Saturday, May 29, 2010

Writing Progress

Yippee, with some good advice from all over the blogisphere (mainly links from I have achieved 920 words. The 50,000 words was a bit overwelming so I headed for the halfNoc of 25,000. Even though I know the characters are being introduced etc, it seems like nothing much is happening - 920 words of introducing main character, two secondary characters, and putting the circumstances on the map all the space of the main character sitting in a queue on the motorway. But I have checked out other authors 'Chapter One' and just sometimes there is nothing "happening". Ive started the story in the middle of an action, provided a bit of background to get the foundation set. Next I will move her off the motorway and on to some action. It might all get cut at draft II phase so what the heck. Im also resisting editing too much or (like previous attempts) I will never move forward.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting Started

I've signed up for the Southern Cross Novel Challenge (aka SoCNoC) over at Kiwiwriters to give me a reboot for the writing. I was in a daring mood & having read the fine print, thought "yes this is for me - the Everest of the writing world", then thought "maybe I should start small" & downgraded the quest to the HalfNoc (25,000 words in a month), given that I havent got past 2,000 previously. How to eat an elephant - one bite at a time.

So Ive read a few of the participants linked sites, read the 'how to' of the challenge, put the icon thingy on the blog, put the laundry on, the dryer on, had a couple of cups of coffee, stopped to watch BBC's Heartbeat (for research & ideas), phoned big sister in England, and so Im good to go. No more procrastination!! which I know a lot about having read Marilee Faber's blog 'notenoughwords'. If Im honest the last two hours have been about procrastination, including having to get the teen to turn the base down on the stereo out in the garage so it didnt reverberate through my bones 20 metres away in the house. I think some women would agree that getting the washing through the dryer etc is procrastination if you dont have a family needing dry clothes for school/work etc - but if I dont do it I feel like I can't settle in to what I want to really do. The bathroom cleaning & vacuming will wait for another time, maybe till the dust bunnies are so large a simple side-step wont be enough to get around them, when they are so large they block the doorways & windows & take on a life of their own, like something out of Doctor Who.

I'm too late to join Merilee's creativity workshop so I'm sticking to the HalfNoc and will hang for dear life on the guidance of some of the saged writers - some of who are half my age and sound so full of knowlege & experience of the whole writing thing. Ive not got to the 'certainty' stage which dogs me each time I set out to pen (key) the story. So here is what I am certain about:

Protagonist: Middle-aged female
POV: Third person
Setting: City servicing rural region

I have read books which must number in the thousands, yet when it gets down to writing or analysing fiction writing, so much is taken for granted by the reader -especially one who wants to write. So I'm reading a new purchase called Make a Scene (Jordan E Rosenfeld) because I need to distinguish the scenes, learn structure. This follows on from my pawing over 20 Master Plots and how to build them (Ronald B. Tobias) which was helpful but without someone to discuss my 'idea' with, Im not quite sure whether I am writing a 'discovery' plot, or 'tranformation' plot, or 'underdog' plot, so there you go - while they were fascinating reads, I dont know enough about my story to be able to label it one of these. What I do know is that it's really like the very english "village" or "community" type books like Helen Simonsen's or Joanna Trollope, or even Miss Read stories because these are what I enjoy reading, a nice vacation from the real world, with a bit of steel & humour along the way. Anyway Ive got more reading to do to get some homework done before 1/6/2010. So Im off to again. Thank heavens its raining so Im stuck inside!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Small good stuff

A gittery kind of day today. Not the "I'm brimming with enthusiasm" or "muse in overdrive" type of day. More like the gitters from far too much coffee thrown in with a restless night of broken sleep - not that either of these occured but I still recall them from my days of being a working mother with a baby. I'm restless from writing rubbish, and feeling disorganised. Days of it. Getting pretty desperate now, and its flowing into the daytime job, there's a low growling not too far from my lips when Ive let my mind wander off to 'plot, character, conflict, plot is character, character can deliver plot...on and on' and all the other advice from those who have managed to get past chapter one. The short of it is that Ive been looking for a big blinding flash, or even a small tremble, to organise my thoughts, have some scenes slot in around each other, and found neither. Characters names have changed, situation changes, plot changes, its all been on unstable ground. Maybe someone needs to die? Killing darlings is all well and good when they are in abundance but I killed so many over the last couple of nights, I may have entered into the realm of poetry by default because little is left of my chapter. Anyway, feeling sorry for myself and the hidden author within, I went on a virtual cruise and found the Kiwiwriters, from where I found Professor David Morley, at the Warwick AC UK. While poetry is a mood thing for me, and I know little about it other than what I know I like, (definitely not writing) his posts and pictures are so thought provoking, and calming, and have had a very calming influence - well they just do the trick for laying to rest the gitters. The podcasts for writing are a Godsend. So, having listened to the "beginnings" podcast, Im going to do the 'homework' and see what I come up with. On the weather front - we are down to 18 degrees, and it is so nice to have the cooler nights to sleep through. And if we are lucky we will get rain over the next couple of days -because hopefully we will not have to get the water truck out again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just a quick note

My very first note, and Ive got to dash away and watch New Tricks (UK Tv). But at least this is a start. Ive made a start on the writing, several in fact. Its like boxing with fog, it keeps morphing and I havent got past the first chapter - which now I think isnt enough of what should really be there. Just read a couple of handy tips on a romance writer's webpage - not that I could ever write romance, but like she said, a lot of common ground goes between all genres. Well, until next time.