Archive | November 2012

Happy Advent!

Advent Calendar

And here’s my Advent Calendar! (yes, I’m an adult with no children, just a big kid at heart!) A paper one though, I never buy anything but! Now, I love chocolate more than almost everyone else I know, yet I’ve always felt the need to buy myself a traditional, paper advent calendar every year. I had a pop up one as a child which told the story of the nativity. Once Christmas was over, my Mum would just close the windows up  and I would enjoy it all over again the following year! I can still remember what was behind some of the windows… For a time, it was pretty hard to find non-choc calendars, but I was really pleased to see a few in WH Smiths this year and quickly picked one up to go with my writing and fiction magazines!

For me, there’s something lovely about opening a window each day in a countdown to Christmas. Even though now I’m (supposedly) a grown-up, it’s usually met with panic when I realise how much I still have to do… I also can’t believe that Christmas is coming round again so quickly. This year has gone by incredibly quickly for me, yet a lot has happened… Whilst not all of it has been happy, there’s been some brilliant times too – my first publication and commercial sale, going to Caerleon Writers’ Holiday, some brilliant workshops, meeting other writers and actually gaining some confidence in my writing for the first time, which led me to start this blog! I know I have a lot to learn too though and will be making myself some goals for 2013…

To get started, I’ve already decided that I’m going to have a go at these competitions:

Swanick Writers’ Summer School Competition

Choc Lit Winter Competition

The Bath Short Story Award This is rather a prestigious one, still, someone has to win!

– Good luck if you decide to have a go too.

This entry was posted on November 30, 2012. 2 Comments

My (Unofficial) NaNoWriMo Struggle

So, I’m (kind of) having a go at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month which happens to fall in November!). I haven’t signed up on the site or anything as I’m not doing it properly. I’ve decided to work on a piece I started in the summer and one of the official rules of NaNoWriMo is that you’re not supposed to start writing your piece before November starts, and well, I had! Plus, having taken on a full time job fairly recently, I just don’t think it’s a manageable goal to write 1,666 words (or however many it is) every day for four weeks…

So, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I’m trying to make every effort to get on with my work in progress, a novel for children, and get the word count a bit more healthy. That way (as I joked with my friends) the first draft might just stand a chance of completion before I reach my retirement!

Sadly, my book always seems to be treated like the rather poor relation of my short stories. I find myself finding feeble excuse after feeble excuse to procrastinate and the poor characters spend many weeks frozen in action on my hard drive… It’s not that I’m not into the storyline itself. I love it! The whole thing started life as a short story but I felt there was potential there to make it into something longer. The thing is I’m just not used to ‘high volume writing’ – most of my short stories are between 1,000 and 1,200 words long! To be honest the concept of writing even a 40,000 or 50,000 word piece intimidates and overwhelms me – it requires such different skills.

So, whilst I don’t have an answer, I’m still very much at the beginning of the struggle, I do have a plan. I’ve decided… not to worry so much! I can put themes, sub plots, tension etc into my story at a later point. For now, I’m going to have fun and get to know my characters a bit better. After all, I am stuck with them for a lot longer than usual! Even if it all has to be edited out, I’m planning to write, write, write and get that word count up. At least that way, I’ll have something to edit! (it’s looking doubtful at the minute…)

So, enough talking, I’d better get on with doing! Good luck with your NaNoWriMo, if you’re joining in 🙂

This entry was posted on November 7, 2012. 2 Comments