Word tracker

My Works in Progress

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Cuckoos and Loos

The Cuckoo in the Nest

I really do love getting up at 4.00 am or thereabouts and savouring the purity and peace of the dawn hours. I write so much better at this time of the day. I've just had my cup of tea, I'll write until seven and then go back to bed for an hour or so before getting up and going to work.

Two days of bank holiday freedom has seen the word count for the cuckoo of a book I've very unwisely embarked upon soar from around 13.5k to a smidgeon over 27k.

I've asked around a bit for people's opinions and tips on writing in the 1st person present and got a mixed bag of responses. It seems to be a bit like Marmite - people either love it or hate it. It's either spectacularly good to read, or like wading through treacle.

I'm not making it easy for myself, am I? The plot makes me shiver with excitement. I hope I'm not wasting a good plot on a no-brainer of a novel, structured narratively in a way that hasn't a hope in hell of ever getting published. I am so enjoying writing the damned thing, though, I really don't want to burst my own bubble, especially after the disastrous three months I've just endured with the dreaded writers' block and feeling like I write rubbish.

My uncle told me about a premature birth at the beginning of the 20th century and I was captivated. I thought to myself that if I was captivated by the story, then other people would be too and I resolved to write about it one day. Then I remembered that, in November last year, I overheard an interesting snippet of conversation behind me in the queue for lunch in the Natural History museum about someone researching a family tree that wasn't their own.

I got the idea for the new novel from these two five-minute conversations. The conversations then dove-tailed (ha ha!) quite nicely into an abandoned novel I'd got bored with. Voila! 'The White Cuckoo' was born and now it's growing so quickly, and needing so much energy, that it's squeezing everything else out of my life until it's finished.

Target date for completion of first draft, I hear you ask whilst scratching your chins pensively? End of May. Yes, really. I need to do it. I can only meet this target if my family help me, though.

Emily - stop rolling your eyeballs upwards: I need you to sit, quietly nursing Sophie, and listen to me reading out loud. Labradors - likewise. Rob - sorry in advance about the housework: you'll need some new rubber gloves and a pinny. Tatie Katie - feel free to log-in whenever you like and tell me when you get bored with the story. Lee - likewise but from a male point of view. Garry and Nicky - coffee duty and amused tolerance/indifference is all that is required of you, but any (constructive) comments will be gratefully received. Tyler - when Granny is busy writing you really must remind her that, although you are sitting quietly pretending to play with your Nintendo DS, you are really watching Power Rangers on Jetix. You mustn't wait until 55 minutes after it's started to tell her that it's on.

(NB: Tyler is not allowed to watch Power Rangers - his mummy and daddy have banned it.)

The only thing that will stop me now is seeing a pig flying past my window in the form of a publisher for the trilogy.

The Loo

Our downstairs toilet broke last week. It would not flush. After many mutterings of frustration at having to actually climb stairs to spend a quick penny, hubby investigated. It needed a new syphon, apparently. New syphon = £12.5o. I took the broken syphon to bits, being curious like I am, and it was just a piece of thick plastic that had gone. After telephone calls and visits to various DIY places and Plumbing Centres it was ascertained that said thick piece of plastic was not a spare part and new syphon was essential if flushings were to be restored. So I removed the plastic with the bread knife (no not really - I'm not that mucky), found a piece of similar thickness and cut a new one out with my dressmaking scissors. Hubby most impressed! Reassembled it works perfectly.

Now ... how about a little change of career ....


Pat Posner said...

The White Cuckoo sounds fascinating, Annie. Congratulations on all the 'Easter words'.

Congrats, too, on the loo-fixing.
Buy something nice with the money you saved.


Amanda said...

The White Cuckoo sounds brilliant! And you've written so many words so quickly - that's amazing. I love it when a story seems to want to be written so badly that the words just flow and flow and flow.
Good luck with your May deadline!

KAREN said...

If the story's flowing so well, I wouldn't worry about anything else at this point - just get it done! Your word count is inspiring :o)

And when you've finished you can come round and sort out our loo ...

HelenMHunt said...

Every time I try home plumbing (most recently an attempt to mend leaky radiator in J's room) I make things worse!

The White Cuckoo sounds brilliant x

Lane said...

That's an incredible word count Annie. I am so impressed as always, with the schedule you manage to keep. Sometimes, when I'm up early, I think 'Annie's writing away right now, I should do the same', but it never really happens.

At this rate your end of May target will be a doddle - especially as you're enjoying it so much. And I'm sure Emily, Tyler, Rob, Lee, the boys and the dogs will all do their bit.


Mercedes. said...

See that you're speeding on with the writing as usual, I often think of you when when I'm up at 5.30 writing. Next time I will give a little wave in to the ether and hope you get it.
I love writing in the first person, find it way easier, now that I'm doing my first book again and it's in the third I have to think carefully.

Captain Black said...

Blimey, you're a binge writer! Nothing for ages and then you blast out a third of a novel. I'm seriously impressed. Now get some sleep!I don't know how you get up so early in the morning; I couldn't do that. I would definitely be a mess if I tried snatching that hour of sleep as well.

Well done on your DIY. For me that usually means: destroy it yourself.

Flowerpot said...

I agree with Capn Black. If I don't get enuogh sleep I am a mess too! But I do admire youfor that and for your word count. Make sure you have time to enjoy your non writing time as well!

Annieye said...

Pat - hope you had a good Easter. The loo is still working.

Amanda - thanks. It's probably just something I need to do to get writing again after a period of stagnance.

Karen - I can't do anything else at the moment. I'll be happy to fix your loo, but I'm a bit cuckooed out at the moment!

Helen - don't let me anywhere near radiators. But that's another story ...

Lane - Everyone's different I suspect. I've always been at my best early in the morning but I'm like a wet lettuce come 9 pm and just want to go to bed!

Mercedes - Well done on your re-write. I'm not doing too badly in the first person, I think, although I do have to keep my wits about me.

Captain - Binge writer! Ummm ... I suppose I am at the moment. Just gone a bit crazy, I think. I need about 6-7 hrs sleep a night.

Flowerpot - I know. You are a wise lady and very right. I'm going out this afternoon with hubby to look for a new barbecue for the summer!

Debs said...

What an impressive word count, though the only time I'm up at 4am is to catch a flight, or something like that.

Well done fixing the loo.

motherx said...

I dont know how you do it :) thats a hell of a word count!! I cant wait to hear more about it. You are so dedicated getting up at that time:)