The Devil’s in the Details

That’s right. I’m down to it. It’s just the way I like to do things. When I’m writing the first draft of a novel, I spend all of my time writing the main action of the scenes, all the dialogue and a bit about where it is happening.

What I don’t do is spend a terrific amount of time on description either of people or places. But now I’m at that stage of my novel. I’m doing sweeps back through it. And as I go, I edit. And while I do edit some bits out, for the most part, I add a lot more in (that’s why I don’t stress about the word count not being up where i think it “should” be).

What an odd way to do it, you say? Well, I do it that way because that’s just how it all comes into my head. And I want desperately to get the story out (or maybe it’s the story that wants desperately to get out – not sure which). It does mean, of course, that some things need to be re-written slightly, as I discover when I’m describing something that it couldn’t have possibly happened the way I originally wrote it.

But does it work? It works for me. And that’s what we’re all looking for. You do what works for you!

The End

Yes, I’m coming down to The End. The end, that is, of Book II in The Knight of Kenilworth series. I am at the last stage. I know how the book ends and have written most of the last scenes. Everything is in place except one thing.There is only one little part that requires finishing.

The bad guy has to be revealed and Drake has to overcome him in some clever manner. I can’t believe after all this time that The End is so near.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leicester Writes…and more…

Last evening, Leicester Writers’ Club held an event for the Leicester Writes Festival. I was asked by the Club to be one of the panel members and discuss how the being a member of the Club has helped with my writing and how to interact with the publishing industry. I’m really glad this gave me a chance to reflect on my time with the Club.

One of the take aways from this exercise was I got to see my own character arc. I remember when I started at the Club, I wasn’t a very good writer and the first couple or so times I actually workshopped my manuscript, I felt like I’d been through the chopper. Then as I worked and my writing skills got better, there was a turning point reading for me that I remember clearly where I got as many compliments as I did critique for things that might not have worked so well. What a breakthrough!

Then I went on to discuss other events at the Club that have added to my development including the wondrous Masterclasses put on throughout the year by various members of the Club and our annual retreat in the Cotswolds.

But what I and other members of the panel came back to time and again is the amazing camaraderie and support we get from the other members of the Club. I deeply feel that each member wishes me well in my work and wants me to succeed – and I them! That’s priceless. My fellow panelist Liz Ringrose had the best line – “we catch each other when we fall”. I truly feel blessed!

Catching the A Train

When I looked at the date of my last post, I can hardly believe it. It’s been a full month since I last blogged! It doesn’t seem like it’s been so long, so what have I been doing?

I have a friend who says that getting down to the last part of a novel feels as if he’s roaring down the tracks on a freight train. Well, it seems I caught that train a few stations ago. Clackety, clack I’m tearing down the track. It’s going full speed and I can’t get the story out fast enough now.

There’s something magical about this time in a novel. Really what I hope to do is simply stay out of the way! I need only step aside and let the it unfold. I’ll let you know how that goes!



Scriptum Hiatus-Induced Testiness (S*!T)

How does a blog get one into such trouble? After my blog ‘Keeping Your Head in It – Part I’ came out, my family called me, concerned for the safety of my partner. Ok, so I compared myself to Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Ok, so I talked about carrying an ax. But I knew that other writers would know exactly what I was talking about. I’m talking about the grumpiness that comes upon a writer when she/he is forced by some life circumstance to take a break from writing. I’m talking about times one really still wants – needs – to be writing, but somehow, something has interfered in such a way as to make it an impossibility.

But other writers would understand immediately it’s my inner Jack Nicholson I’m referring to. It’s an internal conflict. One day some of my writer friends and I were talking about these situations. Every one of them admitted to the same difficulty. We even came up with an acronym for it. Scriptum Hiatus-Induced Testiness (S*!T). (I had a terrible case of S*!T last autumn).

The condition is so prevalent among writers, my gut feeling is that S*!T gave Stephen King the idea for The Shining in the first place. After all, he’s admitted that he writes every day, no matter what. I postulate something came along that forced a break in his writing habit and the next thing you know, he’s writing a best seller about how crazy he gets when he can’t write! Good on him!

So relax, people. I’m busy now writing my own (b**t) seller, there’s no ax in the house and best of all, no S*!T in sight!