Back to writing group tonight. The homework this week was to write a ‘hook’. I am supposed to make the reader irresistibly hooked within the first couple of sentences. The tutor told said to make it as shocking as we wanted.
I am being ever so brave and bringing in the first paragraph of my novel. I fiddled with it a bit today and swapped scenes around to have the reader jump straight into the action.
Wish me luck
Today’s Word-count: 142
Despite my best intentions, I ended up editing bits of the first scene. Though I mostly added and only took away a few words so I’m going to say it’s just fine.
This afternoon I started making a circle skirt out of gorgeous satin, then drafted up a post to show off my make, it will appear at some point along the line.
Word count: 191
I’m working on the ‘final’ revision of my novel. Today I wrote that tricky first scene. After writing and re-writing, and then re-re-writing the first line, I managed to get out of my own way and crack on. This is not after all a final edit, only the final revision. I’m actually pretty happy with it. However, I shan’t be looking at it again for a while so we’ll see if it changes.
Todays word-count: 507 words
I’ve been trying to figure out where on earth I am in my novel, at this point there are so many revisions it’s a bit terrifying to delve back in. I think I have somewhat managed to puzzle the versions apart. Now it’s time to un-pick exactly which plot line I am following.
Sticky notes, space and a tsunami of paper led to some vague form of clarity. I am religiously staying to my schedule and as soon as I’d unravelled the mess it was time to take a break and then start something new.
At least now all my notes are in a row and I have a good starting off point for next time. If I’m sticking to my routine, that should be tomorrow!
Today’s Word Count: 350
Whether it’s a tempory high or a sign that this current haze of anxiety and depression is passing, my motivation is back with a vengeance. There are lists upon lists of things I want to write, make and fix.
One terrifying task looming on the horizon is the dreaded driving test. I am straddling the line between avoidance and obsessively worrying.
It’s been nearly a month since I wrote a post for this blog. In that time I have written a little but have mostly spent time planning and honing my skills with sentence structures and narrative arcs.
Back in May, I wrote a piece of Flash Fiction for Winchester Writers’ Prize. I had no luck with the competition but I’m relatively happy with it and decided to share it with you lovely people. The prize offered adjudication for an extra charge. I haven’t done any editing since the adjudication, though i do think the feedback is useful. I’ll include it at the bottom. Let me know what you think.
Court shoes cling with tacky insistence to rotting floorboards. Each breath brings the dank scent of mold. My toe catches on a bottle. It’s chime echoes about the hall a mockery of the music that once played. It comes to jarring halt against a piece of wood, blocking the stairway to the stage. One shaft of light reaches the raised platform. The glass ceiling all but boarded over,
‘What have they done to you?’ I place one gloved hand on the board. A sharp pain stabs my palm. A spot of blood pools about the splinter, staining white gloves.
‘Perfect. Just bloody perfect,’
A scraping noise resounds, I lift my head to see a girl skating towards the stage.
‘Were you talking to y’self? Only mad people talk to themselves’
‘Nonsense.’ I say pulling the splinter free.
‘S’what I heard,’ she shrugs and skates up the plyboard onto the stage.
‘Do your parents know you are here?’ The girl slides back down and circles me on her heels.
‘They split a year ago. Dad’s workin’ and Mum’s moved away,’ she scuffs the floor ‘It’s the only place I got to skate.’
‘It was an ice rink when i was young. Dottie and I would dance by candle light the stars and moon shining down upon us.’ I look up to the boarded ceiling ‘all the magic’s gone now she’s dead.’ I push back the pain in my throat. ‘You don’t want to hear stories from an old lady.’
‘I don’t mind.’
I look her up and down, she seems genuinely curious.
‘If that’s the case I have something to show you. Here help me move this’ the board moved easily with her help. I bend low, my light blue skirt skimming the floor. I pry open a floorboard, my gloves growing messy with sticky dust. The tin box stils, just where Dottie and I left it. I open it, inside lies a photograph and two pairs of leather ice skates.
‘This is Dottie.’ I says pointing to the woman on the left, laughter lines crease her eyes and curls fly forward on a gust of wind. A younger version of myself stares at Dottie, besotted.
‘You miss her’ the girl says, it’s not a question. ‘I miss my mum too, we used to skate here, when it was a roller disco.’ I press the photograph into my pocket and pull out the blades.
‘Watcha doin?’ The girl asks as I prop myself against the wall and pull on a pair of ice skates.
‘Here put these on.’ I toss the other pair to her
‘There’s no ice.’
The boards covering the windows slip away. Crystal clear light refracts onto white ice. The stage fills with ghostly musicians.
‘The magic never left this place after all.’
The girl slips and I skate to her side placing a firm arm under her back.
‘How did you-?’
‘I’m going to teach you how to really skate.’
The University of Winchester Writers’ Festival added a note.
Note: The interaction between the old woman and the girl is moving in parts – I believe the girl is genuinely interested at the end. The piece is unnecessarily confusing however — knowing where they are, that the narrator is an old woman, would improve the immediacy of the story. Be careful of grammatical mistakes — they also make the story difficult to comprehend. But some nice work here.
Today’s Wordcount: 475
p.s Grammar is a super difficult thing for me, dyslexia is a bitch
I may sound like a broken record but here goes anyway.
I’ve been feeling a little down recently.
I bet if I bothered to check, that phrase would be the most common throughout my blogging. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve suffered from depression for a fair while now. For the most part, I’m coping far better. but the problem is…depression doesn’t go away just because you’ve figured out all the coping mechanisms. It comes back in insidious ways. Right now my depression is taking the form of lethargy. Everything is just that bit harder to do. Particularly anything involving social pressure.
Today I managed to revise a couple of scenes before succumbing to exhaustion.
Today I wrote: 870 words
I now have a couple of months in which to edit my first 10,000 words. Reading back over my previous revisions I realised it was a little dull. The information is there, laid out in a concise effective manner. The world has magical aspects but the wonder of that magic has been lost. Today I spent time re-writing the first paragraph. I went to it with fresh eyes and no pressure.
I absolutely love what I’ve written.
Todays word count: 180
I’ve given myself a bit of a breather for the past couple of days. It’s been exhausting trying to get my novel ready to be sent away for a competition. There is just not enough time. I’m proud of the revision I’ve done. The first 4000 words are more or less cohesive.
My original aim was to send a piece of writing off a month. I have succeeded in that goal by sending two flash fiction stories this month.
I have another chance at the end of July with the Cinnamon Press Novel Prize. In the meantime, I will go back to writing a scene per day and working on other fun short stories.
Today’s Word Count: 300
At this point, I am fairly certain I will not manage to get my first 15,000 words off by the end of the month. I’ve been revising scenes since around 3.30 this afternoon and completed two scenes. On any ordinary day, this would be fantastic, but I am still only on 3897 fully revised words. I’ve managed to smash together my very early drafts and later revisions to get a nicely rounded introduction. It’s turning out pretty well but there just isn’t enough time to thread together all the scenes.
To complete the required amount I will now have to revise 2200 words per day. I will be working two out of the five days.
Today’s total word count: 3126
Today’s revised word count: 873
Both today and yesterday I managed to write a scene. It’s nice to know I can actually sit down and write, of a day. However, I still need to get 12,000 more words revised by the end of the month, including the final draft of my synopsis. In order to get this draft finished, I will need to write 2000 words every day.
Do-able but not likely
wish me luck x
Today’s Word count: 703