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My Works in Progress

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

It's a Funny Old World

I'm back in the world of the unpublished blogger after a hectic six weeks or so, when the day job has seriously got in the way of just about everything. Over this period I haven't had the time to do any serious writing, let alone eat a proper meal. I've really missed it after the crazy month when I went a bit hyperactive with my writing and wrote an entire novel with a meticulous obsession usually attributable to some of the lovely autistic children in my daughter's school!

Trying to grab the odd hour to write during this busy time was like scratching the type of itch that hurts when you scratch it, and so you have to stop because you know you'll make the itchy spot sore and the itch will intensify.

Just as the day job was calming down a little, I got a call from Gerry at The Writers' Holiday, where I am spending a blissful week at the end of July. I had planned to follow the course 'Plotting and Coursing your Novel' but it was oversubscribed. 'Would you consider the Advanced Novel Writing course,' he enquired, 'if you have a finished novel to submit?'

This was just under a week ago. There was just a teeny, tiny amount of work to do before I submitted the first 50 pages and the last 10 pages of a finished novel. Just a brief little list of characters, and a chapter breakdown, scene by scene. I had time, according to Gerry. There was nothing to worry about. (What is it about a soothing Welsh lilt?)

'Fine,' I said, biting my lip at the little white lie. Advanced Novel Writing! Scary, scary!

Bloomin' 'eck. It was like trying to squash an extremely grubby super king-sized duvet into a washing machine. Just as I got one bit under control, another bit popped out! I eventually managed to come up with something reasonably respectable to submit to Marina Oliver, the course tutor, but in the process the duvet disintegrated in the wash and came out full of holes.

A few months ago I had thought the second book in the trilogy, 'Melody of Raindrops', was reasonably OK and wouldn't need much work. Ooo-er! I think I've just realised the wisdom of leaving a manuscript alone for a while and then going back to it. These published writers know what they're on about, after all. Still - at least I'll have some holes to patch in Wales!

On another note if I was a dog I'd be a lumbering, gentle St Bernard. The scene I have in my mind is this huge, clumsy dog digging up a perfectly matured bone when suddenly this lean whippet-like Jack Russell tears up behind him and snatches it out from under his nose just as he is about to enjoy the fruits of his labours and patience.

Fellow writers - I will reveal all on 16th July when we meet up. Damned plagiarists, they are. All of 'em!


Fia said...

I like your version of editing/rewriting the best.

Have you found your voice has changed since you started writing? Mine's gone all squeaky - no, you know what I mean?

Intrigued with bone stealing Jack Russell.

Debs said...

I'm on the same course as you at the Writers' Holiday, so that should be fun.

I took ages to plough through all everything I needed to send for the course.

HelenMHunt said...

I wish I was going on a writing holiday - sigh - v jealous!

Anonymous said...

I bet you're glad the election shenanigans are over and now you can concentrate on your real job.

Someone has plagiarised your work? Outrageous! It must be somebody you know; even more outrageous.

Looking forward to the 16th... And Caerleon...

ChrisH said...

Oh lucky folks off on a writing holiday. Good luck with the advanced novel writing!

Pat Posner said...

Good to see you back, Annie.

Have a great and productive time on the writing holiday.

Tam said...

Ooh, advanced novel writing sounds equally scary and intersting. Good luck :-)

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