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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?

minitoot Fri 13-Jan-12 19:33:08

Dedalus, there are no rules, just write! smile Get yourself a notebook, set some time aside daily to write (could be on your commute, could be your lunchbreak, could be an hour after work in a cafe, whenever works). If you don't know what to write, just scribble down observations about people and things around you, or write a stream of consciousness, or a diary entry, or ideas for a novel - anything that comes to mind. So long as you're having fun, that's the main thing. And I agree that no-one ever knows if they're good, they just write.

wordfactory Fri 13-Jan-12 19:37:28

Novelist I have an outline now and I know what I'm trying to explore. I'm trying to consider people's cracking points. Why can one person stand x and another y. I also want to explore what happens if someone goes beyiond that point. Are they broken permenantly.

My plan is to write the first draft bu the end of April. Then revsions and taking advice from agent and trusted reader. Then sub to my ed by Summer.

LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 13-Jan-12 19:39:18

Hello smile I used to be called Belledechocchipcookie.

My novel's going well, it should be finished within the next few weeks. Then I have to edit it. No news on my picture books yet though, these publishers are slooooow!

minitoot Fri 13-Jan-12 19:39:40

1) is this your first novel?
No, I have three children's books of my own out and three are coming out this year in partnership with a packager.
2) what is your preferred genre?
Children's fiction, 9 +, adventure/fantasy/alternative worlds.
3) what genre is your current project
YA historical
4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)
Unfortunately not, I'm not allowed to talk about it! I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true. It's kind of a hot topic and another one with a publisher/packager so I'm not in total control.
5)when and where do you write
Anywhere. I've moved too much to be picky.
6) any useful tips or advice?
See above - time is a writer's friend, and write what you enjoy smile

minitoot Fri 13-Jan-12 19:40:01

Oh, and good luck everyone with your books!

LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 13-Jan-12 19:49:35

1) is this your first novel?
2) what is your preferred genre?
Children's fiction, 9 +, adventure/fantasy/alternative worlds.
3) what genre is your current project
9+ fantasy
4) can you give us a brief plot synopsis (25 words or less?)
Boy and Phoenix Vs evil wizard.
5)when and where do you write
Anywhere and everywhere. At home mainly though.
6) any useful tips or advice?
Write the last chapter first.

BsshBossh Fri 13-Jan-12 20:11:05

Hi belle, sorry Lady smile

LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 13-Jan-12 20:28:25

You can call me belle. How are you? smile

BsshBossh Fri 13-Jan-12 21:06:22

Very well Lady. Still plugging away at the book but am now on third proper/full draft so progress smile

LadySybilDeChocolate Fri 13-Jan-12 21:07:40

That's really good. Keep at it!! smile

GrendelsMum Mon 16-Jan-12 08:46:04

Hi all,

Thanks very much for the helpful comments. I'll buy that book and get working on it. I'm also going to another round of advanced creative writing classes as from tomorrow, so I'll see how that goes. I'm also going to make a clear list of 'what I have to do to get draft 2 finished', which I can then work through and tick off, which should help keep me motivated!

wordfactory Mon 16-Jan-12 12:35:49

Onwards and upwards mes amis grin.

Another 1000 words down.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 18-Jan-12 10:22:58

Hi all, been lurking on this thread.

I'm about 15000 words into my first draft. Never been published apart from a couple of short stories which in retrospect seem to have come out in finished form by accident. Learning to structure an entire novel is a whole different ballgame; in particular I have never done any serious rewriting before and have never seriously put my mind to LEARNING to write. In some ways my goals for this year are more to do with learning to revise and generally upping my game, than getting to the end of something - in the past I have managed to get a lot of words onto the page (2 unpublished novels) but nothing even approaching the quality it needs to be. Have already found some of the advice on here useful (thank you Wordfactory!)

Some similarities with BsshBossh's situation in that I had a publisher interested in something I was doing many years ago but nothing came of it and I am now getting serious again.

In answer to Kayano's questions:
1) Yes this is my first
2) YA. Because of my previous career and other experience I feel I ought to be doing YA historical....
3) ..... and this is YA, but set 30 or 40 years in the future.
4) My heroine is a teenage poacher who gets into terrorism when her geeky brother is headhunted by bankers and she discovers the truth about the division between the rich and the poor.
5) We have a very small study in the loft conversion. I write when older kids are at school and youngest is at preschool (I am a SAHM). I am lucky to have a dh who thinks spending a whole bunch of money on preschool purely so I can write is a good use of money and also, fortunately, the village preschool is very cheap.
6) I am too inexperienced to feel I should be handing out tips, but I have always liked Dorothea Brande's advice that the first thing you have to do is to organise your life so that you can write.
The second bit of advice that is really working for me at the moment is something I read on a YA author's website recently (I think it was Tim Bowler) - he said he sits down and writes his words every day whether he is in the mood or not, and that whether or not he is in the mood doesn't seem to make much difference to the quality of the words.

I am actually quite angry with all the talented people (all men, actually) that I knew when I was at university who were publishing brilliant short stories as undergraduates but never went anywhere with their writing because they were 'waiting for inspiration'. One of my schoolfriends is now a successful writer and she showed no signs of writing at all at school, but after university she got a job in a bookshop then did an MA in children's fiction in her spare time and, in short, got on with it!
So I am trying to get on with it. And had better do so now. smile

Hope everyone else's writing is going well and look forward to chatting some more.

LuluMa Wed 18-Jan-12 11:07:17

Oh am tempted! I have been writing a blog (in French) since 2010 (birth of my second son) . I have always liked writing and my teachers used to think I wasn't bad at it (I won a small local poetry competition in the South of France aged 12). Now... I'd love to have a go at writing a short novel but am SCARED!! (I am a big fan of Nancy Huston and that's the style am going for - psychological,introspective ). I stumbled across this website
Any good? Any other advice on how to make the jump?

wordfactory Wed 18-Jan-12 11:17:17

I have written the opener (can't call it an epilogue as it's a news report), and the first four scenes intrducing my MCs and the set up. About 4,000 words.

I was all set to write the next scene which is a sub plot and a completely different narrative strand from the main one and...I've decided it's shit. I need another one. Thing is I haven't got one. Yet.

Should I wait until somehting occurs or just leave a blank and plough on with the main narrative, returning when I have inspiration? WWYD?

TunipTheVegemal Wed 18-Jan-12 11:25:49

plough on.
Because it sounds like you haven't really got into the swing of this book yet and I would guess that once you are in the swing of it you'll be in a better position to come up with the new subplot.

<disclaimer: I know nothing!!>

Novelist Wed 18-Jan-12 14:08:27

I'd do the opposite and plan until it made sense, then start writing again. I started planning a lot more around book two, when I realised I was wasting a lot of time moving huge chunks of writing around in my mss, re-writing etc.. I do much better with a strong plan now and don't re-write much at all.

I guess it all depends how into plans you are! Could you write other bits of the story while you think about it? Or do you have to write start to finish (I do).

Hi to Tunip and LuluMa! LuluMa, what do you think you'd like to write?

wordfactory Wed 18-Jan-12 14:15:00

I could easily write the main storyline, leaving spaces where the second narrative fits (I have chosen my structure) as I have a detailed plan for the main narrative.

I did have a detailed plan for the second narrative too...but it's pants in retrospect.

I've sort of got a new idea now. I can see my second narrative character. I can hear her voice too. But I have no plot for her yet, or any idea how the two narratives wille ventually merge. Hmmmm...

Novelist Wed 18-Jan-12 16:23:59

It really is like a jigsaw puzzle sometimes, isn't it?

Trying to finish off writing the first draft of episode three before we go to Dublin for the weekend. 3000 words yesterday, 2200 so far today. Just have to pull another 3000 out of my hat before tomorrow night. Hopefully will pull it off. Would be nice to go away and not be in the middle of an episode. Also, would see me halfway through, which would be something!

LuluMa Thu 19-Jan-12 11:24:25

Hello again Novelist! Sounds like you've been busy! I'd love to write a short novel where the same event is described/narrated by different members of a family and how each character react/relate to the events in a very different way. I am thonking one chapter per character but that's how far as I got with my brainstorming!!!

BsshBossh Thu 19-Jan-12 11:25:56

Grrrr, well unlike some of you productive lot, I have done nothing on my draft 3 this week. Simple laziness/procrastination. Well, it can only get better from here, can't it <hopeful emoticon>. No opportunities for writing this week and weekend as sole charge of DD whilst DH is on business trip and have other things to do after her bedtime. But there's always next week - fresh start, and all that - isn't there? <again with the hopeful emoticon>.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 19-Jan-12 11:29:49

LuluMa, that sounds fun, and it also sounds like a really good way to develop skills like writing in different voices.

wordfactory Thu 19-Jan-12 12:34:56

Right. I've settled on a new second narrative and really have my character's voice nailed (I write from very close POV).

Up to 5,000 words today.

FaneFeyre Thu 19-Jan-12 15:47:01

Hello. Been lurking and I'd like to join if I may?

I've been published a little bit (individual short stories & essays), but not half as much as I'd like, 3 years on from a Master's in CW and a year on from receiving a grant to work on a collection of short stories. I find that I really struggle with self-confidence and get easily knocked back in the face of (what can feel like never-ending) rejection....SO - I am hoping that 2012 will be the year I can just toughen up, get out of my own way, and get this short fiction collection together!

Um... I am also 39 weeks' pregnant with my first baby, so I am not expecting miracles. grin

Best of luck, everyone.

SecretSpi Sat 21-Jan-12 17:17:42

OK, my answers to Kayano's questions.

1. First novel?
No, I have three unpublished ones that will remain that way and one to be published by a small independent press in April - yipppeee!
2. Preferred genre?
Children's 9-12, 11+
3. Genre of current project?
It'll either be another one in the 9-12 adventure series OR a historical mystery for 11+
4. Brief synopsis?
A Boy's Own Adventure for the 21st Century Boy (or girl...)
Tom's Midnight Garden meets Biggles
5. When and where do I write?
I'm self-employed so mainly in my home office, but have been known to write on trains, planes etc.
6. Useful tips or advice?
Be über-persistent. Learn to take criticism. Keep believing in yourself.
....all easy enough to say, I know.....

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