Revisiting My MG WIP

It’s only taken me five months, but I have finally opened the first draft of Grandpa’s Book, which I concluded during the 2018 NaNoWriMo.

By completed, I exceeded the target 50K wordcount, though I already know this book will easily reach the 60,000 word mark.

This first draft comprises the complete story, but I knew as I ravaged at my keyboard, that I’d want to change a lot of the plot; especially one all-important scene.

So, now that Earth 101 is out looking to find an Agent home, I can finally work with the tale of Xander and Bella.

While NaNoWriMo helped me to deliver a first draft, I found the process quite harsh, to the point I couldn’t bear to even think about the story. But that has finally passed.

Recent events in my life have set the stage for a great future, and this story is a foundation for that.

It will take a good six month of revisions and editing to bring Grandpa’s Book to Query-ready, but that all begins today.

But as a little treat, here’s a snippet from the first draft and early chapter therein…


Catch you soon.


The Beginning of The End

On the weekend of the 24th February 2019, I sat with my family watching with excitement, America’s Got Talent – The Champions. And that night was the final. Who’s favourite amongst us would win? It was such a lovely night of warmth and excitement, and I honestly believe it was the best evening I had spent with my family, after many years of me existing, detached from everything and everyone in this world. That evening, I honestly believe my cloud of depression had finally passed. We were all so close and happy.

Little did I realise that was the last family night I would experience.

Roll on a week or two later, and my partner and I had the talk. The outcome was divorce.

I agree in full we need to separate: way too much toxic water under that bridge. And it’s nice we will part as friends and not enemies. But a month on, since that happy night of the 24th, I’m somewhat sad as I reflect on the smiling faces of anticipation, as Shin Lim was crowned the Champion; and deservedly so.

Move on I must.

I’m in that limbo-land at the moment, living through the last-ness of it all, with my current life; waiting to move into my new apartment and restart the engines of future potential.

I’m querying Earth 101 to a very select group of agents, so maybe one will be interested enough to ask for a further sample? You never know.

As I reflect on the past month, I also finished listening to Mike Chen’s, “Here and Now and Then.” There are so many things I would alter, given a chance to pop back in time, but most of all, I’d change myself.




Cast of Earth 101

This is a bit of fun, but this is how I see the individual characters of my debut novel, Earth 101.

The story features two races: Humans and Koyorads.

Seventeen-year-old Jayne, is the lead MC and this is her story.

Aithen is the love-interest and the guy who’s about to turn Jayne’s world well and truly on its head. His violet eyes define him as a Kurzite.

Akeirlah is Aithen’s sister and her green eyes are indicative of a Koruzyte.

Erek is the story’s principle antagonist. His black eyes define him as a Kordet, or more appropriately A Deleter.

Reiyarlah made an appearance in an earlier draft of the story, but all is not lost.

She has the potential to appear in a sequel. I’ve included her here, as she is one

of my favourite, missing characters. Her brown-gold eyes, define her as a Koryed.

Working with a Professional Editor

When should you engage with an editor?

At the point, you are confident your manuscript is ready for publication.

I say this as that is when you have most likely gone through beta / CP reads and hopefully, responded to feedback. You want your MS to be polished and to save a lot of your editor’s time.

They shouldn’t be bogged down with typos and punctuation checks. Editors are not cheap, and you want the investment to feedback in story structure and plot evaluation.

My first edit was way too early; some five drafts too soon if truth be told. But I was in a hurry for feedback.

When you do receive the editors’ report and MS markup, browse through the feedback. Don’t digest the details yet. Let their comments simmer gently on the mental backburner.

You won’t agree with everything they say. The child in you may want to throw all the toys out of the pram and pen an angry response back.


Anything you imagine is INACCURATE.

Any negative thought you have is CLOUDED.

Your editor is on your side, and you have to get to that point of clarity before doing anything.

I’d suggest a minimum of two weeks before rereading the report. During this reading, focus on the positives. What did they like? Skim the negatives for now, but keep an open mind.

Once you can see the negative points as positive suggestions on how to improve your story, then you can engage fully with the report and MS markups.

Yes, it is also true that some suggestions are plain silly. Their vision may cause your feelings for your story to stray so I would suggest considering if the proposal can be translated into an approach which keeps the story real to you.

Let’s say a suggestion for setting a scene in Italy. Only this does not work for you, but you’d love to write about Spain, as you have visited there many times on holiday. Hence you have an affinity for that area. Then you are accommodating the improvement of the editor but at the same time improving your story.

It’s your story, and only you can be faithful to the vision.

Listen to your editor. They will make your story amazing.

During my journey with Earth 101, I have had the honour to work with

Julia A Weber

Lyla Lawless


Cornerstones Literary Consultancy

I wish you the best with your Editorial adventure

Remembering the Trade Centre

The two great brothers;
Towering tall.
The twin pinnacles of commerce.
Nothing will make them fall.

Their armour is seen,
Shining from far away.
But the strength of that shield,
Is tested this day…

Grab the last coffee.
Kiss goodbye and off to work.
The MD; the Janitor;
The Fireman; the Clerk.

The floors are filling.
The meeting rooms booked.
But what’s that in the distance?
Has anybody looked?

It no longer matters,
If you’re early or late.
Whether you remembered that Birthday card,
For your office mate.

The Tower shudders,
And cries out in pain.
Its steel robes rip apart,
By the power of the plane.

The unthinkable has happened,
As the plane comes crashing in.
War’s declared today,
And this battle you won’t win.

Running down the stairs.
Gasping for breath.
Trying to escape to the light,
From a terrifying death.

Screaming and running,
There is no time to wait.
Another plane’s upon the second Tower,
To deal the same fate.

The Towers are crumbling,
The hurt too much to take.
Is this a nightmare,
From which we all will wake?

Then there is silence,
A world white with dust.
We have to help the injured,
Yes, yes we must!

Listen to calls for help,
Or a faint, buried cry.
It’s impossible to imagine,
That everybody could die.

So, you search through the rubble.
Looking for some signs of life.
You’re looking for her husband,
Their mum or his wife.


There’s nothing.