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Back on The Case

 

58134299326__A2C5BD24-4BA8-48C6-BDD0-8F722A1CA926My blog came to a bit of a halt during CampNano in July.  I had a deadline looming for the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) New Writers Scheme (NWS) and had got myself tied up in knots with my my ever changing plot. In the end I remembered what my creative writing tutor, Rosemary Dun, often says and I heard her voice in my head, ‘Keep it simple stupid’ (KISS) so that’s what I decided to do and cut out a few darlings in the process. 

I’m pleased to report, that as of yesterday, I finished my second draft and I’m a lot happier with my plot. I hope that the next rewrite will take weeks rather than months and I can get it cleaned up and start to look at the actual writing craft. I’m putting it away for a month while I work on my new project during NaNoWrMo which I started today.

I started this project whilst attending the https://www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk  course called ‘Novel in a Year’ with author Jenny Kane. We meet every few months for a workshop on novel writing and have a word count goal to reach by the next meeting. Jenny also provides a critique on our work. I’ve only been to one session so far, but it was very inspiring and I’m up to 10,000 words. The other half of Imagine, Alison Knight, also runs this course so if you live in the South West of UK and this is something you fancy attending, then check out their website.

Catch up with you all tomorrow.

Suzanne

Camp Nano, day 7, 8 and 9 :)

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Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

 

Camp Nano – Days 7 and 8…and 9!

Sunday was my day of rest! I didn’t open my manuscript, although I was working on my main character in my thoughts!  Having got over my ‘I’ve got a dull character’ wobbly I got back to the rewrite yesterday. I’ve now got to the stage where I’m making plot changes and have added a new scene of 1500 words. Adding a scene feels a lot more like a rewrite than a few edits; as I said earlier the second half is where most of the work is needed. As I write, I’m realise that it’s not  necessarily my character’s personality that is awry, it’s that she’s not always leading the action, so I think that when I am on rewrite #2 I will change some of the ‘ideas’ and ‘suggestions’ made by other people to be the fab ideas of my main character!

I’m not going to be able to spend as much time this week on the novel because my daughter is starring in her last school musical. We seem to have been roped into making props and were up last night making a four foot rocket to be strapped onto someone’s back. I’ve already done three trips to the school this morning – ferrying various props in. All the joys of parenthood. I’m sure that when I watch her I’ll be extremely proud.

Are there any other Camp nano peeps out there? Or those who are planning to do Nanowrimo later in the year?

Suzanne

Camp Nano – Day 6

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I got up early as per usual, made coffee, opened my MacBook, when a notification flashed up in the top right hand corner of my display…an email from the Open University asking me to accept a first class honours degree in the Arts (Creative Writing and Music). Such an amazing feeling. I rushed upstairs and ran around the bedroom like a five year old celebrating, as hubby looked on smiling. It’s a great feeling. But – I’m no longer a student – so what next? 

This summer I have a lot planned – holiday wise! The only writing I’ll be doing is the rewrite of my novel. Come September I’ll have a look at the wider creative writing scene – short stories, maybe a bit of flash, scriptwriting, join a writing group or two. I have an idea for novel number 2 and will be attending a writers retreat and ‘write a novel in a year’ with Imagine Creative (check them out http://www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk). It would be good to get out of the house, to get a part time job, meet people, get ideas, so will have a look around for something too. 

So, back to the writing. I haven’t written a word yet today but I did lay in bed in the wee hours thinking about my main character. She’s got to a stage where she’s going slightly crazy with all the obstacles which have been thrown at her to hinder the achievement of her goal.  The thing is I’m not sure if she’s gone too crazy to the point where the reader might get a bit fed up with her. Not sure if I have gone too far. I don’t want her to be perfect but need to stop short of ‘utter nutter’. I’ve decided that I need to do more work on her character. That it will time well spent to focus on this today – rather than rewriting any more as I may have to go back over things already written. I was introduced to ‘The Wisdom of the Enneagram’ personality system by my tutor Rosemary Dun. It categorises the various personalities into nine types. Apparently a lot of writers use this for their characters.  I just took part in an online personality test, in ‘Holly mode’ (my main character) and she has come out as a different personality to the one I had originally set out with. I will study the new personality type today and review my character profile for her. Out of interest, I also took the test, with myself in mind and was happy to see it was different! I’d been worried that Holly had turned into me!…that would definitely be a disaster!

Signing off now – hubby wants eggs and I’ve got a big book to read! 

Suzanne

Camp Nano – Day 5

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I was at it again this morning – bit of a delay on the blog due to family – my daughter is helping to build the set for the school musical and we dragged a load of old wood up from our cellar and took it to her mates house. They are building a crypt.

Back to the novel – I’m at the mid-point now and have noticed that my writing has slipped into a lot of telling rather than showing. I am guessing the reason for this was that I was bashing the first draft out during another camp nano and was desperate to get the story down,  rather than focussing on craft. This has lead to me deleting more words. I need to really focus now, there is definitely a difference between the second half of the novel and the first, I expect the second half of the rewrite will be taking a lot longer than the first.

I am also a bit worried about my sub-characters, especially the love-rivals ‘Nina’ and ‘Ethan’. They are a little cliche – both of them look as if they are contestants on Love Island, are vain and annoying. I don’t think they seem real enough and are rather plastic. I need to work more on these characters – find out what makes them tick. I have opened folders in Scrivener with character profiles to complete and will spend some time working on this. I will then feed in the new characteristics to make them seem real.

Well – no more writing for me until tomorrow morning – Friday is cleaning and washing day! 

Hope other campers are getting along great 🙂

Suzanne

Camp Nano – Day 4

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Photo by Dariusz Grosa on Pexels.com

Today, on my quest to rewrite my novel in a month, I have cut out a lot of words. I’d got a third of the way in and felt I’d slowed things down to the mundane. I deleted a whole chapter which was full of cups and tea, chats and internal bla bla and nothing actually happened. It seemed odd to take out three thousand words – but it needed to be done. 

I’ve found it so useful, revising my manuscript asking ‘does this move the story on? If not cut it’.  Although, this is reducing my word count, whereas I was hoping to increase it to 90,000 words. The total manuscript is now 76,000 words. I am speeding through this process because when I get to the business of trying to add in new scenes, that will of course take me a lot longer. If I manage to get this review done in the first two weeks then hopefully I can spend the last week in July, writing some more action. I do have scenes in my head and I’ve a whole new sub plot to weave in.  

This post is short and sweet as I’ve got masses to do today and been up since half five. The early bird and all that 🙂

Hope everyone else is getting on well with their projects.

Suzanne

Day 3 Camp Nano

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Only spent a couple of hours rewriting my novel today. I’ve got a busy day planned taking my daughter up to Bristol to get her brace tightened. 

I found a few inconsistencies today in my work – as far as timing is concerned. One minute it is late afternoon – then it is morning. This is what is good about nano – about deciding to do it all in a short space of time because I can see what is happening rather than having breaks here and there and forgetting what time of day it is. 

I came across the first scene which I feel does not move the story forward. It is a bit of scene setting and an information dump. Here though ,I have changed point of view (POV) to the romantic hero. So I have left it in as maybe we need to hang with this character for a while as it is the first time I’be switched to his POV. I had originally decided to write from only the main protagonist POV but I changed this as I went along. And having read a few romantic novels, it does seem quite a common way to write to novel. It’s good to see the heroine from someone else’s perspective. And you can connect the reader to the hero. The aim is for the reader to fall in love with this guy too – so the added insight and connection can help that along. 

Anyway, the story has started to become more active and I am just about two launch into a high action scene – I hate to stop at this point to be honest. That I hope is a good sign.

What POV are you using in your work? One POV, multiple? Omniscient?

Have a great day.

Suzanne

Day 2 Camp Nano

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I’ve spent another six hours today on my rewrite. I am up to 19,881 words. I’ve been updating the text mainly to ensure I am displaying the character’s emotions in every scene. It is surprising that I thought I had shown her emotions throughout – but in some scenes I’ve not shown any emotion at all – and assumed the reader would guess how she is feeling by the situation she is in and not showing her reaction to it. By adding a few references here and there in her actions, speech or thoughts, I hope, I’ve brought the emotions out more. So far I am pleased that each scene has actually contained some detail which moves the story forward and I’ve deleted a few sentences here and there which repeat exposition and tightened up wordy dialogue. 

I feel that I need to add in references to the various subplots as I go – this is something I have my eye on. Otherwise these subplots might get forgotten along the way. I feel I have set the scene of the nursery, the village, the farm and the nearest town, including a cafe and a bar, referring to them along the way. I’m not big on description so there are not huge paragraphs of this – it’s all dripped in.

I am now on Chapter 9 out of 32 and really feel that I need to ramp up the action a bit. The first five chapters are action packed, and the next four become gentler and I feel it has lulled into a bit of ‘niceness’. I need to up the pace now. So I may fast forward to some bad stuff…I don’t want the reader falling asleep when they put the book on the bedside table and not necessarily wanting to pick it up the next day!

On it goes….feeling positive at the moment.

Good luck everyone with your projects.

Suzanne