Wednesday 27 April 2011

Four days to go!

In four days' time, I'll be pounding my computer keys determined to write 80,000 words in 80 days . And I think I'm just about ready to start. I'll be putting away my current short story and finishing off some research. I'm having an SAS/FBI/Special Forces problem at the moment - namely, I'm not sure who would be involved in the situation my characters will find themselves in. (I know it won't be the FBI, by the way, but it's their equivilent I'm struggling over.)

I've also got my title finally sorted. This was worrying me slightly, as I'm really bad at starting anything without a title. I had one, but as I thought about the plot and made notes, that title became obsolete. So, after a while I came up with 'THE SLEEPER' which fits at the moment. I didn't say it had to be a good title, just a title!

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Impatience is not a virtue

This is just a quick update, to prove I haven't forgotten I write a blog. The school Easter holidays have eaten - very slightly - into my writing time, and for some reason Facebook has featured prominently in almost every session at my computer recently. I'm determined to get that in check before it becomes a full blown addiction. I like it too much to have to delete my account.

I'm still planning to do the May - You Write Your Novel challenge, but boy! - is the wait tough. I just want to get started. I've written notes so copious that I have actually started and finished the novel - albeit in 21,000 words. So the 80,000 challenge is still on.

Today, as I pummelled my body at the gym, the ending popped into my head! Yes, Reader, I have an ending! The last page, the last paragraph and even the very last sentence. Which is exciting in itself, as I wasn't sure what would happen to all these strange people I've created. This ending will be kept in hand-written form until the rest of the novel is fully written after the 80 days, so that I can say that I have kept - however loosely - to the concept of the challenge.

12 days to go!

Monday 11 April 2011

Novel update, and a confession (but NOT a juicy one!)

I've had a busy week or so since my last post. I've continued to think about the novel I'll be restarting in May, and I've written notes about the ending - I woke up this morning with it buzzing around my head and I had to write it down. There have been a couple of plot problems to sort out, and there's still one to go. My timeline's looking pretty dandy too - I've resisted the urge to colour code it so far, but I'm sure that will happen soon!

Even though I've written two novels before, this one has the most characters, and it's very difficult to keep an eye on them all. A lot of them play quite small parts which are significant later on, so they have to be fully rounded for the reader to remember them. I'm finding it hard to give each character the right 'hook'. I've got index cards for each of them, on which I started to write down the important information I might forget later. For one character I've written: Liar, Has long fringe, Paranoid. Well, that's that guy summed up then. I think I should have written a bit more!! Still, the theory is sound. At least I'll never start describing his bald head.

I think these extra characters are the reason this novel might actually make novel length, whereas before they've teetered on the edge of being novellas, which are notoriously imposible to sell.

And this leads me to my confession. For those who know me well, you will find this very odd, but I've started to look into the possibilities of publishing ebooks, mostly as a vehicle for these novellas. I got caught up reading some articles about self publishing on Kindle, and it all seemed so easy, and I started to think What if...? I don't know if I'll get any further than just thinking, because it just seems so wrong.

Friday 1 April 2011

Novel update: Stopping writing

So, there I was getting along reasonably well with my novel, when I happened upon this, and thought 'What a mighty fine idea that is!'

The idea is for lots of people to all be writing novels, aiming for a word count of 80,000, at the same time, and using the blog as support. As my 'novels' have always come in at a tad under (which is to say, 30,000 under) I thought I would give it a go and see how I get on.

As I've already started, and obviously don't want to cheat, I'm going to stop writing until 14 May, when all the other participants should have written as much as me, and then we can progress together.

It will give me time to do some much-needed research, and to make a timeline of events. I've realised that some events are mentioned/will be mentioned in two different parts of the book, from two different angles, but they obviously have to happen in the same order. Last night, I made a timeline on Excel - currently a blank grid with dates on it, but it will be a timeline soon. I know other writers probably just use notebooks, but - well - I'm a bit of a computer nerd at heart! It's a very smart timeline, and this break will enable me to fill it out properly.

So, all in all, I'm very glad I came across this whole challenge, and I'm really looking forward to seeing if I can write anywhere near 80,000 words.