I used to be a pantster, starting a novel on little more than a few characters and a good first line. To be honest, this didn't get me far - I felt a bit lost after a while - so I have planned my current novel. I'm not saying that I'm sticking to the plan 100% and I've had a few surprises such as characters suddenly springing out from nowhere complete with a name and distinctive taste in shoes, but I feel much more confident having that plan as back-up.
Anyway, my thought was that if I'm only half pantster now, does that make me a thongster?
What are you?
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net papaija2008
I'm shocked that the month has gone by so quickly and that the last time I blogged was for April's IWSG!
I have been pretty much off the bloggersphere - due to there simply not being enough hours in the day! I love reading blogs and keeping up with everyone, but I just can't fit it in. I will content myself for now with doing a monthly hop around and saying hi to everyone I can!
Anyway, on to the insecure stuff!
A mini-miracle has taken place - I know not how - and I am not listening to the demon on my shoulder that tries to tell me I'm rubbish. He shouts in my ear every so often and I find that I'm just sort of thinking "Oh shut up," and ignoring him.
I'm about 20,000 words into my novel (which I'm writing painstakingly slowly at the rate of about 500 words a day) and this time have no doubt that I will finish the project. I know how the story goes, so there's no reason not to write it. I also know some other things, thanks to advice I've read or received from others...
I wish I could remember who these gems that have changed my writing life came from, but I'm afraid I can't because I didn't make a note at the time! They are from blogs I've read or comments on blogs. If you recognise one as yours, then THANK YOU! I'm going to share them, anyway, because they have made a huge difference to my attitude to writing:
'The first draft of everything is shit.' (This is definitely a quote from a well-known published writer.) 'The first draft is really just elaborate notes.' 'You may get to the end and find that this isn't meant to be your first novel, but it's a great way to practise writing your second novel."
I also have one of my own - that old adage: SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!
These all resounded with me and I hope they can help you, too, if you feel in need of help. I've written and had published quite a lot of short stories, but a novel is a huge commitment and without the 'instant' feedback that I'm used to.
So, I'm not feeling insecure this month - I'm feeling full of 'oomph'! I hope you are, too!
Yep, I did it again! I thought I had it sussed but, nope! I got myself into the same cycle I get into every time I start on a novel. I became obsessed. Not with word-count, not with having to write every day, not with how long I write for... but with editing and fiddling! I edited and fiddled until I hated every word. I'd told myself I'd write a first draft and THEN fiddle with it, but I CAN'T DO IT!
Correction! I CAN do it and I WILL. This novel was nearly abandoned in its entirety. My daughter had read the first chapter without comment, which made me think it was pretty crappy, but when I told her I was ditching it, she got really annoyed and wanted to know why. I obviously didn't read her poker face right when she'd read it. Anyway, thanks to her, I am continuing but I'm going to allow myself the luxury of writing the first two chapters again and THEN I WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE END. It's here, in writing. Make me stick to it, please!
Hope you're not feeling too insecure - I'll be hopping around to find out!
As always, thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting this group. You can find the list of insecure bloggers taking part over on his blog. I won't add the list here because it's sooooooooo long! (There's probably a way of entering a link to lead you straight to the list but I ain't that clever!)
Although I have reviewed this on Goodreads, I have been meaning to write a post about this collection of short stories, That Sadie Thing by Annalisa Crawford .
Although Annalisa and I have been blogging buddies for quite a while now, this isn't a 'favour' review or a 'suck-up' plug - I genuinely want to tell you how much I enjoyed these stories and why.
I am a fan of short stories, but find that they are often a bit 'twee' or go the other way and are quite obscure and have no sort of satisfactory ending. Not in this anthology! I read this in the space of a few hours because it was so hard to put down. If you have read Annalisa's Cat and the Dreamer you will know that Annalisa has a quirky, honest style. That is what I loved about the stories in That Sadie Thing. They are varied in style and theme but I became absorbed in each and every one and even shed the odd tear. At this point, I was about to tell you about my favourite stories, but looking back through the book, I realised that each of them, as I came to it, felt like my favourite! 'Omelette' is touching, 'Beth' is someone many of us will be able to empathise with and brings a lump to the throat, 'The Walking Dead' is ultimately heart-warming, despite the title (!), 'Open Windows' is very moving (sniff) - and I could go on. Can you tell how much I enjoyed these stories? I'm no reviewer - I'm pretty rubbish at analysing why I like something because when I read I absorb atmosphere and rarely remember many details - which makes it fabulous when I want to re-read something because I have hardly any memory of it at all except that I liked it...
If you're looking for something refreshing and different but highly satisfying, I really recommend That Sadie Thing. It's available on Kindle - links below - but I really wish it was a paperback because it's just the sort of book I like to own and pass around!
The fabulous Patsy Collins has nominated me for this award. I'm honoured to receive it and am looking forward to passing it on to some others! The only trouble is, in my small blogging community it's hard to find someone who hasn't already had it!
First, I have to answer some questions, so here goes:
If you could change one thing, what would it be? I'd have done a degree. Not too late, I know, but less convenient!
If you could repeat an age, what would it
I'm perfectly happy now, but if I had to choose, I'd say the years between 30 and 35. My kids were little, we had lots of fun family times and I'd begun to feel like a 'proper' grown up and learned how to say no to things I didn't want to do.
What one thing really scares you?
I know this is maudlin, but the only thing I ever feel panic about is the thought of my kids dying. It's hard, having older kids who are out on their own/living away. Sorry!
If you could be someone else for a day, who
would it be?
Goodness. Obviously, it would have to be the other half of someone really gorgeous - maybe Aaron Paul (from Breaking Bad)'s girlfriend? Swooneroony (but don't tell my husband...)
Well, those were the questions, so now to pass it on:
You know how I ALWAYS go on about not having enough time? Well, I haven't got enough time to check out who has already had this award! I'm awarding it to the following people:
Claudia at The Story - a very real and interesting blog
Jaybird at Bird's Nest because she has some very quirky and interesting posts
As always, thank you to Alex J Cavanaugh for inventing this monthly airing of our insecurities! You will find the list of those taking part on his blog.
I've been feeling more torn than insecure, to be honest. It's the blog, don'tcha know? I've made so many good writerly-and-other-type friends through blogging, but I'm finding it hard to keep it going. Anyone who has read my various whinges over the past year or two may remember that TIME is my enemy (I know I'm not the only one!) I try to be diligent about reading blogs and commenting as well as maintaining my own (poorly tbh) but it's all time I could be spending WRITING.
I've come to a decision: I will blog once month unless I've got something urgent to share or have a guest. I know this is no way to be carrying on, but it's going to take a load off my shoulders!
I'm terrified! I've started the novel and I'm determined to see it through. My mind is spinning with getting voices right, keeping the pace, keeping thread of what I want to happen and when... GAH! I'm using the Scrivener free trial at the moment and I think I like it - especially the ability to drag scenes around and re-order them - but I'd love to hear how you keep track of your plot. Scrivener has a cork-board facility, but I'm feeling that for me a big sheet of paper with actual sticky-notes would be better - I'm very touchy-feely! Please share your method with me.
And don't forget to come and 'Friend' me of Facebook if you're a user.
That's all Folks!
Looking forward to hopping around and seeing who's feeling insecure today and why!