Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts

Sunday 27 September 2015

Getting On With It - Editing...

After my down spell last week I'm pleased to say equilibrium has been restored and I'm getting on with the first chapter rewrite.

Keeping Balanced...
The deadline for the competition is Thursday night, and I honestly don't know if I will have it ready in time. It's fortunate entry is by email so I don't have to take the post into the equation.

I experienced one of those editing moments where I cut a phrase-well actually a couple of lines that I thought were good. But looking at them closer, they just didn't work.

When I stop worrying about the editing and just go with it, I find the analytical editing side of my brain switches in, but not to the exclusion of the creative part.

The longer you are away from a writing project, the clearer you can see it when you come back to it.

As the weekend rarely gives me quiet time to write I've started to use that noisy time to do all the other things that lurk around the edges of my conscious, as it helps clear my mind for the editing.

I've created a 20th century Fashion and Beauty board on Pinterest. One of the ideas that has been lurking in my head for years but wasn't fitting into my usual time periods, finally started to make connections once I moved it into the 1920's.

While the majority of pins on the board are 1920's, it also covers 1900 to the late 1950's.

It will be some time before I can give the idea proper attention, but I think it may turn out to be a longer short story...

I've also discovered some of the new changes in Blogger which have made a few things easier.

I now have all my Social Media links showing under a tab- much tidier than being in the side bar.

There's now a tab for My Writing. I still have one thing to add yet, so it's half done.

So, now that's all done it will be back to the chapter one rewrite Monday morning...

Image courtesy of Vlado &

Monday 21 September 2015

One of Those Down Spells...

I've been having a down day on my writing.

You know those times when you think your writing is awful and you can never improve it? Well that was me today.

Having had some time away from my Nottinghamshire story I can see so many possibilities just in the first chapter.

Should I start with dialogue or leave it with the current opening description and narrative? I've started to wonder if actually shifting the position of some elements would work better...

With other stories I've written it's been a 50/50 split, though I know that on one project I'll be changing the start.

Once I get into rewriting the chapter I don't feel as bad, but now that nagging feeling that the start is wrong won't go. I have to seriously consider that may be right...

It's been some time since I've had one of these down spells, and I know it will pass, but I think having a deadline is making it worse.

Such are the trials and tribulations of the writer...

Monday 8 June 2015

Busy Working - Building Characters...

I've just about finished my character biographies, and they have been a revelation.

Now I'm anxious to get back and start building the story to completion.

It is only the first draft, but already I can see where I need to add scenes or incidents earlier on in the draft, as the character bios have provided information I was unaware of when I started writing the story.

There's a couple of areas of research that I still need to do, but they can be done as I go along, so by the time I'm ready to tackle the second draft I'll have what I need.

Also I feel I have finally found a system that works for me, and I'll continue to use it for all my longer stories.

I'm flexible enough to make changes in the plot if they're needed, but just being able to write down chapter outlines helps me know where I'm going - even if some bits do get changed around.

Clearing my head of the ideas and scenes, and then concentrating on my characters' secrets has been like taking the icing off a piece of fruit cake, leaving the delicious part to be exposed and savoured.

Like cake...
(This could just be that I feel hungry after this latest writing session of course, and I like eating cake- occasionally.)

So I'm off to follow up on one of those vital research areas...

Image courtesy of Apolonia/

Thursday 4 October 2012

A Quick Whizz Round...

So much to do and so little spare time to do it...
That seems to be my life at the moment, but I'm sure it's the same for everyone else too.

Over the next week or so I'll be updating Carol's Corner. Some things may go and others appear in their place. But I won't be changing the purpose of my blog; there will still be posts about competitions, events I've attended and the trials of this writer's life. :-)

Now to some good news.

Writer and blogger, Patsy Collins, is sharing the news that her book 'Escape to the Country' is going to be free to download on Kindle on the 4th and 5th October.

I read Patsy's book on the Kindle for PC app, and it's an easy way to read a Kindle book if you don't happen to have a Kindle e-reader.

It's a great book. I bought it when it was released, it's fun and heart-warming. When I got to the end of the story I was still smiling- a real feel good ending. It doesn't matter whether you're 16, 76, or any age between, you will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, I've decided on the future of my rejected short story. After I've looked it over again and made any changes, it will be winging it's way to Alfie Dog Fiction, the short story download website.

It may not make the grade of course, but if it doesn't, the editor will at least tell me why-and if it's not beyond salvaging, make suggestions for improvement.

I still believe it has potential and don't want to give up on it. But as a writer who hasn't sold a short story to any of the women's magazine markets before, my choices are restricted. I've been looking at those that remain open to me and the story wouldn't fit without major changes or cutting.

The idea for the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition is coming together, so I'll be starting to work on that next week.

Progress with the novella is ongoing. It's working much better with concentrating on getting the story down first and not worrying about description that can be applied as appropriate in the first revision stage.

Blog post done, another item on my list can be crossed off...

Monday 10 September 2012

Thinking Time and Solutions...

When I'm writing anything, thinking time is essential.

I don't have a contract requiring a book a year, so if I hit a brick wall in my novel, I can do something else while my subconscious works on the issue.

But when you have a theme, and a short deadline for submission, as in a flash or short story competition, I find my creative brain freezes.

Sometimes it will unlock and I get the writing needed done. Other times it melts a bit but still leaves a big frozen chunk in the middle and little progress is made- like the short story I needed last week.

So I've been considering methods to help me improve how many pieces I submit- to a good standard of writing, of course.

I have a few competition that I want to enter with specific themes- with deadlines from the end of this month onward.
So I've decided to try writing the theme words on a bit of card or coloured paper, and pining them to the small cork board I have resting against the wall- it's just within eyesight on my desk; so I'll see if keeping the words within sight assists the creative process.

I won't have the excuse that I forgot the details, or the date it's needed by, if it's always there.

And it should ensure that the thinking time is taking place, even if I am doing something else.

If you have any methods you find particularly useful, it would be interesting to hear them.

Friday 30 December 2011

A Competition Reminder for New Year Resolutions...

If you're contemplating your New Year writing resolutions and are thinking about entering competitions in 2012, then don't forget the Good Housekeeping novel competition- details here.

You need the entry form from the January 2012 issue of the magazine which will only be available for a few more days, so if you want to enter the competition and you haven't got your form yet, you need to look for the magazine now.

I managed to enter a couple of competitions during 2011 (which I hadn't previously planned to) so I fulfilled one of the targets I set myself in 2010.

So in 2012 I'm going to concentrate on my novel and the novella. And when I need a break there's a couple of short stories to finish off and submit...

I'll try and enter other competitions during the year, but the free GH one is a must do.

So whatever your resolutions for the coming year, I wish you good luck and much success.

Monday 25 July 2011

Reorganising- I Found...

I've been getting on with the sorting out I mentioned recently.

There's been a lot of shredding and recycling going on in my house over the weekend and the bin for dry recyclables is filling up quickly, unfortunately it isn't due for emptying for another week.

I have to admit that I don't like throwing magazines and newspapers away. I will, but only after I've checked that I've removed interesting items for future reference- and of course they then sit there waiting to be used or filed for future use...

So in my effort to get organised and make space for these items I've started on the book shelves, well the cardboard magazine files that I started with some years ago. And as I realised when I pulled out the first one, it was some years ago- 2004-5... That's what happens when something is so tidy you forget it's there.

I went through a dozen magazines, cut out snippets, pages, stapled where needed and then discovered I'd run out of the thin clear plastic A4 covers.

Well I did find a few interesting items. A piece about Priest's Holes and a short list of properties that contain them. I'm considering if I can put one of these 17th C. examples to use in a story set in a later time period.

Another item about the changing face of beauty and the power beautiful women could wield as a result.
Clever women throughout history have gained power by using their looks and their bodies to get what they wanted, and who could blame them when men decided their futures, and usually their views weren't considered at all.

I think I'm going to need to have a box just for the items that spark ideas as I go through- thank goodness for post-it notes.

Next for cannibalising are the old family history type magazines, and I know there are always useful and inspiring articles in those.

So I've made a start. Now I just need to be ruthless...

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Reviewing the Writing Year and Making Resolutions...

I know you usually make resolutions at the start of the New Year but I've never found those last very long. Also I try to make my resolutions as flexible as possible so if I fail I don't feel too bad.

Life has been a bit chaotic this year so I haven't done as much writing as I intended.

One resolution for this year was to get at least one short story published in a Woman's magazine- a tough market to crack at any time.
Unfortunately the one I did send was rejected.

I have another one that just needs a little rewriting. A writer friend on a forum I belong to has offered to read it for me- she's had a number of womag stories published so I'll get an honest opinion before it goes out. So hopefully this time when I submit I might be nearer a yes- well you have to be positive...

I was going to do more work on my Dorset novel this year, but that too went out the window when my hubby had to work abroad for six months and keeping everything running at home took over my life.

Add to that a recurring bug that kept leaving me needing antibiotics to clear bad chest infections.

So writing was almost wiped out of the schedule in 2010.

In fact this blog has been the most concentrated writing I have done this year. So thank you for reading it and do please keep commenting.

So 2011 beckons and I need to decide a few goals. So here are my aims for the coming year.

1: Get a short story published- somewhere.

2: Work on at least one of my novella length stories.

3: The novel- open to decision.
Now I will be getting the feedback on this from the competitions it was entered into at the Writing club I attend. The comments will be back early January at the reorganised Awards Night- cancelled from earlier this month because of the snow. I may share some of the comments with you...

(I just hope the next lot of snow doesn't cancel the January attempt!!!)

4: Enter some writing competitions.

I think that is enough for one year.

Were your resolutions for this year successful, or like mine a bit of a disaster? You're welcome to share your highs and lows.

Here's to a positive 2011...