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.




  1. Might be a very short novel if he got electrocuted on the line BUT perhaps then you could go into the backstory that led up to it all!

    Great to hear you think you're getting there. I've probably done about 12-15,000 words in the last few weeks (not counted either) but I'm a bit depressed as I think I've maybe covered a third of the plot at most and I've expended probably over 50,000 words -- at worst that might set up the novel to be rejected out of hand, at best there'd be a lot of work ending up on the metaphorical cutting room floor.

  2. Hey Mike . Don't despair...maybe consider a review of where you are rather than just ploughing on if you feel its becomming unwieldy. Why not spend a slot in which you might normally be writing to do this - look at what you have written and review the chapter /plot plan aginst it. Then look again at the synopsis. Try to then focus on what more is necessary to write about and then stick to that and give yourself a target end date to aim for.When you resume writing new stuff - do it as per the "missing sections2 you have identified and dont think about anything beyond that. This is what Ive found helpful. Its a bit of a "lego"approach but its working for me. It doesnt have to be set in stone but atleast then you have a structure within which to re frame what you are doing and where you are going with it all. Stick with it!

    best wished

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. I think I may have a taking-stock exercise before the next ex-City workshopping session.

    I'm finding, perhaps as you may have done a while ago, that it's difficult to get fully-rounded feedback from a group on extracts of 2,500 words that don't come immediately consecutively. It's impossible to fully explain what's happened before if other people haven't read it (and it's still in your head rather than on paper).

    I suppose I should be quite happy in some ways as I feel I know my characters well enough to write about them in all kinds of situations -- like reading the paper, cooking dinner, making a wardrobe or sitting on a tube train. The trouble is that I seem to be stringing a whole load of these together rather than a tautly-plotted novel!

  4. Mike C I agree with Bren you need to get a workshop on your plot as its difficult ths reading in siolation all you will get is whether the piece works froma literrary perspective not from an overall novel pov