Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Holidays Are Over...Kinda

I'm finally back at work after spending two weeks slumming it around home and trying to spend at least some time with my 10 (soon to be 30) year old daughter. It's been fun.

I got to plot out the main points of 10 chapters and got no further with Inner Voice due to my mind and body drifting to other places.

I've decided that we need to move the kids/family computer into the dining room so we can keep a better eye on what they are actually doing and it will give me back a dedicated writing space that won't have access to the Internet. As soon as I've cleared the mid-year pile of bills, we'll go and buy a new desk to fit against the wall and a new dining table to allow for someone to sit at the computer without bumping into someone trying to eat.

Of course all this makes for great excuses not to write so I've let things slide once more.

I promise, once I have a space, I'll start writing once more.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby Steps

I've opened Inner Voice.

Yesterday, day four of the school holidays, my daughter and I had our first stay at home and write day. She claimed the study and I ended up at the dining room table with no Internet access - by choice, so I had no excuses.

It currently stands at nearly 33,000 words within 16 chapters (remember this is YA). Yesterday I began noting the major story points within each chapter and marking where major changes needed to take place. I got through 10 chapters before the body rebelled and asked for rest (my back really hates sitting for long periods of time on the dining room chairs).

At some point I need to get back and finish the final six chapters and then move onto storyboarding the whole thing. The big learning point for this exercise was the realisation that I find it very difficult to write, or do anything connected to writing, during the day.

The constant interruptions, the background noises, the complete lack of ambiance and the niggling need to go off and do other 'normal' things made sitting in the chair and working extremely difficult. I am a night writer and will be forever more.

I'm also a writer who works in large blocks of time. I can't see myself fitting writing in during 20 minutes here or an hour there. I need a few hours free where I sit and do nothing but work - not an easy thing to find with a normal life beckoning beyond the study door. I envy those of you who can fit it in where and when you can, and make it a useful exercise.

Still, it's a start. Oh, and I found that the story is pretty good. It needs work but the core is definitely there (as is the spark - which is a very good thing). I even liked the humour I've squeezed in. I can see me working on this until I get it somewhere near right and sending it off on the agent rounds - and then beginning work on book two. At least, that's the plan...

I think I need to reclaim my writing space or make a new one. Mmm...might have to have a chat about this with my better half...the wheels are beginning to turn...

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Turned Into One of Those...

I've always distanced myself, as politely as possible, from writers who talk a lot about writing, who discuss their current WIP, but who never sit down and actually work on them.

I think I've become one. I think about Inner Voice a lot. I work on characterisation and plot and scenes, in my head, over and over again. I make break throughs, sometimes small, sometimes not so small, and I continue to scheme and dream.

But I don't write.

So far I've changed two characters into a family of three and promoted one of them into one of the co-stars of the whole shooting match. I've rewritten the final chapter in my head at least twice and tweaked countless other scenes and settings. Lots more needs to be done.

But I've not changed a word of the manuscript.

God help me, I've definitely become one of 'those'...

Or is it simply that I really don't like the idea of rewriting something I spewed out in linear form. All those changes and trying to fit things so they marry with other areas I deem acceptable to keep. Perhaps I'm just not that good at killing my little darlings and reforming them in someone else's image, even if that someone else is just a later version of me.

If you need to kill a character and replace them with another, or rewrite in an entirely different POV, how do you go about it? Do you rewrite from word one, or do you rewrite bits and try to mesh them in with the other bits?

Am I over thinking this and scaring the crap out of myself for no good reason?

All suggestions short of running naked through the streets will be considered (it's bloody cold around here at the moment).

Oh, and if you've read Dark Pages - let me know what you thought of it. Currently the publisher is slumming it in Europe so I have no idea how sales are going and haven't heard a lot of feedback. Any comments would be appreciated.