Writing Goals – February 2012

1.  Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”

2. Finish my Ice Planet Story

3. Edit Ice Planet

4. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)

5. Finish writing “Son of God”

6. Edit Medusa’s Garden.

Pleased to confirm that Medusa’s Garden has gone through its second draft.  It is just a little bit here and there that I am working on, before I send it out to my readers.  I hope to have some response back by April.

March is Evil Editors Unite on KiwiWriters, so I have a good month of editing ahead of me.  Problem is, not sure which story to edit.  There are two:  Tobias and Arabella or Of Kings Queens and Noblemen.  So far, I have had one vote – won’t tell you which until my other friends have voted too!

March is also NZ Book Month, and I have some writer friends that I am hoping will agree to some interviews, so I hope to get these posted periodically through the month.

So a busy month for me, 20 hours of editing, but I am looking forward to it.

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Notebookaholic

I mentioned some time ago that I purchased a new notebook and I was in love with it.  Since then I have purchased another.  And while it isn’t love at first sight, it was love.

You see I have this problem.  I have way too many notebooks, but I can’t stop buying them.  And they do get used!  Its not like I buy them and discard them, unwritten in.  In fact I often write lots of stuff in my notebooks.  This is my current “collection” although it is not complete, there are still others that were floating around and could not be located in time to do this photoshoot.

My notebook "collection"

The little red one at the bottom, is in my handbag.  I keep notes for what I am supposed to do in town in that one.  It is getting a little thin from the cull of used pages I do every now and again.  But this one came to Fiji with me.

The small blue marbig one (and I have an orange one too) are my story ideas notebooks.  Small enough to fit in my handbag, beside my bed, on the computer desk etc, this is where I jot down the formings of ideas, or single words that I have heard, read or liked.

The big dark pink Marbig notebook (and I have a blue one too) has a pocket on the front, and is handy to take when I am researching.  Any slips of paper I accumulate, or anything fascinating can go in the pocket, while the rest of the book is capable of notes.  This pink one has my Blood Gold notes and research data in it.

The punk notebook just had to be used for my Gothic Novel, the cover was inspiring on its own, but didn’t really lend itself to the story.  There is still plenty of space in this little honey for more gothic ideas and inspirations, and I could actually see this being my vampire story book too… mmmm

The Tartan notebook, this is the one I am in love with.  The tartan isn’t particularly pretty, but I love all things Scottish (guess it is the ancestry) and this was just one of those things I couldn’t resist.  This is where my new story idea is going.  I can’t go into details here and now, but this is the next one that I will be filling with research and story ideas.

The last notebook I want to talk about is one that I purchased at the same time as my tartan notebook.  It is the “Smart Eye” covered book (and yes there is an image, but there is something wrong with the printing!)  This is going to be a special book.  Often I see pictures that inspire me, but I don’t often do anything about it.  This is a type of photograph book, so I intend to use this as a sight book rather than note book.  I will put pictures and objects in this book that will visually inspire me, whether it is a sunset picture, or a downloaded photo off the internet.  This will be slightly different from any of my other books, but something I am actually quite excited about.  It doesn’t have to be photos, a drawing, a perfume sample card, a cartoon, a piece of fabric, lace, ribbon, something other than words.

So there you go.  I AM a notebookaholic and proud of it!

Evil Editors Unite

This is the name of the challenge I am taking part in over on the KiwiWriters website and I have to admit that I am actually really enjoying the editing process.

Editing isn’t something that I have always enjoyed doing, in fact I can remember back – and shudder to think – that I was once so proud of every single word I wrote that I didn’t see the need to remove it.  Now, if it doesn’t fit, it repeats itself, or is unnecessary, it is GONE!

So how did I get to such a point in my writing?  Am I being too lax and casual about it?  Hell no.  I write, and always give myself a month of two off before I edit, only to clear my head of the story.  It is easy enough to pick up the thread again when I am reading it over, but at least sometimes I am surprised by what I have written.

Giving myself a month off, allows me to see the story with fresh eyes.  The first thing I do is read through, chapter by chapter.  Since I do most of my writing in yWriter, it also breaks it down into scene by scene.  This helps me to determine whether I have repeated myself in the story, which I discovered recently when editing That Bloody Gothic Novel (not its real name, just one that seems to fit it beautifully for now).

Once I have read a chapter, I will go through and check the spelling and grammar, then work my way through the chapter, sentence by sentence to make sure that it make sense, there are no unnecessary words.  My thinking is – can I say this sentence in a shorter way?  Can I reword it to make more sense?  Does it make sense the way it is?  Does it convey the emotions / thoughts / ideas that I am trying to portray?

While this may sound like a slow process, it actually isn’t.  I can edit a chapter in 3/4 hour, which isn’t too bad considering there is about 3500 words per chapter.

So am I being lax?  No, I do my first round of editing, the forward my story onto readers for the initial reading to make sure that people like it / pick up any errors that I have made / does it flow / would you read it?  Once I get these comments back, I work through them to edit the story, tighten it up, get rid of those pesky words such as “and then”, “was”, “had been” and “and…and…and”, which I found a few of!

I am editing two stories at the same time, I am going through Medusa’s Garden which has already been out to readers, and first edit through of The Bloody Gothic Novel – if anyone is interested in being a reader for the gothic novel, please let me know, and when I have finished at the end of the month, I will send it out to you.

Annnnnnnnd I’m done!

I have finally finished the damned Gothic Novel!  What a mission!

It wasn’t the story I had an issue with, it was finding the time to get it finished.  I had every intention of getting it done during October, then finish it in November, then December rolled around and everyone was staying at our house!  January wasn’t as bad, but still lots of things happening, and it was only today that I managed to put the final words onto the screen, enough for me to call it finished.

But it is a long way from being completed.  Even while writing I had ideas of how to extend certain storylines, flesh out characters and develop areas that needed a bit more explanation.  I have these noted down, so that when it does come to editing, I can get straight into it, which I hope to do during March, which is Evil Editors Unite month at KiwiWriters.

It feels good to get it out of the way, and now I can focus on the next story, which I was going to start in March, but since it is Evil Editors Unite Month, I might have to make it February or April…. Oh decisions decisions!

Dedicated to Mum

My Mum has been persistently ringing me the last few days and asking if I was alright, which I assured her I was.  On Saturday, she told me she was asking if I was alright because I hadn’t written a blog since 17 November.  I love my Mum so much!

The reason behind not writing my blog is time – an all important commodity which seems to be escaping me at the moment.  The week of 14th November was the start of a very crazy two weeks.

Sunday was the KiwiWriters meeting, which starts early in the morning.  Monday I had the day to myself, so I did the housework, Tuesday I had grocery shopping in the morning, then a Sales Event in the evening.  Wednesday I cleaned a friends house, and I had a SpecFic Meeting at 8pm, Thursday I had an Xray at 11:30 followed by Training.  Friday I spent all day doing office work.  Saturday and Sunday flew by and I was wondering which week I was in when I realised I had another busy week lined up, although not so hectic.

When I get busy like that, I tend to find that my time to myself just doesn’t exist and I feel myself getting frazzled and fractious – just ask my beloved!  And I find that all creativity flies out the window.  Critiques I had lined up to do are still in the in box, waiting for attention, not to mention the Gothic novel that was supposed to be finished in October, and now won’t be finished until early December.

I do realise that I need to make time to focus on these things, but by the end of the day, I am absolutely exhausted and all I want to do is sleep, and even that has been alluding me again.  So I spend any wakeful time during the night plotting the next part of my story, so when I do get a chance to write again, I have an idea of where I want the story to go.

Over the last two weeks, I think I have managed 2,000 words, which isn’t very hopeful.  I have three chapters left, and discovered that the mother is a violent woman (sorry Mum, no reflection on you at all!) and my heroine is trapped in her family home without any hope of escape.  Bloody Hero appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth, typical male, just when you need them the most!

Hopefully my weeks are going to quieten down and I will get a chance to finish the story, which will now be edited in February…  I just HAVE to get it finished soon!

NPI and Writing Gothic

I have been enjoying this week a lot – my writing of this Gothic novel has taken a turn and I can feel it starting to come together.  I said before that the period and setting lends itself to Gothic novel, and it just seems to be going together like a hand into a sensually smooth satin glove.  Of course there are no gloves in my story, but I am enjoying it none the less.

NPI – was a little patchy this week, but overall, I have actually achieved a lot, the numbers will speak for themselves!

Monday 18th October – 457

Tuesday 19th October – 1026

Wednesday 20th October – 516

Thursday 21st October – Nil

Friday 22 October – 1210

Saturday 23 October – 1274

Sunday 24th October 1096.

All up, I have written 16147 words, which is 32% complete.  I realise I did set a goal for 50k for the month, but I am also a realistic person and while I am disappointed I didn’t manage to stick to my goal, I am still working towards completing it, and completing it is the main priority!  I am about a quarter of the way through the story, so it is going to be well over50k by the time I have finished it.  I have already added two scenes that were unplanned, but that was the nature of the story once I started to write on that particular day – it is just playing so nicely!

So here is to another successful writing week – long may they continue!

Another Week, Another Dollar

With a title like that, is sounds like I have sold something, but I haven’t.  In fact, for the first time in 4 months, I got a job!  It was great, although I was a little rusty, it was relatively straight forward and simple, but those are the ones that tend to bite you in the behind.  Still, roll on more claims, which should happen now as EQC are finally dealing with the Christchurch claims, so less claims will be desk top assessed as they will have way too many!  Yahoo for me!

NPI – Haven’t posted because I have also been doing the KiwiWriters Blogging Week, of which I participated and did 7 blogs!  Go KiwiWriters!  So, here are the figures for the week:

Monday 11th – 2035 words

Tuesday 12th- 287 words

Wednesday 13th – 1137 words

Thursday 14th – nil

Friday 15th – 518 words

Saturday 16th – 527 words

Sunday 17th – 462 words

I have really struggled with this story, but with a little bit of research, I think I can pull this story out of the doldrums and really give it the impact it deserves.  Its funny how the story really lends itself to the Gothic nature, and with the research I have done, and the little tweaks I am going to make, is really going to make the story pop a little more.

I really do need to knuckle down and get some writing done though, I am severely behind the eight ball and I would prefer to be ahead of it, so a few days of 3k wouldn’t go amiss, just have to make the story more writable.

But first, I have housework to do!