Who wants to join me in starting to write a novel in 2013?

(212 Posts)
milk Fri 21-Dec-12 09:37:34

As subject says: Who wants to join me in starting to write a novel in 2013?

I thought we could push each other on to get it finished smile Similar to a losing weight thread, except it would be for gaining words grin

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 11-Jan-13 17:19:15

Thanks for the encouragement turnip, fingers crossed for the next one.
Tilly I'd be interested in a self publishing for the Kindle, its one of the avenues I am looking at

Hi, how was the week for you all?

To me it wasn't the most productive week, but I managed to write just about 1500 words. Lots of plotting and character development (god, that's hard! I still think the whole thing is not 'together' enough)

By next sunday i hope to have written at least 1500 words of the main story (on top of the plotting and other stuff)

icepole Mon 14-Jan-13 14:02:46

I managed to write a bit too plus some development. I got distracted writing a couple of short stories.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 14-Jan-13 16:16:43

Not a great week for me.

I unexpectedly finished my story but at 33,500its a good 16,000 short, so I'm now starting to review. I suppose it was ok because I managed to add another 1000 words and started writing a new scene to add in and did about 600 words on that. Oh and made a good first daraft on my synopsis.

Actually put like that it wasn't so bad smile

Rookie, typically I can't find that article now! There are loads out there about self-publishing to e-books, but can't find the one I read.

I haven't managed to do much, did a rough outline and some character profiles.

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried the Snowflake Method?. A friend uses it and swears by it, I tried it but it made the story feel a bit too contrived for me. the words didn't flow easily and I spent ages fiddling around with odd sentences. But just wondered if anyone else had tried it?

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 14-Jan-13 19:09:53

No worries tillie thanks for checking.

1,100 words yesterday. BTW, am I boring you to death with my updates?
<rhetorical question>

InsomniaQueen Tue 15-Jan-13 22:30:24

Nothing done here (again) mostly have been busy with DD and worrying about DH. Hopefully off to the in laws soon - maybe I can hand the baby over and find some time for writing.

What is the word count aim for this week? What should I be up to now?

I've been doing 500 words here and there but the closer to the end I get, the more I slow down!
The book I'm writing atm is non fiction, so it's slightly different from a novel but it might be interesting to apply the snowflake method to my almost written novel!
Usually I just put finger to keyboard and the words come out. I get the feeling thats okay for the first draft but I'm going to need some structure at some point.

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 09:49:37

<lurks in lurky corner>

Does anyone else not have a problem writing 1000s of words, but actually getting somewhere with the plot? blush

I have two unfinished stories (dignifying them to call the novels I think!) which got to about 40k and 80k, but I'm not sure I ever really settled on an outline, never mind wrote all of it. So I think I need a different kind of target, but not sure how.

Off to have a look at the links everyone has posted.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 17-Jan-13 09:57:52

In that case why don't you have a go at plotting before you write? Have a look at some of the formal plot structures (three act, six act etc) and then when you come up with an idea for a story, brainstorm it by trying to write down what would happen in the different acts. A lot of people don't do this because they find the plot emerges as they write, but if you don't, it might be worth trying a different tack.

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 10:03:27

Thanks, Tunip. That sounds like exactly the kind of advice I need. I am reading the snowflake method article and it's an eye-opener! I'm realising that nearly everything I write is basically at the deepest level of the snowflake's fractality, if that makes sense.

Madbuslady, that's exactly where I am now. I want to have all the main scenes listed so I know where things are going. Otherwise I just write a lot of rambling nonsense and stop midway...

It is being quite useful (I'm not using the snowflake). Sometimes I'm thinking of a scene and I see I need a change in the beginning of the story to make that bit work. So I change it in my scene listing, instead of having to rewrite everything. I'm very hopeful that this time I'll be able to write my novel from beginning to end (something that I never managed before!)

elfycat Thu 17-Jan-13 18:33:56

I've been tidying up the story I'm working on. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo and got to 50k. While writing I knew that scenes would need removing and other plot points moved around. So I now have 15k words sad

So now to actually write my novel...

TunipTheVegedude Fri 18-Jan-13 16:59:41

I'm hardly going to take any words directly from the first draft to the second draft - perhaps some dialogue, but even then the beats and dialogue tags can be improved - I've missed a lot of opportunities to get the most out of them.
So I have got to write the whole thing over again to but it doesn't feel at all like starting from scratch - eg there are places where my first draft tells me what something looked like, then for my second draft I take that as a basis and try and rewrite the description to capture the emotional tone and pick up on the themes so I get the maximum hit out of it.
There are some bits that are completely new. I've got one character who, in my first draft, only came in the first half of the novel. Now I've decided to bung her in the second half and marry her to the heroine's father. Which has a knock-on effect for the scenes where she appeared, obviously....

EATmum Fri 18-Jan-13 22:45:51

New lurker here.

I've done odd bits of writing now for 20 years, and a certain significant birthday features in the year ahead which is helping with my determination to do something productive now. The novel I'm now trying to get down on paper has been in my head for over 10 years!

Two things - one tip, one advice requested. The advice I'd like is how you shut out the rest of the world to write. I'm trying to section off a couple hours each week when I don't have to work, look after the kids, do stuff round the house etc - but how to keep yourself focused when you're there? I lack discipline, and then there's MN, FB etc

Tip from me is Scrivener - writing software. It wouldn't suit everyone, and is a little complicated to start with, but has great functionality. It combines sections of text with index cards, so you can switch between plotting, character development, scene descriptions, research - and it keeps everything in one place. A friend recommended it to me, and its about £30 with a 30 day free trial (which is 30 days of actual use, not consecutive days). Highly recommend - with the caveat of my clear lack of focus as above, so I may just love a gadget that I can focus on as distraction! grin

MadBusLady Sat 19-Jan-13 08:46:07

Hm, that sounds interesting. I am very much a "First I must buy the software!" person. grin And some stationery of course.

EATmum Sat 19-Jan-13 09:16:10

Oh yes, stationery too. I have a dreadful addiction to Bureau Direct ...wink

TunipTheVegedude Sat 19-Jan-13 10:08:29

EATMum - Write Or Die. It plays scratchy violin music at you if you stop writing.
You can use the online version for free, but if you have a problem with distracting yourself with Facebook and Mumsnet, you might be better paying £6 to download the desktop version so you can work without your internet plugged in.
(I have recommended this to lots of people but I have no financial interest in it, honest - I just started using it in the autumn and it really helped me avoid wasting time when I was struggling. Hardly ever use it now but the times I have have been priceless.)

I got Scrivener just before Christmas and I must say I am loving it. It took a fair bit of work to get my head round initially but once you're in there it's really intuitive. I haven't used the index cards much but the way you can have your novel laid out scene by scene in the binder, and merge, split, move around and rename files so easily is just lovely. So much easier than scrolling through massive Word documents and taking forever to find files.

EATmum Sat 19-Jan-13 13:00:06

That sounds good Tunip, I will investigate! I think Scrivener is great. I tend to "just write" rather than plan - but I've tried to do the reverse this time and the index cards really help. Even if I plain ignore my earlier planning when I go off at a tangent!

I like Write or Die as well. I tend to set myself a target so I will either give myself 45 minutes or 2000 words and then I can check MN etc for 15 mins, then back to writing etc. Helps me to focus anyway.

I like the sound of Scrivener, I may investigate that for my birthday!

theykillhorses Sat 19-Jan-13 17:05:39

write or die is brilliant, really useful for keeping focus on bashing the words out, then edit at your leisure

InsomniaQueen Sun 20-Jan-13 01:27:14

Was catching up with the thread and realised how terribly behind I am. I'm now on 5700 words. I've managed to write one half of my prologue tonight and do some chapter outlines which I know will help me when I get stuck with where to go next.

I think the aim was to be on 9000 words by next Friday (25th January). Is anyone actually on track? I'm kind of hoping not as I'm quite a way off and can't seem to find time between the daily jobs and 10 month old DD. Which is why most of my writing is done at silly times in the morning (like now)!

Wrote about 620 words today, so I guess I've done more than 1500 this week in total.

However, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING! I'm plotting and arranging all the scenes (I don't follow the snowflake method, but I decided to list all the scenes with a brief explanation in an excel, like it says in the method).

My story is getting more complex and my characters are getting themselves tangled in bizarre situations. Is it supposed to happen? I have an overwhelming feeling that I have no clue of what I'm doing.

Please, real writers, tell me that's normal smile

And good luck to all of us!

pixi2 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:33:55

Me me me me! 17000 and a bit words. Should be on it now not lurking on mumsnet. 10 more mins of work then off to bed as DH is up at 3am and will invariably wake me up needing to know where his clean clothes are (away, where they should be) as he hasn't packed his bag for this week yet.

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