at some point you’ve just got to say f*ck it, and get yourself out there.

But it wouldn’t be a blog of I didn’t write about what was on my mind at this very moment, and so I’ve changed my plans.  Instead of talking about fear, I would like to relay something that has recently happened to me which has somewhat changed my perspective.  Here’s what it is. Continue reading Confidence