Friday, March 28, 2008

For the love of a good mechanic

My planned few days blog break became a couple of weeks. Still busy - having one of those productive weeks where I feel OK about getting things done but my To Do list is HUGE still!!!!! I know its bad when I forgot to MOT my car - I've never done that before and for a few moments when the realisation set in I had visions of an elite squad absailing over my house and hoisting my car away by helicopter never to be seen again. And of course my lovely mechanic is booked solid for the next week and I don't have the energy to forge another mechanical relationship in a hurry - they take nurturing and I haven't got any time for that this week. So I'm going to leave my car off the road for the next week and use the hubby's car. Ahhh glad that's settled.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


...And it's not writing busy - which would be great! If only I could exist on a mouldy cracker but alas I am more high maintainanace than that - chocolate doesn't come cheap! Hence paid work takes precedence this week. No room for proper blogging or proper writing...Back in a few days.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Word count - ZERO

Oh not a good writing week at all! Too much work and other stuff in the way. My big writing knot has formed in my stomach and if I don't write soon - I shall go mad and be unbearable to live with. AND we have run out of milk and I need caffeine! Off to Canterbury for the weekend so no chance to get pen to paper. My hopes are high for next week. The word count WILL rise!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When it it finished?

I was having a discussion with 2 writer friends on the weekend about the dilemma of knowing when a novel is finished. They had good advice based on the experiences of other writer friends. I was getting a bit anxious that I would just keep messing with my novel (aside from resolving the prologue or not issue) and redrafting and redrafting. The thing that happens for me is that I change one section which then means I have to chance another section and the domino effect takes over. I could be writing this for 10 years which I don't want to be doing. I know it took Donna Taart a decade to write the wondrous 'A Secret History' but I want to get moving along with no 2.

They advised to make it as good as I can - do all the usual checks and then send it off. I know this sounds like very basic advice but sometimes you need to hear the basic stuff to make you really see it. They are right. I know I am very close to making it as good as I can and then it will be time to send it out. I know this is nothing very deep or earth shattering but it was what I needed to hear at the moment. It is keeping me grounded.

The fun thing of the day! Two men on our roof installing a 12ft aerial to give us digital TV - very exciting! Our household's new year resolution was to watch less TV so we could do other more loftier activities - good to see we lasted until March and then went in the opposite direction. By mutual agreement the planned gym visit for tonight has been postponed so we can sit goggle eyed and flick through our 87 new channels! I'd love to say we're doing it so we can get great reception for Classic FM or the history channels - Nope! I'm doing it to get access to crap TV that sounds like fun! Totally shallow!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

To Prologue or not?

This is my burning question at present in my novel Support Act. It centres around the friendship of two women who have been best friends since they were teenagers. I originally started it with them in their thirties and the whole novel spanned a year. I showed the start to an agent at Winchester last year ( a high flyer so I listened when she spoke!) and she said you need to show the reader some history of this friendship - maybe in a prologue. I went away and thought about this for a while and initially rejected the idea then came round to it. I wrote a prologue - it went on and on and on... I realised I was writing backstory - so I ditched it.

Then I had a moment where I thought I know how to do a snappy prologue with a symbolic link in it to the present - so that's what I wrote. I now think the prologue needs to be discarded and I need to go back and rework my original start. Then a writer friend mentioned flashbacks.

I am now groaning under the weight of prologues and flashbacks and have no idea what to do.

This is my plan though to try and answer this question. Print off the whole novel (without the prologue) and read it to see whether or not I have a story that works and flows - THEN I'll think about prologues/flashbacks.

Off to untie the twist in my writerly knickers! I hope!