Zoe Richards

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Just finished the first draft of my first novel. Now doing a full edit. Finding it scary to have reached this point. Started writing pre-lockdown but lockdown certainly helped me finish. I work full time for the NHS, and I live in Southport, Merseyside, with my husband and cockapoo. 

Zoe Richards Discussions
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Can someone help me please? I booked an Agent One-to-One Session yesterday, which I've never done be…
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  •  · Sorted 😊  And booked. I'm now excited - and nervous 😆 
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I'm doing my edit and it's resulting in rewriting. I've come to the realisation that I may have some…
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  •  · I usually have to rewrite my manuscript, on average four times, but that might just be me...

I wrote and filmed one about what led to my attempted suicide. I used to do a lot of personal essay writing and I don't know why I stopped. Last night was very cathartic for me and I think I'll pick this kind of writing up again for my own sake. I enjoyed Eleanor's session,

True gold. Plus she loved being interviewed and being important to my writing as she’s in her 80s so a win win

I'm writing about the 1930s - 1950s and I'm not that old, honest! And I've included a marital rape scene in my novel - I've not got that experience so I read about it, and listened to people's stories. With the time period I've interviewed people who lived in Liverpool in that time which has been such a lovely experience. I managed to find someone who was brought up in 'The cottages' - don't get the idea that this is a romantic idyll. The cottages in Liverpool were the first council housing - they were tenements with shared loos on the landing, just 2 rooms allocated to a family, tin bath in the kitchen - which also doubled up at living room, dining room and for many with the number of kids they had it was also where the 'cot' was for the parents to sleep. The old lady didn't just tell me about her home, but also about how they lived. She was a treasure trove.

Brilliant workshop delivered by a very skilled teacher. I could listen to that session again and still learn so much more ... in fact I will be listening again :)

I caught up on it this evening - and even though I know about PD from doing the Self Edit course I still learned. Plus it's always good to get a Debi fix. xx

Loved Sophie Flynn’s book, adored Neema Shah’s but honestly the favourite has to be Fiona Scarlett and Boy’s Don’t Cry

Annoyingly I'd not realised until just now that it was at 2pm. doh! I got my notebook out, settled myself down with a cuppa, my laptop and the dog ... and discovered I am 5 hours late 😂  To be fair I've had back to back Teams meetings all day so I wouldn't have managed to join at 2pm anyway. Looking forward to the recording being up so I can catch up.

Really enjoyed the session, got inspired to write, went for a walk, fell over, broke my hand, now struggling physically to write. Sigh. But holding on to the inspiration.

There's no one inspiring place - and I think it's problematic to us if we choose just one inspirational place. So my answer is this: anywhere the birdsong quietens my racing mind, the breeze brushes my skin, and the path directs my feet to a resting place that opens my heart to the gifts of the moment I'm in.

Added a forum 

Can someone help me please? I booked an Agent One-to-One Session yesterday, which I've never done before, and got a message on screen saying 'Please check your inbox fo full instructions own what to do next.' But I received nothing. I sent a message via the 'contact us' last night, but have still not heard anything. I've checked my junk folder and there is nothing there either. The money has left my account. Would it be possible to check if there is a techy glitch please?

Thank you


Self Edit Course

Well, what a week. A small group of 12 of us started the Self Editing course this week, and what learning! If you've not done this course or not signed up for a future one, get on it. I've learned more since Tuesday when we started than I have all year. My novel can only improve as a result. It helps that the stars aligned to bring a lovely group of people together with such a wealth of talent that inspires me too.

Added a forum 

I'm doing my edit and it's resulting in rewriting. I've come to the realisation that I may have some of my chapters in the wrong order which means a major rewrite. I have 2 characters, and it takes too long to get to what happens to the protagonist. Chapter 1 is a letter from the protagonist to her daughter, written in 1943 telling her daughter that she confessed. Chapter 2 introduces the grown up granddaughter and defines her relationship with her mother. It's now another 3 chapters until we go back to the protagonist which is another 10,000 words on - that feels too far on. Am I right to trust my instinct that I need to change the order of chapters and bring my protagonist back in at chapter 3, around 4,000 words into the novel? She would then be the main focus of the novel from that point.

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