For anyone else who wants to start/progress/finis h 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?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 23-Jan-12 12:06:10

hello all.
I am grumpy today. Monday is the day when I have most clear space for writing so I am getting down to it, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be moving very fast - I did a word count thinking I'd have done about 2000 words this morning and it turned out it was only 650 shock
And since the first thing I did today was to scrap 740 words from last week, I appear to have written minus 90 words so far this morning!
Pah!

Hope the rest of you are doing better!

wordfactory Mon 23-Jan-12 12:31:21

LOL tunip.

Checking the word count is the writerly eqivalent of checking the calorie counter on an exercise bike no?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 23-Jan-12 14:05:03

So it would seem grin

Novelist Mon 23-Jan-12 15:43:42

grin so true! We should put a towel over the screen like I've seen people do at the gym, but something tells me that wouldn't work too well!

dontgobacktorockville Tue 24-Jan-12 17:16:41

Hi there,
Can I join? I also lurked last year but this year I'm trying to go for it, with my writing.

1: Yes, this is my first novel. I fiddled around with short stories over the years; had one shortlisted in a competition, and one published in an anthology. But I realised last year what I really want to do is write a novel - after all, I read far more novels than short stories.

2. Preferred genre: the novel I'm writing is YA

3. as above.

4. Plot synopsis - I'm in a lovely writing group who know what I'm writing about, so I'm going to try and preserve my anonymity.

5. When/where do you write? Mornings when ds at nursery/dd at school. I'd like to write in the evening too, but motivation is sorely lacking then, plus dd goes to bed quite late. Sounds a bit weird, but my preferred location to write in is in bed. If I sit at a desk I start to get too stressed about producing lots of words. I find it easier to 'trick' myself into writing, pretend I'm just messing round, then I start to get into it and enjoy it.

6. Useful tips? Read lots and lots in the genre you're interested in. I find my writing suffers if I'm not reading much. I have a few YA books that I continually refer too - for inspiration and to remind me what I'm trying to do.

I'm 20,000 words into first draft, I'd really like to write substantially more this year - finish draft, and re-write.

Sorry that was really long. But hello everyone.

FlyingAardvark Tue 24-Jan-12 17:47:23

Well I'm back. After an awful week which ended in the most awful shift at work where I came home and cried for half an hour. Again, I know the only thing I've ever really really wanted to do in life is write books, so I don't want to put it off for another three years for work and uni, the thought of not being able to write anything for that long is depressing, so I'm going to try an dbe more organised and make time for writing around everything else.
I do have a draft from nanowrimo I want to edit, but I want to change parts of the story too so I' putting that on th backburner for a bit.
I'll probably start on another draft (I have a couple fo ideas in mind) work on that for 3 months, when my current uni course ends then I came start on editing one fo the drafts I already have.
My goal is that at the end of this year I can have one story that I can called finished and one or two more that I can continue to work on.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 25-Jan-12 16:51:03

Dontgobacktorockville - I agree about reading in the genre (are there people who don't do this?). Apart from anything else YA has come a long way since we were reading it in our teens. I write YA because I love reading it and there are so many inspirational writers out there, but sometimes it terrifies me because the bar is so high now in terms of wit, pace, originality and stylish writing. I am trying to seek out and read the very best I can in order to try and write the best I can myself but sometimes I deliberately read things that I know aren't going to be as good just for reassurance!

(I'm into Mal Peet at the moment - Life: An Exploded Diagram was so good I'm reading the football ones now, and they are fantastic.)

What are your particular YA inspirations?

FlyingAardvark - hope you're having a better week this week.

OneCabbageTree Thu 26-Jan-12 07:17:43

Hello! I'd like to join too if that's OK. After years of starting projects, I really want 2012 to be the year that I finish a novel.

1) is this your first novel? Yes, although I have written one novella. It was for a friend and a comedy that is a bit silly, though, so I haven't sent it to any publishers or anything yet. I have started 4 novels (have about 5,000 words on each), but the one I am writing now is the first that I have made real progress on ( so far 40,000 words and a clear idea of what I want to happen)

2) what is your preferred genre? I will read anything as long as it's good and not too pretentious! Including genre fiction, although not such a big fan of sci-fi as a rule.

3) what genre is your current project That halfway house between chick lit and women's lit - you know the type, not really fluffy fiction as deals with some darker themes, but the type of book that can still end up with shoes put on the front cover if the publisher decides to market the book in that way! I'd love to write like Emily Barr or Elizabeth Noble for example.

4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?) It's about a woman coming to terms with the death of her sister

5)when and where do you write: At my dining room table when my baby is asleep

6) any useful tips or advice? Don't tell anyone how you want the book to end or what you want to happen. That way, you have to write it, or else no-one will ever know.

dontgobacktorockville Thu 26-Jan-12 13:56:29

Tunip
Yes, I agree the best YA novels I've read are very tightly plotted, witty and original. In fact, just writing that makes me feel a bit scared about what I've taken on!

My inspirations: Like you, I've enjoyed Mal Peet. I also loved Siobhan Dowd's novels (really, my favourite YA work - I'm not really into visions of dystopia, which many YA novels seem to do). Jenny Downham. I guess David Almond is aimed at younger readers too, but his novels are breathtaking. What about you?

TunipTheVegemal Fri 27-Jan-12 22:45:50

I haven't read any Siobhan Dowd yet though 'A Swift Pure Cry' is on my 'to read' pile.

I love Meg Rosoff. I don't know exactly how she does what she does - deceptive simplicity I think - but her books have an intensity and unexpectedness which I really admire. You never know what she's going to write about next.

I've recently been reading the 'Uglies' trilogy by Scott Westerfeld and was bowled over by that, though I am not into sci-fi generally. Probably I'm more at the realist end of things - I like Tim Bowler.

I am always looking for good historical YA to read. There is a lot that is bloody good EXCEPT that the heroine is always a witch with actual magic powers. I can see why I would want to read about witches if I was a teenage girl but it feels like such a cop-out.

Anyway, just done another thousand words - dh should get stuck on the train more often.... smile

TunipTheVegemal Mon 30-Jan-12 16:45:55

Hello everyone.

Anyone got a juicy wordcount to report?

Mine's going better this week. I've been enjoying watching characters grow more 3-dimensional and go in directions I wasn't quite expecting. (There is one I had pictured as a sort of school bully type who is turning out surprisingly likeable, which may mean I need to kill him <evil laugh>, and the hero's girlfriend is starting to annoy me because she is just too naive and privileged.)

Hope everyone's doing some good writing.

BsshBossh Tue 31-Jan-12 13:34:18

Have had a good week or so of revising my novel. Am currently re-working the all-important first three chapters so they better establish the novel's overarching themes for each character. Very happy with my plot and sub-plots at the moment though so that's a relief.

JollyNiceAllRound Tue 31-Jan-12 13:46:04

May I join in please? Thinking of pretending there's a FebNaNoWriMo . . .

Have been on some of these threads under a different guise (hello Belle/Lady!), but 2012 really needs to be the year I get cracking . . .

TunipTheVegemal Tue 31-Jan-12 17:50:52

Welcome JollyNiceAllRound.
Kayano posted some questions near the start of the thread which a lot of us have answered (not that you have to of course).

BsshBossh - glad your revisions are going well.
I find it really helpful when people post about the process of revision they are going through. Sooner or later I will be revising my draft and I have never seriously revised a novel; I think I'm learning a lot from hearing about what it's like to do, the questions you ask yourself, the ups and downs etc.

JollyNiceAllRound Tue 31-Jan-12 17:56:56

Hi Tunip - you're right, I missed the membership questionnaire!

1) is this your first novel?

sort of . . . no . . . yes . . . I have co-written four but they weren't what I want to do at all, and it was a few years ago, so, in my mind, it's my first! I'm a ghost writer so have done a lot of non-fiction too but finally need to get round to doing my own after threatening it for the past 3 years.

2) what is your preferred genre?

to read - anything; to write - anything (although I don't think I could do romantic or sci-fi/fantasy)

3) what genre is your current project

crime

4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)

oooh no, I'd rather not - I'm very superstitious about things like that!

5)when and where do you write:

kitchen when everyone is at school, the dog has been walked, the toilet has been cleaned, I've eaten my own weight in chocolate, and a million other distractions have been undertaken . . . .

6) any useful tips or advice?

don't pretend that laziness is writer's block or you'll never get out of it . . . . I know I'm bone idle.

dontgobacktorockville Wed 01-Feb-12 11:08:29

Hi all,
I've found it hard to get started this week - this is the first day I've had any writing time, and I feel like I've lost my thread. So, wondering, what do you do when you're finding a scene hard to write?
I've just written about 1000 words of nothing this morning, can't get into the scene at all. Should I just start another? Come back to it, and hope in the meantime my sub-conscious will have tackled it?

BsshBossh Wed 01-Feb-12 11:41:21

I jump to another scene.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 02-Feb-12 14:12:46

Did you find your thread at all Rockville?
It is really hard when you've been away from it for a long time.

I have a question for anyone that's finished a novel - what proportion of the total time did you spend revising it? How many drafts did it take?

GrendelsMum Fri 03-Feb-12 08:08:00

Hi folks

Thanks again for the book recommendation - that was exactly what I needed, and it's made a big difference. I read out my work to my writing group for the first time this week - a big incentive to knuckle down and edit the opening scene, and they were all very positive about it, and had a lot of useful suggestions. And DH is contributing to the Great Novel by buying me a new laptop before this one falls apart.

I've now got a list of plot points that need changing / inserting, and a list of new scenes that need to be written, and I'm working through that - it's something concrete that I can work on and tick off, which I find helpful. I had a bit of time off work to take, and that's been good as well.

Right, back to trying to insert a reference to a secret conspiracy in a meeting of a few folks at a bar...

GrendelsMum Fri 03-Feb-12 08:08:30

p.s. also makes a big difference to see this thread growing and progressing with so many published and aspiring writers!

BsshBossh Fri 03-Feb-12 09:34:01

Yey GrendelsMum smile I'm in forward motion with the revision of my novel now. I love it when motivation kicks in. Now I have to stop wasting free time on Mumsnet - it's such a time suck. The key thing for me is to stop responding to threads (apart from this one) every day as I'm forever checking Threads I'm On. Gah!

FlyingAardvark Fri 03-Feb-12 11:05:39

I've done just over 2000 words, I did nearly delete it all at 1000 words but have stuck with it and first chapter is done roughly. Feeling happier with it now.
I didn't answer Kayano's questions before.
1) is this your first novel?
Yes, sort of, I've been writing for years but never plucked up courage to try and get published, feeling more confident in writing last couple of years but never been happy with a finished product so have a few drafts lying around that can be worked on.
2) what is your preferred genre?
I like doing things with alternative societies, fantasy etc. I guess I write mainly YA fiction.
3) what genre is your current project
Not sure whether it's going to be a future society or just an alternative society, I keep changing my mind!
4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)
No, not really, except it's about people living in segregated communities and very class orientated society. But the actual storyline will probably change as I write.
5)when and where do you write
Sitting on a sofa in my living room with blanket over knee and on laptop, usually in evening but if I'm not working and no major studying then will do some in daytime when kids at school. I've tried doing it at desk in quieter room but seem to do better whem sitting comfy and having Dh make me cups of tea
6) any useful tips or advice?
The advice that's worked best for me was to get the first draft done and work on any editing after. I used to edit as I go and would give up quite quickly as wasn't as fun. It's much better editing once you have your story all written down.

BsshBossh Fri 03-Feb-12 20:22:14

Oh my word, I let DH look over my revisions for the first time ever and he came out with some very insightful and specific comments. I don't know why I am surprised: he's a keen reader of contemporary fiction (my genre) but I guess I thought it would be strange having him comment on my work. Not at all! I think I may have found myself a beta reader.

GrendelsMum Fri 03-Feb-12 20:34:22

Oh, that's great! I showed my DH my novel and he laughed hysterically at one sentence and demanded to know what was wrong with the characters.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 03-Feb-12 21:56:36

That's really handy BsshBossh!
My dh isn't allowed anywhere near mine, because it would all end in tears. Fortunately he's too scared to read it in case he doesn't like it.

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