Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Revisions update - the road goes ever on and on...

Wonder of wonders I actually managed to carve out about 45 minutes for revisions over lunch today. If I'm writing fresh I can usually do about 800 words in that time. Revising, I had a net gain of about 350 words and advanced 8 pages. However, my chapter six is now my chapter 2 (and chapters 1-4 have vanished completely. When I start in the wrong place I really start in the wrong place.)

Thanks to stephanieburgis I came across a post on Terri Wyndling's blog about Creative Burn Out - something I could relate to as the past 6 weeks of day-jobbery have been unbelievably busy and really the slow down isn't likely to happen until the last week of November. We will strive to write and revise despite that, but if there aren't enough lunchbreaks (or lunchbreaks long enough) to acheive that during the week then it may have to be the weekends that bear the brunt of any creativity my tired brain can dredge up. (I think I also need to cut back on the coffee and up my intake of water and fruit juice instead.)

In other news, I have been sleeping well due to my autumn-cleaning tasks on Saturday which involved the washing and putting away of the summer curtains and the putting up of the winter curtains. (Velvet - Mormor picked them up from a charity shop for next to nothing.) They're lined so going to bed is very much like hibernating in a cave because even the street light can't get through, hard as its little orange glow may try. Of course, the downside is that when the alarm goes off at 06:00hrs it's still like being in a cave and no-one wants to get up. Early mornings are traumatic in our household. The beasts don't like late nights either and start pestering for the entire household to go to bed at 22:00hrs thank you, very much.

In other, other news, a screech owl has decided that now is the perfect time to fly around. Screeching. The last time we went out in the evening, about 20:30hrs, we actually got buzzed by it. The beasts ducked and so did I but I think that if I'd stayed upright I could have reached up and touched it, it was that close. Fantastic. And on the positive side at least it didn't screech whilst doing the fly-by. I think the beasts would have legged it if it had.

(Cross-posted from LiveJournal)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A book at Halloween...

So, Chum #1 and I have decided to give each other Halloween presents this year of books, following on from Neil Gaiman's suggestion (last year?) that this would be a good and different thing to do and I've seen other people round the blogosphere saying they'll be doing the same.
Chum #1 has gone for The Signalman by Charles Dickens (she already has M.R. James who'd have been her other choice) and I was lucky to get hold of the story as part of a collection of ghost tales by CD so it'll end up being a bonus! edition!
I've asked for The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. I've never read it but people have raved about it and when I went to the pictures to see Tinker, Tailor they had an advert on for the film so that brought it to the forefront of my mind.

As Halloween's on a school night we shall have to listen to/ watch the M.R. James stories on the Sunday night I think. James' work is very good for creeping yourself out in time for bed; nothing really dramatic happens but there's lots of rising tension and usually a very creepy end to the tale, but still, you feel okay about going to sleep. Then you wake up in the middle of the night and you need to traipse down the dark landing, past the dark stairs and suddenly you're 10 again, making the mad dash from one room to another so that whatever's lurking at the bottom of the stairs watching you won't catch you as you race past. If a story can do that then it's doing something right.

What would/ will your Halloween book be?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Work, work, work...

Of the day jobbe variety. It's been absolutely mad at the day jobbe which has resulted in a complete halt on the writing front for the past two weeks as my life has been work, home, dinner, bed - rinse & repeat. And even the weekends are not free from day jobbery so I'm looking forward to the end of the month when things dial back to a more reasonable pace!

How's life, the Universe and everything treating you today?

Edited to add: there is bathing and stuff in there too, y'know. I'm not a complete slob :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Metrics | YA UF

Okay, I've cut a few words here and there and added in enough to bring the word count back up to 93,415 which is +305 from the starting wordcount and that was in c. 30 minutes so not bad.More tonight.

Also, if you haven't seen Fright Night with Colin Farrell & David Tennant I heartily recommend it. I saw the 80s version a few weeks ago which was funny to see again, but the 2011 version is darker but still funny and I really enjoyed it. Go see!

19th September

I've started revisions on the YA urban (rural?) fantasy novel that's refusing to tell me its title and so far things are going well. I've cut out the first three chapters as being the wrong place to start and now it's more firmly in the action which is good. I did find, when making the revision notes, that there were a few scenes I need to write to make sense of things but so far I'm quietly confident and hoping that confidence will tide me over during the rough bits! I'll log how long it takes me to incorporate all the revision notes so that I have some idea +/- for future novels.

I'm also working on a couple of shorts in between as a way of breaking up the work and that seems to be going well, too so I'm pleased with that.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18th 2011

Last week was pretty hectic brain wise with an intensive summer school that was brilliant but mentally exhausting. By the time we'd got home and frisbeed the collies we were too cream crackered to do more than a token effort at making tea and going to bed. Next time I'll follow it up with another week off to absorb/ recuperate from the high gear brain power!

Still going through the YA UF and marking up areas for excision/ insertion/ tweaking and I'm currently still on target for an end of the month finish for draft 2 all things being equal. I want to get the second draft done before the new term starts. The way my calendar's looking I'm going to have to book slots in to get some writing done, and perhaps that's not a bad thing, marking it out officially like that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plotboarding - phase 1 complete

Plotboarding is done - or at least the post-it note writing phase. All twenty-seven chapters of the (still) unnamed YA UF have at least one post-it attached so all that remains of this phase is to stick them to the board when I get home.

The downside is that there are a number of chapters where there is only one post-it; luckily, the main character's colour but still, it may be too many solos and I'll have to add some more plot points. Having this done (finally, truly done) by September is beginning to look like a pipe dream, but it really *has* to be done by then because from mid-September to the end of October is the glory of induction and if I've got time for a cup of tea I'll be doing really well. (Sleep is optional.)

For information on plotboarding technique check out Diana Peterfreund's blog - there's a link in the sidebar to a description/ images.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Eureka! The story that would not start has the right beginning...

Perhaps I should have given up at Draft 1, Attempt 3. In all probability I should really have given up by Draft 1, Attempt 7 but, last night, just as I was about to turn the light out (and isn't that always the way?) I finally realised where it should start. I wrote the paragraph before I went to bed - much to the disgruntlement of the two collies and two cats draped around the room - and nodded off relieved that I have a starting point which will hopefully lead to the end point I already had in mind.

The book is nearing the end of its seclusion period. I've got nearly two weeks off over Easter thanks to the profusion of Bank Holidays and weekends so I shall use that time to do the first set of revisions. I'll let it sit for another three weeks or so after that and then do a third pass. Hopefully it will not remain broken when I've finished with it.

Things to do this month:
Outline four shorts that I only have bare bones ideas for
Play with the notes for a couple of novels that I have and see which one's likely to be up next for writing.
Revise the (still) untitled YA Rural Fantasy