Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Muddled Writing Progress Update

I have a hectic evening tomorrow, so thought I would blog about my progress now.

Today I've closed my manuscript down at 31,705 words. I don't think I'll do any more tonight - I've written 1210 words today. That means I'm 7 days a head of myself. But considering I'm going on a 2 week holiday soon, then I will soon be 7 days behind (if you take in the words I've accrued). When I return from my holiday, my novel should have been sitting around the 40k mark, as it's 40 days into the challenge! Gosh, 9th June is half way, girls (and boys)!

But I'm not panicking about that. I've already proved I can write more than 1000 words a day if push comes to shove, so I'll reach my 80k in 80 days. The thing is, have I got a 80K story?

I've started struggling in places, and I do wonder if it's because I've written this story a bit more 'seats of pants' style with not doing much research beforehand, or even planning. The good thing is, I'm noting down every time I come up with an idea and bash it away in my story, what I need to research (and highlighting the text to remind me). Things like does the Hilton Hotel on the M5, near Bristol, have a suite, and if so what does it look like? I need to phone them, and see if they'll let me take a look... maybe they'll give me a complimentary nights stay... (I am dreaming now). So doing the research alone, might help fatten up the story - but only a bit.

I know how I wanted this story to start, I've got an ending in mind... it's just getting to it, I'm struggling with.

So I've been feeling a bit crap about my writing actually. I'm worried I'm repetitive, not fresh enough, in fact downright boring with my story telling, worrying I fall into the trap of 'amateur'. Which I am really. Have I even got Steve right? How do I find out how an A-Lister really is? Would reading Hello and OK help me?

I'm taking my notebook on holiday - yes, I think I'll use my present - and will be using this time to think about this story further and put it into logical scenes. This I am lacking at the moment.

Steve playing action hero where he gets to kiss the girl!
When I wrote The Wedding Favour, my organised brain had the scenes planned well. As far as I can see I don't need to jig chapters/scenes about. Whereas with Perfect Isn't An Option I'm not even creating chapters, just putting scene breaks in where I think there should be one.  And bashing out scenes as they come to me, and not necessarily in chronological order. And this leaves me worried I don't quite have enough for 80,000 words. Hence, I need to brainstorm.

So my writing progress is a muddled one, and I'm wittering again...  


  1. Thanks, Julia. I like staring at Bradley lots, that's inspiring :D

  2. Sounds to me as though you're doing pretty well, Teresa.

    Sometime, somewhere, I seem to remember being told that you don't need to write chronologically. If you get stuck with one scene just move on to another. That keeps your writing fresh.

    There's plenty of time later for moving things round and putting them all in the right order.

    A while ago I found some writing software called "Y Writer". I used it for novels and I use it now for short stories. It makes it really easy to write in scenes and move them around to your heart's content. You can import existing work into it and it keeps track of all your characters, research etc.

  3. Good luck Teresa, sounds like you've hit the mid book muddle. I go through it with most books, where you doubt you'll ever get to the end, and that what you've written so far is crap. But I'm sure you'll get there in the end if you keep plodding away at it!

  4. Thanks, Gail and Serenity.

    Actually I got a Novel Kit from Writing Magazine for (re)subscribing. And it's got pads to fill out. I will use those to help me. Haven't had a proper chance to look at it all as I went off on my hols! (As you can see I am back now and buried in washing).


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