Con weighs up his new novel. Extract from Written Off.

Con Buckley checked the word count on his manuscript. The menu bar read 75,069. He typed ‘The End.’ Was it now 75,071 words, or didn’t the sign off figure in the tally? He pulled out his baccy tin and rolled himself a celebratory joint. Just a small one, to mark hitting land. Christ, he’d done it. It was finished. He’d only gone and written a book. In the gathering gloom of the late afternoon his computer screen blazed like the tunnel to Paradise, bathing the shabby furniture of the Kilburn flat in golden effulgence. The End? This was the beginning….

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Why you should never ask a loved one to critique your writing. Extract from Written Off.

Con had purposefully avoided asking Rosie what she thought about the book as she spent the best part of a week, every evening after work and at the weekend, studiously reading his manuscript. Her face gave nothing away as she turned the pages. Then, at 7pm on the Sunday night, she placed the final sheet on the pile of inverted pages to denote she’d finished and said, ‘There. Done.’ Con, who was making a show of preparing their evening meal at the time, tossed the potato peeler on to the kitchen work surface and jumped into the chair opposite her….

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How a literary agent deals with submissions. Extract from Written Off

Hugo began by dumping a huge sheaf of papers on the desk in front of him. ‘This, on average, is how many submissions I receive every single week – about 100. That’s 5,000 a year. How many make it through?’ He paused for effect. ‘About five. Now you know what you’re up against.’ What a charmless, smug, tosser thought Eric as those around him scribbled these vital statistics down. ‘I, of course, have to read these efforts while actually managing my roster of established authors. It’s no mean feat.’ Spare us the bloody martyr act, Eric spluttered under his breath….

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NEW ICE INDEX TELLS ASPIRING AUTHORS WHEN TO GIVE UP

Hopeful authors submitting work to agents are used to receiving numbing rejections, ranging from cold to arctic in their lack of enthusiasm. Now one writer has devised a formula to help wannabe authors know at what point to stop flogging a dead horse and put their submission into deep freeze. Dubbed the ICE Index, the formula measures the degrees of Indifference, Condescension and Encouragement shown towards book pitches by literary agents. Paul Carroll, himself the recipient of numerous rejections for his books from the publishing trade, devised the formula and is confident it will save many hours of wasted time…

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A Write Rip-Off?

Writers desperate to gain a book contract are wasting hard-earned cash on an increasing number of ‘how to get published’ courses, seminars and manuals according to a new novel poking fun at the publishing industry. With fewer and fewer writers making the transition from wannabe wordsmith to library shelf are these literary dreamers simply the victims of a write rip-off? In his new novel, Written Off, author Paul Carroll takes a satirical look at the rise of the writing school industry and how it plays on the hopes and aspirations, not to mention wallets, of the growing band of people…

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