I recently finished the first draft of my work in progress (just under 51K words — it’s a YA) and am getting stuck into rewrites.

Some people dread this process, but I relish it! The difficult work of conjuring characters and plots is largely complete, and now I’m boiling down some parts while beefing up others.

At the moment, I’m going through my manuscript line by line and trying to improve as much as possible.

For instance, I just took this sentence:

‘The helpless sparrow fluttered its wings uselessly against the tangle of netting in which it was now caught.’

And changed it to this:

‘The sparrow desperately fluttered its wings against the tangle of netting in which it was caught.’

The sentence is now two words lighter and flows better, yet I’ve kept the feeling and meaning intact.

I’m also on the look out for filtering, i.e. ‘She saw the bird dig up a juicy worm’ is better put simply as: ‘The bird dug up a juicy worm’.

I’m killing off lots of adverbs and adjectives too, although not all of them as they add flavour to writing imo.

In all, I’ll probably do several rewrites before sending copies off to my beta readers to critique.

Wish me luck!


MG or YA??


I started writing an upper middle-grade book last year, but as it progresses I’m beginning to question whether it’s actually YA.

After lots of research on the subject I’ve come to the (slightly uncomfortable) conclusion that it probably sits somewhere in between both camps, but as there is no ‘Somewhere between MG and YA’ shelf in my local bookstore I realise I’m going to have to commit to one or the other.

So I have been asking myself some questions (and you can ask yourself these too┬áif you’re in the same predicament as me)…

1. Word count.

It looks like it’s going to be around 50K words when complete, so more of a YA word count than MG, but factor in that it’s a fantasy, and it may fall a little short…

2. Language.

Complexity of language is probably more YA than MG, but I’m an advocate of encouraging young people to increase their word power, so… meh.

3. Theme.

I guess it’s more YA in that key characters change throughout the story, but the themes are trust and false pride, which could be appreciated by older MG readers

4. Content.

No sex or overly bad language, which is suitable for both MG & YA (Tick!)

All in all, I’m leaning towards YA, as I think younger readers who are interested in the premise would read it anyway.