Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday night inspirations...

This weekend has been a bit crazy - for once, I've actually been participating in real life, meaning that although I've barely had the time to write, I feel kinda happy and satisfied at the thought that I've hung out with other human beings (y'know, apart from the ones in my head...). I went to a christening, had a catch up with the Engineer and his sisters, went to the cinema and went out for a meal. Phew!

Oh, and seeing as how the Engineer works ALL THE TIME, he dragged me into his office yesterday afternoon so he could finish something off. He did try to persuade me that this was a good thing, as I could work on my novel uninterrupted for a few hours. "That's all well and good," I grumbled, "but what if I don't WANT to work on my novel? In case you haven't noticed, my muse has TOTALLY AND UTTERLY DESERTED ME!"

I still went (because I'm sucker when it comes to promises of a mocha and chocolate). And you know what? Even though I didn't touch a word on my manuscript, it was a surprisingly productive evening.

I finally pulled together all my scattered notes on the second and third books in my planned trilogy. I added in details to those notes. I made folders for each book on my laptop (this always gives me a geeky rush). I started to get flashes of inspiration for certain scenes in both my current WIP, and the second book which I hurriedly scribbled down. I thought of a vague plot for the third book (which I've been drawing a complete blank on, until now) And finally, finally, I felt myself getting excited about the world that I'd built once again.

And that's not all. I think I may have found a way to drag myself through my rewrites. I knew I wasn't getting anywhere by just opening up my manuscript, copying and pasting a chapter, editing it and then pasting it back in. It still felt like an overwhelming task, even with my beat sheet. So I thought, what was it that got me through my first draft? What did I do this time, that meant I actually finished the damn thing? And that's when it came to me - I needed a new detailed synopsis.

Now, I know this probably seems like a step backwards, but I don't think it will be. I'm not going to do one for my entire novel (at least, not yet). Instead, I'm just going to do it up until my 'inciting incident'. I've chosen to do this because it's the beginning of my novel that needs the most attention - it's the part that I'm essentially going to rip apart and put back together again. To me, this is far to big a task to do with just a few scrawls on my beat sheet. 

We'll see how it goes. I've only just written the first scene for my new detailed synopsis, but already I'm getting a good feeling and what's more, I want to keep writing. I'll let you know how it goes but hey, even if this just turns out to be another form of procrastination - at least it's bound to help my writing in one way or another.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Ploughing on through...kind of...

At the moment I'm supposed to powering through my rewrites, so that my novel will more or less be ready to publish by the end of October. Today, I opened up my diary, saw the big red underline under 31st October, and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

There's no way in hell I'm going to be able to do the amount of work I have to do in just a few short weeks - not unless I have the luxury of my summer holidays back, but alas, that comes but once a year...

And I think that's a huge part of my problem. I'm doing bits and pieces on my WIP, but ultimately, I think I'm stalling. I seem to be waiting for a magical long stretch of time to just open up in front of me so I can write without the bother of, y'know, actually going to work and having an actual life.

I read this post on the NY Times website, and although I'm not too sure whether I feel encouraged by it's message or scared, it has made me realised that the time to get on with my novel is now. Not in an hour, not at the weekend, not next week, now.

Which is why I'm currently staring at my screen, torturously writing one word at a time, as I attempt to finally get going on the final phase of this book. It's not even that I hate my novel (for once), or that I'm being overpowered by insecurities (which makes a change) - it's just that I'm simply being lazy.

I think my task for this weekend will be to find a way that I can work, without procrastinating so much. But until that day comes, I'm just going to have to keep repeating to myself that slow and steady wins the race...I hope...

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Just a little post to say...

...Thank you :).

I was truly overwhelmed by the comments I received on my IWSG post this month. 

In all honesty, I haven't felt this insecure/downbeat about my writing/novel in a long long time, and the messages of support I received really opened my eyes again to what's good about the world of writing. It made me remember why I'm so determined to do this as a career and why I love writing, despite it's many pitfalls. It also made me realise that I belong to a fantastic community of lovely encouraging authors, and despite all the insecurities I feel about my own writing, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

So to all of you who commented or read my post on Wednesday, thank you :). I wasn't lying when I said all your comments inspired me to keep going. For example, today I completely finished my beat sheet:

All the scenes in my novel are now annotated and ready to rock 'n' roll for my rewrites.

Have I got a huge job ahead of me? Hell yeah.

You see that first page? There's a massive red bit that says CUT THIS!!! with lots of red arrows and scribbled notes. Essentially, I have to rewrite/chop/move around a good third of my novel. 
Do I mind? Strangely enough, today I feel as though this task isn't impossible. I feel as though I can do it, and I will do it - all it takes is a little determination.

And thanks to all of you, I've got my determination and willpower back. I may not reach my original deadline of completely finishing this novel, but I'm going to damn well try.

Whether you're writing, or taking a break and doing something completely different over the next few days, I hope you're all having a lovely weekend :).

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

October IWSG: Happy Anniversary!

Welcome to October's IWSG post! Happy anniversary to the Insecure Writer's Support Group! My thanks go out to the group's superb founder Alex J. Cavanaugh - without him, this group and my monthly ramblings would never have happened!

Just a quick reminder for you all - The IWSG is currently producing it's own anthology. If you've got any hints and tips for all us would-be writers out there, you can submit your entry for inclusion right here. The deadline is tomorrow though, so get your skates on ;)!

I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet, but I'm also kinda including two insecurities this month as I missed September's post!

Firstly, this is the stage I'm at with my current WIP:

Yup, that right there is my beat sheet. I'm getting ready to do all my rewrites, but I'm starting to wonder what the point is. All I can think about is, what's the point? I'm never actually going to finish a book, or even if I did, no one would ever read it. A tad melodramatic perhaps, but lately I feel like that everywhere I look, all I can see is other YA authors publishing their new books. I did a quick search online and it turns out a lot of these authors are bringing out at least one new book a year, and now all I can think is how I feel as though I'll never reach that stage. At the moment, it's a struggle for me not to get completely freaked out over my first novel!

And even if I did finish my first novel, do I even have the temperament to write another? I absolutely love the world I've built in my current WIP, but when I took a break from it I started outlining a new novel idea. But I quickly stopped - I just didn't feel as though I had the energy to finish it. I don't know if it's just because I'm so invested in my WIP's world right now, or if (and this is what I'm scared of) I'll never actually be able to flesh out another idea enough for it to become a novel.

So that's it (phew!) for this month. Sorry if it's a bit depressing/rambling folks - it's 7am and I'm not fully awake yet! Happy October everyone!