Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Starting another novel, seriously?

A couple of days ago I sent out a Facebook request for people to read my draft novel... and to my surprise, three lovely blogger friends said yes!

So I currently look like this:



While I'm waiting, I randomly picked up an old novel, and wondered if there was something worth rescuing within the pages. In true Crawford style, that novel and the ideas I've been having recently started to merge.

The old novel is the most depressing novel ever written. It starts with a pregnant 15 year old girl whose life just gets worse and worse until she is redeemed in true fairytale style. I liked the character, Grace, but I had issues with just how darn depressing the whole thing was, so it got shelved.

Fast forward to this week, when I looked at the character that's growing in my head and I wondered if she could possibly be Grace's grown-up daughter telling her mother's story. Hmmm, I thought, that could work. So I got my red pen out and started slashing the most depressing stuff. I'm probably going to tell a completely different story, but I'm working with characters I like, and a title that I really love.

How do you occupy yourself while your MS is being read?


80 comments:

  1. I'm certain that if I were in that position, I'd be biting my fingernails, too! Good luck with the wait. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dana, glad I'm not the only nail-biter. Having my fingers in my mouth helps stop the wailing too :-)

      Delete
  2. Cool you have a great idea in an old manuscript! And don't chew off your fingers - you need those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, of course, understand about old manuscripts, Alex. You make a good point, must type not bite :-)

      Delete
  3. Oh, I love that you're finding a way to rework an old story! Good luck!
    (And no nail biting required, I'm loving your ms!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think it was Stephen King who said something about two different, initially unrelated ideas colliding into what becomes the story. Sounds kind of like what's happening to you. :)

    I also have an extremely bleak manuscript tucked away that will never see the light of day but a small part of it evolved into a short story. I also have a character in my current wip that was based on a character in another old ms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of my ideas collide - the novel that's being read at the moment was originally completely different until a sociopath walked onto the pages :-) Sometimes it's hard to leave fantastic characters alone, isn't it?

      Delete
  5. Hope you get great feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Knowing someone is reading your work to give you feedback is scary stuff, but yes, Alex is right, you need those fingers, stop chewing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, I know. Fingers wrapped in bandages now - bashing keys randomly :-) I'm even worse when Hubby is reading my work in front of me - I pace, do the dishes, randomly walk around the house. At least it's easier this way!

      Delete
  7. first I need to actually create a fiction manuscript. But, I'm excited for you and I bet your beta readers are having fun. Good luck and keep inking away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they're having fun! Thanks Joanne. Another story idea appeared as I woke up this morning, I'm inundated again :-/

      Delete
  8. This is a great time to outline something new. Give the brain a rest from your MS and wait for the feedback. Let go for the time being and totally forget about it. So many good ideas inside you and in your surroundings. Work something else for a while. Its like trying a new food for the first time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've actually got a couple of ideas stewing at the moment - a couple of days ago I had none, so I'm very happy at the moment :-)

      Delete
  9. My current project is actually based on the outline for an earlier series which never got written, with new characters and a different setting. My old ideas are never wasted, because I can guarantee they'll end up getting used at some point!

    This sounds like a great way to occupy your time. Good luck with it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never throw ideas away. I have a huge folder - either with just snippets or something a bit longer. You just never know when inspiration will strike. Good luck with your project too :-)

      Delete
  10. I actually like extremely depressing novels. Am I confusing you now? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh, yes, just a little bit :-) I think it will still be on the sad side, though.

      I'm sorry, your blog is still blocked on my computer so I can't visit you. I do keep checking in case something miraculous occurs :-)

      Delete
  11. Wow! It sounds like you have a good potential new novel! I stress myself into a state and try to write something else. I sometimes feel like my novels are too depressing too, but I am sure you will make it amazing. Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting idea for changing the story. Sometimes things just need a long time to gestate. Hmmm, I try to go out and play :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of my ideas seem to take a long time to blossom - and they can go through some pretty interesting variations. Although I had given up on this story until I started reading it again. The opening line just gets me every time.

      I'm off out to play today... well, to shop and drink hot chocolate, which is almost the same :-)

      Delete
  13. I also like depressing novels! It might be really good. Yet I do love how ideas can evolve over time. Good luck with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never know how depressing is depressing enough. I know when I was writing it the first time I started to feel very low. I listened to the same album over and over, which I thought was very depressing and got me in the right mood. I listened to the same album again recently, and it's actually quite an upbeat album!

      Delete
  14. Depressing can be good. I'm a huge Thomas Hardy fan. He hardly farted rainbows. :D

    My ms goes to the editor in about a month. Yikes that just made my pulse race. I have the whole revision to do yet. I plan on starting that Sunday. Anyway, while it's away, I'll work on my other novel and figure out how to salvage a short story I wrote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh, Hardy, nooo! I studied Far From the Madding Crowd for A-Level - it put me off forever.

      Good luck with the revision. You have so much on the go, I don't expect you ever sit back and wonder where the next idea is going to come from... as I did a week ago!

      Delete
  15. Don't do the waiting game-start something new straight away! You will find it easier that way.

    All the best!

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two new ideas fighting for supremacy at the moment - I think that should keep me occupied :-)

      Delete
  16. The waiting game can be frightening! But depressing novel doesn't equate bad novel. I'm quite a fan of depressing novels, my life generally seems so much brighter in comparison. Must have missed your call to read, I would have gladly volunteered. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mentioned it on a group on Facebook - it wasn't a confident shout out, more of a whisper. Thanks for the offer, I might contact you once I've heard back from the current readers, if that's okay.

      Delete
  17. I like the shift in perspective.

    I can imagine it's tough to wait on feedback. We get immediate feedback in blogland, which spoils us. I get fairly immediate feedback from my writing group also, so I haven't had to be in your position. But it's a good one to be in. I'm sure you'll get very complimentary and helpful input.

    Be well.
    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robyn, I hope I can make the idea work.

      I've never been part of a writing group, so I've never had immediate feedback. With the advent of email, it's actually faster than it used to be by post, so I still feel lucky.

      Delete
  18. Waiting is so hard... I find writing something new sometimes helps:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something new definitely keeps you occupied!

      Delete
  19. I'm not in that position Annalisa, nor have I been before, but I guess I might be like you, thinking about what to write next. And why not? There is nothing wrong with getting a new plan together.

    Maybe I would use the time to leisurely read fiction, or perhaps do some research for the next 'big thing'in my writing life. Or perhaps, I'd ring a friend and go and eat cake, and chat about life.

    Whatever you do, don't stress. Your readers will be back soon enough with their views, and findings, and then you will have decisions to make, and work to do I am sure.

    Good luck. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, the cake idea sounds perfect :-) I'm actually doing better than I thought I would with the 'not stressing'.

      Delete
  20. A tense time for you but good that it made you pick up something and make it work.Well done you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne. I just wrote a really long comment about your post (in short, I love the overgrown look of your country park and I have a mad unwalkable dog too) but Disqus have made their comment procedure 'easier' and wouldn't let me long in!!

      Delete
  21. I know the waiting must be hard but this must be such an exciting thing as well!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nervous excitement and chocolate mix quite well, I find... And lots of gym workouts!

      Delete
  22. How satisfying to find hope and imagination in a story-- to see its potential again. I bet you're so excited to recreate the vision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must admit, I did get a thrill when I looked it over and realised the writing was much better than I thought. I just have to make the plot work.

      Delete
  23. You too Annalisa? I've started looking at a rewrite of the sequel to my novel that is right now awaiting an agent's decision. So I too am biting my nails and my displacement therapy is a total rethink of the book. Good luck to both of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping busy is definitely key. Good luck and enjoy the process :-)

      Delete
  24. Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog today. I truly appreciated it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Murees. I wish you lots of luck and happiness - keep thinking positively, and good things will happen :-)

      Delete
  25. I really like finding character ideas in old manuscripts.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, never throw anything away because you never know when you'll be able to take something from it.

      Delete
  26. I immediately start work on another novel while one is being critiques. keeps me from going cuckoo.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starting on something else is the only thing that really distracts you, isn't it?

      Delete
  27. Ha! My book is out on critique right now, too, and I look exactly like you do! Especially since it's supposed to be back any day now. As for filling my time, I do it the same way you do, too -- by working on a different book. I've also dipped into my TBR pile, done some deep cleaning, scheduled several appointments I hadn't been looking forward to, and written a blog post for the first time since November. You know...keeping busy. Trying not to think about the book that's being critiqued, as impossible as it is to ignore.

    Good luck with your revisions AND with your new book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done on keeping busy, and I hope there aren't too many edits to do. I tried to visit your blog but the link didn't work - do you have a new URL?

      Delete
  28. You have nothing to worry about! You have talent.

    And I do the same as you...while I wait, I work on something else. (I always say I am going to do a "spring clean" of my house, but I always just start tapping out something else!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks Elizabeth :-)

      I *thought* about spring cleaning for a moment or two... And it's the thought that counts, apparently :-)

      Delete
  29. Hi Annalisa .. that's great .. so pleased three author blogging friends came forward ... and yes no point in waiting ..

    Someone suggested my blog was about my trials and tribulations with my mother's illness and my own life .. but I can't take negativity .. and thankfully I went my own route ...

    Cheers and good to both ventures - new/revised book and the report backs - I'm sure all will be fine .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your blog is so amazingly informative about so many things - I love visiting.

      Delete
  30. Isn't waiting always the hardest part? Try and work on something else. Something that demands all of your attention. And try not to worry. I know that's easier said than done. Easy advice to give, harder to take.

    Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm doing a pretty good job of not worrying, I think :-) Thanks!

      Delete
  31. Waiting can be hard but it sounds like you have lots of great ideas to keep you company. Sounds like an interesting premise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely have lots of ideas, working out how to make them fit together is going to be tough.

      Delete
  32. At the moment, a "brainstorming buddy" is reading some of my WIP stuff, (which is actually a bunch of scenes)
    I'm so nervous, I don't want to think about it! What if she says it's a load of "you-know-what"... eeeeeek!
    To keep busy, I'm polishing a few old FF pieces...
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it'll be fine, Michelle. Good luck with the wait :-)

      Delete
  33. Replies
    1. I've stepped back from writing to thinking. And in a minute from thinking to napping :-)

      Delete
  34. It does not deserve to be put aside...it actually sounds very intriguing...however depressing it might be in the beginning....Life can be that way too....Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I won't abandon it totally, but it might not be anywhere near the same story by the time I finish!

      Delete
  35. That's so great you can re-work it. I once revamped my book by switching the entire book from 3rd person to 1st person - all of a sudden it wasn't so boring, LOL. I just sent my latest to my CP, so now I'm working on my novella series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Changing POV is a great way to evolve a story. Lots of work though!

      Delete
  36. I love it when ideas in your head merge with old stuff that's been written and turn into something new and fresh. Good luck with the new... and the old too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It helps that this story has been at the back of my mind for years, I've always hoped I might get back to it. Thank you!

      Delete
  37. yay for betas & cps!
    and i always have stuff to work on! short stories, guest posts, new drafts or editing...

    go girl!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I too always have work in queue and that's not a bad thing. Out of ideas...wait I have some unfinished manuscripts, eureka! Best of luck with your new novel Annalisa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Sheena-Kay - that moment when you have NOTHING to write can feel quite scary!

      Delete
  39. I'm getting feedback today. During the wait I started another draft and am almost done with it.

    Yay for blogger buddies. They do come through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done on the next draft! Good luck with the feedback and edits :-)

      Delete
  40. Oh my, it takes me so long to catch up. Three thirty on Tuesday morning, I finally arrive. Apologies for the delay, Annalisa.

    Working with characters you like and a title you love. That seems encouraging. Okay, make note, "MS" means "manuscript", or maybe "Marks and Spencer's" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Gary, the kettle's always on, whenever you pop over. Perhaps a lovely M&S chocolate dessert to go with it?

      Delete

Please comment - I love a good chat!