Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I'm not complaining about the weather but....

....it is ridiculously hot.

I wouldn't normally mind, but I've started to get weird spot things on my arms, where I'm assuming I've been in the sun for too long,  so I've decided to take a break from the sun completely today. It's probably not a bad thing, as it'll mean I'll (hopefully) get more work done.

So, I was very pleased with my progress yesterday - managed to write over 10,000 words :O!! So that brings my entire total up to near enough 15,000! Not bad for a few days work I'm thinking....however, I didn't manage to get any writing done at the weekend, as we went to Somerset for a few days, so I guess I'm really just catching up on what I missed before.

Also, we're heading to Norfolk for five days tomorrow, which again, is going to severely cut into my writing time. I just feel like it would be a tad anti-social of me to sit there feverishly writing and ignoring all of the Other Half's family....but I think I will get some opportunity to write (I hope) - the Other Half has some work to do, and he said I could tag along to his workplace with him and sit and write, so I am quite looking forward to that :). Otherwise, I guess I'm just gonna have to do what I did over the weekend, and just keep scribbling down notes when I get a spare moment and then write them up when we get back.

So progress so far is coming along nicely! Although as I was writing yesterday, I did notice something that was wrong - I always knew that the beginning of my novel wouldn't be the beginning that the book would end up with (I was essentially just writing it so I could get some writing done), but I finally figured out what I can put in front of it, so the story makes sense lol. However, I have now realized that I have in effect started writing my book from about a quarter of the way through. Tad irritating, but I am looking forward to see what the beginning will actually look like!

I'll keep you updated throughout the day, and will hopefully get the chance to write up a more interesting blog post for you all later :). Have a great day, folks!


Friday, 25 May 2012

It's decision time...

Okay, so as you all know, I'm pretty obsessed with my latest WIP and I don't want to lose enthusiasm for it. Therefore I've decided that I am going to give myself a deadline for this novel.

Now, this deadline won't be for the final FINAL draft - it'll be for the first draft, with all it's mistakes and in need of serious editing. But I thought that after I've finished the first draft, I'll set another deadline to complete the whole thing by, and then another deadline for all the revisions etc etc...but we'll just stick with the first draft for now.

So, when will this deadline be, I hear you cry? Well, I've decided that it will be...(drum roll please)

Tuesday 19th June 2012!

That's right, I'm giving myself less than a month (in fact a nice, round 25 days) to complete a first draft of my book.

So why this date? Well, I was going to give myself until 1st July, but then I thought, I've always wanted to complete a novel by the time I was 16, by the time I was 18 and then, by the time I was 21. I've never managed to stick to these deadlines and the reason I chose the 19th June is because I graduate on 20th June. What better way to celebrate becoming a fully-fledged adult that forcing myself to work hard, and cry, and drink endless cups of tea into the small hours of the morning? Well, in all honesty, I've had enough practice at this, having been a student for the past three years.

So that's the plan. By midnight on 19th June 2012, I will have completed the first draft of my novel. If I finish it before then (Ha! Unlikely!) then I will start the process of editing it, but I think I'll just settle for a rough manuscript for now. I'm off to add a countdown timer to my blog now, so I won't forget!

What do you guys think? Have you ever given yourself a tight deadline to complete a novel in? Let me know your thoughts!


Of spiders and tea...

It's only 8am, and already I'm not having a good day...

Went to wash up the dishes this morning, and what do I find? A great big hairy spider in one of the sinks....and it wasn't one of the ones that you could ignore or leave be...it was huge and scuttling around everywhere. So I washed it down the plughole with a load of washing up water - I did feel a bit bad because I didn't want to kill it, but it looked so horrible, I didn't want it anywhere near me! And then, when I went into the bathroom to go for a shower, I looked up and what do I see? TWO more spiders in the top corner of the shower! I freaked out and refused to go in...luckily, The Other Half finishes work early on a Friday, so he can come and sort it out for me before we leave for Yeovil :).

I don't know where all these spiders have come from. I mean, our house always seems to feature one or two, but for the last few days it's been ridiculous! I did have some windows open all day yesterday, but I think I would've noticed a dirty great spider crawling in!! Also, is it just me, or do spiders tend to congregate in bathrooms? Its like they think 'hmm, how can we annoy humans the most? I know, let's hide above the bath and drop down on them when we're least expecting it...'

 Anyway, before I start on a massive rant about how much I hate spiders, I think I may have decided on a deadline for my latest project...I'm going to treat today like another working day again (and if I really was at work, I'm sure I'd be getting a bollocking right now for being late and blogging when I'm supposed to be working...oh well) and see how I get on. I'll hopefully have made a finally decision by lunchtime :)!

Oh yeah, and as for the 'tea' part of this blog post - think I'm gonna have to go and make myself a nice strong mug of it to a) wake me up and b) help me get over the trauma of this morning....

OH - and I almost forgot to mention...A big hello and warm welcome to the two newest members of this blog :)!! Thanks for joining and I look forward to chatting with you :)!!

Have a great morning everyone! 


Thursday, 24 May 2012

A little something to end the day with...

I'm gonna warn you now- this is one of those rambling posts where I talk about my writing and nothing else. You have been warned...

So, as I said earlier, I was going to treat today as a full working day and I think this concept worked...kind of. I did stare blankly at the screen at 8am, wondering what to do, but once I got writing, that was it - when I next looked up, it was 12pm and time for dinner (or lunch, if you're from the South). This afternoon was slightly harder - mainly because I had to cook a lasagna for supper and once I'd finished that (in a rush, cos I was eager to get back to work), Mother Bear phoned for a chat and then one of my old friends from up North phoned for a chat straight afterwards...by this time, it was 5pm and the Other Half would be returning home soon. So I spent the rest of the time til 5.45pm looking up sample chapters from new YA books I'd heard about and downloading them onto my phone.

And now, well, I've got to be honest. I can't wait to start writing again. Even though I know the first chapter that I'm writing right now probably won't be the first chapter the novel will end up with, I'm just having fun writing it. In fact, I'm really excited about this project (not to sound too up myself or anything...) - but I think that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I was excited about my first WIP, but the motivation for that just kinda fizzled out. I will return to it at some point (I hope), but right now, I'm gonna focus on my new work and see where it leads me. Also, it's entirely possible that in another week, I'll have completely forgotten about this novel and will be working on something new, but we'll see how it goes.

Also, I think I am going to impose a deadline for the first draft of this novel. If I work as hard as I did today, it should be just about doable (she says!), but even if I don't stick to it, I am hoping that it'll make me work harder nonetheless. I'm gonna have a think about the deadline/time-span tonight and come to a decision tomorrow, so I'll let you know the plan then :)!

One last point - have got a few ideas for some more interesting posts, and I am aiming on doing some of them tomorrow too. Sorry this has been so boring! It'll liven up tomorrow again, I hope ;)!

Have a good night, folks!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Good Morning!

Inventive blog post title, I know! I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, as I know you won't want to be bombarded with my usual long, rambling thoughts this early in the morning...

Today I have decided to get up early, and treat it like a normal working day - which means writing from 8am to around 4pm. I'm actually quite looking forward to it - I really want to see if I'll be able to stay motivated, and also see how much further on with my novel I'll get...

I'm also tempted to set a deadline for when I should have completed the first draft of this novel. However, I know that I'm no good at sticking to my own deadlines (if it's coursework, I'm fine, in fact I always like to hand it in early!), but I'm hoping that if I post my progress on here, it may keep me motivated to keep going...

What do you think? Does setting your own deadlines help you with your writing? Do you manage to stick the deadlines that you set?

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Suny, sun, sun...and Pimms...and Cidre (not Cider)...

In case you haven't guessed by the title of this post (or, indeed, if you're not in the UK right now), it's gloriously sunny outside. I don't know what pattern English weather follows, but I reckon it must be one on it's own - there's nowhere else where you can have weeks of torrential rain and storms, then wake up the next day and it's suddenly 23 degrees C, as though it's always been summer....

So I've decided that I'm going to take my work outside with me, with a nice tall glass of Pimms with lemonade and spend the afternoon actually WORKING (see my previous post on working, or lack of, in the afternoons here). I'm quite looking forward to it - I haven't yet figured out all the fine plot details for my new book, but I'm not too bothered about that - I'll just see what comes to me. Instead, I'll be developing my characters a little more and maybe even writing some notes down for scenes. Hooray!

And later (when the Pimms runs out), I'm going to crack open a bottle of Stella's 'Cidre' - dunno what it'll taste like, but the advert looked good so I thought I'd try it. Has anyone else tried it yet? If so, how is it? Should I consume it all before the Other Half gets home, or leave it and tell him it was a present for him...?

...and yes, I am a sucker for advertising/mass consumerism....

Ooh, and I see I have two more members on this blog - a big warm welcome and a smiley hello to you all :)! Grab a drink, and come join me in my mad ramblings :)!...and before you ask, no, I haven't started on the alcohol yet...

Hope you're all having a great day, folks!


Monday, 21 May 2012

Why I don't like afternoons...

Afternoons are a funny thing. You wake up in the morning being (hopefully) bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, raring to go and ready for anything. In the evening, you're either settling down to watch TV or a lovable family film, before snuggling down into your nice, warm bed to drift off to the land of nod - or, you're getting excited about painting the town red and seeing your best girl (or guy) friends, before stumbling in at 3am and collapsing onto aforementioned warm bed....

Which leaves the afternoons. Afternoons are weird. They seem like they last forever, yet, it's only a few hours long. Maybe it's just because I don't have any more coursework to complete and I don't yet have a full-time job, but I always get into a lethargic state in the afternoons. It's that period of the day which SHOULD be the most productive....these four or five hours where it's just me and my imagination, and I should be cracking on with writing my first-ever literary bestseller....

Instead, I'm sitting here forcing myself to keep tapping at the keyboard, whilst constantly checking the clock and wondering whether it's acceptable to go for an afternoon nap. I'm twenty-one. I should not think that afternoon naps are acceptable. And yet, I find myself going for one more and more. Why? Because, honestly, it gives me something to do that isn't work or housework. Sad, isn't it?

I know, I know, I should be sitting here feverishly writing page after page after page....but all I want to do is sit and stare into space, until that magic hour of 4pm, when I'll jump up, make a cup of tea and have that long-waited for chocolate biscuit (or, judging by the state of my cupboards, a chewy/stale Caramel Snack-a-Jack). What is it about the afternoons that makes us so sluggish and, in my case, grumpy? Is it because, now that we've got (most of) the housework out of the way and eaten lunch, we simply want to hibernate until it's time to perk up again to make dinner?

The Duchess of Bedford had the right idea when she thought of Afternoon Tea...however, I'm finding it hard to muster the energy to go and turn the kettle on, let alone bake a Victoria Sandwich cake, a dozen scones and some macaroons thrown in for good measure.

So, how about you? How do you feel about the afternoons? Maybe you love them and, for you dear authors, it's your favourite time to sit down and write. Or maybe you're like me, and you're more of a morning person....or maybe there's just something medical wrong with me, and I better go and get checked out, pip pip.


"The Stylish Blogger's Award..." - Thank You!

Yesterday I was delighted to see that Gossip_Grl awarded me a 'Stylish Blogger's Award' and I would just like to say thank you to her for thinking of me! It's my first ever blogger's award and naturally, I was excited to see that I'd been mentioned!

So, the way that the award works is that:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share five things about your blog
3. Award five recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

(All thanks must go to Gossip_Grl for the above list - I shamelessly took it from her blog! Hope you don't mind :)!!)

So, the five nuggets of information I'm going to share with you lovely people are:

1. I started this blog to share my journey/thoughts on the writing/publishing process (with quite a lot of random thoughts thrown in).
2. I promote this blog A LOT on Twitter....you have been warned.
3. Everyone who's commented on this blog, or whose blog I've visited, have been amazingly friendly and supportive - this is way I want to be an author, so I can hang out with lovely people all day long!
4. I always mean to add more info/tabs to this blog, but somehow, I never get round to it...
5. I have a very short concentration span - I'm currently not working on any of my WIPs mentioned on this blog and have decided to start something completely new instead!

I'm off to award my own five 'Stylish Blogger's Award' now, so I will be back soon with yet another post updating my progress on my current WIP!


Friday, 18 May 2012

Holy Fizzsticks! Motivation?! Me?! Well I never....

Okay, so if you follow me on Twitter, you'll notice that this morning that I said I was signing off the interweb for an hour or so to concentrate on writing. I have a confession to make....I broke that resolution after about ten minutes.

BUT, I wasn't social networking or procrastinating - I was looking up ways to write out a plot outline. You would think, after having an interest in writing for about ten years and studying Publishing for the last three, I'd have some idea about how to write out a plot outline. Don't get me wrong - I've done it before, but the reason I was looking it up was because I was just wondering if there was any easier way of writing down a plot where you're not too sure yourself what's going to happen...and there isn't.

Turns out the easiest thing to do is to just....write.

Okay, let me explain - I am not currently working on any of the WIP's I have mentioned on this blog. Over the last week, a new idea for a novel/series has come to me and this time, I decided to give into the SNI (Slutty New Idea). Why? Because my old manuscript was frustrating me and I wanted to try something new. So I let this idea develop in my head and in a series of rambling notes on my phone, and today I decided to bite the bullet and do something about it.

It's very VERY likely that I'll give up on this idea after today. But I really hope I don't. So far this morning I've written the prologue to the book, fleshed out a few major plot lines and, the most fun bit in my opinion, written about my characters. I'm not generally into the whole 'what's your character's favourite colour?' and 'which side of the bed do they sleep on?' level of detail that most authors go into when thinking about their characters. I like letting my characters develop and see where they take me - to me, it's a lot more fun discovering that they hate cheese halfway through a story, rather than pigeon-holing them right at the start.

I've only taken one brief break to pop to the shop, make a cup of tea and write this post. I'm going to go straight back into it now - I'm terrified that if I leave this idea for more than 30 mins, I'll lose all motivation - so I'm going to develop it some more now!

Oh yeah, I also had a thought that in order to keep me interested in this project, I might try and complete a draft of the first book within 30 days, just to see if I can do it. Have any of you fellow authors ever attempted this?? If so, how did it go?

I'd love to hear from you! Let me know your writing motivation thoughts/horror stories!


I'm back!...Again...

So it's been a while since I last posted...what with finishing uni/education FOREVER, applying for every job I see, having (occasional) interviews and then toddling back up to North for a week, it's been pretty hectic...I can't actually believe how fast time is going at the moment....

Before I begin, I see that in my absence I've acquired a couple of new members to my blog! A big warm hello and welcome to all of you :)! Don't be scared...yes, I am a bit crazy.... :) 

I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet (and writing related!), although knowing me, it'll just end up being a huge ramble about nothing anyway...

I've really been looking forward to finishing uni - not just because it means I'll never have to do another piece of coursework again, but also because it means I'll finally have the time to do what I want to do...mainly write, play The Sims and, in all honesty, bum around a bit...

However, even though I now have the time to do all these things, I'm getting a funny feeling that I'll do what I always do when I have free time...nothing. Even though I have the whole day ahead of me, I know that I'll probably end up just reading Harry Potter for a majority of the day, and wandering around aimlessly for the rest. Not really that productive, is it?

So, I've been thinking - in order to keep myself motivated, I might try working on several different writing projects at once. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do this as you'll lose focus/won't get anything done/brain will turn to mush etc etc, but I want to try to see how I get on - if it gets too much, I can always just leave one project and focus on another. My rationale behind this is that I hope it'll keep me interested in writing - don't get me wrong, I want to be an author more than anything, but even I have to admit that I have serious attention focusing issues...so I'll try this approach to writing and see what happens...

So what about all you lovely fellow authors? Any of you out there currently working on several different projects? If so, how's it going? Does it make it easier to write, knowing that you can take a break from one project to do another? Or is it incredibly hard?

I'd love to know your thoughts!


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

IWSG #2!

Okay, so I just thought I'd quickly scribble this down before I forget...gosh, I can't believe it's been a month already since the last IWSG...where does the time go???

Today's post isn't going to be a long one - I'm currently trying to finishing my VERY LAST PIECE OF COURSEWORK EVER and it needs to be done by 12.30pm on Friday....sssoo, I haven't actually done a lot of writing lately! Been too busy stressing about uni work/life after education/life in general....

So, the last time I wrote for the IWSP, I said about how I hated my manuscript and wanted to burn it - think I've slowly gotten over that phase now, although I am still having trouble focusing my mind on that one piece of work - random scenes keep popping into my head for other novel ideas - it's useful cos I've scribbled them down and can use them in later literary works of art - not so useful because it's slightly distracting me from what I'm supposed to be doing...but still, I'll just keep slogging away until I run out of ideas/steam :).

I'm sorry this post is so short - I may add to it later, but I've really got to get on with my coursework today :(. But I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's IWSG posts during my lunch break :)!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!