Friday, 22 October 2010

A Week in Bullet Points

Life wise:
  • My lovely boyfriend and I went off to London the other week for an afternoon/evening trip. We went to the Science Museum – boy, it has definitely changed since the last time I went there when I was a little one. One of my favourite times at the museum was going to see a Star Trek exhibit for my birthday. My boyfriend also went to the same exhibit and we could have walked past each other. Spooky.
  • That same day we went to see prog-rock band, Porcupine Tree at the Royal Albert Hall. I won the tickets, via work, so we had really good seats near the front. I really enjoyed myself – I especially enjoyed the acoustic set at the beginning. I’m looking forward to heading back there in a few weeks time to see Imogen Heap.
  • I recently finished reading Easter Parade by Richard Yates. I really liked the characters Emily and Sarah both striving for the American Dream, in different directions, in post war America, both finding disappoints and disillusionments with the realities of the world. The characters reminded me of my sister and I and the different paths we have taken with our lives. I really want to own all of Yates’s novels, all with the new Vintage covers. That’s my Christmas sorted!
  • Going to the cinema and seeing The Town – this was about living in Charlestown and its history of bank robbers and how it was a tradition in families and how difficult it was to break away. Ben Affleck directed the film and also starred in it too – I was surprised because his recent films have been a bit under average but this was brilliant.
  • Watching the DVD box set of Mad Men – I can’t the television audience levels for this are so low. The characters are brilliant, the writing is brilliant and the mise-en-scene is great too. Mad Men reminds me of Richard Yates’s novels.
  • Getting discharged from the hospital for my headaches – the steroid injection in the back of the right side of my head has helped. I have gone from 5-6 headaches each week to just 4 since July. Top notch.

Writing wise:
  • Coming to the end of an entire round of editing on my novel. I am at the stage where I love but also hate my novel at the same time. So at the moment I am taking a rest from it.
  • Making a plan for a short story.
  • Maybe, having several ideas for another novel – still early days – it could be an extended short story…

Also, check out this website, Fiction Uncovered as they are want to boost the profile of mid list authors and writing.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Compulsive Editing

I am onto another round of editing at the moment. I can't help myself. I must keep going around in circles, deleting sentences, re-instating paragraphs, etc. But this is good - I think I can see light at the end of the novel one's tunnel. This round of editing has me playing the role of janitor - I am sweeping up clunky sentences, spotting naughty spelling mistakes and giving the whole manuscript a good polish. I even have my lovely boyfriend giving it a read too.

I found this recently on Writer Unboxed, a cartoon about compulsive editing.

I have struggled with this task. I don't how why this has caused me such trouble because after all this editing I should know the novel inside out. But I had to make myself sit down the other Sunday and just write it before anything else could be done. I now have a one page synopsis and also a ten page, chapter by chapter breakdown of the novel.

I am also researching Literary Agencies at the moment - seeing which ones publish my favourite authors.  This will be the 'sell, sell, sell' part of writing. The part that a lot of writers call the ugly part but this is the reality.

It is two years this month that the first twinges of the novel started to appear in my head. Even if I don't get my novel published I am still going to be happy with actually finishing a novel - I have had several false starts but this idea was the one that made me commit. I know my printer has definitely felt those two years. I am hoping he still has another year left in him but he is starting to groan with every print job.