Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tuesday Choice Words

Sometimes the most concise of writing advice can be the best. This Buzzfeed article - 27 pieces of advice for writers from famous authors - is just that.

And here is mine:

So only you can tell your story your way.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Getting Unstuck

The re-write/edit/revision of my novel is breaking my head. I have an updated chapter plan, not so different to the original but requiring a number of new chapters and a lot of juggling around of pieces of existing writing. Putting together the chapter plan was like tackling a challenging but do-able obstacle course. Once I got into my stride, it was fun. With the first fence past, I could see where I was going. I still can.

Writing the new chapters, however, is proving less attainable. I think my problem is that in my head, at the end of the last draft, I thought "that's it - done, finished" and of course it isn't. I'm taking up the reins of a stallion that I thought was happily bedded down, when in fact it was just taking a breather before the next race.

I know I can do this. In fact, I've already written the first new chapter, but the voice in my head, the one that prods, criticises and distracts, has bought itself a loudspeaker. I find myself tripping up over words and storylines that should flow.

Steven Pressfield calls this 'resistance'. The term is apt. I can feel myself resisting the opportunity to write. This is what he says I need to do.

It doesn't help that my children are on their Easter break at the moment and my husband is taking some of those days off too. Maybe, though, I'm just using that as an excuse. There are definitely timeslots over the day when I can find some peace to write. I just need to kick my 'resistance' out of the way and do it.

I don't really believe in writer's block, not for me anyway. I know I can push through this, play those negative thoughts at their own game and distract them long enough to get some writing done. Camp Nanowrimo is one of those distractions. Freewriting could be another. Whatever I do, I need to park the resistance and just get on with my novel.

Chapter two beckons, a new chapter two. Wish me luck.

Friday, 27 March 2015

I'm camping out in April

In November last year, I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and got a massive amount of work done on my novel. Now that I'm revisiting/redrafting/ rewriting/editing (any of these may apply) my novel post manuscript assessment, I feel like I need another boost to get me going.

Camp Nanowrimo is for writers who want to return to the chaos *cough* concentrated effort of a month's committed writing. It takes place twice a year. I'm dipping into it this April.

Unlike the full November NaNoWriMo, you can choose your own wordcount and you are also assigned to a cabin with a number of other writers to share the experience with you.

Working from home, I sometimes lack the momentum that working out there in the real world with a team of colleagues can provide. Camp Nanowrimo is just what I need.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tuesday Choice Words

Re-jigging my novel post assessment is proving to be both a joy and a challenge. Taking what I had, re-writing some, adding more, and beginning the novel in a different place, is making my head hurt slightly but I'm getting there. A large portion of the changes in my novel will be in the run-up to the ending.

On the Better Novel Project website, Christine Frazier's article How to Transition to Your Story's Climax with a Gatekeeper has proved very helpful in my rewrite. Have a look.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Something Useful for 2015 - Exercise No. 11

The idea for this month's writing exercise sprouted on a weekend trip to a place called Bodelwyddan Castle. This is what got me thinking.

My children dashed into the maze ahead of us and disappeared from view. We could hear them running along passageways, with the occasional glimpse of them through a gap in a hedge, but we didn't meet up again until we found the exit.

Imagine a maze. What does it look like? What purpose does it serve? Is there a centre or just an exit? Is the entrance also the exit? Are the walls of the maze made from hedges, bricks or some other material? Is it open to the sky or enclosed by a roof? Is it joyful or frightening? Are there distractions along the way?

Are there statues in your maze?

Can you see the light of the sky?

Do you cross waterways?

Are there clues in your maze?
Go on. Tell me about your maze.