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Got a novel/play/screenplay in your head? Get it on paper! Here is the page count thread for hopeful and actual writers.

(408 Posts)
wilbur Mon 21-Jan-08 10:20:56

Are you a writer in need of some motivation? Post here each day or whenever you can with your page count. Or post your hopes for how many pages you want to write each day and then come back and see if you managed them. Even if they are rubbish, at least you will have them down on paper and can make them brilliant at a later date.

I will start. I am hoping to write a second full-length screenplay before August 2008. I have two days a week where I have time to write my own stuff and I am aiming to do 5 pages on each of those days.

Toots Mon 21-Jan-08 12:37:18

That's fantastic Wilbur. I'm cheering you on, and would like to join you.

My problem has always been rushing to script before I've worked out my story/stories properly. So I am forcing myself not to race into it this time until I've got proper emotionally satisfying journies for my four protagonists with obstacles (internal and external) and end of act turning points and all the beats worked out.

Clearly I sound like class ponce and have been reading the 'how to' books but this is only because all previous versions of this script have fallen apart for the above reason.

Toots Mon 21-Jan-08 12:40:23

So..... not five pages a day for me just yet, but would like bollocking support to get my b,c and d stories complete (My 'A' story is pretty much there) so that I can join you on 5 a day.

wilbur Mon 21-Jan-08 13:10:19

Cool! TBH, I'm a bit like you too - I have trouble with endings and should work them out a bit better. For once, though, I have the ending in mind, and now I have to get there... Good luck.

SueBaroo Mon 21-Jan-08 13:10:30

Ha! Just the thread I was hoping would exist! I'm writing a children's book at the moment, and I've completely run out of lebkuchen, which is what usually inspires me...

thebecster Mon 21-Jan-08 13:19:18

Oh yes, please can I join. I won't start having page counts for a few weeks as I also have some heavy lifting work to do in terms of story development and I'm still working full time at the moment and have a 20 month old DS...

I finished my first novel (which was for kids) in November, which I'm about to start sending out. I'm braced for rejection but I loved writing it so much (although it took me 10 years to finish it blush... Now I want to get cracking on my second novel which is for grown-ups. So I'll set myself goals & come back to say whether I managed it rather than page count for now. My goal this week is to do 4 hours work on story development for my second novel. My goals will get more ambitious after I've left my full time job next week.

Good luck toots, wilbur and SueBaroo!

wilbur Mon 21-Jan-08 13:27:17

I reckon it's fine to post - "I did some work on my story today" if there is no actual page count. I went to a lovely seminar once where the moderator said that working towards writing, even if it is thinking things out while you hoover, is still writing. I do believe that, but there comes a time when you have to get something concrete down, although it sounds like you;re pretty good at that already, becster. I have a t-shirt from Writers' Bootcamp (didn't go, was given the t-shirt) that says "The Secret To Writing Is Writing". V true.

Right am signing off MN to go and do some proper writing.

thebecster Mon 21-Jan-08 13:39:43

So true 'the secret to writing is writing'. I'm getting off MN too, no hope of writing anything while mithering about in 'Active Conversations'!

rookiemater Mon 21-Jan-08 13:43:57

I've had the first chapters of mine done for about 4 years now blush

I keep promising myself I will get it packaged up and sent off somewhere but I never do sigh.... Does anyone know the name of that website where you can put your stuff on and people vote for it ?

I might lurk around there and see if I can build up to putting it on there.

wilbur Mon 21-Jan-08 17:47:17

I don't know about websites, but I know there are online writers' groups for sharing work. Every now and then I buy myself a screenwriting magazine, to give myself inspiration. Presumably there are similar for novelists.

miobombino Mon 21-Jan-08 19:14:48

Ooh, can I join too ?

I've wanted to write for years and have been seriously trying to carve out a little time to do so over the past six months or so, but with a preschooler and 3 older children I'm finding it hard not to be distracted by domestic commitments.

I have completed a couple of short stories which I'm hoping to sell to the popular market - Woman's Weekly/Take a Break Fiction Feast etc., and am working on more.

However long term I really want to write what I'd call a suspenseful psychological novel dealing with the dark side of apparently normal people. There may or may not be an actual crime involved; haven't fully completed my plan. Maybe I need to go with the flow - I have completed two chapters. However I'm finding the length of a novel daunting.

thebecster Wed 23-Jan-08 12:22:08

Miobombino, know what you mean... I'm daunted by writing my next one because I know how much work went into writing the first (and how much work there is still to do in terms of sending the darned thing out). It's all very scarey... Glad of this thread as I've been feeling extremely daunted myself. I haven't done any of my four hours story planning yet for this week. Hoping that at the weekend I can park DS with my parents for a couple of hours at least while I go & write at their dining room table. Here's hoping grin

wilbur Wed 23-Jan-08 14:16:50

I think daunting's a good work to describe it really. I manage to scare myself regularly, even when my writing is going okay - last week I logged on to the BBC Talent website for a bit of inspiration and then felt completely dejected when I saw that all their new talent was about 15 years younger than me. sad Getting the work ready, getting it out there, sending work to someone for judgment, there are so many steps, it can stop you before you've even started.

I did quite a lot of random thought writing for my new story yesterday, ideas for scenes and situations. It's a start, at least.

madamez Wed 23-Jan-08 14:20:34

I'm joining in too as am (for the first time in quite a while) doing a bit of writing that feels quite 'alive' - have been dabbling with ideas over the past year or so but all fizzled out.

wilbur Wed 23-Jan-08 14:22:42

Great! Nice to have you here, madamez. What are you working on?

madamez Wed 23-Jan-08 22:57:45

It's a novel, or hopefully it will be: kind of a thriller rather than my usual stuff. You're doing a screenplay, aren't you? Sounds interesting.

wilbur Thu 24-Jan-08 19:28:33

Yes, it's a screenplay, but I'm feeling a bit grr about it this afternoon as I had 4 whole free hours and did precisely nothing, partly due to domestic stuff that was unavoidable and partly due to being crap. Does anyone manage to ring-fence time to write? Or do you get distracted by piles of laundry or pasta sauce that needs making?

miobombino Thu 24-Jan-08 22:48:34

I'm very distractable...but sometimes i have to be. I try to streamline food buying/cooking by doing most online/batch cooking, but there just are days when minutiae catch up and have to be dealt with.

eg today saw me supervising handyman clearing drains/ sorting out cupboard hinges/replacing transformers in lights etc. yes I gave him a list, but he was there with his queries and problems. Nice guy, but IN MY WAY.

Looking forward to 2.5 hours tomorrow morning when the house is empty before nursery pick up. Going off to bed now to plan tomorrow's writing.

hunkermunker Thu 24-Jan-08 22:50:18

<lurks, procrastinating>

bero Thu 24-Jan-08 22:53:14

<Lurks. In (ha) 'progress': An academic book, a dormant novel, and a collection of poems>

wilbur Fri 25-Jan-08 10:38:33

Hello hunker and bero. Lurk away! What's the academic book about bero?

Mio - yes I batch cook and keep meaning to put my foot down with dh and make him batch cook something every week - he's a very good cook and every now and then does something for the freezer, which is a joy. I think I should have a look at the MN recipes for some new batch food ideas. Your morning with the handyman sounds soooo familiar though (although nice to have clean drains, mended cupboards and working lights though)

My plans to do a little more work today to make up for yesterday have been scuppered by vomit this morning. Poor dd was up last night and then was sick again this morning. I think this is because I emailed motherinferior smugly about how we had avoided the dreaded D&V bug. Still, these things happen and I will get doown to it next week. I will, I will.

motherinferior Fri 25-Jan-08 10:40:49


I am stuck stuck stuck as a stuck thing at 25,000 words, have been stuck for ages, bleuch.

berolina Fri 25-Jan-08 10:46:31

wilbur - it's about, in the vaguest of terms, motherhood in the UK and Germany. I have a gendery literaturey D. Phil. Would love to say more about both but am worried about being too identifiable. My novel has been languishing for a year and I write a poem about, oh, every two months. <hums 'dedicaaaaation's what you need' from that Record Breaqkers programme hmm>.

(I am bero, btw - was going through an abbreviated phase )

wilbur Fri 25-Jan-08 10:48:48

Ah, MI, hello! 25,000 words - wow, well done. Are you stuck in a I-dont-know-what-comes-next way, or in a I-have-no-time-to-get-to-this way? As you know, I have barely written anything more than shopping lists for the last couple of years, so this thread is a way to kick myself up the bum.

thebecster Fri 25-Jan-08 10:52:58

On ring-fencing time & procrastination...

Well of course I'm using this thread because I'm far from perfect at staying motivated myself, so take my advice with liberal helpings of salt... But for finishing my first novel I found this book so helpful, and I use his techniques for getting more done in very short bursts of time. I'll be using it for finishing my next book as well. Especially the 'timed bursts' technique which is fantastic.

Having said that I've still done precisely NOTHING on my second book so far this week. I've been at work though. Tomorrow and tomorrow...

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