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Tag: debut novel

The Soundtrack of my Debut Novel

If you’re a new blogger and fairly inexperienced in the writing life, like I am, it can be a bit daunting to keep coming up with new ideas for posts. I have set myself the challenge of writing a new post every Monday and have even managed to keep to this goal so far. This  extends to preparing this one today because rather than having my usual day off tomorrow, I am going to be in London for the day.

During the day, I am attending training for the Young Voices concert taking place at the O2 next January so I shall be singing and dancing all day. I’m really looking forward to that 🙂

In the evening, I am off with my family and some lovely friends to the Danny Elfman concert at The Royal Albert Hall. It’s going to be a brilliant concert and I just can’t wait!

But I digress, although only a little 😉 I recently discovered a great blog by Molly Greene and I read this post on her site this week which has given me inspiration for my blog post this week.

You may have guessed from the title of my debut novel, which is ‘From Here to Nashville’, that there might be some music involved and you would be right of course. The basic plot is that my main female character is a singer/songwriter from Dorset in the UK and she meets and falls in love with someone from Nashville, USA (not just any old someone either, without giving away too many clues)! So, there is a lot of music involved throughout and in fact, the story allows me to include some of my favourite country music songs. My MC, Rachel also writes her own songs but as yet, these are not recorded 😉

With my daughter’s help (she’s 16 and knows a thing or two tech-wise), I have put together a playlist for you. Do have a listen and let me know what you think.
Spotify playlist

Booking my first writing course!

Since I started writing my debut novel this year, I have been considering a number of different writing courses to help me learn more about the craft of writing and also how to self-publish. I have picked up lots of information from the internet of course but I still feel that a face-to-face course would be beneficial. So I was very pleased yesterday to see a tweet about just such a course in London at the end of October.

I’d not come across this site before so that was a bonus and I bookmarked it at once, as well as following Charlie, who runs the site, on Twitter. What really persuaded me  to book the course is that it’s being led by Joanna Penn whose website I have been following for a while so I know that she really knows her stuff.

As well as this, it is perfectly tailored to where I am on my writing journey. The course is called ‘How to finish and publish your book’ and I am hoping, no, confident that I will have finished it by then so that I can really make the most of their advice on the day.

I have had a fantastic writing weekend this week and am really steaming towards the end now. My aim is to finish very soon so that I have a couple of weeks before the masterclass to rest away from my manuscript before starting the process of editing proper in November. However, by then it will be NaNoWriMo and the challenge I have set myself for this year, is to make a head start on the first draft of my second novel! Woohoo, how about that?! I am starting to feel like I’m a writer now, not just an aspiring one which is why I changed the title of my blog last week too 🙂

I hope your writing is going well. I’d love to hear from you about it so do leave a comment about the ups and downs of your writing week.

Sky, fog, and clouds on a textured vintage paper background with grunge stains.

The End…

So, I am now more than 80,000 words into my debut novel, as you may know. But, I am stuck on the ending. After much reflection, I have realised that this is because I haven’t got the plot right. I am therefore going to take a reader’s advice and read my own novel to enable me to write down all the main events and perhaps, move things around a bit. I hope this will allow me to make it work and to decide on how to finish the story.
I am off on holiday on Thursday and I have printed out my novel (160 pages!!!! Two to a page though to save on paper ;)) to read and edit whilst I’m away. Please God, this will give me some clarity.

I have been feeling really miserable this week, thinking that my writing’s never going to be good enough to publish to the world but I have realised that I need to take pride in having written so much already and in only six months! I now feel ready to read and edit so that when I return, I should be raring to go.
Have a good couple of weeks everyone 🙂

P.S. I bought Scrivener with my 50% off code as a Camp NaNoWriMo winner and having used the trial version a while back, I hope this is going to help me organise my novel much more easily. Any hints and tips from other users would be much appreciated.

Finishing my debut novel :(

So, I have just finished Camp NaNoWriMo and successfully written 10,000+ words – yay! But I have been plagued this week by the doubt that these were the wrong 10,000 words.

I have never written a novel before so I had an idea and then just wrote it as I went along. I got to 70,000 words feeling confident that this was the story I wanted to write. Then all of a sudden, I didn’t know where to go with the ending and I felt confused and frightened about where to take the story. I have read so much about writing an outline before you start but I really didn’t have one, just the germ of an idea. So I thought, well, I’ll just write and see what happens. And now I am worried that I might have to rewrite large sections of my novel all over again because the ending isn’t what I want it to be and along with that thought, will come a sense of inertia. You know, I can’t possibly rewrite all that, it’s too hard, it’ll be a mess. So, I am not writing at all, I am procrastinating.
I go on holiday next Thursday and I don’t know whether to take my laptop with me ( I have never done that in my life!) so that I can write if I want to. Maybe all those people I have scoffed at on previous holidays, sitting with their laptops in the sunshine, were actually would-be writers like me, struggling to finish their first draft of their first novel and therefore not to be mocked at all. I need help, guys, and would appreciate any advice you could offer. Thanks 🙂

I’m up for the challenge, are you?

Well, as of today, my Camp NaNoWrimo word count is 4,625 and my goal is 10,000 by the end of July. Apparently, I have to write 448 words a day to meet this goal and whilst I may not make this daily goal (term doesn’t end till Wednesday and so my real life begins again on Thursday!), I am absolutely determined to meet my 10,000 words by 31 July.

I am finding that food and wine are helping me, along with lots of lovely music. At the moment, I am listening to Kirsty MacColl. When I listen to her music, I feel both amazed at her beautiful voice and yet so sad because her life was cut so tragically short. I even managed to fit Soho Square into my novel which I hope is a fitting tribute to a wonderful singer and an even lovelier person and mother.

I may have had too much wine tonight 🙂 I have also listened to and been inspired by, Roberta Flack singing ‘Killing me softly with his song’ today. I have listened to this song at least a million times in my life but it inspires me every time 🙂

And finally, I watched a TV documentary we had recorded about Wings and their Wings Across America tour. I loved The Beatles and I loved Wings too and just listening to that talent has inspired me to write more. I had a listen to John Lennon singing ‘Woman’ too, just for good measure. If only we could turn back time…