I’m not a planner. I feel stifled if I have plot to fulfill, instead I usually start with a title and the very last line. I sit with my pen poised and let the words flow. I go back and add chapters where needed, go forward to write a killer line, backwards to add a bit of foreshadowing. And the whole thing comes together. It’s a long process. Where other authors can have a book written within a year, mine take a little longer. In some cases they take… ahem, years and years.
My current novel is supposed to be a mashup of a character/plot that’s been on the back-burner since the early 2000s, and the story I wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo, with some other stuff that I’ve started and abandoned within a couple of weeks.
Except, I have a main character that is both named and nameless, in past and present tense, first and third person. She lives in London, a nameless city, on the coast. She’s always an artist and has just won an art award, or won it years ago. Her current exhibition is both on display and cancelled. She has a lodger but is lodging, and a sister who is in varying degrees of existence.
I’m staring at these pages, completely overwhelmed – in some cases, reading the same scene written in different ways, with different outcomes. I have two folders that have an abundance of Post-It notes to remind me where I think that scene might fit, or not fit, or needs to fit.
And I don’t know what do to… Apart from go back to basics and write a plan. Or give up altogether and bake a cake.
Tips, advice and hugs all appreciated right now 🙂
Good morning, lovely people! What a great day. The sun is shining, and it’s just above freezing. On our walk this morning, the grass was solid with thick frost, the river was mirror-still, and there was a beautiful river mist clinging to the valley and edge of Plymouth.
There are no photos, because it was far too cold to take my gloves off so I could operate the camera. So here’s a picture of Artoo before we left, at the moment he’d given up hope of ever going for a walk ever again…
I tend to spend these walks thinking about my writing plan for the day, and today I was completely overwhelmed by all the things I want to do and the time I have to do it. I have:
- my NaNoWriMo novel to develop into a proper novel – including all those bouts of utter paranoia that it’s the worst idea in the world (which is time-consuming)
- 4 short story competitions I want to enter within the next month, which also need writing or re-writing, and then several more over the months after that
- to keep up with blogs I follow, new and old, because I’ve realised I’ve lost touch with some of the amazing people that have helped me so far (and probably don’t even know it). And I’m worried that my move from Blogger to WordPress means that some of them have given up on me
- re-write a novella I re-wrote badly last year. Except, it heavily features a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship, which also happens to be be the basis of the novel I’m writing. I don’t like the idea of writing two stories which could be tucked nicely into a genre together like that – I want to do different things
As you can see, this isn’t really a to-do list, it’s an overcoming-my-issues list, which will be a lot harder.
I’d love some feedback – especially on the Blogger/Wordpress issue, and the fixation on mothers I seem to have at the moment.
Today, I am over on Rebecca Bradley’s blog discussing my revision process – discover what state my NaNo novel is in right now and what I’m currently drinking!
A couple of years ago, I shared my first draft process, so it was great to be able to explain my next stage. Writing down exactly how I write is quite eye-opening. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone shares my methods!