BITEY BACHMAN

My first solo short story release happened this month, and it’s been an experience! It’s available on Kindle through Amazon for ÂŁ1.99, and the reviews so far have been most kind. I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family, but even more so from fellow writers, publishers, editors and others I know who work in creative professions. Thanks for the support, it’s given me a lot of encouragement!

If you’d like to read my ramblings for yourself, follow the link below!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bitey-Bachman-Kayleigh-Marie-Edwards-ebook/dp/B01B9LBZOI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455113892&sr=8-1&keywords=bitey+bachman

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First Release!

I’ve managed to make my way into 7 anthologies over the last year (flash fictions and short stories.. yay!), and I’m very excited to announce that my first individual release is now available for pre-order on amazon (available on Feb 1st). It’s a comedy/horror short story called Bitey Bachman, and is published by Sinister Horror Company.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bitey-Bachman-Kayleigh-Marie-Edwards-ebook/dp/B01AC364J0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452348682&sr=8-1&keywords=bitey+bachman

 

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Learning to Write

Before beginning my Scriptwriting MA, I thought I knew how to write (well, stories anyway). Since completing it, I realised that the MA was just the beginning of a huge learning curve.

Writing a feature-length cinema script is different from a 30 minute TV series episode, and that TV episode is completely different to writing a flash fiction piece. A flash fiction is different to a novel, and a novel is a whole other ball park to an article. Or is it?

Though the end results of all those types of work differ massively, I found that the process is just the same. Learning how to write a succinct synopsis for a 90-minute play turned out to be how I learned to write concisely enough to churn out some decent flash fiction.

Practicing with flash fiction, so keeping a story under 200 words, for example, proved very useful when I tried my hand at writing short articles. The research process for my MA project taught me how to formulate a pretty good research system for non-fiction pieces and short stories too.

To summarise my point, completing that MA is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself because I’m actually beginning to build a career out of the transferable skills I learned. I’ve had 2 plays staged, but most of my paid work has come in the form of short stories, and most of my experience has come from writing articles. I can’t believe how useful those lessons in writing turned out to be, basically for every style I’ve turned my hand to. I’m not saying I’m a brilliant writer, but I do know I’m a lot better now than I was a year ago, and ten times better than I was a year before that. Practice practice practice!

 

 

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I Need You…

After just finishing up a year as a family entertainer, I’m in desperate need of a serious horror fix. I’m talking the stuff that will give me nightmares, the things that will terrify me into sleeping with the lights on, the sorts of horrors that will get me wondering if there’s something stalking me from the shadows.

That’s why, in 2016, I’m embarking on a tour. A spooky tour, if you will. The plan is to travel around the UK, staying in the scariest or ‘most haunted’ locations available. And that’s where you guys come in….

At the moment, I’m a skeptic. I don’t really believe in ghosts, or anything supernatural. But I want to, you guys. I’m bored. I want to be haunted. Since I haven’t decided which places to visit yet, I’m going to leave it to you. Haunted hotels? You got it. Creepy woods that are rumoured to have spirits floating around in them? Sure thing. Inns, castles, anywhere that’s famously haunted, or known locally for being somehow ‘wrong’, I’ll go.

The power is yours. Know of somewhere terrifying that will shake my lack of belief out of me? Let me know and I’ll stay there overnight, alone. This is a review tour like no other, I challenge you guys to find me somewhere that will scare the sh*t out of me. I’ll be going to stay in the top 10 suggested scary places in the UK and Ireland.

No backing out now, I’ve posted it on the internet, the place where everything you say stays public forever. You’ve got until the end of January to cast your votes, I’ll embark on this tour in April. You can comment below, message me on Facebook, or mail your suggestions to me at ofthedead@hotmail.co.uk

Do your worst… go on, really give me some bother. The tour results will be announced here in the first week of February, 2016. Eek!

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Look! Look!

I came across this not too long, and am extremely flattered! I never thought I’d see a day where someone mentions my work, and he was so positive too! Thanks very much Paul M. Feeney 🙂

If anyone wants to have a read of what he had to say about my writing, follow the link!

http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/9/post/2015/02/women-in-horror-month-six-authors-you-should-pay-attention-to.html

Also, some other exciting news, Kill ’em in the Brain may be coming back to a theatre near you! I’ve had interest from not one, but two separate parties for it (thanks Jen and Ash!), so have my fingers crossed and I’m very flattered once again 🙂

I have a brand, spanking, new article up on a brand, spanking new website (well, new to me anyway – check out the link on my ‘PORTFOLIO’ page if you’re interested).

I’ll have some exciting announcements soon on some upcoming work as well. That’s if my brain doesn’t explode first – I’ve never been so busy in all my life, I’ve forgotten what sleep is and I think it’s made me go a bit peculiar to tell the truth. Still, I’m not complaining!

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New article :)

Just a quick post to shamelessly plug my most recent article over at the lovely ginger nuts of horror website –

http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/9/post/2014/12/your-boyfriends-the-killer-run-fool.html

For anyone who cares, it’s basically my musings about why horror fans love horror. What we don’t love is mid-season breaks when we’re really engrossed in The Walking Dead.. hurry up February!

Also, I’ve set up a Facebook group called Writers Assemble! where we can chat and critique our writing, everyone is welcome to it! Quite fun so far, got to read an amazing short story by Frank Spike Bailey McDonald.. you talented little sod!

Hope you’re all well!

xxx

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New Ventures

The end of this year is drawing to close, and I have finally hit my super secret target. The target was to get 10 pieces of writing published/commissioned this year. I managed 2 theatre plays, 3 online competition placings, 3 short story publications in softcover and ebook anthologies and I have recently received acceptances from 2 pro-paying markets. I can’t name them yet, as the anthology release dates have not been listed, but I can confirm that both will be out by Feb 2015. That’s my 10.

I’m also delighted to be a new contributor to http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com and must say that I’ve been given the warmest of welcomes by the rest of the team. Thanks to Jim Mcleod for inviting me to the site! Below is a link to my first article, detailing how I became interested in horror. Technically, with this article, I have now exceeded my target! Hope you guys enjoy this article as much as I enjoyed writing it!

http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/9/post/2014/12/why-horror-bykayleigh-edwards.html

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Beta get proof readers……..

Hehehe. I hope the ‘typo’ in my heading was read as a pun because I, for one, find it hilarious. I haven’t posted for a wee while because *drumroll* I have been working my arse off getting work out there. This year I have had 2 theatre plays staged (Kill ’em in the Brain and Bite Night), been placed and won money for 3 online short story contests, and as of this week’s acceptance emails (YAAAAAAY!!!!), have managed to get five short stories published. They’re in anthologies.. in real books.. with paper and letters printed and my name in them and everything!

I’m sorry if this post sounds a bit braggy, tis not my intention. I’m just recapping my year because I have a point to make (it’s on the way shortly, I swear!). Also, I’d love to hear how my fellow MAers are doing, so please comment and let’s have a chat, I miss you guys!

Okay, so my point – Beta Readers.

On Facebook I found a whole load of groups for writers (stories, scripts, you name it, it exists). Members range from total newbies to the game, to semi-pro’s, and even professionals. I joined a few (do take care, some of them aren’t so much groups for writers as groups where people bitch about other people’s writing…), and was soon made privy to loads of submission opportunities. I’ve entered flash fiction contests, short story competitions, articles, bite size plays, scripts, all sorts. At first I got nowhere, just had a short and not-so-sweet stream of rejections. ‘How dare they?’ I thought, ‘Why can’t they recognise my genius?’

Then I got over that and started analysing my work, wondering what was up with it (you rarely get feedback if rejected). To answer this question, I took it to one of the writer’s groups I joined and asked for some beta readers in exchange for returning the favour to them. To my delight, 4 far more experienced writers than myself offered to give my work a look, so I took a deep breath and sent some stuff to them. I was terrified guys, seriously. I kept thinking the worst, that I’d get some awkward comments about how crap a writer I am, and I was scared. When I got the feedback, I realised how silly I was being. All 4 pointed out different things, from grammatical/spelling errors that I’d missed, to suggestions on how to restructure sentences. They highlighted whole sections that they felt conflicted with my main theme, underlined quotations where the colloquialisms sounded more American than British, and made comments on characterisation, plot and anything and everything else. I ended up with a variety of incredibly helpful, constructive criticism. And to make it even better, every one of those lovely beta readers commented in the margins on the bits they most liked and why; comments ranged from short paragraphs to a simple ‘heh, funny!’, and it reassured me that I can do this…. and that all my ideas aren’t poop.

I guess in a nutshell what I’m saying is that throwing work out to people I don’t know in person has helped. A lot. I stopped being all precious about my work and got over that initial pang of injury when I got criticisms. You just have to get over it – it’s not a personal attack. That’s when I started having some success, and it’s no coincidence. I’m not a pro yet, but I’m now in the position to submit to pro-paying markets and have actually started making some money (Yay! Walking Dead merchandise, here I come!).

To that end, I’m going to create a group on Facebook where we can all throw our scripts at each other (could be scripts for contests, just stuff we’re playing around with, etc.). I realise we’re not professionals yet, but we each have our strengths and since we’re all in the same position I think it might be nice to take the uni community outside of uni, just a little bit. Let’s practice writing and do it for fun, not just for deadlines. Let’s make the time for each other and ourselves. We owe it to those award-winning scripts we’re all going to write in the future!

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My Last Tutorial….

Had what I think was a pretty good final tutorial with Stapes about my Major Project, although a few hours later the panic of the looming deadline set in and suddenly I convinced myself that despite my feedback, I’d totally messed up my project!

I’ll be handing in the first three episodes of a sex-part series, and then outlines for the final three episodes. Before this tutorial, I had made a lot of changes to my script, including adding in new characters, completely changing some of the spaces, cutting huge things, adding huge things, etc. Normally, before making a bold change, or at least right after, I go running to the lecturer to make sure it’s okay. This time, I decided to go ahead and use my own judgement….. and it paid off!

I had very few notes on those three episodes, as opposed to loads of them in the previous tutorial. This has taught me that I kind of know what I’m doing, in terms of recognising what can be improved and whatnot. It was such a relief to hear that I’d made huge, bold and good decisions for my script.

My 3 outlines, however, were another story. Truth be told, I didn’t spend as much time on them, and wrote them in somewhat of a panic before I sent them. They were not my best work, as confirmed by Stapes. This wasn’t so much a case of tweaking them, this was a ‘back to the drawing board’ situation. I would have thought that I’d be all miserable and feel sorry for myself about it, but to my surprise, I just felt excited to do better and get back to work. I won’t have anyone holding my hand up until the final deadline now, so will have to use my own judgement again and turn it around. I’m surprised that I’m so up for the challenge! Normally, I worry so much about marking, etc, that I’m in a total frenzy trying to get about 70%. I’ve just realised though, that though I want to get the best mark I can, it’s writing about what you care about that really matters, and enjoying the process. I feel kind of liberated and wish I’d come to this conclusion a few months back!

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The Show Must Go On!

Whew! Can’t believe I didn’t post at all in August, but I guess that goes to show how busy I’ve been on my Major Project! I spent the whole month redrafting and redrafting again, looking at every single line of dialogue, breaking down every scene, examining every character, etc. I feel like I’ve sculpted it into the best it can possibly be… that is until Friday when I’ll meet Stapes for some feedback! Sending the entire project to him after so many drafts was a massive relief, and I’m actually looking forward to the deadline as opposed to dreading it.

I’ve realised how much I’ve got out of the degree this month; the biggest lesson I think I’ve learned is how to be critical of my own work, and redraft and tinker with it on my own, without someone telling me what needs to be changed. I made some really huge changes to my project without a lecturers say so, and that’s something I wouldn’t have been confident enough to do at the start of the academic year.

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve also learned that the end of the degree is the beginning of forging a career in writing, rather than the end of something. I can’t wait to get this project submitted because I have three more lined up, and one is a commissioned piece of work so I can’t wait to get started!

Also, just going to shamelessly mention that I got my first flash fiction published (in an actual book with real pages and everything!), it’s called Now You See Them and will be included in In Creeps the Night from J.A.Mes Press Publishing in time for Halloween. I mention this for two reasons:

1) I’m super excited and telling everyone.

2) Flash fiction is a really useful tool that has helped me improve my scriptwriting. Let me explain…. I started off writing stories where the word count was anything up to 1500 words, and I really pushed the word count to the limit. None of those stories were chosen. I set myself a goal to write as short a piece as possible, and managed to round a few off between 400-600 words, one of which is the story I just mentioned. I realised that however big the world of the story and the characters, if you can’t summarise it in 500 words, at least to yourself, then you don’t have a tight enough plot. This helped me during my redrafts for my major project when I asked myself what each episode was about. When I got stuck, I’d adapt the episode into a 500 word flash piece instead to retell the story to myself in a different way. I found it much easier, looking at the story in a different form, to go back to the script and sort out the problems.

I hope everyone has had as great a time on this Masters as I have. I’ve met some lovely and talented people and learned more in this year about writing than I have in the last 10 I think! At graduation, let’s leave the course and enter the world of professional writing with a bang!

xxxxxxx

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