Steps forward and back

craft

So since I last blogged here, what’s been going on?

  • I’ve written about 80k of my MG novel, possibly even more, spiralling around in myriad directions
  • I rejoined and actually became more active in SCBWI, including going to the conference in Winchester last November
  • Through SCBWI, I’ve found a brilliant critique group
  • This month I’m doing ReFoReMo and shortly will be starting Kristen Fulton’s Non-Fiction Archaeology course.

In short, there’s still writing happening (life got in the way a little bit too, with some health stuff and a house move) and paradoxically some confidence issues after some people were nice about my work. More on that later.

But I realised that much as I was having fun just writing, I was getting demoralised by the fact that there was no discernable end in sight. Even if what I’m writing isn’t ever published, it’s important to me that it’s finished, and then that it’s polished. I need to believe in the story, and love it, to keep faith with it through that undeniably lengthy process.

From reading more critically, and various useful techniques that I gained from the Urban Writers’s Six Month Novel course, and from SCBWI conference sessions, I realised that despite having all kinds of ‘story’ experience (editorial background, degree in media and screenwriting) it was time to go back to basics and improve my craft dramatically. Hence all the courses and “learnin'” that’s going on around here at the moment.

Sometimes going backwards is just as much fun as going forwards.

Chained to the desk

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Where else would I be today. 

I’m lucky enough to have a writing day so it doesn’t matter if it’s bloody tropical outside. Truth is, I burn quicker than plastic white bread anyway so I’d probably be in the shade or whining if I was outside.

Instead I am inside, and whining, because I’m stuck. I’m on a six-month (online) novel writing course and it’s kind of a crunch time – midway through the writing and I haven’t written enough; my outline is problematic and I don’t want to just feck time away writing towards no likely end point; and I guess I am just generally having a panic.

The current solution is that the sloping office ceiling above my head is getting covered in post-its and I’m trying to see past all the bits of ‘story’ I’ve written and make them into some sort of ‘plot’. 

There’s going to be a tree’s worth of post-its up there soon.