Monday, 16 November 2009

So how goes it?

My week off real-life work gradually filled up with non-writing chores and appointments. I spent a whole day wrestling with The Stuff That Lurks under the Bed, which was a bad move, as once The Stuff is out, it rarely wants to go back quietly. I also spent a disproportionate amount of time playing with the cats, watching history documentaries in the name of research, and going for long walks. In fact, it was perfect time to recharge the flagging batteries, and when I did begin redrafting again, I managed to sort out two whole chapters, leaving me on chapter nine. Happy days!

I redraft in blocks of three, so once I finish with chapter nine I will do the usual - print out chapters 7 – 9, read them over and over, prune a little, and then send them off to lovely folk T and M for a read-through. Chapter nine is a little sticky in places, and needs a desperate chop, but I am hopeful to get it done by the end of November.

I am still feeling a bit down with myself, but have begun two hopefully very positive things in order to help me through – counselling, and sorting out a Big Thing that I had been putting off as too big to contemplate. Both make me feel like things are slowly progressing… and this helps me with my writing, although I must admit I spent the past weekend just staring at chapter nine without actually doing anything. But you know, I think this just happens occasionally. It won’t send me to The Pit of Despair (oh that evil pit!).

Another good thing is that I have decided on the next novel idea. I am very excited about this! There are a few ideas I have been gradually expanding on in daydreams over the last few years, and one was starting to stand out as a fully fledged story with a beginning, middle and end. I tried out the synopsis on J last night, in amongst a few other ideas. J is the best person to try ideas on as he will see immediately if there are plot-holes, or if something doesn’t sound right, or interesting. And he liked it, so in my mind it has now been given the Green Light of Glory. What I will do now is write a vague chapter-plan, get everything out of my head onto a page, and then leave it alone until I finish the current redrafting. But I am very happy with the idea, and think it definitely has potential. The only slight problem is it is very different to my current idea, so I might be genre-skipping, not sure if that is a bit problematic, but hey-ho.

And a final good thing, although this will be a little way off yet, is that I have a little children’s book I wrote and illustrated nearly ten years ago. It has mainly been sat under the bed gathering dust, but I have decided to find it, spruce it up and then send it out. I am also going to look into self-publishing, maybe just for my friends with small children, as I think kiddies and their parents would really enjoy it, and as such it shouldn’t just be part of the Stuff under the Bed. This is something for the New Year, but I will research into it for the rest of 2009, and make sure it is all ready to go for January.

Gosh, this all makes me sound like I actually have a clue of what I am doing! I like it!


Rose said...

you do sound like you have a clue what you're doing you know!!

children's book sounds like a great idea- self publishing and sending it out.

I LOVE a week off at home- I should do it more often. I always feel so much better than I do if I go away. Although I love to travel sometimes when you are very busy going to somewhere new just makes you feel stressed about seeing everything you want to see and fitting it all in. At home you can get through the never ending to do list tasks, catch up on all the films you've wanted to see for ages, even read a book in one sitting- the world is your oyster!

wannabe a writer said...


You're so lucky to have a week off work to spend at home, the most I ever get is a day or two as most of my holidays are spent looking after the kids - not the kind of quiet time you need for writing. I always manage to plan so much stuff to do in those days that I don't even achieve half of it.

But even if you haven't got as much writing done as you probably hoped (lets face it we always hope we are going to do more) you sound like you have had a very productive time and shold be proud of yourself.

Sometimes we need the idea of something new to spur us through the editing of the old, which I admit I am finding a bit of a slog on my own book.

So good luck and go for it!


Aspiring Writer said...

There are many good things happening here. I like it, too! I'm also very interested in your method of re-drafting - it sounds more manageable. Thanks for posting.

Jayne said...

Hi Rose! I think I would like going away for a whole week if I knew that my home life was sorted. As it isn't I feel going away just puts off more problems than it solves, and makes me more anxious than ever! But it is nice to just step out of the routine and please yourself... And do I really sound like I have a clue? Oo that is good. Now I have to just convince myself!

Jayne said...

Hi Linda! It must be very tricky trying to write when there are children around to be amused. And it is a real art trying to shoehorn writing into a set time - I do admire people who put aside an hour each day - what if insipration does not strike in that hour? Maybe it is something that can be trained. I hope so! And thanks! :)

Jayne said...

Hi Joanne! Thank you, and I also find it interesting when others talk about their way of writing and editing. I like the idea that you have, of putting your finished manuscript away in a draw for a while before you go back to it. I really want to do that! Just tuck it away, and have some breathing space - sounds blissful to me.