#ROW80 Round Four – First Check-in

Gold star for Helen (Newtowritinggirl) please: not only have I done my goals for the first few days, I’m checking in on time. And, it gets better…

I am totally ROCKING my daily goals. Monday, I did 30 minutes of planning ‘Holiday’ and then wrote 588 words. Yesterday I wrote 511. Get me. I am so psyched up for it at the moment.

It’s not really surprising – I always get psyched for ‘Holiday’ in October. Honestly this is the third year running (I’m counting my chickens a little here that this streak will carry on) that I’ve been so energised in October. Good reason for it too.

Pressure! NaNo is just 26 days away (I’ve just been on the website – it told me 😉 ) which means I only have 25 days left of writing ‘Holiday’ before I have to change to another project. Sigh. Still, I’m going with it. If I manage 500 words a day, ‘Holiday’ will be 15,000 words better off by the end of the month. I don’t think that will finish it, but it will be getting closer!

So what caused this sudden interest in it (other than my new 500 word a day goal, and ‘October Syndrome’)? This:

You might ask what this is? It’s my bedroom wall (thanks Boyfriend for letting me!). On Monday night I decided that in order to get productive with this task, I need to know what I’m doing; what needs doing, and what has been done. Hense the post-it note covered wall!  

Each pink kiss post-it (SO chick lit don’t you think!) is a scene that I’ve written. The yellow ones are scene that NEED to be written. Is it me, or does it look like a lot of the first bit of the novel is written, but not the middle and end? Yeah, that’s right. I think it’s quite a good place to be though.

I can’t work too much on the beginning of the novel at the moment, because that’s what’s stored on my dead laptop (don’t get me started on that, I might cry!), but I can work on the ‘Holiday’ part. 1,000 words later this week, it’s working for me.

What I really need to decide is when certain events happen. I have a wedding on day 5/6 of the holiday and a hen party on day 2, but I need to fill a few more days. Fill with romance and tension, excitement and something else that will get people glued to it. I’m really enjoying it at the moment. It’s weeks like this that make me think I really want to be a writer. If you know, we just ignore the last 3 months!

What does worry me a little is something someone said at the Jane Fallon event (which reminds me, I really need to finish reviewing The Ugly Sister!). ‘A good novel has a huge point of action after 1/3 and again after 2/3, then obviously at the end. I’ve got the 2/3 action (action? In this romance/chick lit? Nah, but you know what I mean), but don’t have anything massive at 1/3. I’ve got a whole list of things that happen, but none earth shattering.

I’m also worried about my POV. I’m using 1st person because for this story I think it works well – the reader needs to discover things the same time as Kate does, I don’t want other people giving them hints as to what is (or isn’t) going to happen. But, I’m also using present tense. I think I’m not doing it too well though.

I once got half way through a book before realising it was in present tense. Another book I read I noticed it on the first page. What’s the difference? Now natural it comes. I NEED mine to sound natural and I think sometimes it doesn’t. The problem is I can’t exactly put my finger on what the problem is. It might be that sometimes it’s what’s going on in Kate’s head, and others it’s like she’s telling a story. For example (off the top of my head):

I wake up the next day with a banging head


Oh my god, the pain in my head is incredible.

I don’t know about you, but I know which I prefer, and it isn’t the first. But I seem to find that I write the first quite often.

Anyway, I guess this is more of a problem when I’m editing, although it would make editing easier if I got it right the first time. Maybe now I’ve identified the problem (I think) I can work on it. Or not on it, if you see what I mean.

Right, I need to head off now. I’m finishing work early tonight, so will be home more than an hour earlier than usual. Which is good, except I have a friend coming to dinner – which is good, but also bad. Hopefully I’ll force myself to do half an hour or so of writing. Hopefully, I’ll want to and won’t have to force myself 😉

13 thoughts on “#ROW80 Round Four – First Check-in

  1. Well done on such a successful start to this round and I love your post it wall! Think this is something I may do for NaNo as I like the visual effect! Having said that I am planning on writing the plot in order so maybe I will just plot in simple bits and can tick or highlight when done or something! Hmm…will have a think!

    Enjoy your evening and I look forward to hearing how the rest of your week goes!

    • The visual effect is cool, I think (?) it’s keeping me focused. I tried doing it in a notepad, but just wasn’t the same.It’s the first time I’ve tried it so fingers crossed!
      For NaNo 2009 I plotted my time line in a note pad – it worked really well, but I think because I’ve got different scenes written for ‘Holiday’ this is better to identify where to fill in holes.
      Good luck with the rest of this week too.

  2. Love the sticky notes! Hmm, I wonder if they have bullet-hole-shaped ones a thriller writer could use. Or blood splatters. There’s a marketing idea in there somewhere… 😉

    I am very aware that I go passive voice too often. I end up with many “had been”s and “was doing”s. I think after about five years of being aware I catch about 25% of them while I’m writing. The rest get fixed in editing, because that’s what editing is for. Try to catch them early, but don’t let it hog-tie your writing flow.

    Nice job thus far!

    • Ooh, how cool would those sticky notes be? I think I’d want some regardless!
      I hope that now I’ve identified the problem (took me 40000 or so!) I pick it up more. I doubt I can hope for more than 25% though myself. Like you say… In editing 🙂

  3. Love, love your post-it idea! I think I should do something like that now.

    I also appreciate the rest of your notes on how you’re writing your novel, including your dilemmas and the decisions you’ve been making. Reading them makes me feel like I’m journeying and learning with you. And your passion is so apparent and contagious!

    Congratulations on your progress! 🙂

    • It’s brilliant isn’t it – it’s really helped me get my ideas straight. I wonder if the boyfriend will let me ‘decorate’ the wardrobe mirror with my NaNo idea?
      Thank you – it’s so good to feel passionate again, it’s been a while. Glad it’s contagious!

    • Ooh, I wanted a big corkboard or something, but our flat is just too small. You should really try using it more – if you’re anything like me it will be a big motivation tool!
      Thanks for the comment.

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