Revision

Revision…

Some writers hate revising but it’s my favourite part of the writing process. It means I’ve done the hardest part – conquered the blank page.

So here I am, at my final draft before I submit the manuscript for my next book to my editor, and I’m working with hard copy again. This time I’ve printed the manuscript on green paper to trick me into seeing it with fresh eyes. And it has caused me to rethink my first page completely. Actually, it has caused me to rethink the entire first chapter.

It has also prompted me to cut swathes of writing that I previously thought quite brilliant. I thought I’d already done a structural edit and a line edit so the story was dressed and ready to walk out the door. But no…

Re-reading in hard copy (aloud until my throat began protesting) can give the writer an entirely new perspective so that you see things you didn’t notice on the screen. I suspect that’s because it’s closer to the experience of reading a finished book. This is especially so if you don’t fiddle with the little things on that reading. Just consider the story’s pace and flow and mood.

And do put the manuscript aside for a couple of weeks before you begin the process.

Picture This

Two WW1 VAD nurses

Rose & Ivy 1917


Sometimes serendipity lends a hand and a writer stumbles upon an image that jumpstarts the story.

During early research for my new novel The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay I stumbled across this photograph of two World War One, British Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses. I had already decided that two of the main characters in the story would join the VAD and this photograph became a springboard to developing those characters. If you read the novel I think you will realise why.

There was so much strength in those linked arms. The girls didn’t know it then but there was a century of massive change coming. Yet together they looked like they could face whatever the world had in store. 

The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay

Not only was the photograph influential in character development, it also became the perfect clue for the contemporary protagonist to discover. The inscription on the rear ‘Rose and Ivy 1917 – Together forever’ sets her on a journey of discovery into the past that changes her life.

Photographs and maps have always been integral to my storytelling. They suggest, provoke, and flesh out the story. Without them I think I might be lost!

Welcome

Welcome to the Julie Brooks website! I’m so excited to be launching The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay with Headline Review (UK) in 2021. I love reading historical fiction and I love a mystery so am doubly pleased to bring you both in this new story.

a darkly-gripping dual-time novel

Described as a ‘darkly-gripping dual-time novel’, The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay is inspired by my love of the stunning coastline of south-west Victoria, and the similarly wild coastline of North Devon. Set largely in these two regions in the early twentieth century and one hundred years later, it’s a story of betrayal, redemption and family secrets. I hope you like it.

The coastline of North Devon