Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Achy neck = occupational hazard?

So I have pretty poor posture, not helped by the fact that I spend hours every day a) driving and b) sitting at a computer. This is bad enough when I'm at work, but then I come home and try to do some writing... ouch!

Today's post will be short and sweet but I'm hoping this website might prove helpful:


It has free exercise demonstrations that are supposed to be good for helping to prevent neck pain. Here's hoping...

Monday, 30 August 2010

Sweating at the desk...

It's a beautiful sunny day outside, one of the first of the summer, which obviously is why I'm sitting at my desk on a Bank Holiday watching other people enjoy it. My friend Clare was up visiting for the last couple of days and it was brilliant seeing her. Now I am making up for my lazy weekend and getting stuck into the writing.

Have just finished chapter fifteen, and I reckon there are about six chapters to go. You would think at this stage it would be easy to get motivated, knowing that the finish line is just over the hill... but no! I am the master of the half-finished novel. I currently have around 200,000 words spread across five unfinished books. I'm determined to get this one finished. Bernie McGill is the person to thank here, as she encouraged me to send the sample chapters out to give myself a sense of deadline - and it's making a big difference.

So just carry on outside there without me sunshine. Another 500 words and I will be joining you in the garden.

ps: All the people who say they want to write a book, but they just haven't got the time... you're the ones lying in a deck chair with a beer at the minute. I'll be right behind you...

Friday, 27 August 2010

Guess who's back? Back again...?

Okay, so not much writing action going on over the last couple of weeks. The holiday was great and then spent a few days catching up with family and friends. This week was the return to work - noooooooooooooooo!

Don't get me wrong, I actually like my job most of the time - on the good days I LOVE it! But having the summer to write was an amazing luxury. Now my brain is having to re-engage with work there is less space left for the writing. Have only got a couple of thousand words done in the last few days, so will have to go for it this Bank Holiday weekend.

So the revised plan of attack is:
1. Aim to finish the book by September the 30th.
2. Spend October revising and re-drafting.
3. Send the whole lot to agent(who has told me to take my time).
4. Start praying, sacrifice goats, pace about a lot and generally do what any hopeful new writer does when waiting to hear if a book will be taken forward.

I shall keep you posted...

Monday, 9 August 2010

PS: Bernie's book is out now!

... and it's really good!

Another milestone...

Well, am delighted to say that last night I finally crossed the 50,000 word mark. Only did a little bit today but I'm sitting on 51,123 words exactly! Just as well as we are about to head off on holiday - on a cruise to be precise.

We are going on the Ocean Village, starting in Palma, stopping off at Tunisia, Naples (going to Pompeii), Florence, Monaco and Corsica - and finishing back at Palma. Would love to say I am thrilled at the idea of it all, but the writerly bit of me wants to stay home and bash out another 10,000 words before I head back to work. Still, once I'm there I will no doubt love it. We are going to have dinner with mum and dad and my brother tomorrow night, then head to bead early as we will be up at 03:30 - yuck! Hardly seems worth going to bed at all to be honest!

So more when I get back...

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Just finished...

Just finished this - some great humour in it. Not my usual thing but very vivid and I loved Katla the nursemaid - very cantankerous and funny. Halli is a great hero - squat and ugly, but easy to like. Wouldn't fancy living with him though...


Hmmm, I say I'm stuck but I'm at 46,000+ words. The last couple of days have seen some amazing self-sabotage, seriously. I've hit about 1200 words a day yesterday and today but it was like pulling teeth. The whole thing is feeling pretty joyless at the minute. I sat and played the Sims for 2 hours last night like a wastrel, when I could have been hammering out another couple of thousand words.

Thank God Bernie McGill sent me through some feedback today, which will give me something productive to do if this dry spell continues. In fact she wrote almost as much in feedback as I managed to write in a WHOLE DAMN DAY!!!

Bernie, the picture is dedicated to you!

Monday, 2 August 2010

How gory is TOO gory?

So yesterday I ploughed on and hit 43,621 words (tried to post this last night but broadband was down). I’ve come a long way in a week, let’s be honest here. I had to write a pretty tense scene today, involving a dead body. The question arises - how much gory detail should I go into for YA fiction?

My clearest memories of being a teenager are:

  • Having some really hilarious times, especially with friends.

  • Feeling different , odd, overwhelmed or lonely at times.

  • Being quite sensitive to horror / gore – I only got into gory books when I was a bit older.

  • HATING being patronised.

These last two come into direct conflict while I’m writing. I want it to be vivid and immediate, but I don’t want it to be really disturbing. I also don’t want it to be some cartoonized version of a distressing event, all watered down. I imagine the teen equivalents of me rolling their eyes and making barf noises as they read it.

When you’re a teenager and you’re smart it is hateful when people treat you like you’re dumb. In THE WATCHERS Evie hates feeling out of the loop, or like she isn’t trusted enough to handle certain information. After all, she’s doing pretty well dammit!

It’s said that every writer puts a little bit of themselves into their characters. Maybe this is the side of me that ends up in Evie. I certainly got luckier on the family front!

What I contribute to Javan on the other hand... hmmm, scary stuff! I’ll leave that to the head shrinkers to figure out... ;-)

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