Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Novella Progresses...

I've been keeping to my planned writing sessions for the novella and it has certainly made me think hard about my characters and who they are deep down.

Dragging the depths of my brain hasn't found anything too disturbing, it's just jiggled a few ideas around and made me review my previous thoughts on certain characters, elements that were there but hadn't been so obvious before now made more sense.

So, happy with the character sheets I moved onto my chapter outlines.

I had my synopsis, but it was a basic synopsis and the story had developed more since it was originally written.

So I started with Chapter1: written in bold. Well I knew what happened in this chapter, what I was aiming to show and why, it was already written and had been sat untouched for a couple of years.

But I'd not been happy with my previous attempt at writing Chapter 2, so had abandoned it.

Even though I knew the story I was going to write, I just couldn't decide how to start chapter 2, so panic!!!

Reminding myself I didn't need to write chapter two now, just the outline I took a deep breath and started typing. Very quickly I was outlining the next chapter and suddenly the first four were done.

Once I started I was surprised how easily it all came out.

Three pages in total and the story outlined in 15 chapters.

(I type with a couple of fingers, so my chapter outlines of just under a thousand words took two hours.)

I certainly feel more confident about this project, but I suspect it won't fit the pocket novel formula by the time is is done.

But the end is a long way off yet...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

At The Book Festival...

I'm now feeling human again after a good night's sleep so can recall the day...

book festival,white,banner,gate

The weather started out very overcast and from past experience at the festival Saturday knew that it would be quiet if the sun didn't shine.

There were the usual book stalls from assorted antique and collectible old books to new ones. I have to put imaginary handcuffs on myself when looking at the old books- but that's not strange in writers I'm sure...

I did find an Arthur Mee's The King's England series book for Nottinghamshire. My copy from 1949 was only £2.50, and there are lots of useful snippets in it.

There was a lovely little book on the meaning of flowers, the illustrations were by Kate Greenaway but at £15 it was too costly, though I considered the 1970's copy of the same book at £10, I still decided to pass.

That did generally seem to be happening. People were looking but buying less than in comfortable years, whether you were talking new or recycled.

Well we got the sunshine and the side of the marquee was opened up to improve airflow and space. But there were a few showers to deal with during the afternoon.

There were sudden gusts of wind as well, so leaflets on our stall went flying and on a few occasions I was seen to crawl about on the grass to reach under tables and chairs to retrieve them- and no there are no photos (I was in charge of the camera this year).

I never got to any of the talks, but as you can see from the photo they were well attended.

marquee,people,grass,white,book festival
Overspill at the talk

In fact many of them had a person holding up a sign behind their back at the marquee entrance saying sorry, they were full.

Members of the literary community supporting the Alan Sillitoe Statue Fund spent the day selling raffle tickets- there were a number of prizes that consisted of books and bottles of alcohol...

The winner(s) of the Alan Sillitoe Short Story Competition were also announced. The short list had been judged by writer Nicola Monaghan and David Sillitoe. As they couldn't choose between the top three stories the first prize was split between the three writers who received £60 each- one apparently donated their winnings to the statue fund.

I stopped to say hello to crime writer Stephen Booth during a gap in the book signings- he always supports the Lowdham Saturday in some form.

There were storytellers dressed as characters from Southwell Workhouse and they stayed in character even when walking around the festival- very impressive.

My NWC colleagues had (like me) spent time talking to people interested in writing and others interested in members books that were on sale.

By four pm I was getting tired and was glad to be finishing for the day.

So if there's a book festival near you, it's worth going along...