Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 23

Okay, this past week has provided me with ample opportunity to write my socks off – since I’m as good as snowed in. Well, technically, I could have dug my car out of the garage...but Peugeots are slippery little suckers in this weather, so I’ll leave it where it is - out of harm’s way!
So, all in all, I’ve been developing my novel storyline further (since I discovered some flaws in my original idea) and have created some new and unexpected characters who are threatening to take over the whole story (if I let them get too big for their boots) – including a 17th century witch; not sure where the hell she came from, but hey, I like her.
To make way for these new characters I’ve had to sack a couple of the originals though – as much as I was fond of the hairy law enforcement officer, he was unfortunately neither use nor ornament in the grand scheme of things. (I’ll bear him in mind for the sequel perhaps).
Anyway, that’s where I’m at with the book writing. I hope to have a detailed synopsis (which is as smooth as a baby's bum) laid out by next week – all going well! Of course, that might be rather naively optimistic of me – we shall see.
As far as my coursework is concerned, I received positive comments and useful feedback regarding my 14th assignment. Having tweaked the love story slightly, I’ve now sent it off to a popular women’s magazine (fingers crossed), and I have a couple of options for the ghost story too, so I just need to decide where will be most appropriate to submit it.
Onwards and upwards, I’d like to be able to submit my 15th assignment over the weekend (which is a chapter by chapter overview of my book, along with the first chapter). Yes I know, it sounds crazy, I’ve just about got my first chapter sorted and I haven’t even got my synopsis finalised. The beginning of the story has always been the same though – it’s the middle bits that end up messy and head-busting!
Unfortunately I think the writing group I’ve recently joined will be cancelled this week (as it was last week) because of the weather – which is a shame, since we were all meant to be meeting for some festive shenanigans. Pah! So, for the foreseeable future I imagine I’ll be just typing away in the spare room; restraining those new characters, swotting away with coursework, trying my luck with women’s magazines and hopefully not going mad with cabin fever...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Day 8

A week has passed by...and hopefully so too have all the comments like ‘how does it feel to be a lady of leisure’ and ‘what will you do with all your spare time?’ – spare time!?? I’m not convinced some people take this writing project of mine as seriously as I do.
So for anybody who thinks I’ve been rolling out of bed at lunchtime, watching day time television for a few hours and jotting down a few sentences here and there, whilst sprawled on the couch in my pyjamas. This is what I’ve really been up to...
Assignment 14 of my coursework is now submitted and totally out of my hair, hooray. I’d written a short love story as the first part of the assignment (which was way out of my comfort zone, as it’s not my preferred genre), and for the second part I wrote a ghost story. And now it’s just a matter of waiting to hear back from my tutor, who will either give me the thumbs up (in which case I’ll try and get them published) or the thumbs down (in which case I’ll probably tear my hair out, have a little bit of a cry and then put them in a drawer to return to at a later date).
I also joined a writing group last Thursday– finally! Met some nice, friendly people there and I’ll be going again this week, so looking forward to that!
And most importantly, of course, I’ve been working on my book development – character profiles, background information on people and places (most of which probably won’t even get a mention in the book...but it all helps in case I ever plan a prequel! Ha ha), and a detailed synopsis – just to make sure the storyline runs smoothly. By doing this I have actually noticed a few flaws in my story, eek – which I’ll hopefully get straightened out this week.
So, it’s 9pm – and yes, I’m just clocking off now from writing (having been up since 6:45am!). Next time somebody asks me about my spare time, they might just well get a slap! Ha! J

Monday, 8 November 2010

Day 1

So, here it is – the official first day of my exciting new venture, Project Novel. I left my sensible job on Friday which conveniently coincided with Bonfire night, making the fireworks and celebrations all the more appropriate.
Now, where do I start…?
First thing’s first, I suppose. I need to make sure I have a good supply of wine and that it’s adequately chilled, then I need to blitz the house (tidy workspace equals tidy mind) – then I’ll dig out my first draft and re-familiarise myself with the storyline and characters. From there I’ll work on streamlining the plot –the part which scares me most. There’s so much going on in my head it’s a huge worry that I’ll not be able to knit it all together in a coherent fashion. Only time will tell.
I’ll also need to build up some extensive character profiles. Even though I know my heroine Libby is a redhead and that dark and brooding Grim has a tattoo on his head, I need to know what makes them tick, what their favourite catchphrases are and what underpants they wear (if any).
Okay, so that sounds like more than enough to be cracking on with this week, especially since I need to dream up a short story to submit for my coursework as well. Crikey, I’m going to be working all hours God sends – time to put my multi-tasking skills to the test I think.
Right, on that note I’d better go and get started…

Monday, 1 November 2010

And so it begins...

“When I grow up I want to be an Arthur,” I would announce proudly to anyone who was willing to listen. I could never quite get the word author right - hence it was always Arthur.

All of my free time was spent penning short stories and poems (yes, I was a strange child), and at the age of about 6 I had already written my very first masterpiece The Hound, The Wife & Vince. A great tale of murder, deceit and suspense, painstakingly typed on my Petite Typewriter –which my parents probably lit the fire with (the story, not the typewriter). Okay, so talcum powder probably wasn’t the best prop for my heroine to feign death with – but my parents needn’t have laughed so blatantly. Besides, the dog always seemed to enjoy listening to my stories...

Stubborn and undeterred I ventured on – my need to write like an itch that always needed scratching. And not surprisingly, I now have an overwhelming desire to write a novel. In fact I’ve already written an extremely rough first draft, which I consider to be a very exciting prospect (and I swear it’s of a much better quality than my earlier scribblings) – I’m pretty sure my parents would vouch for that.

So, with the support and understanding of my husband Derek, I am now taking a year out from full time employment to edit, re-write, polish and beat my novel to within an inch of its life to make it of a publishable standard. And, as a first time blogger, I aim to document the whole hair-pulling, nail-biting, head-thumping, brain-busting, wine-drinking journey to the very end.

Welcome onboard!