Saturday, 10 January 2015


To write this post, I'm going to have to share a smidge more of Novel Number Two's plot than I have before. Eek! You see, I've learned not to talk too much about the Work in Progress (WiP) for several reasons: 
  1. Even though I'm a born chatterbox, I'm rubbish at speaking about any WiP, making what I know is well-written (not meaning to be being arrogant, here) sound dreadful; 
  2. People seem interested, so you talk, draining yourself of detail as you try to do the WiP justice - only to discover your details have actually drained the people, who are now not so interested (!); 
  3. Telling too much makes you vulnerable - to people's good and bad reactions, and to yourself, because at some point you'll realise things need to change, and now don't you look daft?; 
  4. You could be giving away your idea - ideas aren't copyrighted, so someone could turn that idea into an actual story, submitting it to an actual agent while you're still playing about with punctuation, therefore beating you to your publishing and readership dream; and 
  5. It is mine - at least until it's yours (i.e. my book in your hand - always dreaming of being published, me!), which, for now, will be when I'm distanced enough from it to allow you to read it by email. 
Anyhoo. Deep breath. With these points clung closer to my body than armour, what I need to tell you is this:

  • My main character gets herself onto an apprenticeship. 
  • At the end of each week, the apprentices are rated. 
  • And as the writer, it's bloody hard to remember who gets ranked where when (which is just as hard to say, isn't it?!)

Today, I finished the narrative draft of the second chapter-on-the-go (as per my goal this week; with the first chapter-on-the-go finished on Thursday). While the story was done, the niggles [details that I put in square brackets and bold type, to come back to later - these might be the placings on the apprenticeship, for example, or how long it's been since such-and-such happened] remained. Thing was, I wanted to sort them out now so that I'd feel the chapter was completely complete (at least in its First Draft form. Which will get rewritten. I know, I know, we writers are complex beings.)

So, with my pen poised over my notebook page, I skim-read the previous seven or so chapters...and realised how much I'd forgotten. Forgotten! How could I do such a thing when I've got a really good, really detailed memory? But there I was, discovering that I'd forgotten: which chapter came after which (I've named not numbered them, you see); character developments; actual events; and dialogue revelations. Oops!

I'd also forgotten how many words I'd actually got onto the page (even though I counted them all up and bragged about them in my New Year's post!). I'd forgotten quite how much story this amounts to. And it's a lot. It's a big chunk of book. And it makes me proud.

Of course, I'm sure you linear-minded, number-loving types are wondering why I didn't start the book with a spreadsheet set up for such things. But, you see, I'm a writer, and writers aren't linear-minded types; we love everything free and flowing, ebbing backwards and forwards, allowing for change and invention...even if it does mean we forget things.

But now my notebook is updated with who was ranked where when; what my main character did at these particular points; and with a few more niggles I'll need to sort out in the Redraft! I am determined to keep it updated as I write on...wish me luck!

~ ttfn ~

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Reflect and Redirect

(Picture found on Pinterest - credit unknown)

Here we are, four days into January, and all that Christmas fuss is out of the way for another year (I know, I know, I'm such a bah humbug - but that's just how I roll) - and while I do hate to follow the crowd (as one of my besties rightly says, 'Be a goat not a sheep' - thanks, Zoe!), it really does feel like the time to reflect and redirect. (Oh, my bah humbug-self does hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, by the way!)

Reflection: 2014 Pats-on-the-Back
  • Craft continued - shared over making cards and scrapbook pages, and sewing a footstool, toaster cover and a phone charger bag.
  • Cupcake baking begun and, if I do say so myself (!), aced:

  • Ebony welcomed home and settled in:

  • 44 books read - while writing...
  • 70, 295 words of Novel Number Two (that's 70,295 words everybody - whoop, whoop!) - which equates to 15 chapters (and, when added to 2013's chapters, makes 32 completed ones...)

Redirection: 2015 Get-Goings
  • Admit I need to rest and relax when I get in from work, BUT don't slump in front of the TV all evening...
  •, at 9 p.m., used my second-wind (I'm a definite owl, you see, not a lark) to get an hour or two of writing/planning/crafting done.
  • Continue crafting, sewing and baking.
  • Finish the two chapters-on-the-go by the end of this week (Sunday 11th). Achieved by Sat 10th!
  • Write the (estimated) remaining 5 chapters by the end of February, which will complete the entire first draft.
  • Leave Novel Number Two ALONE for 3 months...
  • ...and do other things!
  • Begin editing NNT after these 3 months, so (hopefully!) from 1st June.
  • Research agents to submit to.
  • Write covering letter and synopsis.
  • Submit by the end of summer/beginning autumn.
  • Start the next book...!

I could (probably should!) add in 'Go for a walk every day', 'Lose the million of stones you're overweight by' and 'Actually get your hair trimmed every three months' - but I know I won't do any of these, and pressuring myself will only make me dour and doubtful. Much better, instead, to focus on making the most of what I can do, and leave room for a little spontaneity (which may turn in to walking, dieting or hair consideration...well, I can try for optimism too, right?!)

Whatever reflections and redirections you have, I wish you all the best with them.

~ ttfn ~