#Writing Update

Firstly, sorry about the lateness of this. I was going to do it on Saturday but life had to take priority. Secondly, forgive the hashtag in the title. I am experimenting with Twitter still.

Image Source: GoodSearch Images

Word count for last week was 2,319 words. I was intending to rewrite the first chapter of my novella that I wrote a while ago but in the end though, all those words ended up coming out of my Camp story and an idea that was demanding to be written.

It is so frustrating to me that I haven’t managed to sit down and do the rewrite, especially as I might have worked out how to get past the block I’ve had with it. The first chapter has been and, still is, the part I just cannot get past and rewritten because of the nature of it being a lot of exposition, without there being too much obvious exposition. Perhaps it is my subconscious telling me I need to work on the new idea for the first chapter in relation to the rest of the story that is preventing me from writing it. In other words, planning! This is something which many of you may know is not exactly my strong suit outside of “basic idea and outline but may change.”

The idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, which contributed to the word count too, is just a mission for my magical spy character from my August 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo novel and her best friend who I think might become something more to her after all. It’s a little thing that could come to nothing but at least it is out of my system and may allow me to learn more about the characters. It is set in the same world as my novella so may actually be why my brain has offered up the idea, to reintroduce me to the world since the spy character is the original character that spawned the whole idea  That cannot be a bad thing, surely?

The Camp story is hitting a stride again after the train journey. When my FMC gets among more students, it might help. The fact that there is still more exposition should add words rapidly as well as giving me elements to play with for  later in the story. I’m wondering though when to have my FMC’s big secret come out? I know how she gets back into the good books with her classmates but that I feel is contingent on the secret reveal. How long can her secret be hidden realistically within a closed school environment? I know how rapid a secret can get out and around a classroom from experience but keeping secrets, well, that is not exactly territory I know about. Can anyone help? I would be very grateful for any advice offered.

All of this is not necessarily bad as I am at least writing but at the same time, it gets me no closer to getting my novella to the stage I feel I can be sending it out. It’s annoying and yet fun which makes this a sort-of problem but not entirely. Does that make sense? I suppose not.

So what are my intentions at least for this week? One of them is to try and finished the idea story that has plagued me, with the aim of just getting it out of my system as stated above. My other aim is to keep going with my Camp story. I think I also need to make time to sit down and go through the novella MS, mark out the story as is then look to previous drafts to see what I need to put back in perhaps before looking to see how the new opening would affect everything else that happens.

So those are my intentions for this week. I will just have to see how many actually come to fruition. I am still reading the latest Alex Verus book, Veiled, by Benedict Jacka and I have read the latest issue in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London comic, Body Work. Both of which are big influences on the original idea for the novella and I know they influence all of my work in some form so it may help to keep me writing.

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Writing Update

Sorry, meant to post this last night.

Only 189 words written this week due to life being really busy so I’ve not really been able to do much. Majority of those words were written whilst editing a novella I wrote some time ago. I think I might have hit on how to sort out an issue I’ve had with it but whether it will work or not, I don’t know. Hopefully, I will have a chance to edit and implement the new idea to see if it will work. I’ve also added a few sentences onto my NaNo from last month but I’ve hit a slight wall again with how to go ahead with the train journey.

I’m sure I will come up with something in among things, especially as I am reading the latest Benedict Jacka which influenced the novella in the first place and may help with my NaNo. My time to write is going to be restricted again this week however because of life. How tired I am and what errands I end up running when I do have free time will definitely impact but I’m trying to push on. Here’s hoping things will improve.

Keep Writing!

The intention of this post really is to get an idea of who is still writing after National Novel Writing Month has finished and to give a little advice. Have people fallen by the wayside? Are they still writing? Are they working on the same story or another one?

Santa might be coming but don’t stop writing! Source: Google Images

It is post-NaNoWriMo and I am still writing the same story and it is still throwing up surprises. I am glad it is as it makes continuing to write it a joy. Let’s face it, once the amazing energy of the month of November has gone and we get ourselves ready for Santa to come, it is very easy to stop and give up. Having a goal to work towards has helped me as I am very goal orientated I have realised in the last few years but for others, it might be something completely different. The love of the story, the characters, the world the story is set in… Any manner of things can keep us writing.

Everyone has heard the advice to write everyday and it is possibly clichéd and overused but hearing it so often can only show that maybe it is good advice to follow. If you stop, it can be difficult to start again. It is a possible reason why people struggle with New Years Resolutions. We do it for a while, stop then pick it up again. The same goes with writing and if you wrote everyday during November, why not continue to write everyday? What about starting a journal or blog of some sort? Dreams, life, books, films; you could chronicle any number of things by sitting down and writing everyday.

If you loved your story from November and didn’t finish, why not keep going with it? If you did, go you! But keep going! Keep writing! If you joined write-in’s during NaNoWriMo, why not arrange more so people can set the guilt monkeys on you? See if your region has regular ones through the year.

In January and February, the NaNoWriMo website will be updated to give editing hints and tips and to get you going. Editing and rewriting is, perhaps, the toughest part of writing any type of story, from the short story to the novelling epics. Get your manuscript ready for then. Get it finished. Put it away to let it breathe. Work on something else then, in January, whilst hung over (or otherwise!), get it out and start reading through.

Just Don’t Stop Writing!

So who’s with me? Who’s writing? Or am I a lone voice shouting to no one in particular?

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 4

Okay, 4 days in and this is my first blog about it. Sorry but already I have had some interesting developments with it, not least changing what I am writing this month.

I was planning on spending the month rewriting and doubling the word count (wc) of a novella I have been working on for some time already however on the first day, it quickly became clear that I could not possibly do what I wanted to it and do it to the standard that I wanted to do it and finish NaNoWriMo. Being a rather competitive person, quitting NaNo was not an option. So on day 1, I managed 1,371 words, not even hitting the days wc.

I spent day 2 trying to figure out what I could write instead for this month, watching the seconds, minutes and hours of the day run down. I knew there was a story that I could easily tell for this month and it was whilst I was thinking about this that in I was reading my local paper (dated 27/06/2013) I found an article by a local author called Ian Clayton talking about books and why everyone ought to write.

Local Author, Ian Clayton

He initially talks about not judging a book by its cover then about people he has met in book shops whilst signing his books. (Many of the examples he gives would fit in perfectly with Jen Campbell’s books, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops). He then went on to talk about how many books he has worked on, which ones he is proud of  then, at the end of the article, he talks about what books are for and who should write them.

He states that he thinks books are for people to tell stories to those people they haven’t met. He then goes on to say who he thinks the people who should write books: “well I think everybody should, because we all have a story or two to tell.” He talks about how he has inherited different things from his family but he has not received any written words from those same family members. He thinks that it is another good reason we need books, to tell future generations about how people lived in the past. He concludes saying that whilst we will not all be published, we can be our own publisher and the best books are those that are made specially for you.

I would post a link to the article but unfortunately, it does not seem to have been published on the paper’s website.

I found this article very interesting and he makes some good points about why people should write, echoing the words of NaNo’s founder, Chris Baty, about the fact that we . They are certainly relevant to NaNoWriMo and, whilst he might not know about Camp, I think it is ironic he should write this article, and that it would be published, in the days leading up to NaNoWriMo. I know it certainly encouraged me during my uncertainty of day 2, when I found myself stuck and unsure what to write.

Just as I thought I would be going into day 3 with a day and a bit’s wc deficit to be made up for, I remembered an old partially planned story I have had in my head for at least a year, working with characters I have used for a script for university (formed part of my Script Frenzy win for 2012) and have posted a short story with over on dA (deviantART).

Forgive me, I am about to try to write a synopsis for it!

Flo (short for Florence) Merlo, a former Camorra member and Italian thief, and her partner Lukas Jansen, a Dutch former gangster and a thief, are arguing again over a Job they, well, she, is planning. Unlike before, when it would cause friction in their relationship, they take it as just being part and parcel of their professional (and romantic) relationship.

The Job looks easy enough, just a simple “liberating” a jewellery box in Northern Italy. Too easy for Lukas’s liking and he also does not like being even this close to Naples, after the problems they had there just a few months ago!

He’s proved right that things are not all that they seem when the Job goes wrong and it’s revealed to be a set up by Interpol Agent, Amy “Shorty” Martin, and Flo is finally arrested after many years of being on the run. Lukas knows he could continue to work on his own but decides instead to break Flo out of the maximum security prison she has been sent to. After all, they are partners!

But he soon discovers that it won’t be quite as easy as he thought it would be, especially when he learns that the Camorra have decided to take advantage of her sitting duck status in prison and are going to attempt to assassinate her, one way or another!

For once, he would just love it if Flo would listen. They wouldn’t get into half of the scrapes they do if she would just LISTEN!

Yes, I am terrible at synopsis’. I can’t write them!

I decided it was a worth a shot to at least write a little and as soon as I did, I remembered why I adored the characters. The banter between the two characters seems to just write itself and I remembered my scriptwriting tutor actually laughing in class reading my script (not exactly an easy task to do). It certainly got me writing a little and I managed to finish day 2 on 1,653 words.

Yesterday was day 3 and, now knowing what I wanted to write for this session, I decided to go to a local library and pick up a couple of books on crime writing, detectives and police procedurals (one of them is The Crime Writer’s Guide to Police Practice and Procedure, which has been previously reviewed on this website). Since I have changed to a genre that I do not normally write in, I figured forgoing a few hours writing to find some books to help with finding some research materials for me to refer to and read when needed and I want to. It was worth it in my opinion and even after just writing for a few hours last night, I did manage to catch some of my deficit up and ended yesterday on 3,458 words.

Due to the way that the website works, I did write on into the first hour of today, meaning my current total is 3,703 words therefore, I arguably should give this as being the total for yesterday but I’ve decided to just leave it as it is according to the website today because, as long the words are recorded, that’s a good thing right?

I do have another question. Why does Open Office and the Camp website give 2 different totals? There’s a 41 word difference I have noticed and I know some discrepancies are normal but, still, I am just curious.

Anyway, that’s where I am now, 15:16PM (BST) on July 4th. (HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICANS!) Now, I really should get down to writing!