Monday, 29 November 2010

Writing a novel IS a long, slow slog !

These comments were made by my writing mentor after I texted her whilst on a real downer on Saturday. I'd started writing a new scene , and although it took me ages to get going with it I was relatively pleased with the result. But later on I decided to pull all my scene/chapter files into one single file and the word count wasnt any where near as much as I'd imagined..alot but not enough yet. Worse ...the new file vapourised and search as I may I could not recover it! So I went to bed dejected and got up in a foul, irritable mood. But its passed now, thanks to a couple of long walks in the snow up here on the Suffolk coast. I just have to carry on writing. I cant see it being completed until early summer now at the earliest. But I'm talking it through with my mentor on Friday. Meantime have just enjoyed tea and a toasted teacake at the Brudenell Hotel.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

An hour an a half snatched during lunch time

...all I could manage today BUT actually having such a limited time was a lesson in itself. Better to write atleast some words than not write -even if you only have a short period of time. I was forced to focus on moving the current chapter I'm writing along and actually realised I needed "extra" atention on a short section of a scene in a street to get my protagonists narrative take on what he is seeing going on around him - and this worked well and I got it done by just lingering for the whole hour and a half on those few moments of him walking down the street with his lover - something I might not have done faced with 4-5 hours of writing time ahead of me and a pressure to move the scene to conclusion. Interesting.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Welcome follower did you find me? I checked your own blog and the moth thing rang very true as also had this problem last year and had house sprayed FIVE times over to exterminate the wool hungry beasties - we had to decant into a hotel the last time the smell and fumes were so bad. But - it worked - and - they are departed - pleased to report.
I hope you enjoy following my blog and that you will feel free to add your comments, whenever.

Have done a couple of hours writing - sandwiched in between work and yoga - three thousand new words since Saturday - and good words I think.Will be intersting to see how its all shaping together when I review evrything next week. Got the New Begining first chapter(an alternative to my original ) back from typing this morning and I am pleased with how it reads.Ditto the other scene I wrote with R thinking about"perfect relationships" alone in his flat on a Sunday night...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Its a write weekend for me !

And am pleased with progress. Have written an alternative opening chapter after musing and digesting the meeting with my psychiatrist friend last Thursday night AND have begun new material with R thinking about the nature of his relationship with A after J his ten year old daughter has returned to her mums following a weekend stay at the flat in Walthamstow Village.

Took time out this afternoon to listen to Radio dramatisation of Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin - which I read several months ago when it came out in the English translation. The dramatisation -it was the second part (and I missed the first last week)- was disappointing...poor acting and savage cuts from the novel made it no where near as good as the book.

Have made myself a cuppa and now getting back to my own writing for a couple of hours. H and I will unwind latter with a DVD of Revolutionary Road which Ive not yet seen (or read - though its waiting for me in the cupbaord at Aldeburgh).

THIS IS MY 200th post on this blog!


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Meditating helps get me on the right track and thinking time is as useful as actual writing time !

After yesterday and this morning's sits I saw a way forward from a bit of a block about where I am with the first draft, esp the begining of it.I've noticed this before and did read somewhere at some point that all writers should learn to meditate. Interesting to reflect that my creative writing took off at the same point I learned and began mediatating on a regualr basis - about 3 years ago.

Last night after a heavy work day(and week, though good)I went out to Carablanca milonga and had an aweful time. I was really up for it but once there everything seemed to tip against me and my mood turned and after a couple of unsatisfying dances with partners I felt no conection with whatsoever, I left early feeling flat and forlorn. I also had my novel on my mind , mulling over the conversation I'd had on Thursday when I meet the psychiatrist friend. Its been dawning on me since, that the beginning of my novel doesnt work well..its too dramatic...and I need to save the drama till the climax. Thinking time is as useful as actual writing time when I hit moments like this. I think I have it now...revised and mapped out and already re begun on paper with 3 hours writing new material this morning.
An e-moan to two local writer friends who've both been published - produced supportive emails by return overnight and this is immensely helpful in keeping going!

Friday, 19 November 2010

I have my protagonist "nailed"

Thats according to my psychiatrist friend who took Almir's case history last night over a chinese meal in Islington - she suggested a few behavioural embelishments and the session was really helpful. I did then realise that there are some timeline gaps about his past and growing up I still need to plug and I need to perhaps consider changing the openning of the novel. I am now wondering whether I should drop the whole witness protection story and just have Almir come to the UK as a refugee? Well, will discuss it with my writing mentor in a couple of weeks. Meantime need to get cracking with producing some more new material today and over the weekend.
A fellow writer from my local writers group - Linda Stratman - has got a new publishing deal for her historical novel with The History Press. Thats inspirational news.She also doing someting for the BBC. It still feels a long way off for me...but thats just how it is I suppose.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Been thinking about bearded ladies in launderettes and

that first period in a new love affair when you cant stop thinking about the other person - mostly you just want to have sex with them all the time. Thats what I'm writing into my current chapter.There used to be several years ago a woman who everyone tagged as the bearded lady who worked in our local launderette and I have put her into the latest village sweeping up scene as she was very much a local character - the sort of person you can never imagine ever having looked any different from the way they do now.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Have begun a new chapter

about 60O words done this afternoon, adding another piece to the jigsaw. Went for a walk this morning after looking at a work presenation I have to do in London on Tuesday. Tonight we had fish and chips then went to the cinema but only to find they were showing live opera from the Met in New York and we'd missed the start by an hour and a half. However, there was theatre on in the Jubilee Hall and we went along there and saw Miller's Death of a Salesman - which I quite enjoyed - though it seemed very " of the period" and the leading actors accent was an odd mix of Brooklyn and cockney! Walked home along the prom. looking at the stars.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Off to Aldeburgh later today

hope to get some new material on the road , though I have a presentation to complete for a work presenation on Tuesday first. Went to Hackney tango last night and had one of those aweful nights when I felt I cant dance...I suppose its a bit like writers block...but I made myself stay (when I just wanted to flee from there)and danced with the most inexperienced followers ..which is like making myself write when really nothing will come...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Follies was GREAT!

Hard to believe we we not watching a West End production. Apparantly the actors we doing it for free so as to get noticed by agents. Ye Old Rose and Crown was the pub were we saw this production is an intrguing place - a pub like no other. Linda from Forest writers has been going on about it for ages. They had racks of vintage(mostly womens) clothes up for sale and a DJ who looked just like a british jazz singer who died not that long back whos name escapes me (and H who Ive just asked)...he was large, over 60 and wore a famboyant suit with a white fedora. This DJ only spun old shellac 78@s. I rummaged and managed to find a tango record which he sold nme for £4.

Passed by the old Walthamstow EMD cinema(I wrote this into my last scene) which is in a sorry state indeed these days(it closed in 2003).

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Good intentions... do a couple of hours this afternoon but work is just too busy at the moment. Did finish new chapter off yesterday though and its back - at 1200words and not bad but needs tidying.
Off to see Follies at a local pub theatre now with only 50 seats!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Sitting here trying to get this thing started...

...Ive got a bit stuck on where I should finish off the scene I have written with R and his 10 year old daughter in Mcdonalds. As he's treating her I thought he would take her to the has told me that in 2002 Walthamstow EMD cinema was still open...and a search of films from that year tell me ICEAGE and Lord of the rings came out(It just came to me I can recall seeing it with H in Bangkok where we went that New Year -and hating it). I need to start writing it now!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Want to try to get started on new scene today

because next week will be busy work wise I know already. Just trying to wake up. Had away day yesterday and later H and I trained it down to Lee to a party at friends. We didnt get home til after one this laid in until 8.45am.

I WOKE UP THINKING ABOUT THAT FIRST NEW LINE of the scene with R and his daughter in Mcdonalds.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Positiv tutorial with my writing mentor

Feedback is encouraging. Some very useful pointers to what is working and whats not -and whats not is mostly what Ive had my own doubts about and wont take much to sort out.Am aiming now to write four specific new scenes that are warranted by their absence in the story line so far and then will review what I have and do a word count . Thus far Ive resisted doing a word count and I really dont have a clue what Ive totted up to date. The writing seemed the more important get out what needed to come out. Then at my next tutorial with Emma I will se how near I am to completing a first draft of the whole novel.Hopefully this will be by Christmas.

On the way back waiting for a tube train on the Northern Line I experienced what could easily make a great opener for a novel or short story. In the entrance tunnel a young man just ahead of me had a sheet of paper blown out of his hand. I watched it get blown along the platform and then onto the line, persued by the man. The man wanted to jump onto the track to fetch it. Couldnt speak good English. I stepped in...along with one or two others and warned him DEFINATELY not to do this as it was very dangerous. He said the document was valuable - It MUST HAVE BEEN FOR HIM TO CONSIDER RISKING HIS LIFE TO RETRIEVE IT . I SPOKE TO THE STATION CONTROLLER via THE help POINT ON THE PLATFORM, WHO TOLD me to tell the man to come back in the morning and they would pick up his piece of paper when the current is swicthed off overnight. This was of course ludicrous - even if they find it would there be anything much left of a single sheet of paper by then . I just could see it in my minds eye being blown further and further into the tunnel.



Such a good night... lovely Hackney tango, which is getting more popular. Enjoyed the lesson and milonga afterwards(left just after midnite. The fire roaring in the gratE - and in my heart for tango!) Outside walking to the cab place I was propositioned by quite a nice young man but he was either stoned or a little drunk but anyhow a pleasant end to an upifting evenning.(I politely declined).

No new writing completed since the editing I did on Monday of the tutorial material as Ive been busy with Company stuff - we have an Away Day tomorrow and tenders on the go. I'm seeing Emma my writing mentor today(OH GOD, OH GOD!)... I am pleased with what I've done but have no idea if she'll think it's any good.