I have been trying to finish my first draft of my first novel for some time now and every time I draw near to it, I get stuck on the ending and find myself involved in a big rewrite before I find myself at the same point all over again. This is where I was last Monday morning and here I was again today. I don’t know if it’s a sort of ending procrastination, meaning that I am putting off writing the ending. More likely, I think, is a feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the enormity of this task I have taken on of writing a book but I really do want to get to the end, honest. I just want it to be a good ending as well! During the time I have been writing this novel since April, I have come to realise that there is so much more involved than I first thought despite all the advice out there, no-one else can do it for you. In the end, it’s just you and your computer 🙁
It’s been a good week for me, writing-wise and I wanted to let you know why. First of all, I am now working part-time rather than full-time which meant that I got a lot more writing done and what’s more, I could write all day and not feel self-indulgent! That’s a great feeling, I can tell you.
Secondly, I heard about The Festival of Romance which is taking place in Bedford, not far from me, on the weekend of the 8th November. There will be lots of romance writers and publishers there and they are also running some workshops. If you haven’t already heard of it, you should have a look online here.
I have also taken the plunge and decided to enter my first chapter into their New Talent award competition. Of course, I would love to win the competition but even if I don’t, I have paid extra to have my chapter professionally critiqued which I think will be very useful advice.
Finally, I have been reading lots of helpful advice from writing people on the internet encouraging me to keep my head down until I have finished my first draft and to not get tempted by the prospect of editing before I do so. I have already fallen into this trap to some extent and it has been really hard to deal with. So, I’m taking that advice, ploughing on and feeling much better about the first draft being completed soon.
I have added some new website links to my website as a result. Have a look in case you find them helpful and if you know of any others you’d recommend, do let me know!
Off to do some more writing now 🙂
I have been learning a lot of new vocabulary since I started writing this first novel of mine. One of these words has been ‘pantser’, meaning a writer who just sits down and writes without necessarily having every aspect of their story planned out in their minds. I was definitely a ‘pantser’ when I started writing my novel but when I got to 70,000 words and realised I didn’t know how to end the story, with the help of Scrivener, I became someone who outlines the story first. Except that I had to do it in reverse and I am still going!
I have got to the point in the story that I wanted to change. I’ve changed it and then worried that was the wrong decision (aargh!) but I am trying to plough on and it really is a nightmare job 🙁 This is because I am outlining, writing and editing all at the same time and I feel like I might be going slightly mad in the process.
So no more flying by the seat-of-my-pants next time. I am definitely going to outline the next one before I start. That’s assuming that I finish writing, editing, rewriting, proofreading this one….
Here’s a link to just one interesting article I read on this very subject.
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.
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 🙂
Well, we are officially on our school holidays now and this has meant that I have really been able to step up a gear as far as my writing is concerned. I really want to meet my word count goal of 10,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and today, I hit 8,052 words!!! I am so pleased. I feel absolutely confident of meeting my goal by the end of the month. I will still have to finish my novel of course but I am hoping to finish the first draft this summer and then to give myself some breathing space before tackling any editing. I have now written more than 80,000 words for this novel and I really never would have thought myself capable of doing that so that’s another thing I am pleased about. Happy holidays to all teachers and to all children out there 🙂
I had great plans to spend some time writing every day this weekend and then Wimbledon took over my life, just like it used to when I was young and had nothing better to do 🙂 I literally spent all weekend watching the tennis and so had no time left for writing. I am so proud of Andy though and it was such a great occasion that I am really glad we were able to be a part of it. I was also very happy for Ivan Lendl who was my favourite tennis player for all his peak years and it was great to see him ‘win’ at Wimbledon too. So, excuses, excuses, I hear you cry! Well, I am pleased to say that I managed another 500 or so words tonight, bringing my CampNaNoWriMo total to (drum roll please) 1651 words. I have to write an average of 300 odd words a day if I am to reach my goal of 10,000 words by the end of the month. It is hard to keep going when you’re working all day as well but I will try and keep at it, distractions notwithstanding 😉
After a bit of a drought, I am back on again with my novel all thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo! I have written over 1,000 words in the last 2 days and I feel confident that I can keep going. I have written over 73,000 words of my novel in total and was dreading writing the ending which is definitely in sight. I am just going to keep writing my 500 or so words a day until the end of term (I am a teacher) and then work really hard in the summer holidays to try and finish my first draft. I hope fellow campers/first novel writers are doing well and feel as inspired as I do.
It’s not been a very good writing week this week. I have become mired in internet sites advising me about all the things I need to beware of with self-publishing and as a result, have had no time left to write. I’ve realised that I’m getting ahead of myself and need to concentrate on my story now and spend less time worrying about what I’ll do when I’ve finished it. It is hard to keep focussed though, especially when I’m nearing the end of my story but getting comments on the beginning 🙁 Anyway, hey ho, maybe I’ll get some writing done today.
Well today, I finally decided that it was about time to start this blog about my journey from would be writer to published author. I started my new romance novel in April this year and have now written just over 70,000 words. I have been writing almost every day since I started but as I near the end of the story, I am finding it hard to finish. It’s partly to do with how I’m actually going to bring the story to a close but I think it’s also me procrastinating a little. I know that when I do finish, I will have to get down to the even harder process of editing and ultimately, working out how to actually self-publish. Since joining Twitter, I have been bookmarking all the useful websites other people have recommended and I will have to make time to read all this information at some point! But not today…. I’d love to hear from any other aspiring authors and bloggers out there.