.. how to write!
Happy Monday 💫
.. how to write!
Happy Monday 💫
So I was continuing my study of Kate Walker‘s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.. you know what it’s like; a couple of pages in the bath trying desperately not to splash the pages, a chapter while Man of the Woods checks the farming forums to see if anyone has anything interesting to say on-line…
The chapter on conflict I made sure I read twice, because first time through you don’t take it all in do you? It makes such perfect sense. Internal and external conflicts are essential in any decent fiction, whether it’s book or film .. let’s think of one…
External conflicts I would suggest might have been the fact that she was an instructor and him a mere student (is there a fan in here please?).
Another would be that after they have become ‘a thing’ he goes off to do his job and potentially may not come back.
Internal conflicts are she’s trying to avoid giving the wrong signals to yet-another-hot-shot (good try; I’d fall for that too).
In the second half of the film, Maverick is dealing with the loss of best mate Goose and contemplating his own relationship with his father who is no longer around. Lots of emotional punch there (and watching him sat alone and silent on that bed staring at the photo of him on his father’s shoulders was very powerful).
This amazing monument, called The Scott Monument is located along Princes Street in Edinburgh. I’ve admired it on both occasions that I have visited this beautiful city, both times with Man of the Woods during the last two years.
The characters in my novel spend most of the book in Italy, at a vineyard approximately an hour from Milan in one direction and an hour from Lake Garda in another.
This morning, I’ve scribbled a rough outline for a final chapter which takes place … in Edinburgh.
Now I’ve had two weetabix with a whole banana sliced over it, yoghurt, a little milk, a drizzle of honey and a few blueberries, I’m now off to type a first draft of the scene while it is fresh in my memory!
(We’ll then only have about forty thousand words to fill in, but we won’t worry about that for now 🤣)
I read this with a) recognition and b) trepidation. Not because I was worried what this blogger was about to reveal but because I fear I may have to tread in her footsteps very soon!
I bought my laptop second hand from eBay; I took a train ride to pick it up and saw it plugged in and shining brightly in the vendor’s home 👌🏼
It has never kept charge for very long, my MacBook of four or five years old and I know people often scathe Apple products for being set to die after a certain lifespan!
(I really must learn how to use Dropbox which I dutifully downloaded recently!)
…so I honestly have been putting off getting a new laptop, for several reasons.
My laptop of almost 7 years was my best friend. It helped me create 3 blogs, edit thousands of photos, and never shut down because it was tired.
It did NOT have Windows 10, which I loathe, and everything was right at my fingertips.
But it did indeed get tired. And would not turn on if it wasn’t plugged in; and would never charge.
So for the past two hours, I have been “setting up” my new laptop. I have logged in codes and passwords 37 times (I wish I was lying, but I’m not), and am still fighting to get Office downloaded so I can get my books saved on here.
I had to force it to download Chrome so I can function like I am used to, and does anyone really use Bing?
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Where do the hours go?? It wasn’t that long ago that I was doing the school run twice a day and assumed I’d have this vast ocean of time to play with when the children left. The school runs stopped two years ago yet I appear to have less of the damned stuff.
Out delivering this evening and while the UK deals with this ongoing furnace, the weather must be about to react finally. There are some weird clouds around today and I am praying they mean a storm. I know Man of the Woods will have to stop combining until the crop is dry enough to cut again, but really – enough is enough! If you give me these temperatures, then give me Skiathos and bars and beaches and boats in the harbour (god we’d have had fun had I been blogging last July when I went there 🇬🇷).
So my friend the Tank is no more. Head-on two weeks ago, round a bend in a lane. No-one was hurt, though I blacked out momentarily and ‘came to’ as my face lifted away from the airbag. The smell was like gunpowder but I’m told it’s some sort of chalk. Man of the Woods had the steering wheel against which to brace himself but the passenger tends to be more like a rag doll. No real harm done. Only to the 177,000 mile workmate of mine. Sad times, but it is only metal, really, if you think hard about it and stop being girly and sentimental.
I’ve been editing in the garden, on the combine, at the kitchen table. Haven’t quite made the deadline I set myself to send off the partial today to the NWS but I’ve simply had to keep juggling rug work with harvest meal/moral support, show my face to mother (let’s not go there today) and hence writing has taken a back seat.
Curtis Brown don’t want me 😫
They sent a polite email, they’d had hundreds of applications for their 6-month course and only fifteen places to allocate. Fair enough; I’m either not at a quality they wish to work with, or have a genre they also don’t wish to work with. Brushing myself down here … many people have succeeded in having a book published without doing a CBC course, right? RIGHT 💪🏼
Keep having to stop to buy more water! Least it gives me time to peruse the rest as I watch the rain clouds gather. Here is a building with a dalek on the top.
Ok, gotta keep driving. Pray for rain peeps. Stay safe 🌸
I’m going to put on my CV ‘juggling expert’.
What? You mean you’re one too?!
I can do this, I’ve made those changes to the early chapters and completed the name-change.
Having read (in probably a total of around 6 hours) this book by Julie Cohen all week, my decision is made that I wish to make my book a dual POV read.
This opens up a whole new bunch of chapters where we can discover Antonio and I’m severely excited about this.
But this book.
Have you read it? OMG, it blew me away. A love story, yes. But a wonderful study in empath behaviour too, yet the two main characters wish to follow their dreams.
Very clever writing and guess what???? (sshhh .. I met Julie last week at the conference 👀🤩 .. I think we even had a short conversation over a coffee about her writing course in Devon in November!! Eeeeek. Guess who wants to go?)
Here’s the blurb;
RICHARD AND JUDY SUMMER BOOK CLUB PICK 2018
‘This big, clever, tender and twisty love story reminded me of One Day & The Time Traveler’s Wife‘ Erin Kelly, author of He Said, She Said
Robbie and Emily they have been together for decades. Now, their joints are creaking and their eyesight is failing – but their love for each other is as fresh and fierce as the day they first met. They have had children and grandchildren, lived full and happy and intimate lives.
But they have been keeping a secret since the day they met, when their lives changed forever. Over the years, the sacrifices and choices they made have sealed their fates together.
Did they do the right thing? Read their story, and you decide.
So you’re itching to hear how I got on aren’t you?
Have you ever been so tired, you’re almost delirious? You’re aware of how many bags you need to keep near you and which pocket your ticket is snuggled in, but there’s a general fog? Not a hungover fog as I kept my alcohol intake to a sensible level so as to attend my one to ones with wits about me. Drunk on information and inspiration maybe….
I did have a little lift selfie moment. Does my bum look big in this? Doesn’t matter if it did because I found a hibiscus 🌺
Maud has become Blanche as the niggle about introducing two characters in a first chapter with names starting with the same letter grew into a cactus which kept meeting me head-on at every corner.
I’ve been advised also to think about an aspect in my early chapters so they make more sense – feel more ‘true’ – as opposed to simply convenient.
An agent did ask to see more than the three chapters I’d sent her so this, for me, is very positive. My plans are now as follows:
• Utilise what I learnt to improve early chapters.
• Do a Find/Replace name-change Maud to Blanche.
• Polish as far as I can the 24,000 words and submit by 30 July to NWS.
• Send the sane 24,000 words to the agent who was ‘intrigued by this rich family story with so much going on.’
• Re-write submission pitch as I now realise what genre my book is – Romantic Suspense. Before this weekend, I wasn’t sure if it was a crime thriller with some romance … or a love tale with a backstory of crime.
• Wait to hear whether I’ve been successful with my application to be on the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing 6-month online course which starts in September (perfect as I can help Man of the Woods with harvest support).
• complete manuscript by March 2019 and this time next year be receiving NWS critique for the whole damn thing! Because yes, you can do the scheme more than once and many published authors I spoke to this weekend went through it two, three and sometimes four times, getting stronger each year.
• Mentally prepare for Book 2’s birth during NaNoWriMo this coming November with A LOT more planning than my zero effort during 2017!
The authors who gave talks at the conference this weekend about patience, perseverance and struggles were very inspiring. Milly Johnson, for example, has fourteen published titles and she spoke of how hard it is each time she sits to start a new first page. An after-dinner speaker, Milly had us in fits of laughter, a Yorkshire lass proud of her roots, her stories are set around her home county and the trials of real life. Just ordered the title below as it’s about time I introduced my reading-self to this amazing woman and writer.
I am relieved I did not hurl a rushed manuscript through to the NWS, in an effort to gain a larger wordcount. (NaNo wordcount is a different beast – it’s a great to accrue a foundation from which to work).
I rubbed shoulders with Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Kate Walker.
I also met Julie Cohen who as well as writing, runs residential courses and I very much hope to attend one in Devon this November. Have you read her? This title below is a Richard & Judy Book Club 2018 choice and I can see why.
I have been blown away by part One .. which covers the first forty pages. I became quickly invested in her characters; I am worried for them and can feel the love shared between. It’s beautiful prose and she shows with clarity and vision the home of this new family I wish to find out everything about. Oh, goodness, I just LOVE it when a book grips me like this 💙