Wednesday, 20 June 2012

So...did I do it?...

If you've been following my blog over the past few weeks, you might have picked up on the fact that I've been scribbling away trying to write a first draft for my novel by the 19th June...and I know the question you're all wondering now is - did I do it??

And the answer

I didn't manage to complete my novel, but am I disappointed? Hell, no!

In all my other WIPs, the most I've ever managed to write is around 17,000 words - the word count for my current novel is over 40,000. To me, that's a tremendous achievement. I've never stuck at one project for so long, or remained so excited about a WIP for so long either. I still find myself constantly dreaming up scenes while I'm trying to get to sleep, or while I'm out and about, and I simply have to scribble it down. I keep imagining that moment when I've finished it completely, and how excited I'll be when I can finally share it with the world....

Although ideally I would have liked to have reached around 50,000 words, I'm not going to dwell on the fact that it's a little short of that (ha! If 10,000 words can be called 'short'). All I can do now is keep going and hope that I don't run out of steam - it would be a shame if all this effort went to waste!

So, I'm setting myself a new deadline. Hopefully my writing time won't be interrupted by sudden illnesses (stupid stomach bugs...) or holidays (to be honest, I knew I was going away but I thought I could work around it...turns out holidays aren't the most productive writing time for me) or little things such as graduation (happening TODAY at 6pm - eek!!). I am determined to finish this book to prove to myself that I CAN do it!

So here's my new deadline: 1st July 2012

That gives me a little over a week to finish this draft - and after that, I have all the fun of editing it - hooray!

I can't wait to see if I actually manage to do it. Even if I end up putting the deadline back AGAIN, I think I've learned something over the past few weeks - I'm definitely someone who needs a deadline to work to!!

Happy writing, everyone!


Thursday, 14 June 2012

What's my name again?...

Okay, so given that I did my usual whiny/ranting post yesterday, I thought I'd cheer you all up again by writing about something different for a change :).

When I first started my WIP, I had an idea for most of the character names - all except my male protagonist. No matter what I did, no matter how many names I looked up on the Interweb, nothing seemed to fit. I just couldn't get it right.

However, while I was trying to find the perfect name, another name kept popping up in the back of my head. It kept whispering to me but I ignored it because, to be completely honest, it's not one of my favourite names in the world and I didn't want to use it (don't get me wrong - it is a nice name, it's just I personally wouldn't choose it...dunno why). However, because I needed to insert a name into my WIP to stop myself from writing 'BLANK' all the time, I decided just to give in and use the name that I kept thinking about. And once I did, a last name for my character suddenly came out too. I was surprised. Suddenly, the name didn't seem so bad any more.

In fact, I rather like it. I think it suits my character's personality. I'll probably stick with it, but then again, I might not - but I have finally gotten used to calling him by this name.

Isn't odd how sometimes you think of a name and it just seems to fit your character? It's almost as if the characters in your head are standing up and saying 'Hi, my name's so and so, and I'm going to be your new protagonist/antagonist/love interest...' - does that make me sound crazy lol?

How about you? Have you ever thought of a character's name and it wasn't right, and then you've stumbled upon one that's just perfect for your character? Or have you even ever just left a character with a name you weren't sure about, and you've never found out their true name?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

And here comes the wall...

Sorry for the long silence guys - had a bad cold last week, followed by a migraine, followed by a stomach bug (which I'm only really getting over today). Yup, it never rains but it pours...

I'm going to warn you now. This is another one of my whining/ranting posts - so feel free not to read on if you don't want to! I promise I do have some interesting posts to write - I just can't seem to find the time/energy to write them right now haha!

Anyway, as I've complained about before, I have my first major deadline looming up next week. My aim was to have the first rough draft of my WIP finished by the 19th June, but I'm going to be honest - I don't know if I'll be able to do it. For a start, I've been pretty ill and that set me back a bit - but I could work around that if my motivation hadn't suddenly deserted me today. All throughout this particular WIP I've been excited about the story and where it's going, and eager to get the words down the page, telling myself that it doesn't matter if I don't like what I've written because I can go back and change it later.

That approach doesn't seem to be working so well today. I don't know what happened, but suddenly I looked at my WIP and although I am still so excited about the story, I just couldn't write anymore. I suspect a large part of this 'hitting the wall' feeling is because I'm currently writing a scene that is, well, a bit boring. I need the scene in the book to explain a few things that are going on (and to introduce the main conflict of the book actually) but I don't think it's in the form that I want it to be in. This shouldn't bother me, but I've actually rewritten this scene before and it's still not right. And now I'm wondering if everything I've written so far is boring, and if any of it even makes sense at all - which is not encouraging! Argh!

Plus, since I've been ill, I can't drink tea. So that's one of my major comforters down the drain!

I guess I'll just have to keep powering through. I know I can change scenes and edit it at a later date, but it is still a bit depressing when I don't get it right first time! Also, because the last few days haven't been as productive as I would have liked, I think I'm starting to assume that I won't be bale to finish at about being a pessimist!! I promise I'll try and cheer up by the time I write my next post ;)!

How do you cope with 'hitting the wall'? Do you keep on writing? Or do you step back and take a moment to think about your work before carrying on?

Hope you're all having a great day!


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

IWSG #3!

Good grief, is it really that time of the month again?! Scary how much time flies...

Well, I'll keep this short and sweet - I was going to use this post as an opportunity to have a huge rant/grumble/complain (no change there then), but then I thought that I'll keep this post specific to the wonderful IWSG and write another post later :).

So, as you might be aware, I'm aiming on having a first draft of my manuscript completed by the 19th June. And I really did not think about how close that date actually is!! The main thing that I'm worried about at the moment is not finishing it, or losing my enthusiasm for the whole project, which I really don't want to do - I really want to finish this novel and see where I can go from there! I haven't been able to work on it as much as I would have liked too lately, as I've been in Norfolk - I'm back in Oxford now, but this is just a flying visit before we set off up to the great wide yonder that is Cumbria for the rest of the week....which leaves me a week and a half to write about 100,000 words...hmm...

So my plan is this - to keep writing down notes and ideas whenever I can, and when I get back from Cumbria (or maybe today actually, don't think we have any plans this afternoon) I'm going to stick on The Dark Knight in the background for inspiration while I feverishly write. Hopefully everything will go okay!

Can't wait to go and read the rest of the IWSG posts! The Insecure Wruter's Support Group was set up by the wonderful Alex. J. Cavanaugh - you can find the link to the whole group and an explanation of the rules below:

Have a great day, everyone!


Monday, 4 June 2012

Just a few updates...

So sorry I've abandoned the blog-o-sphere over the past few days - I'm currently in Norfolk visiting the Other Half's family and celebrating the Jubliee! (It's times like this I don't mind being British...)

Anyway, just a quick update on my progress....

June 19th is approaching rather faster than I thought it would to be honest! Still, I am not going to let this deter me. I said that was my deadline for a rough first, complete draft and that is still my aim. I haven't been able to get much done over the past few days due to the aforementioned Norfolk trip, and towards the end of this week I may be heading up to Cumbria, which means I won't actually be able to write again til next week!! However, in order to help the writing process along, I'm still scribbling down notes whenever I have a moment (when I'm not being distracted by the new Kindle app on my phone that is!), so I should be okay when I finally crack on with it....hopefully...

Anyway, I was hoping you guys could also give me some advice. Before I made up my mind about the whole novel-writing-in-25-days thing, I did apply for a couple more full time jobs, and I've received the offer of an interview on Thursday - hooray!
However, I've got to be honest....I really don't want to go. I mean, I really don't want to go. I would LOVE to work in publishing, but at the moment, I really want my writing to take priority. I'm not in any position financially to be that choosy tbh, and the job market is appalling at the moment, but I guess I just feel like I've been waiting to become a writer for so long that that's all I want to do now. I really really don't want to go to the interview  - I mean, there's no guarantee I'd even get the job, so I know I COULD just go and see what happens (at the very least, it'll be a good experience) just that I really don't want to. I want my writing to be the focus right now. And I know, even if I do finish my novel by the deadline and polish it and edit it within the next month or two that there's no guarantee it would get published - I'm well aware of all the pitfalls and rejections writers have to face, but still, it doesn't stop me hoping that one day, it'll happen.

Oh, and the Other Half said it was completely up to me. He told me to do whatever I want to do, which is a really sweet thing for him to say, but I'm still no closer to a decision! I know it probably seems like such a small thing to get worked up over, but I've never rejected an interview before and I'm just not sure what to do now lol.

I don't know. Am I being too romantic and stupid? Should I just go to the interview anyway and see what happens? Or should I follow my heart and just spend the summer writing lol?

Have a great nights, folks!