Thursday, 29 July 2010

Some Local Exposure

No, I didnt streak(do people still do that these days?)or expose my private parts in public BUT I did read my latest material - 3k words of the penultimate and climactical scene of my novel - at the Forest Writers Group last night . It went down really well. I was surprisingly(after all the City course workshops) still v nervous but feedback was very complimentary so pleased and went for a drink with some of the regulars to the local pub afterwards.

Have just completed another two thousand words which join with the stuff I read at the Group. Will email it all to Emma (my mentor) later tonight . Off to Yorkshire tomorrow to see friends eat curry walk write and generally chill out! My ankle still troublesome. Just been to osteopath - but no tango in the Dales so will rest til my return.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

End Revelation written now

...more or less 3000 words. Have decided that probably one scene like this is plenty..but will see what my mentor thinks about that. Meantime must keep writing.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

a bit more done

have managed now just over 2 k words and stil going...I wonder who/how many people regulary follow this blog...?

wading through treacle

have managed a meagre 1 page in 1/12 hours...

why do people behave the way they do?

Met up with dear friends C and M last night at the Modern Pantry in Clrekenwell..had dinner outside - such a warm evenning then went for about an hour to The Crypt Tango club.Many people from the Tuesday class there - they same ones v cliquey and standoffish - how can such cold fish claim to understand the passion of tango! A few people I know said no one from the Tuesday class had approached her for a dance all night - which is mean indeed. I thought the club itself was friendly - I'd definately return on my own - in the brief time we were there I danced with a complete stranger who chatted too. For the first time saw two men dancing together in London club...nice!

Having prob with my bloody left ankle now...since the class at the Edward the last Thursday week. Had a week off and saw osteopath yestrday and it seemed better but then walking last night even before tango it seemd v tight and uncomfortable..oh dear..

C and M and H and I reflected on what we have all personally been thro over these past years - health wise and - my god - it really does beggar belief. We are a tough bunch indeed.

Did 2 hours of new writing yesterday morning and will continue today.


Saturday, 24 July 2010

Have started new writing again

I was coming back from town on Thursday night and walking back from the tube to my house I caught site of an almost full moon - absolutely gorgeuos - and it inspired me with an idea to start writing the new scene which comes towards the end of my novel. I got in and wrote for about an hour and a half until one thirty, but of course then didnt get to paid for it next day! Next day I managed two hours writing so now have a decent draft of the beginning of the new scene.

Have designated this as a writing weekend, though am going out both evennings - dinner then - I hope - a litle bit of tango at the Crypt in Farringdon.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Feel Like I'm at Base Camp

Had my initial tutorial with Emma Sweeney my mentor yesterday in was very helpful BUT made me realise just how much of a huge task writing this novel will be. I have to now get back into some kind of disciplined writing routine - something which has gone out the window of late - in order to get 5k of new material to Emma by 5th August in prep for our next tutorial on 9th. I am going to begin at the climax and write these scenes in first person present tense protagonist POV - god help me1
I read - over the weekend - the draft of the middle section of Nicki Cormwell's new Novel - Romeo and Romeo - and popped round last night to give her my feedback and we shared words of encourgement! I need it to get my flow back. Will bite the bullet at the wekend. I want to do this. I can do this.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Nothing like a cuppa tea loosen tongues and generate ideas. Yesterday the childrens writer Nicki Cornwell came round for our planned exchange of ideas session. Over a cuppa we chatted about one anothers writing - Nicki described to me her path to becomming a published childrens novelist and what works for her in terms of a writing routine. I talked with her about my plot and characters and she gave me a few excellent tips/sugestions on both.She's asked me to critique the middle section of her most recent draft of her new novel in progress(it has a teen gay protagonist) - which I will do over the w/e in Aldeburgh . This is a great set up for me - to have such an experienced writer just living around the corner - to exchange work and ideas with!

On monday I have my first mentoring session in Cambridge with Emma Sweeney.

Last night tried out a same gender tango class at the Eddie in Islington - great teacher - really nice atmosphere in the small upstairs room above the main bar, though the floor was dippy and I have slightly strained my left ankle from over doing it with the ocho's!


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

after the party!

...following the reading I did at The Art Workers Guild I was approached by four different literary agents - two on the night and two via email the following day. I have spoken with all of them and their feedback on the extract and my novel story line is encouraging. After the ego boost however I have decided not to show them anything further - not even a synopsis - until I have a completed first draft to a satisfactory standard. They have all been fine about this. I know now that there are atleast four slush piles it won't end up on, so thats a big carrot, incentivising me to plough on. To that end, I have arranged to become Emma Sweeney's mentee until atleast December. Our first session is on Monday in the Cambridge Uni Soc Cafe.

I did go in to meet one agent - a very positive experience - again very encouraging. But lets wait and see what happens when I send in the finished manuscript.

It feels very strange not having to go into class at City on a Monday and Wednesday now!

Have not sat down to write anything new for weeks as busy finishing off course work for City(commentary assignment and editing chapters 2-4) and preparing for the end of course reading.

I have - however been mulling over - I did the final follow up session with Vicky Gruts' Novelists club last saturday which was helpful in this process. I'd submitted for peer review the confessional letter I had my protagonist write - as an excerisize - from which I will write in first person present tense the final chapters of my novel. Having another writer who is a psychiatrist with tons of experience in treating post traumatic stress was really a plus - I am going to contact her to arrange a meet for research to help me plant flash backs and behaviours in a realistic way throughout the story.

I also re read feedback on the last two pieces I work shopped at City - which has helped me enormously in clarifying the overall tone of my novel and what I am aiming for and what I am not. So though I have plenty of raw material from these pieces and other material I've scribbled from the past - I have some serious re writing ahead. Already I have changed how and when Roland and Almir become aquianted and where and when they first "do it" but I am not giving away any more here. All this proves to me that experimentation - trying out scenes and work shoping them - is crucial in dicovering not only what works and what doesn't BUT WHY and in which direction the novel is developing and whether this is the best direction.

This afternoon my neighbour and fellow writer Nikki Cornwell is comming round to chat about writing - she is working on her third novel- and we are readers of one anothers work. Looking forward to that!


Monday, 5 July 2010

The End of the Course

Tonight was the last class of the Certifcate in Novel Writing2009/10 at City uni. I spent much of the past week editing and redrafting Chapters 2-4 - it took ages....but was a really useful excersize. We went out for a chinese meal after class. Seems like only yesterday that I had my interview with Alison for the course.

Friday, 2 July 2010

filling in from wherE I left off...

... wednesday night reading to invited audience of industry professionals went well, although the wait for an approach,( it took about 20 minutes after the end of the readings and start of the drinks and "mingling" to get the first of two on the night from two agents who wanted to see my novel) was nerve nerve racking!Since then I've had a further two approaches from other agents by email. After some deep thinking I have told all that I would like to wait until I have a decent complete draft to show and they are all happy with that.
Meantime have been editing and re drafting Chapters Two and Four for the final City Course assignment submission on Monday. Still got a fair bit to do on Chapter Two but have completed the reworking of Chapter Four now, so still Chapter three and finishing off Chapter Two to do over the weekend. All the other chapters Ive completed plus the chapter notes for those I have yet to complete are ready after that to get stuck into over the summer and Autumn. I will have the structured support of my Mentor Emma Sweeney to help move it forward.