Monday, 19 November 2012

Winners NEVER Quit? Meh.

Winners NEVER Quit???

Whatever. Meh.

writer exits stage left, sticking two  fingers up in the air, breathes heavy sigh of relief.

sometimes I ought to listen to myself.
really, I should.

What, you too?

Yeah seriously, try it. It's actually quite liberating to realize that despite many many many occasions supporting the opposite hypothesis. I can actually be wise. I can actually issue myself some valid advice.

(Ok, shut up, Anne Turner who came in on me breast feeding child number two. He who absolutely refused to latch on, no matter how hungry he was. I know I was cursing under my breath every. single. time. he. reattached. I know he was hungry. I know I was in agony. I know I was so pale I looked liked a Team Edward extra.
BUT DAMMIT, number one was a write off on breastfeeding for completely separate reasons, so I was determined this time. Thank you for going to the chemist and returning with a tin of formula and forcing me to do it. Everyone was immediately happier and he is now, at age 11 a delightful child, and no worse for my bad bad bad mothering)

(Ok, and you shut up as well Tammy Johnston...I know you can point out waaaay to many occasions to list, really shut up)

I can be wise, and I can follow my own counsel ....and believe it or not, I'm going to do it for once.
Last year in December I wrote a blog on how I felt after my first proper attempt at National Novel Writing Month. And I said in a round about way that I didn't think I'd do it again. Unless...
Unless I plotted it out very well. Which this year I did, thank you.
Unless I learned to be a better typist as I was so slow that keeping to the word count really infringed on family life, my normally fairly happy mood and a million other things...
Which I did not.
No, really I did not, despite buying a copy of Mavis Beacon (barely looked at it)

And I also remember saying how I couldn't wait till I got the chance to start writing again slowly, painstakingly, choosing each word for the sheer beauty of it.

I ignored that feeling, and jumped straight in again this year.
I had 30k of a novel already started, it took me 3 months to get that far, taking my time, not stressing, and agonizing over the exact wording on many sentences. I loved that beginning phase of this book, love the premise of the novel, love the characters. Couldn't wait every day to spend time with them.

Then Nano happened. I decided to try to get to the end of the first draft for this book with the 50k I'd write in November.With all it's scrabbling and stressing and me trying desperately to juggle family & housework & writing & friends & sleep & & & & ......

I realized today that I HATE 90% of what I've written in the last 2 weeks. Not the plot, not the structure, not the actual scenes. Just the rushed nature of it. the not as carefully executed nature of it. the throw away sentences and not quite exact wording. And the desperation to just keep on top of the word count.
AND I'm really stressed out, with the rest of this month's horizon looking so cluttered and manic that there is literally no breathing space. So the stress is gonna get much worse.

I am taking my own advice. I'm bowing out after two weeks.
And to be fair, me backing down and letting go of my stubbornness within a two week window is a MAJOR step forward in my personal maturity. (and we all know how mature I am ....NOT)

So see ya later my lovely fellow Nano nutters. I will follow you on line, I will chat on FB and stay part of the group....I'll just go at my own pace and not worry about the word count. I'll worry about how lyrical it is, whether it's pulling me by the heartstrings down unexpected paths. I'll worry about being madly in love with all my characters, making them well rounded, interesting and complicated.

Starting tomorrow I'll concentrate on  w.r.i.t.i.n.g....not...... (add go faster stripes)
==>>> writing!!!!====>>>>


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

TAG! I'm it!

My fab friend Gill Hoffs invited me to participate in this fun blogging round robin game of tag!
It's great because it gets me blogging again sooner than I planned and it gets me thinking about my current project in the same way a reader might....well....what exactly makes my current project interesting? lets see!

Gill can be found here. GO! Read!!! She is FAB (honestly):

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your book?     
Harbinger or Death’s Door, can’t decide at this point.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Sitting on the Museum Street library floor in Warrington Cheshire. I was reading Patrick Ness for the first time and totally immersed in this world he creates, when bam!  a load of WHAT IF questions popped up! Then the character of Rosa just jumped into my head, fully formed with all her gifts and faults, and the fact that she was displaced to this desperate situation.

What genre does your book fall under?    YA sci-fi/dystopian fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ohhhh, great question!!   Definitely NOT Kirsten heavy-breather Stewart. Maybe Emmy Rossum (a few years ago) as Rosie, but just bare faced with freckles and her hair plaited all messy. Evan…hmmm maybe Adam Brody, and Finn is definitely Zach Roerig. (Problem is, the fellas I find sexy are too old to be my characters ....Hugh Jackman or Robert Downy Jnr as late teens/ early twenty somethings???)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
 Orphaned teenagers stranded on a dying planet find a device with the power to renew the earth-but is it from God or science? Add how will they protect themselves from the enemy that stranded them there once they discover the truth? (sorry 2 sentences, go on, rap my knuckles)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Well, I have a book under consideration with a publisher at the minute so hoping they will want both of them! (are you listening universe?)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft is currently 36k but it should be completed at the end of Nanovember! (National Novel Wtiing  )

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Arrrgggh no idea. It’s dystopian ,and fantasy so maybe lovers of Divergent or the Hunger Games might like, (or heaven forbid it would ever be that good, Patrick Ness) it but it is very different, and there are definitely no vampires.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Reading Patrick Ness- The Knife of Never Letting Go. I just fell in love with that book & the ones that followed, although mine is very different. It's more about the 'feel' and the idea of being young but still having power when a situation seems desperate or out of your control.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
 It has a teeny tiny teenage girl who can summon volcanoes, grow roses with her tears and who can either make it snow or start fires depending on who’s kissing her.

Oh! And read Patrick Ness- he's amazing.
So now it's the turn of my friends to answer these questions! Look out for them some time next week!
Zoe Sharp, fabulous crime writer of the Charlie Fox series, at Hardboiled Collective

Friday, 5 October 2012

Have you ever heard that saying 'Be careful what you wish for?'

yeah, well...DON'T listen to it. Wish for things. Big things. Things you really want.

Then work your ass off to get them.

And when, IF and when, things start to look promising, relish every single minute of it, every little baby step towards the realisation of it, every little pat on the back that happens along the journey. Goals aren't just the END result, they are also the accumulation of knowledge, skills and experience that happens along way whilst you are busy chasing that 'thing' you want so much.

I've been fishing and had a nibble. Dropped a little dangling 15k worth of worms someone's way and they have decided to taste test the rest of the bait. It's ever so exciting because at the tender age of over 40 and under 50, it feels utterly delightful to have the small bit of validation that comes with this. Maybe all my scribbling time has not been a total waste, you know??

Well, not a waste at all really, as it's prevented me on many occasions from having to clean house, organise the dead batteries in the kitchen drawer according to size and colour, checking to see which pairs of trousers are too impossibly short for my boys to get away with any more...

so nibble away Mr. Fish. I think my worms are rather tasty little tid-bits, and I hope you do too.

---- ----- ---- ---- !!!!!!! ---- ---- ---- ---- we are again, quickly ticking off days on our calendars until.....NOOOOOO!!!!  Not another year of NaNoWriMo!!!!!!

I have a game plan this year. I can type slightly faster now....35 or 40 wpm as opposed to last years pathetic offering of only 27 words a minute.

And....hold onto your suspenders ladies, I actually have a PLOT, the production of which required one of those 'no children were harmed during...' disclaimers. (my poor neglected kids and it's only going to get worse)

I am a notorious pantser, and I suffered greatly for it last year. so, this year is going to be vastly different.

I have a detailed plot, which, as we speak, I am trying to tailor into a calendared (okay I made that word up but it works) format that tells me day by day which chapter I will write and how it will fit into an already existing 36k worth of MS that is more shapeless  and unorganised than the near to bursting contents of my girdle ('magic knickers' for you younger readers).

I also am researching in preparation.....I need to understand: pioneer preparation, SAS training, creation theories, pandora mythology, a bit of interstellar warcraft and some spaceship capability shite. Oh. and what it might sound like if you were to stick your head in the ocean and hear/understand the sounds of all the living things in it. And that's just for starters.

I'm thinking that December will be yet another writing free zone this year. we'll all need it!