Archive | October 2010

The End of NovelPI and Heading into NaNoWriMo

Agh, in all the excitement/stress of NaNo starting in 2 1/2 hours I totally forgot we’re still in NovelPI month. Eek. Ok, I’ve gotta do a quick 250 words then I’ll carry on with this.

Whew, that was close. I would have been mad with myself if I failed at the last hurdle.

This time 365 days ago, I’d probably just written my last words for NovelPI and was just about to start NaNoWriMo. A year later, I’ve just finished my words for NovelPI (on the same novel too) and am about to start NaNo again. I can’t believe I’m in exactly the same place. I can’t believe even more that I used the same novel for both NovelPIs, and the thing’s still not finished. In fact I doubt I’m even half way there. That’s pretty depressing!

I’m kind of sad. I’ve been working hard on ‘Holiday’ for a month. For even longer I’ve been writing bits and pieces for it and now I’ve got to file it away and start on something new. I’m determined I’m going to finish it before October next year. Determined.

But, enough with the sadness, I’ve got a new and exciting novel to think about now. For the time being I’m calling it The Dating Project. I kind of like it. Well, I don’t hate it. It might change, but for now it’s ok. It’s YA romance. And I think I’m really looking forward to writing it. I have been really excited about it, but the nearer the time gets to midnight, the more I’m starting to worry about it. Have I done enough prep for it? Do I have enough of a story to take it over 50,000 words? Are there enough sub plots to keep it interesting, and do they fit in with the context? Can I do this?

I had a very positive reaction to my Friday Fiction story that used my characters, which is good. Also at the NaNo meet up I went to on Thursday I met a girl who got really excited about the idea – well about it being YA, but I think the idea too. All things that are helping me think I’m on the right lines here. Only time will tell.

I really want to ‘win’ NaNo again though, so I’m going to give it everything I can.

SO yeah, the NaNo meet up on Thursday was great. I was planning on only staying for an hour or so, but the first time I looked at the time, I’d been there 2 1/2. Wow! It was really weird, because it was the first time I met people – as a writer. They KNEW from the off I was there because Im a writer (and slightly barmy as I’m doing this) so straight away we talked about writing, books, ideas etc etc. It was great. I met some really cool people too. I’m now really looking forward to going to some write-ins. My first one will be on Tuesday – providing I can get there quick enough after work. hopefully will be able to.

I did the edits on my story for that website today. It’s got to be returned by tomorrow, which is quite exciting. I don’t know how long that means it will be until it ‘goes live,’ but if they want it tomorrow, it can’t be that far away… can it? I’ll tell you what, I ALWAYS want to have an editor. Pretty much everything she said made really really good sense, and has made it a much stronger story because of it. There’s just one thing I don’t agree with, but that’s only because I’m not 100% sure what she means. She thinks I should swap a couple of sentences, which on their own would be better, but the second one is in 2 parts, and the second part doesn’t fit before the first sentence. I need to go back and look at it fresh. Well, I’ve had 8 or so hours away from it, that’s going to have to be ‘fresh’ enough.

I had an idea to stay up past midnight to start on NaNo at 0.00. But I got in really late last night, and only got 6 1/2 hours sleep, so I really want to get a decent night’s sleep tonight. If I’m tired tomorrow, I’m not going to be capable of writing decent stuff, or thinking. But then… it would be pretty cool to start at midnight. Oh I don’t know.

I’m getting pressure on Twitter to start tonight. I just don’t know. Maybe I’ll have a shower after my run (just showing off there that I went for a run today), will have another look at my story, then see how close to midnight it is. Play it by ear as they say!

Good luck all you WriMos out there. Apologies to the non-WriMos out there, I guess pretty much all of my blogs over the next month (if I do any) will be NaNo related.

Fiction Friday – 179

In most parts of the world, Halloween is celebrated – in some form or another – this weekend. Your challenge this week is to write a horror scene ( or something horrific) using a wet noodle, a styrofoam cup and a feather.

The day Madison totally became one of us started off a normal school day. A few of us had the period before lunch off, a couple of others were bunking off. We were all in the common room, probably being a bit loud, but we didn’t really care – it was Friday morning, we’d nearly survived our first week back at school.

Madison was in the kitchen area behind me making a drink, we were chatting about the latest celeb magazine, who was shagging who and what so and so had worn to a premier the night before. Emily and Chris were making out on the sofa opposite me. Every now and then someone would tell them to get a room – especially when Chris pulled out a long white feather and started tickling her arms, top of her chest and neck with it.

I was feeling jealous, not cause of Chris, god no, I’d known Chris most of my life, he totally didn’t do it for me. I was jealous because I wanted a boyfriend. I know it was my fault, I had that and gave it up, but that’s the point, I had the boyfriend, but we didn’t have that closeness. Next time, I’m going to get someone who’ll be like that.

I was eating Supernoodles. At this point I still hated cooking, so the extent of what I could be arsed to do was Supernoodles. Madison came to sit on the edge of my sofa, but somehow missed and her Styrofoam cup went flying. Coffee – luckily iced coffee – went flying through the air, straight onto my plate.

Everyone burst into hysterics except Madison and me. Madison was mortified and I was gutted. Still it was enough to stop the love birds from eating each other. When most people had calmed down, Mark was still laughing, so I picked up a couple of noodles and flicked them across the room. It was the best shot of my life – it hit his forehead, half sticking to his hair. He shrieked like a girl – honestly.

What happened next totally went in slow motion.

Mark peeled the noodle off his face and threw it across the room (he didn’t throw like a girl – he’s in the cricket team). As it started flying across the room, the common room door flung open. Mr Henderson stood there, but before he could utter a word, my noodle slapped him across the face.

For a second there was silence. Even the song on Emily’s ipod chose that moment to end. Slowly the noodle unattached itself from Mr Henderson. Slowly, bit by bit it moved down his nose. Then it fell.

A couple of the boys sniggered. I knew Emily would be trying to stop herself from laughing as I was. I stared at the noodle on the floor knowing if I looked up at her I’d collapse into giggles. Not a good idea with it being Mr Henderson there!

‘What is all this noise? There are lessons going on downstairs. Are you all on free periods?’ he boomed at us all.

‘Yes Mr Henderson,’ we chorused in reply. He looked round at us all.

‘I want to see all of you in my office at the beginning of lunch period.’ With that he turned and slammed the door behind him. We all lasted the time it took to look round the room at everyone else before bursting into hysterics. 

‘Oh my god, did you see?’

‘The noodle!’

‘Mark I can’t believe that shot!’

We al talked at once. When we eventually calmed down, Madison realised the implications.

‘Shit, our shopping trip!’ Emily shrugged across the room.

‘We’ll go another time,’ then turned back to Chris and glued her lips to his for the rest of the period.

I’m not too sure how horrific that was, or wasn’t, but it was the best I could come up with I’m afraid!

Because I’ve been thinking a lot about my NaNo novel, I thought I’d use this prompt to find out a little about my main characters, although halfway through reading it I realised there was no dialogue. Hmmmm. Oh well, I still think parts of their personalities have shown through without them speaking. I hope anyway.

As always, please let me know what you think of it. Oh, and let me know what you think of the name of the novel I’m toying with – The Dating Project…

NaNoWriMo Starts Here!

I know it’s a few days early, but in a roundabout way, NaNo is just about to start for me: I’m off to my first ever NaNo event. Yippee!

Last year (my first  NaNo – which I ‘won’ I might add) I planned to go to the Kick off party, but I was working during one, and had won tickets to a comedy evening during the other. I then planned to go to some write ins, but I ended up being more ill than I thought I would be after my operation. There were after parties I could have gone to, but that kind of felt wrong after my non attendance to everything else.

But this year… this year I’m doing it properly! Tonight’s the first Kick off party and I’ll be there with my party hat on (metaphorically anyway). I’ve even cancelled some other plans to go – that’s dedication for you! I haven’t decided which write ins I’ll go to, but I’m going to go to some. This year I’ve got an awesomely light laptop that I can pretty much take anywhere (I don’t think it would be to happy if I took it swimming or surfing to be honest!) so will be easy to drop into any event. Plus this year I finish work at 17.30 instead of 18.30, so the after work write ins are possible for me. All and all it’s looking pretty good.

The other night I made a more detailed plan of what I think the novel’s going to be about. I’ve got the main idea, although I’m still not 100% sure it’s going to work, but it should do. I hope. I need to work on character names (as always), the setting, need some research on school subjects/programs and more. But, I’m feeling really positive about it.

I think I’ve come up with the title too. I was thinking of a little alliteration – Dating Day or Date Day, or something like that, but it wasn’t really working for me. Then I did a little brain storming and came up with The Dating Project. I kind of like it, but I’m not 100% sure. It works for the plot, but I think it maybe sounds like a TV show or something. I’ll decide fully in the next couple of days. What do YOU think of it?

My plan for this year is to try to rack up a high word count at the beginning of the month – it’s my boyfriend’s birthday the last weekend of the month, so I’m likely to be out partying then and I don’t want to fail at the last hurdle! I’ve booked one day holiday next week for another reason, but I’m hoping I can get a high word count in there. Plus boyfriend is away for the beginning of next week, so I should be able to get a lot done then.

I’m also going to be doing some at lunch times – I’ll probably bring my lunch in so I can just sit at my desk and write. Some days anyway.

Roll on 1st November!

Alomst Published

I got an awesome email yesterday. Well semi awesome. It was from the editor of the website my story is going to be published on – woop! Before it can be published I’ve got to make A LOT of changes. When the email first said that I was worried – what’s wrong with my story? But then thinking about it, it totally makes sense, I’m new to this, they know so much more than me, of course there are going to be things they think I can improved. I’m actually really happy that they want me to change things, rather than just rejected my story!

So this week and the weekend, I’ll be making changes to that story. You know, as well as writing my words for NovelPI, plotting for my NaNo, the writing course and work for this family business I’m helping with. Not that I like to put too much on myself or anything. This is going to top priority though – it’s kind of going to make me a published author isn’t it. Woo hoo!

I’m still reading my really good book. Still thinking it’s really good.

I was so proud of myself last night. I really wanted to take a reprieve from NovelPI – 250 words seemed like such a high hill to climb. I’d totally got it in my head that I wouldn’t do anything, until I had a tiny flash of inspiration which caused me to start writing! When I paused for a breath, I found I’d done around 350 words – now that’s what I call a result.

There’s loads of ‘How to NaNo’ and advice on getting through the month on the internet at the moment. I really need to find some time to read through some. I’ve booked a day’s holiday next week, so hopefully I’ll get lots done then!

Tomorrow night I’m going to my first ever NaNo event. I wanted to go to a lot last year, but my operation, illness and birthdays stopped it. This year I’m determined I’m going to go to a couple of write-ins. Plus the starting party tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to meeting crazy people like me who are taking on this mammoth challenge!

Changes in Me and A Bit of Reading and Writing

Isn’t it funny what a difference a few months makes. When I first started this writing thing I was terrified of telling anyone I wanted to write, or that I was doing a writing course. Now, I’ll tell whoever will listen. I even tell people I’ve written a novel – although maybe I should stop doing that as I then have to hang my head in shame and admit that I’ve only edited the first chapter of it.

It’s great being able to tell people one of my stories has been accepted on a website. So many people want to read it, how cool is that. Well it will be when I hear back from the website again. I presume it’s normal for them to take ages to contact you about editing and then publishing it? I had an email from them at the end of Sep saying they’re going to post my story and that the editor will be in touch sometime soon. I’m guessing a month later isn’t that much to have not heard anything? Is it?

I’ve just got my notebook and writing course work out because I’m about to start on my plan for the novel I’m going to write for NaNo; the one I’m doubling up as the next assignment for my writing course (the assignment is to plot a novel – convenient). The problem I’m having is I’ve got my main idea, but I can’t decide on a little bit of detail for it. When I say a little bit, I mean the whole setting – maybe not such a little bit. I’ve got one idea that I think would be awesome, but I’d have to do a lot of research. OR I’ve got this other idea that’s good, but the other things that can happen because of that setting I think would be wicked. And I wouldn’t need to do as much research. I think I’m going to go for the second, maybe use the first as a setting to another novel in the future – obvioulsy depending on how well I get on with this whole YA genre.

Speaking of YA genres – I’m reading my next YA novel. Not the one I was planning on reading but something much, much more exciting. I don’t think I should say what, or who by, but basically I was on Twitter yesterday and an author I kind of know (I met through her blog and Twitter and went to her 1st book launch party) offered me her new book to read. It doesn’t come out until next year sometime, HOW EXCITING. She says there’s a lot to change about it, but she wants to know what I think of it. Let me repeat that. SHE wants to know what I think of it. OH MY GOD. How cool is that.

I’m on about chapter six or something (sat on the tube home this evening I was HAPPY for the train to be seriously delayed so I could read more!) and so far LOVING it. (sorry, I’m going a little over the top with the capitals today aren’t I?!) I think I’m loving it more than her first book. It’s actually given me goosebumps a couple of times, and almost made me cry! Always a good sign for a book.

Ok, I think that’s all I have to say for now. I’m going to try to be a better blogger this week than I have been for the last few weeks. I’m also going to try to visit the Fiction Friday stories I’ve missed over the last two weeks, I miss reading those stories. I just wish there was an extra hour or two in the day!

This Week’s Round Up

I thought I hadn’t blogged much this week, but I’ve just checked and I actually did three plus Fiction Friday. Strange, it feels like I didn’t do much. I guess that’s because I’ve been doing them late at night, not during the work day like I’m used to doing.

So this week has been my first real week at work. And I failed miserably to do anything productive writing wise at work. I lie actually, I wrote my words for NovelPI on Thursday at the end of my lunch break – but only because I knew I was going out that night so wouldn’t be able to do any later. I guess the reason doesn’t matter, the fact is, if I’ve done it once, I can do it again!

The good news for my writing (but bad news for me) is the girl I’ve been having lunch etc with this week is leaving on Friday. That means I’m more likely to sit at my desk during my break and write or blog from the week after onwards – brilliant as NaNo starts that Monday.

Yesterday is another example of if I put my mind to it, I can do anything. I got up, went to work, came home, got changed and went out. I literally had no time to write. I was going to call in another reprieve for NovelPI (you get one for every 5 days continuous writing you do, and I’m pretty sure I’ve done more than 5), but thought there was another way. So on the tube into town for my night out, I did some writing. 270 words at that. Woop! I just need to see if I can read them now – the Victoria Line is pretty bumpy.

Last Thursday, I finished the scene I’ve been working on for Holiday for the last week. I’m really happy with that as when I started it I didn’t really know what was going to happen in it, considering that, I’m pretty happy with it. I say that, I’ve not read it back, but from what I think happened, I think I’m happy with it.

I finished Avalon High by Meg Cabot this morning. It was so good. And so different to those two YA novels I read before (or started to read before). The only difference I noticed reading it to an adult novel, is the fact the MC was 15/16 not grown up, there was less sex and less swearing. Although there are a lot of adult books without sex and swearing too!

I’ve decided that I now HAVE to reread Della Says:OMG by Keris Stainton. Totally brilliant excuse too. The YA novels I’ve read recently have been American. I’m English. Keris is English… see where I’m going with this one? I feel like I need to have read more English YA novels before I start working on mine.

And I’ll be starting on it next Monday. Yes, NaNo starts a week tomorrow. Eek! I’ve not done the plan and sent it to my tutor for my next assignment yet. Damn. I wanted to get that in and returned before I started writing the novel. She usually ‘marks’ them at weekends, so if I can get it in early this week – I’m thinking tomorrow or Tuesday, then I’ll hopefully still get her comments back in time. Maybe. I’m going to try for it anyway.

ErgoFiction are now on story 8 of 10 in their Search Term Challenge. One of the 10 stories is mine, it may be one of the eight, it may be the one posted tomorrow or the last da. I can’t tell you. The point of the challenge is to make a story using at least three of the eight search term phrases. It’s really great because it’s amazing how varied the stories are when they all come from the same words. Some of the stories are really really good. Go have a look, then after the last one is posted, go vote for your favorite one!

Fiction Friday 22nd Oct – Dan The Hunter

Just for a change (!!) I thought I’d use Dan from my novel Holiday as the character for this. Somehow it involved drinking and women again. I know I keep doing this to him, but he is a nice guy, and even has a really good job!  

The prompt this week from Write Anything is After a long night, a hunter sees something he/she cannot believe. I’m quite proud of the way I used it! 

               ‘I’m just gonnna pop to the loo then we’ll head off, yeah?’

                ‘That sounds great Dan.’ The blonde put her hand on his arm and lent in close to his ear. ‘Hurry back sexy,’ she whispered.

                Dan jumped up suddenly wishing he was wearing a long t-shirt that covered the bulge in his trousers. Man he was so proud of himself, this one was hot, if only he could remember her name. Jessica maybe? Jayne? Jade? Maybe not even something beginning with J. He’d find a way of getting it out of her before the night was out. Or maybe, if he plays his cards right, the next morning.

                As he made his way through the crowded bar, squeezing between people, he heard someone calling his name. He turned round to see John from work.

                ‘John, mate. How you doing?’ They shook hands.

                ‘Good mate good. Who you here with? The other boys?’

                Dan turned back to look at his table and the blonde, but there were too many people between them.

                ‘I was, but I’ve just met the hottest girl ever. The boys went on, but I had to stay and chat to her.’ John slapped his back in congratulations.

                ‘So you’re taking her home to clinch the deal are you?’ Dan laughed.

                ‘NO, not at all. I’m taking her out for a curry. A ruby Murray.’ Dan faked a cockney accent that made John laugh.

                ‘And then home, right?’

                ‘Well, I hope so, but you never know. Man you should see her, she’s hot. All Britney like. You know before she went mental.’

                ‘They’re always hot where you’re concerned. Have you ever pulled a munter?’

                Dan laughed again. ‘Man, seriously. You’re so un-PC. Look I’ve gotta shoot, can’t leave the lady waiting too long!’

                ‘Sure mate. Have a good night.I look forward to hearing all about it on Monday.’

                They gave each other a man hug, competing to hit the other the hardest.

                ‘Whatever. You with Jen?’ John nodded. ‘Say hi to her. See you Monday.’

                Dan walked off towards the toilets. He had no more interruptions so was pushing his way back through the crowd in just a minute or two.

                As the crowd thinned, he thought he must have got back to the wrong table. There was a couple snogging at the table he thought he’d been at. He turned back to the crowd to try to get his bearings, but was sure that was the right table. He looked back to the table and realised the girl with her lips attached to the man, looked just like the girl he’d been chatting up. She had long blonde hair, and a sleeveless back top.             

                Could that be possible? Ok, so he’d not snogged her himself, but they were going out for some food. They were flirting outrageously, and she was giving him all the signs.

                Bemused, Dan raked his fingers through his hair and looked round the bar. Maybe it wasn’t her. But if it wasn’t, where was she? There were lots of blondes about, but no one that looked like her, some had short hair, some curly, some long ad straight like hers, but just not the same.

                The couple pulled apart. It was her. What the hell? The guy stood up and took the girl’s hand to pull her up. As they turned to leave the blonde looked at Dan and winked, before following the man out the bar.

                Dan moved back to the table and sat where the couple had just vacated. What had just happened? He picked up a beer mat and started playing with it. As he flicked it over he saw some writing.

                Jayne 07777 222111. Call me x

                Jayne. That was her name. But what the hell? He threw the beer mat on the chair next to him and got up to leave himself. He just didn’t understand women.

So what did you think? Hopefully it’s obvious, but Dan was the hunter – he was out hunting for women. Ha ha.