Month: September 2015

Editing for fiction writers and other books

Just got me some new books. 🙂

First off my facebook friend Ian Smith recommended Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Ian is an avid reader, excellent writer, beta reader and amazing proofreader among other things, so his recommendations are worth taking seriously.

editing for fiction writers & other books

The other stuff?

I don’t just read romance smut and filth. In fact, that is just a small part of my diet.

I’ve enjoyed other funny YA fiction by David Levithan and this book Every Day sounds interesting.

The world that emerges after the virus is the subject of Station Eleven. I had to get at and see how that subject is tackled in this best seller as The world that emerges after the virus could describe my forthcoming novel… very soon … next week… watch this space! And another best seller,

The Martian. I like the premise. I’m also attracted by the fact it is described as funny. I do like funny.

I need to watch my language – Bum or Ass?

I am English, I speak and write in British English but over the years that my words (under various names) have been published the vast majority of my readers have been on the other side of the big pond.

I know I need to be writing in their language not mine.

No more mum, colour, tyres, litres, or metres. I realise they believe I spelt that wrong too. REALIZE!

Whilst I am learning a new version of English I must also stop using that word. WHILE just isn’t quite the same to me.

Readers & writers of erotica are well aware of the underwear problem. Bra’s are universal. But when we come on to words like pants and knickers (perfectly acceptable in the UK, we need to change them to what? Panties doesn’t sound correct to my ears, it sounds a silly childish word. And what are men wearing under their American trousers (I can’t call trousers pants)?

I think it is easier if they all go commando.

Let me tell you what Adria Kane said about my bum

not my actual buttocks or arse (arse, we say that in the UK).

But my use of the word bum in an erotic scene (to be published soon, with or without the bum).

Whilst taking a look at my  unpublished masterpiece, Adria highlighted the offending word and wrote:

“this is a kids word. Sorry ass or something, anything!”

My English friends will vouch for me BUM is the word we’d use, as in, “what a sexy bum. smack that bum, I want to cover your bum in yellow custard and lick it clean….”

Ass, on the other hand, is a donkey, a jackass, a fool. Malvolio springs to mind. It is also a word we hear on American films in a way that sounds entirely foreign to my ears.

Nevertheless, Adria Kane is right. Thank you, you are an ACE writing pal.

I need to write in the language of the reader and overwhelmingly my readers, like Adria, are not British.


If anyone else would like to volunteer as a beta reader and has the time to read some (at least 13k words) or all of it in the next 7 days email or leave a message here (approx 50k words) for my SF romance see my last blog.

Beta readers wanted for Erotic Science Fiction Dystopian novel 52k words

The Beach by Helen J Perry

If is a science fiction, dystopia M/F erotic romance set in a corrupt Matriarchal future society.  Part of a universe/series.

Beta reader?

I don’t need a massive essay back and I don’t need a big critique of my writing (though I am happy to receive any advice you want to throw at me). I am getting those things elsewhere.

What I really want to know is:

  • if the story works, as it is a cross over between Dystopia SF and erotic romance,
  • if you feel you want to stop reading as you don’t like it at what point does this happen and why,
  • Does it make sense as i create this world through the book, many questions remain unanswered until the sequel, so do you have enough information. Note, there is a sequel but this is a whole story in itself without ending on a cliffhanger.
  • Finally, what do you think of the characters.
  • Do you normally read romance? Speculative fiction/ science fiction? Or both? Tell me if either genre is new to you.

What’s In it For You?
Hopefully you will love the book and enjoy reading it because I can’t afford to pay you. When it is finally published I can send you the final version and I can thank you within its covers. That’s it.


The Beach by Helen J Perry

Genre & Brief Overview

A science fiction, dystopia M/F erotic romance set in a corrupt Matriarchal future society.  

Part of a universe/series.

Here is the blurb:


Mia is a deviant because she lusts after men in an asexual Matriarchal society; men are a tiny minority and almost extinct.

She satisfies her primitive urges in the West Beach Brothel but fears discovery would end her promising career in science.

Her work could change the world for the better but her high profile new project could be   compromised by her sexuality.

She is driven to distraction by her desire for one man.

He is a sweet talking charmer, romantic and sexy but is he ever sincere?

Can there be a real relationship when men are forced to live apart from women?

Anything else to know?

It is currently written in British English.

Want to do it? Please email me at and let me know what format you prefer.

Words and Numbers

Met up with LJ, a friend of mine today. She is a commercial writer of erotica and romance. I say commercial because she successfully writes for money.

I told her about Writing Faster by LA Witt (see my last blog) and LJ and I both already do a lot of the things suggested by LA Witt. LJ has read loads of books of that type.

For my part, I am a very random, spiderweb worker – I don’t think I can think straight or write linear – So discovering this was part of LA’s secret was reassuring.

Like LA Witt, my friend LJ has been monitoring her output in terms of good words produced per day. LJ has a simple but elaborate system that starts with a timer and dots and lines in her diary and ends with reward stickers on her calendar. LA has spreadsheets.

Me, I can tell you that I was approx averaging 1k words of fiction per day until April. Ill health wiped out April and it was a slow start getting back on track. I’m sure I can do 1k a day, but I’ve not monitored it to the last detail. And I think I can do more. I am now convinced I should really monitor daily words in more detail and keeping such a record could help me become more focused and productive.

One of the many things I learned from Writing Faster was that 1k per day is not bad for someone with young children and other work to do, but I’m also sure I could do more than that. I also know from LA and other writers that I know, a FT professional writer could be aiming for 2-5k words per day. And from what I can ascertain 5-10k per day are possible a few days but not sustainable every day.

LJ is one of many who also points out that the many thousands of words on my hard drive are doing nothing if not published. So the other part of my goal must be to finish rather than just start and work on many, many stories.

Here are my immediate writing goals for September, based on finishing what I already have (note title is file on my drive not necessarily final title):

Let’s say there are 21 days left in September, because there are, and 31 in October. I only have to average a little over 1,000 words a day (+ editing)  over these 52 days to complete 4 of my half-started projects before Nano month (November).

These are what I think I will focus on:

  1. At Last words done 10,000 target 20,000 ish. To do: 10

2. BOAS2 done 4k target 10k To do:6

3. Landing Sation done 7k target 20 ish To do: 13

4. The Arrival done 30k target 60k To do: 30

Total to do: 59k

Also, final edits to The Beach (52k novel)

And over this time I am going to record my actual output.

So I’m going to start monitoring from tomorrow with 1k as my minimum goal and aiming for 2k.

Writing Fast by L A Witt

I’ve just downloaded this book but not read it yet. If it turns out to be rubbish I’ll have to delete this post! But I don’t think it will be.

I first discovered L.A.Witt as a result of her friendly helpful advice to wannabe writers at the Water Cooler.

I liked what she had to say so I looked her up to see what she wrote.

Erotic romance, mostly M/M, totally up my street and I’ve been an avid reader of her output ever since. This is a struggle because I like to read other stuff too and she seems to complete novels at the rate of about one a month!

I’ve asked her a few questions myself over time, via the marvel of social media, so I know she aims to complete a minimum of 5,000 words per day and 10,000 is possible.

I’ve heard Victoria Blisse does this amazing feat too.

I used to write a weekly newspaper column. It had to be exactly 550 words, give or take 3! Now perhaps it is harder to write short as every word has to count, but I would expect from start to the final polished product would take me 4 hours!

Now, sitting at my computer on my best days I can do about 3,000 words of fiction and they still need editing. I would guess I average at about 1,000 good words a day, which is too slow for my own need for fast results. I have a novel inside me and I want it done within a week, not a few months!

I’m hoping to get some excellent advice from a writer who really does write books fast and yet maintains quality. I’ve not read all of her books, but perhaps more than half and they pretty much all have a good story with good characters and I’d happily give them a 4 or 5 star review (and often have if you check out my reviews on amazon co uk). Some have amazing ideas in them. As a this is something I really like in a book, I was pleased to read earlier this year that she is planning to write more SFF.

Writing Fast by L A Witt is available from Amazon FREE right now.