For anyone else who wants to start/progress/finish writing a book in 2012

(212 Posts)
BsshBossh Fri 06-Jan-12 10:44:03

Sign in here, whether you are published or not smile Perhaps we can keep each other motivated.

I am a first time writer, never been published, have completed two drafts of my novel and am now working on the third - revising/editing.

How about you?

BsshBossh Fri 06-Jan-12 10:47:18

Forgot to add: my genre is contemporary literary fiction.

I have no concrete idea, no definiate genre and just a smattering of thoughts and ideas in my head. I'm in!

minitoot Fri 06-Jan-12 12:18:12

Good luck with it! Hope the writing goes really well.
I have to deliver an 80,000 word MS by March. Better get started then...

FlyingAardvark Fri 06-Jan-12 21:22:01

Signing in hesitantly, I'd love to finally edit and finish something but trying to find the time is impossible at the minute.

I've never been published (never tried to be), I have a few finished novel drafts, a couple I really want to carry on and edit and I'm always starting something new as can never stick to one project at a time.

No particular genre, I like writing, action/adventure style stories and have tried doing fantasy/sci fi more recently which I enjoy.

However I'm a part time employed, part time student, full time mother of two and I'm finding it impossible to find writing time lately, which is frustrating as I love writing as much as possible even if it's just lists of rubbish. I used to write in the evenings but now having to use that time for extra study (and procrastinating on internet). Hopefully I'll get time to have a long sit down and get stuck into something at some point though.

FlyingAardvark Fri 06-Jan-12 21:22:29

oh I'm CassiePalmer from the last thread btw

QueenPodling Sun 08-Jan-12 16:41:23

Ooh, I'll jump in on this one. I've done my first draft and am now editing and finding out I may need another six or seven before it's done!
Current genre is urban fantasy (not PR though)

BsshBossh Sun 08-Jan-12 17:45:52

Yey, a good few of us. I have a full day tomorrow at home but without DD so I am plannng on finishing reading my entire novel and hoping to start actually re-writing/editing this week.

<Draft 2 complete, currently re-reading entire MS in prep for Draft 3>

woollyideas Mon 09-Jan-12 17:06:49

I'm in! Have had a short story published and won a couple of well-respected competitions, but am finding novel writing a different beast entirely.

Have just started second draft, having got terribly stuck on first draft...

I find it very, very difficult to put aside regular writing time because of all the other stuff in my life.

Am very, very impressed with anyone who has finished writing a whole novel!

Kayano Mon 09-Jan-12 17:28:07

I'll join if that is OK! I had started my novel but I never have time! Now I am on leave I have been developing my idea further (characters seemed a bit underdeveloped) and I hope to get it written this year.

I'm scared.

wordfactory Mon 09-Jan-12 19:04:31

I'll pop in and out.

I'm veeeeery demotivated at the moment. I have a draft to get to my ed by the Summer and haven't even started. I feel like sludge. So bored with it all.

I need the DC to go back to school and try to fire myself up a little.

BsshBossh Mon 09-Jan-12 19:16:12

Welcome all! I was completely stuck on my first draft when I started posting on the 2011 thread early last year but found that posting my word counts on here kicked me up the proverbial and soon I was cranking out the words.

No word counts this time round but will post weekly or so with updates on Draft 3 revisions.

wordfactory, as the most experienced and successful novelist on this thread (and perhaps even on MN?) I hope you are able to pop in sometimes. Nothing like a deadline, advance and a contract (and DCs in school) to push you into action.

BsshBossh Mon 09-Jan-12 19:17:41

Kayano are you on mat leave or a career break?

SecretSpi Tue 10-Jan-12 07:36:48

I'll join you, too, although I may be a bit intermittent. My first children's novel is going to be published in April by a small press. It's a retro-style adventure and the whole publishing thing will be a big adventure for me, too!

At some point I need to get my head down and get working on something new and there are three candidates in my head at the moment.

Like most of us on here, I'm time-starved, what with running my own business, being a mum and writing!

Thanks for starting the thread, good luck on the revisions and editing - and good luck to everyone else on here!

GrendelsMum Tue 10-Jan-12 08:19:23

Hello folks! Thanks for starting up this January thread.

Congrats to SecretSpy, and best wishes to WordFactory for your upcoming novel.

I wrote a first draft of my current novel during Nanowrimo in November, and my plan for 2012 is to take it to a place where it can be submitted to agents. It's a fantasy novel set in a dark city with a kick-ass heroine who's probably somewhere on the AS spectrum. I'm working full time (my job also involves a lot of writing, but on the marketing side of things), so I need to get more sorted about finding concentrated spans of time to write and revise. I'm doing a brief amount of time every morning to keep my writing muscles going, but I really need more than that for revision, I think. I'm joining a creative writing course this term, and I really hope that will help me with the revisions. I've written first drafts of two other novels, and in the past revision is what I've found difficult, so I'm hoping hte course will support me with concrete techniques for that, as well as being an incentive to keep going.

wordfactory Tue 10-Jan-12 10:32:49

Finding the time to write is the key factor. It is a hugely time consuming exercise. That said, the more you do it, the faster and better you get, so actually soending time writing now will save more time in the long run...crazy logic, but true.

I have decided to start splittingup my days into sections. A part for the novel, a part for other non-contracted writing projects, a part for my businesses and PR work etc and a part for domestic chores (boo). I'm not sure yet how much time to spend on each, but I think I'm going to be strict otherwise they bleed into one another and one aspect gets thoroughly neglected.

I'm also giving serious consideration to taking up a lecture post I've been offered (only one and half days a week). Not great money, but I really fancy it.

Novelist Tue 10-Jan-12 16:14:18

Hi again, everyone. Sounds like you have all got your writing goals sorted out for the first part of 2012!

I can't remember exactly what mine were in the 2011 thread, but I think I mentioned pitching an e-serial in one of the writing threads. It ended up selling, which is super-exciting. Except now, of course, I have to write it. About 100,000 words in just a few months (faints). It actually all pulled off in a big way with a nice big fuss about movie rights and international rights, which was exciting. And I'll need to hang on to a bit of excitement, because the first half of 2012 is going to be mostly about BICHOK, as they say (Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard).

Anyway, hope you are already getting some words down and (mostly) enjoying the process!

Kayano Tue 10-Jan-12 19:38:25

I've got a months holiday then mat leave. It's my first baby so I'm not committing to any timetable for writing yet grin

wordfactory Wed 11-Jan-12 10:02:33

My DC have gone back to school today.

Now I have to gte on with it...no excuses.

Kayano Wed 11-Jan-12 16:11:16

As an introduction I think we should answer some questions grin

1) is this your first novel?
2) what is your preferred genre?
3) what genre is your current project
4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)
5)when and where do you write
6) any useful tips or advice?

What do you think?

GrendelsMum Wed 11-Jan-12 18:47:01

Would the more experienced writers on this thread be able to give me some concrete tips on revising a first draft? I've re-read it and have begun by noting weaknesses in the plot and areas where people seem to be acting out of character. I'm now planning to re-write those bits. Does this seem sensible?

I also need tips for motivation - Nanowrimo is great for me as I have the daily target and know how well I'm doing. How can I get the same sort of incentive with revising the novel? I think I need to break it down into mini-goals from the big fat goal of writing a publishable novel.

wordfactory Wed 11-Jan-12 19:37:29

KAYANO I will try to answer.

1. I am working on my seventh novel.
2. I write crime/thrillers.
3. See above.
4. It is set in a mental hospital and deals with the murder of a patient by another patient.
5. I have a designated study but write all over the house really. I also write whilst waiting for the DC's school bus to arrive, in the park, anywhere really.
6. My biggest tip is to plan out your novel in advance. I know some poeple hate to work that way, but it is a sure fire route to a. ensuring you actually finish. b. ensuring that the story works before you spend six months writing the damned thing and c. minimising revisions.

wordfactory Wed 11-Jan-12 19:43:48

Grendel revisions are the worst part of the job imvho.

First, you need to ask yourself does your story work as a whole. This is very difficult to gauge as the writer, or I certainly find it so. Get someone esle (a trusted reader )to tell you.

Then ask yourself if your central characters are rounded enough. Do they draw you in? Are they interesting enough to carry the story?

Then read the book scene by scene. Ask yourself what the scene is about. Ask what critical element it brings to your story. If it's just exposition - chuck it out.

Then look at each sequence of scenes and ask yourself if they ebb and flow. Is there ying and yang?

Then last of all look to the writing. I think new writers gte far too hung up on this. Beautiful prose is fab but is worth sweet FA wihtout a stand out story.

BsshBossh Wed 11-Jan-12 19:49:49

Yes, I'm in Kayano:

1) is this your first novel?
I wrote my first novel at university in my early 20s that was taken on by an agent who sold it to Random House but a variety of internal issues at the publishers (including my editor leaving), my agent leaving for mat leave and me moving abroad meant that the novel fell by the wayside. I wrote a second novel that a new agent at the same agency took on but I retrospectively considered it too rubbish even to bother with the asked for rewrite so it became history. Hey, so I was young and foolish grin. So, many many years later - this is my third novel. But I now count it as my first!

2) what is your preferred genre?
Contemporary literary.

3) what genre is your current project
Same as above.

4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)
Don't want to at the moment as several people know it in RL and I want to remain anonymous online.

5)when and where do you write
Mornings when DD is at nursery and sometimes at night after her bedtime but before DH returns home.

6) any useful tips or advice?
I do a full outline before I start writing.

BsshBossh Wed 11-Jan-12 19:51:20

Oh yes, to answer where I write: I use a dedicated study too in our house. DH uses it too wen he's home but as he works FT it's essentially mine smile

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