Blog

NaNo Nutter

 

IMG_4235

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

Dance Mom

455999E0-8BBD-4DA5-B3FB-3204B2AB7908

Back in  Brewers Fayer – in Bristol. When my daughter left school and started college I thought I’d get my life back – and indeed I did for a few weeks. She originally went to college in Bridgwater (an hour a way south). For five days a week, she left home at seven thirty and was back starving for dinner at six. It was great – all of those hours in the day to write. No school runs, and with no extra mess making activity, the place was tidy and for the first time in years I felt…dare I say it ‘organised.’ However, she was accepted into a competition team in Bristol (an hour away north) and subsequently changed to a Bristol college. I am now a full-on ‘dance Mom’ ferrying her to and from Bristol two to three times a week. That’s just for her classes – college is a 2 1/2 hour public transport experience for her and she gets out of bed at 5:30 a.m.

Although I’ve lost that sense of freedom, I’m so pleased she has a passion. I think that’s something that we can have knocked out of us. I’ve always encouraged our kids to follow their dreams. They may not be the wealthiest of individuals but there’s nothing worse than all those regrets…’I could have been a drummer’ ‘I could have been a dancer’. Do I worry about how she is going to make her way in the world? Yes of course, but I think it’s better to follow your dreams when you’re young. These days there’s an emphasis on lifelong learning – she can always go back and study accountancy later on – if she decides wants to follow that sort of career.  Indeed our eldest daughter has just graduated at thirty and is embarking on a masters degree as a mum of two.  Anyway – here I am in my fifties, I left school got a succession of good jobs then at the age of forty-nine with the big Five Ohh looming I thought ‘I can’t do this any more’ so handed in my resignation on impulse and decided to focus on my studies and my dreams. I graduated recently so now I am focussing on the writing and my duties as ‘Dance Mom’.

So this is why I am in Brewers Fayer so often – whilst Daughter is at her class – I come in here for my refillable coffee, warmth and free WiFi. I may have less hours to myself as she only goes to college three days a week, but I do get a lot of time alone where there is nothing to do other than write for three hours and drink coffee.

Brewers Fayer is my new office!

Happy writing.

Suzanne

 

What Next?

IMG_4215

I’ve been speeding ahead with this NaNoWriMo getting excited and totally carried away. Poor hubby hasn’t seen much of me.  I have managed £17,000 words in five days and am a total of 27,000 into the novel. But now I’ve come to a bit of a halt. I’ve reached an ‘oh dear what happens next’ moment. I know some of what happens in the end but I am nearly a third of the way in and not sure what to do next. I know the people that the main character forms relationships with – but not what they actually do during this time. I am about 7000 words ahead on Nano at the moment so have decided to take some time out to do some research. 

I am currently looking up exorcisms and googling ‘what to do if you have a ghost’. It’s all a bit scary but I’m hoping for some ideas. One site has given a list of things you must not do – so I will ensure my character does all of those ha ha. Obviously the research will not extend to me using the Ouija board myself! I am hoping that after a day of research – all sorts of ideas will come to mind for story lines. Then I can get back on the horse!

It’s slightly unnerving setting a ghost story in my own house, it’s giving me the jitters, I was thinking about it as I was cleaning my teeth this morning and my daughter walked in and I jumped out of my skin! I’ve added a picture of my staircase…I think a lady in white, screaming as she floats down the stairs would look interesting! 

Good luck to everyone doing Nano, let me know how it is going for you 🙂

Suzanne

Early Hours’ sprint

silhouette photo of person standing in front of window
Photo by Kaitlyn Jade on Pexels.com

I am out with my family later today, so I decided to do today’s NaNoWriMo contribution in the early hours. This would be fine if it were not for the fact that my new project is a move away from the romance genre and is a supernatural thriller. 

The reason for the change of genre is that I love writing, but I am feeling the slog of the ‘re-writing’ so wanted another project I could launch into, to satisfy my need to thrash out the words. Initially I planned another romance, listing the characters, the protagonist’s goals and her obstacles – and setting out ‘things that happen’ i.e. major plot points. But – because I will be working on two projects at the same time, I concluded that writing two in the same genre could lead to some confusion between my characters. So I decided to write something completely different.

I’d recently read The Locksmith a Psychological Thriller by Jo Ullah, which I enjoyed immensely (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Locksmith-Jo-Ullah-ebook/dp/B07977CZZ4). When I read The Locksmith I was reminded of some pretty weird dreams and experiences I have had personally over the years. So for this new project I am taking some real life experiences and then dramatising them to the MAX, to create storylines for this new novel, which is going to be a Supernatural Thriller. It is going to be a kind of ‘Stir of Echoes’ meets ‘Coraline’. It’s a very new genre for me, especially as I do not normally do scary films/books as I am a total wimp. Hence I am now finding it very hard to get to sleep! I can feel a chill in the room setting the hairs tingling on my arms. And I keep thinking I can see things moving out of the corner of my eyes. It’s probably my hair getting in my eyes and a need to replace the double glazing. But my mind is definitely overactive. Great for the writing but not so great for a restful night of sleep.

I am now going to trawl through Netflix for something light and funny…and hopefully will nod off having happy dreams 😃 

Suzanne

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 :)

people at theater
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

IMG_3595.JPG

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