Sunday, 10 January 2016

Getting on track

To my own surprise, the times I've planned to write this week, I actually have! I only procrastinated for about half an hour on day one, and then I've been rewriting and editing and tweaking to my heart's content.

I did cheat a little; I followed a lesser view-point character, and I've already completed her voice, from start to finish of the novel. It does mean I feel fairly confident (for second draft purposes!) that her voice is consistent and I've not had her repeat information and so on. I got rid of a few of my authorial tics as well, though they might have passed as hers!

It's given me the appetite and courage to go back to the start and begin the heavy editing...

I've heard many writers say they love the editing process, but it is heavy work for me, and not something I look forward to.

However, I have plans...I was successful at applying to the Romantic Novelist Association's New Writers' Scheme, which is open every January. The fee covers a reading of my manuscript, which is far more reasonable than using a critique service. (Although it has made me anxious about whether there is enough romance in my novel to fit the criteria. Always afraid of failing one way or another..!) So I've set myself a deadline for finishing this edit, and may even fit in time to produce draft three before I send it for reading. I'm sure this will help to keep me 'on task' through the weeks ahead.

It's to be hoped so, for my imagination is sparking hot at the moment. I seem to see 'What if?'s everywhere, and some may be worth pursuing. Some are probably not worth the paper I've scribbled them on. But I'm keen to explore some of them this year, too - perhaps in short stories - but I can't focus on them until my novel is 'done'.

I'm also trying to organise my life so that I can join a writing morning in a nearby town in a couple of weeks. A writer has booked a hall and offered for other writers to join her there, either just to write, or to have someone to talk things over with as they write. I can make good use of either option, and I'm looking forward to it. I just need to sort my child-care to free me up for a couple of hours.

I'm sure things like setting myself a deadline and planning to attend writing events are crucial to keeping me on track with my writing goals for this year. What helps you to focus?

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