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Archive for the ‘writing’ Category


Here are a couple of interesting links to news about Jane Austen on the net which discuss Jane’s books being heavily edited and there is even a suggestion that she was a bad speller. How can they say such a thing?!

Here’s one from the Guardian which does at least try to defend our Jane! There are also some interesting comments below the article where the general public have added their three penny worth!

If you’d like to judge for yourself, head on over to Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts where you can see some 1100 pages of fiction written in Jane’s own hand. It is indeed wonderful to see that she too had messy jottings, which surely as a toiling writer is the only way to work. I have to say I find it extremely heartening to see that she didn’t write it all down perfectly. Can you imagine how thrilled she would have been if she’d had access to our modern technology where it is so easy to delete mistakes and write new drafts, not to mention having built-in access to a thesaurus and spell-checker. Then again, we wouldn’t have had these wonderful treasures which prove she was a true artist seeking perfection in all that she wrote.
I still like to scribble down notes in pen or pencil when I’m getting ideas for a new book rather than using my laptop straight away. If you could, would you go back to the simple pleasures of pen and paper, or are you happiest in our computer age?

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Whilst I pause on the lower slopes of Beechen Cliff, I bring some most exciting news! On Austenprose this week the announcement was made that a new Jane Austen short story Anthology will be published in 2011 by Random House. I am so very thrilled and honoured to have been chosen to contribute a story. The lovely Laurel Ann Nattress will be our editor and guide on this most exciting journey.
I will be among august company, indeed! Here is the list of contributing authors taken from Laurel Ann’s website.

Pamela Aidan (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy)

Elizabeth Aston (Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, & Writing Jane Austen)

Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series, & The White Garden)

Carrie Bebris (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series)

Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, & Mrs. Elton in America)

Frank Delaney (Shannon, Tipperary, & Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show)

Monica Fairview (The Darcy Cousins, & The Other Mr. Darcy)

Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club, & Wits End)

Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, & Mr. Darcy’s Diary)

Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, & The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte)

Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances)

Janet Mullany (Bespelling Jane Austen, & Rules of Gentility)

Jane Odiwe (Lydia Bennet’s Story, & Willoughby’s Return)

Beth Pattillo (Jane Austen Ruined My Life, & Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart)

Alexandra Potter (Me & Mr. Darcy, & The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A Novel)

Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino Bradway (Lady Vernon & Her Daughter)

Myretta Robens (Pemberley.com , Just Say Yes, & Once Upon a Sofa)

Margaret C. Sullivan (AustenBlog.com, & The Jane Austen Handbook)

Adriana Trigiani (Brava Valentine, Very Valentine, & Lucia, Lucia)

Laurie Viera Rigler (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, & Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict)

Lauren Willig

And now, as Mr Knightley would say, “I have a piece of news for you. You like news – and I heard an article in my way hither that I think will interest you.” For all you budding writers, there is to be a chance to have your short story included in the anthology. A competition to be hosted at The Republic of Pemberley website will be held to fill the slot of one short story. Details will be posted later, so keep watching and the very best of luck to you all!

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I’m at the editing stage of my latest work in progress. Surely this has to be the most trying and difficult part of writing a book. It’s when I feel I’m completely on my own – and I feel a little bit lonely. I start to read it through, feel quite pleased with how it’s all going, and then the doubts start to creep in. That part doesn’t feel quite right – I remember when I was writing it that I thought I’d written something memorable, but no, it’s reading like a pile of pants as my youngest might say. OK, I think that’s better – then the next chapter doesn’t seem to work. Lizzy, would you really have said that? And Darcy, have I painted you a little too grave? Time for a coffee, I think, and didn’t I promise to phone someone? I waste an hour or two with important jobs that I convince myself couldn’t possibly be done at any other time before I sit down to work again. I’m in a ruthless mood! I start slashing away cutting out large chunks of text, hours of work that once seemed so right. There’s something wrong with the timeline and I suddenly realise that one event couldn’t possibly have happened. What I thought was careful planning and plotting has gone completely awry! This is when I start to write lists going over and over my notes and wondering how I’m going to resolve everything. It’s all going so horribly wrong. Back to the typescript – oh yes, I like this part, I’m happy, not even a pen mark on the next twenty pages. And, I wouldn’t admit it to everybody, but I actually laugh out loud at that bit – yes, I’m on a roll!!! Reward myself with a fat bar of chocolate. So the first hurdles were just a blip, I think, until I come to a bit of sticky re-writing that I just don’t want to do. Hold my head in my hands. The sun’s over the yard arm – a glass of wine will help, I’m positive – mmm, yes, lovely, things definitely don’t seem quite as bad now. I’ve done it at last, I’m satisfied it says what I want, but then, is it now too long? Could I cut it back a little? I’m reading again, nearly there, just another fifty pages and I’m finished – well, before I bring it out and start all over again!

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I’m at the editing stage of my latest work in progress. Surely this has to be the most trying and difficult part of writing a book. It’s when I feel I’m completely on my own – and I feel a little bit lonely. I start to read it through, feel quite pleased with how it’s all going, and then the doubts start to creep in. That part doesn’t feel quite right – I remember when I was writing it that I thought I’d written something memorable, but no, it’s reading like a pile of pants as my youngest might say. OK, I think that’s better – then the next chapter doesn’t seem to work. Lizzy, would you really have said that? And Darcy, have I painted you a little too grave? Time for a coffee, I think, and didn’t I promise to phone someone? I waste an hour or two with important jobs that I convince myself couldn’t possibly be done at any other time before I sit down to work again. I’m in a ruthless mood! I start slashing away cutting out large chunks of text, hours of work that once seemed so right. There’s something wrong with the timeline and I suddenly realise that one event couldn’t possibly have happened. What I thought was careful planning and plotting has gone completely awry! This is when I start to write lists going over and over my notes and wondering how I’m going to resolve everything. It’s all going so horribly wrong. Back to the typescript – oh yes, I like this part, I’m happy, not even a pen mark on the next twenty pages. And, I wouldn’t admit it to everybody, but I actually laugh out loud at that bit – yes, I’m on a roll!!! Reward myself with a fat bar of chocolate. So the first hurdles were just a blip, I think, until I come to a bit of sticky re-writing that I just don’t want to do. Hold my head in my hands. The sun’s over the yard arm – a glass of wine will help, I’m positive – mmm, yes, lovely, things definitely don’t seem quite as bad now. I’ve done it at last, I’m satisfied it says what I want, but then, is it now too long? Could I cut it back a little? I’m reading again, nearly there, just another fifty pages and I’m finished – well, before I bring it out and start all over again!

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I’m very excited at the moment because my second novel, another Jane Austen sequel is almost finished. I think I’ve got about another week’s work to do on it and it will be completed. I normally work quite slowly, spending a lot of time thinking as much as writing, but when I get to this stage I am like a person possessed. I don’t want to leave my computer and I can’t type quickly enough to get everything down. I also don’t blog as much, you might have noticed. All the threads of the plot are coming together, all problems are starting to be resolved, with the exception of one or two plot twists. I’m sure every writer must feel like this – I can’t wait to get to the end but at the same time I do not want to leave the characters I have come to love behind!
I shall put it away when it is finished for a week or two before editing it and worrying over it. Will anyone enjoy reading my book?Will people think I have been faithful to the characters – the agony goes on!
I’ll be writing a little more about its subject matter soon.

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I’m very excited at the moment because my second novel, another Jane Austen sequel is almost finished. I think I’ve got about another week’s work to do on it and it will be completed. I normally work quite slowly, spending a lot of time thinking as much as writing, but when I get to this stage I am like a person possessed. I don’t want to leave my computer and I can’t type quickly enough to get everything down. I also don’t blog as much, you might have noticed. All the threads of the plot are coming together, all problems are starting to be resolved, with the exception of one or two plot twists. I’m sure every writer must feel like this – I can’t wait to get to the end but at the same time I do not want to leave the characters I have come to love behind!
I shall put it away when it is finished for a week or two before editing it and worrying over it. Will anyone enjoy reading my book?Will people think I have been faithful to the characters – the agony goes on!
I’ll be writing a little more about its subject matter soon.

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