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Distractions

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As mentioned I am writing a novel with the working title ‘Jaz.’ I reached the mid-point of the book where Jaz takes a huge life changing decision and burns her bridges in a ‘no going back’ moment. Originally this happened after only 38,000 words. As I am aiming for a 90,000 word novel and wanted this part to be at the middle of the book and had fallen short on my word count – I have spent the past month rewriting the first half of the book and ramping up the drama.  This has meant the word count has been harder to increase as it is rewriting – rather than writing. I have again reached the mid point and have just counted the words and the first half is now at 45,016. Obviously this is the first draft and that will change with further rewrites – of which there will be many – but I now feel confident to move on to the second half of the novel as Jaz tackles the challenges that her new life presents As this character appears in my first novel ‘Holly’s Hub’ I have spent over two years with her and feel like we are in this together and I am looking forward to the final resolution as I’m feeling rather guilty for putting her through the mill 🙂 

Writing ‘peacefully’ during lockdown has been far from easy. After a few lines the cat started trying to sit on my keyboard and then my daughter asked if I would write outside as she wanted to learn some new dance tricks – the tricks being hands free handstands and flips and didn’t want to be out there alone. Then hubby came out – after seeing that we were in the garden – he felt left out. Not that I mind the family time – it’s been a real task to get the teenager out of her bedroom all week. Then hubby asked daughter to cut his hair. Considering all of the interruptions I still managed a couple of thousand words down. 

Slowly but surely I will inch toward my goal.

Suzanne

 

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I’ve not blogged for some time and instead have been adding updates on Facebook. Journaling is  useful for personal development and it’s a great way to check on my progress – so I’m back at it.

This year I have worked on the final edits to Holly’s Hub – the first book in my romance series, set in a fictional Somerset village. I am now half way through the first draft of book two, which has the working title ‘Jaz’. It is about Holly’s best friend who is a career woman, on a mission to make her first million, when her life is turned upside down and she has to face her past. I really liked the character of Jaz and she added light humour to Holly’s Hub – although this is trickier now she is the main character and she’s having troubles of her own. She also swears a lot – so I am having to deal with that without having pages full of blue words. Which I am sure would put a lot of readers off. I’m placing her in positions where she is not able to swear.

I am also thinking about book three and introducing characters, which will have a key part on the third novel.

The actual writing has not been as easy during lockdown with the family at home and I have had a week off while I decluttered the house. Now everything is tidy and in its place I am getting back to it. I usually write outside of the house at Weatherspoons or Brewers Fayer so have now claimed our second lounge (pictured above) as my writing space. The door is closed because hubby has taken to playing his vinyl and early Queen is reverberating through the house. My daughter is above me having a hip hop Zoom dance lesson so the light fitting is shaking. And the cat was clawing at the door until I let her in. However, I am determined to get the words down.

Wish me luck and I will update my blog with my progress.

Let me know below how your lockdown writing is going.

Suzanne

Happy New Year

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Reflecting on 2019 I am pleased as punch with all of the words I have written. For 2020 I want to start thinking about publishing, I will be looking for an agent and also will consider the self-publishing route. My first novel is currently with beta readers and whilst that is being looked at I have started the second novel in the series. Having already invented the location and included known characters from the first book – it has been easier to get off of the ground. In December I attended my second meet up with the Imagine course Novel in a Year and the exercises Jenny Kane set in that workshop enabled me to flesh out some ideas. Although I have not written for two and a half weeks due to the Christmas period – I am already 8,800 words in. I am hoping that this novel will be completed a lot quicker than the first, which has taken me two years and I expect at least two more rewrites before I am happy to write out to agents. 

I would also like to write some short stories and articles this year and maybe send off a couple of poems I have penned. Also planning on attendant the London screenwriters festival. Having spent a few months at my desk I have let my health deteriorate a bit and piled on the pounds…or should I say stones – so I have set up a health blog to keep me motivated. Writing the health blog first thing in the morning will also get me in the writing mood for the rest of the day.

So that’s where I am at  on this day – 1 January 2020….what are your goals? 

Any biggies for 2020?

Suz xx

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

#amwriting

 

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As per my previous blog entry, I finished my Nanowrimo challenge, which resulted in the first draft of ‘Left in the Woods’. This will be the prequel to my cosy mystery series ‘Becky Palmer Psychic Detective’. I have been working my way through the manuscript, changing it from first person present tense, to third person limited (two points of view). 

I love churning out words so I thought that at the same time, I would start book 1 of the series, which I have called ‘Left in the Canal’, based in Bristol. However, after about two thousand words I decided to stop. I’m a bit of a pantser, but realise this might not be the best approach for tackling a murder mystery. It could end up way too messy and the thought of going back later, sticking in clues makes my head hurt.

I decided this is definitely a job for the writing program ‘Scrivener’, which is great for organising projects. I started by writing out a synopsis detailing why and how the murder happened and who did it. I then added a further five characters for the suspects list. I have listed out a brief profile of each of the six suspects and detailed how they knew the victim and why they may have wanted him dead. This is where I am at today.

Next I am going to start listing out as many clues as I can think of, which will divulge information about the suspects for the sleuth (Becky) to find and of course clues which will lead her to the murderer. I’ll also be thinking up a few clues to lead her off on a tangent as well. I am thinking in terms of a maze…go down one line, hit a dead end – review the information at hand, then back track etc. I am also open to the idea of changing the murderer if I feel like it when I start writing. I rarely stick to a plan 100%.

Once I have all that down I’ll be ready to get back to the writing. Can’t wait 🙂

December will also be the start of the third draft of my romance, with the current working title of ‘Loveland’s’ (previously Holly’s Hub). I wanted to let it sit for a month to distance myself from it. I’m itching to get stuck in and start crafting it now that I think (hope like mad) that I have the plot tightened.

I’m still learning the art of novel writing as I go, but am working on the basis that if I just keep writing, something will happen…eventually 🙂

Suzanne

NaNo Nutter

 

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Phew NanoWriMo done  – 50199

I have had a bit of a marathon. I know NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a month but I got a bit carried away and did a fortnight.

As already mentioned – I have a second draft of a romance awaiting the next rewrite – I wanted to get on with another book, but didn’t want to write in the same genre, in case I started getting my characters in a twist – so I went for a supernatural thriller. 

I started it a few weeks before Nano and had got ten thousand words down. I decided to use NaNo to push it up to sixty. I’ve really enjoyed it but I was writing in first person present tense and after a while got sick of my own voice, droning on about rubbish. I also found it a bit limiting and found myself nearing the end of the story, when I was aiming for 90K. I thought that it would probably be better to change to third person past tense (my usual form) so that I could add in a different point of view. I had sent off my first few chapters to the brilliant Jenny Kane as part of her novel in a year course and I was pleased when she came back and suggested that I might want to try third person.

I started to rewrite it in third person and as I did, the genre changed from supernatural thriller to ‘romance’ – I just couldn’t help myself! ❤ .  I guess romance is in my heart. I have always wanted to write series books in the ‘cosy mystery’ genre, which often have a romantic element. I feel thrilled that I now have characters that I am developing and a first draft which exceeds  60K. Although, of course, this is a very shitty first draft – especially with the POV changing part way through – I feel I have something I can work with. As a series book I may be looking at a shorter word count…something to research over the coming weeks.

Although I haven’t achieved what I set out to i.e. ‘to be a cool thriller writer’. I am excited about my new characters and the adventures they will be going on…

Now

I really must clean my house ha ha