Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Mentoring

OK, so hubby liked the new idea for the novel. And after writing a whole chapter yesterday so, I've decided, do I. The section I'm writing at the moment is building towards the tippy most peak on my story arc. Just hope I can do justice to it when I get there.

In a couple of weeks time I will find out what my writing mentor thinks. I haven't mentioned her before now, but thought it was about time I did in case you all think I've managed to write almost 60,000 words without someone regularly whipping me.

Plenty of people manage to write entire novels without the help of a mentor/ whip wielding person but being a major procrastinator and having blinding moments of self doubt where I decide everything I've written is rubbish and have to start all over agiain , I decided I needed a helping hand / boot up the bum.

I considered doing an MA - I've a couple of friends who completed novels on an MA course and one of them has just found a publisher. But the cost and time commitment made that a no-go. When I heard about mentoring I realised it was just what I was after. There are various schemes out there. I chose this one - Gold Dust -because I wanted a particular mentor ( I love her books and was taught by her on an Arvon course).

We meet about once a month and discuss the 10,000 or so words of the novel that I've sent her in between. I've found it amazingly useful and inspiring having such an experienced writer to talk to. The deadline thing has worked a treat too- I have written 50,000+ words of my novel in five months - which is about 45,000 more than I've managed in the preceeding several years.

I'm not guaranteed a publishable book at the end of the 12 month scheme but even if this novel doesn't make it into the shops , I think the experience will have massively helped my writing.

Of course the downside is that there are very few free mentoring places out there. I applied for a grant for mine but didn't get one. I couldn't afford the course myself but was helped out by someone very wonderful and generous who believes in what what I'm doing (and to whom I am very grateful and will of course dedicate the novel if it ever does get onto the shelves in Smiths).

Anyway what with holidays and festivals and other such glorious stuff on the horizon I appear to have a deadline of tomorrow evening to get my next couple of chapters sent off to Mavis (not her real name but it will do for now), complete with new developments and an explanatory note about why several characters have completely disappeared and a brand new one has merged.

So I'd best get writing.

4 comments:

Calistro said...

Sounds like the novel's coming on a treat. Well done! Hooray for having a mentor. I'm not jealous...much ;o)

Bernadette said...

That sounds marvellous! Well done for getting so far.

HelenMH said...

That sounds brilliant. The mentoring thing is obviously really working for you.

KAREN said...

It's a great idea - just what I needed too! So glad it's been a positive experience :o)