Friday, 28 September 2007

Poor neglected blog

Oops, I've been away from this page for too long. Partly because of the demands of work but also because I have been doing lots of writing. I sent off my entry for the Times Ghost Story comp earlier in the week. It was great fun to write and seriously scared the one seven year old that I read it to (Bit of a mistake that, still you live and learn (apparently).) It would have been better I suppose to have tried it out on an adult. I do have a good writing buddy Ann whom I swap writings with from time to time -I find it really useful to have someone to pass things by for fellow writerly comments. I also let my Man read stuff occasionally and he is proving to be a valuable editor.

Reading Cally's blog the other day inspired me to look through some of my old writings. I have piles and piles of closely scribbled words that have been whispering to me from underneath my desk for years. I finally got them out yesterday and had great fun reading through some of my adolescent, then studenty, then globetrotting musings. I had forgotten about some of the ideas and people that had inspired me in the past and it has set me off on a few story ideas. There was one character that I wrote about a lot about while I was a student that I was particularly pleased to meet again, she will definitely be making a reappearance.

My novel word counter hasn't budged an inch. I still love the central idea of the novel but I'm having trouble really believing in the characters and the setting (nothing major then!) I have decided to try to reboost my enthusiasm by writing a longish short story based on the central concept and seeing where that takes me.

Ooh also rediscovered my writing diary which I had temporarily lost (under a pile of work on my desk). Made me think about the difference between what I post up here and what I scribble in there. 'In there' is much more personal, experimental, I can write anything knowing no-one will ever read it - or so I thought 'til I left it in the Co-op one day and the assistant who handed it back to me a had a big grin on his face. But anyway the idea is that no-one will read it. If any one did think that the various plot outlines and story ideas were either jottings about my real life, or how I would like my life to be, it could lead to all sorts of trouble.

Good to be back! But now I'm off for more scribbling. I suddenly had an idea for the Fish Short Histories comp and the deadline is Sunday!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Counting the words

Got off to a flying start today - I wrote 2,000 words before lunch (OK, so it was a very late lunch). Unfortunately it was 2,000 words of an entirely new novel idea which came to me while I was reading my emails. It felt good to be writing so fluidly but I wish I could have added to my main novel word count. Still I suppose it's all good exercise and who knows where on or when those 2,000 words might come in useful.

I started to write a ghost story for the Times / Vintage Classics competition last night, but I had to stop 'cos I was giving myself the creeps. This isn't any indication of the scariness of my story, it's just that I am a wimp. It was fun tho' writing something in a genre I haven't tried before. I'm going to try and finish it off later, in the bright light of the afternoon.

I've signed up once more for a writing class run by my local WEA. Its one that I started back in January and I have found it really useful for lots of reasons - excellent advice and tips from our wonderful tutor, support from fellow local writers and adding a bit of structure to my writing life. I'm looking forward to the classes starting again in a couple of weeks.

I've now added a novel wordcounter to my blog, in the hope that it will embarrass me into adding to my total wordage (yeah I know quantity isn't everything but nobody seems to have devised a quality-ometer yet (now wouldn't that be a useful tool!)). I was pleased to find out that I had written almost a quarter of my intended total. Thanks to Sarah *G* for guiding me to the Zokutou Word Meter

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Kitchen Table

Is my favourite place to write. It's sunny and well away from my computer where the time-wasting temptations of Spider Solitaire lurk. I'm convinced I will never be a published writer until I kick the SS habit. And I do need to kick the habit if I am going to meet my new deadline. I've just discovered the Times / Chicken House Children's fiction competition. They want a complete manuscript of up to 80,000 words by 17th November. Luckily I have one I made earlier, or at least started earlier. It's at the 'can still see the sticky tape and wording on the cereal box' stage." Still, it's only September, plenty of time to add the silver paint and the googly eyes (can you see what it is yet?)

Meanwhile, I have joined the ranks of thousands who did not win the Miss Write competition. I still have faith in my story though and will persevere with it. I've put in a lot of work on it since sending off my 3000 words in the heady optimistic days of May, and I am determined to see it through. (What she's going to try and write two novels at once I hear you cry! Yeah well now that I've given up Spider Solitaire I've got hours of spare time.)

Last word on Miss Write for now - I was half way up the Eiffel Tower last week when my mobile rang - by the time I found it at the bottom of my bag I had missed it- 'caller unknown' Did I miss my chance - was that 'the phone call'? Doubt it, as I am sure they would have tried again, still it did get my hopes up for a bit.