Monthly #Writing Update

3278e-writerWord Count: 1,852 words

Monthly Word Count (so far): 9,728 words

I am aiming to hit 10k tonight before Camp starts tomorrow. I might have hit that target this weekend had my laptop not died on Friday and resurrected itself on Monday. No, I have no idea how it managed to do that either. All I do know is that it made me rethink my Camp idea.

Before my laptop failed on me, my MMC has been released from prison and has visited my FMC, explaining his part in the story and has announced he is going to help my FMC with her housing problem (she’s been evicted from her flat). It wasn’t much but it pushed the story on. It is a story I have enjoyed writing this month, even if it has been a bumpy ride of sorts with it. I know where that story needs to go and I will have to go back to it at some point. I just hope I actually do.

As for this week at least, I ended up having a wobble over my NaNoWriMo story whilst my laptop was down. I had planned something heavily inspired by Tom Clancy’s The Division, as I have previously discussed. Last week, I asked if I should have a second story due to writing outside of my genre once more, trying to learn my lesson from Camp July 2015. That second story also happened to be the magic school from the same Camp session. I had harboured thoughts of going back and rewriting it but I had no idea when.

Without any access to my files and struggling to write, I started to rethink my story. I started wondering how excited I truly am about The Division story. I do like the idea but that’s all it is I suspect: an idea that I need to work and hone more before I can truly write it. I know this sounds like the muse has left sort of problem and it is in a way. I also know though when to trust my instincts. This is one such occasion.

Of course this left me with no story for a short time as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to my July 2015 story. Again, instinct kicked in and told me that I should go back so my Camp story is now a rewrite. It sometimes really pays to listen to your instinct.

I know I seem to be rambling about this but I think it’s important that I do write this down and share my experience, perhaps maybe help others if possible. I know it has helped me because I feel I am able to think about this with a lot more clarity that I had done.

How has your writing been going this week and this month? Entering Camp next month? Had any wobbles or do you know what you are doing for definite? Whatever your plans for April, good luck and happy writing!

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NaNoWriMo: Days 27-30

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So NaNo is over! My final word count, for the month at least, is 28,393.

I decided to bullet point out the rest of the story so I knew where I would be going with the story since I want to try to at least finish it. It seems my subconscious, through my characters, actually did like my original planning as it suddenly reappeared as I was bullet pointing it out, not in the same fashion but still there. Of course, that still could change in itself. Me and planning are the easiest of bedfellows!

I am wondering if I am going to succeed in completing the story in time for The “Now What?” Months in January and February. I can always try right? I do recommend having a read of Steven Chapman’s advice for keeping going and keep writing. You can find it at “They Think It’s All Over…”

This past month has been a bit mad, especially with everything happening personally, as well as having non-compliant characters and surprising changes. There are still some things I would add and take away and that’s partly why I am wanting to finish the story in time for “Now What?”. Even if it leads nowhere, I am curious about what I could do with it plus there is potential for a sequel.

We will just have to see what happens. I do want to keep writing everyday if possible, to take my mind away from other issues, but Tumblr may yet fulfil that role.

Writing only looks easy. But it can be learned.

Some great words of advice here. Never throw away your old stuff. Keep everything. Maybe, in the future, you can go back to it and realise you can use or recycle some of it.

Matthew Wright

Writing isn’t something you can sit down and do without training. It only looks that way.

Spot my title in the middle... Spot my title in the middle…

I’ve noticed, of late, various posts and comments around the blog-o-sphere along the lines of ‘my book is good, because I got positive comments on Good Reads (or Amazon, or Smashwords), so why did an agent say it was terrible?’

Or ‘I got positive comments on Good Reads, but the agent said the book needed this-and-this-and-this…’

Why? There’s no soft way to say this. Fact is that neither writer nor on-line reviewer actually knew what constituted a good book – meaning not just an abstract measure of quality and authorial competence, but what’s required for a specific market.

Agents do. So do commissioning editors.

What’s happened is that the aspiring writer’s sat down and thought ‘I want to be a writer’ – usually, meaning ‘novellist’. They’ve then churned out…

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Some of the hard realities of writing

An insight into the modern world of professional writing.

 

Matthew Wright

I didn’t do National November Writing Month, though I was happy to cheer from the sidelines. I’ve been writing professionally for decades, it’s thirty years since I wrote my first book for publication, and every month is NaNoWriMo month for me.

Fitting in writing obligations around everything else that has to be done in a day, including sleep, is a perennial challenge all authors have to meet.

It’s getting more challenging as the publishing industry tightens. Not least because quality MUST NOT get compromised for speed. That’s one of the realities of writing. It’s one authors have to know, understand and accept if they’re to get ahead. It’s also true for self-publishers.

Put another way, the age of authors being able to casually rise from their beds at ten thirty, drift across to the typewriter after a leisurely brunch and tap out a few words, then maybe go fishing for the…

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Book Review: The Road to Somewhere A Creative Writing Companion by Robert Graham, Helen Newall, Heather Leach and John Singleton

Okay, a return to normal service here.

The Road to Somewhere is not a how to book but rather it covers all the topics from starting to write, the materials you will need for the journey (journals, reading as a writer, etc.), the process of writing itself (including some discussion on poetry and scriptwriting), getting published and further. This is an academic book, aimed at students and teacher of creative writing courses but it is also a good book for individuals too.

This book was on my reading list back in  the first year of my university course but it has become invaluable for me as a companion when writing and when I need advice and I am stuck on things, I have turned to this book for help and advice. It is easy to read and provides practical as well as academic information. This is mainly for students as it was written and edited by current and former lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University and Edge Hill University. I have looked at other writing courses around the country and seen this book appear time and again on reading lists.

This book also includes Agony Aunt sections covering being scared about failing, not having any ideas, finishing and the next steps, among others. I have used these sections a lot when needing quick help and then consulting the chapters and their essays when I have a bit more time.

I have had various books on my reading lists at university but this is definitely one of my favourites and is the reason I bought it. It might be an academic book but I found out that I could get a second-hand copy in good condition on Amazon Marketplace for cheap. If you are serious about writing and thinking about studying it as an academic subject, I would recommend buying this book.