Tag Archive | Novel Push Initiative

How December is Going

I’ve just done something kind of crazy. Good crazy though. Very unexpected crazy. But I’m glad crazy. Am I driving YOU crazy yet?

I’ve just written 250 words of The Dating Project! How good is that? It’s only the 8th too. That means I only left it for a week after NaNo before I wrote more – so much better than I thought I would do.

Not that I think this is it. This isn’t the start of me writing all the time away from NaNo or NovelPI, but it’s a start. And that makes me happy. The scene is also one where the MC is drunk, and I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, so it probably worked pretty well, haha.

So, how’s December going for me then? Well, I’m reading. I’m about ¼ of the way into my second novel this month. It’s so nice letting myself read. During NaNo, I don’t let myself read, as that takes up time and that’s time where I should be writing. But now we’re over it, I’m well back on the reading train.

The first novel I read was Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger. Having read The Time Traveller’s Wife a few years ago, I have been eagerly awaiting reading this one, and on the whole it didn’t disappoint. I did really enjoy it. I loved some of the charachers, didn’t so much others, sympathised and stuff. In fact I’d say I really enjoyed it until the end, when  I was left slightly disappointed. SEMI SPOILER ALERT: I just felt like it was left wrong. Yeah Valentina was happy, but she shouldn’t have been where she was and Elsbeth, she shouldn’t have been where she was. I was just a bit disappointed it ended there. But then I also felt that about Sliding Doors (the movie) and I still loved it, so maybe the ending isn’t that important. I just almost feel a little cheated. It’s like it ended, but it shouldn’t have gone that way. Maybe if you’ve read it you feel the same? Let me know if you do – I’ve not read any reviews of spoken to anyone that has read it, so I have no idea if I’m all alone in this judgement, or people think the same.

I’m now reading Dying to Write by Judith Cutler. Judith Cutler, as far as I’m aware isn’t that big a name in writing, but she’s from around Birmingham (where I grew up) and she once visited my Mum’s writing group (back in the day when Mum was part of a writing group – guess where I got my passion for writing from?). Mum bought that book and Dying on Principle by her and got them signed by her – one to me and one to my brother. Now, I’m sure it was the luck of the draw who go t which one signed to who, but I can’t help feeling a little bitter that the one signed to him is Dying to Write, but I’m the writer. Not fair eh?

But I am (for the most part) over it. And the book, well it’s pretty good. I only picked it up originally because it’s a thriller (see the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge mention coming up?), and it’s got writing in the title. Perfect eh! But it’s really good. The main character, Sophie, is pretty cool and I feel like I can identify with her (especially her writer’s block!). But, this is the third Dying… novel in the series, and I really feel like I should have read the other two first. I think you don’t need to, but every now and then I feel like I’m missing out on something. But it’s good enough that I know I’ll be going back and reading the other two at some point. And definitely seeing if she’s written any more.

Totally, totally off the writing subject, but hey it’s my blog, I can go off subject if I want – especially if it’s to brag. I joined slimming world three weeks ago. The first week I lost 3 ½ lb. The next week 2lb. This week, I don’t think I’m going to have lost any because I’ve eaten like a pig today, but still – 5 1/5 lb in three weeks – how good is that!!!!!

Finally, please keep an eye out for more blogs and Tweets – very shortly I’ll be telling you about my FIRST PUBLISHED STORY!!!!

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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.

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!

Catch Up from the Weekend

I’m being a pretty rubbish blogger at the moment aren’t I? And it doesn’t look to get any better this week – eek! I’ve got good excuses though!

On Saturday I had no plans. None, nothing, nada. I decided I’d stay in bed in the morning reading, then go shopping (clothes shopping, my favourite!) in the afternoon. I’d started Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall on Friday (I think, maybe Thursday) and was really enjoying it so it sounded like  a great plan.

So I started reading when I woke up, I got so into the book I forgot about breakfast. About 1pm I decided I really should get up and go shopping. I forced myself to put the book down (FORCED – I was loving it) and had a shower. When I got back, I picked up the book, and said I’d read one chapter before getting ready and going. Uh, yeah. That didn’t happen. About 5/6pm I finished the book. I literally spent the whole day reading. Loved it though. I don’t know if I loved the fact I could cause I didn’t have anything else on, or the book more. Either way, I totally recommend Before I Fall, I’d been wanting to read it for ages, and it totally didn’t disappoint me. Was great to be reading a YA novel when I think I’m going to do one for NaNo.

Sunday was race day. I did the Run 10k race down in Crystal Palace. I’d never done anything like that before, but came in at 63 minutes. I could not be happier about that. Sunday I had to take a reprieve day for NovelPI. Luckily every 5 days solid writing you do, you get a reprieve day (I think you start with one too). I literally had no time to write, I got up, went for the run and then… um… went to the pub. For the rest of the day. Hey, I deserved it!

Monday was rubbish. I had the day off, and did nothing. Literally nothing (the hangover wouldn’t allow anything). UNTIL about 10.30pm when I decided I wasn’t going to let a measly hangover (it wasn’t measly in any shape or form) get in the way of my writing, so although I had another reprieve day I could’ve used for NovelPI, I forced myself to write. And I got about 270 words. Which isn’t too bad.

Which then leads to today. Today I started my new job (YAY). New job that I’m actually going to have to work at, so probably not have time for blogging during the day. BOOOO! Or writing DOUBLE BOO! I think when I get into a routine, I should be able to fit in some time at least at lunch, but at the mo I can’t – there’s too much going out for lunch with new colleagues/old colleagues etc. I’ve now got lunch and after work plans for the rest of the week. Normally I wouldn’t complain about having such a hectic social life, but seriously, when am I going to write? OR blog?

I went to the library to get some books today (funny, I’m sure that’s what people do at libraries!). I NEED some more YA books to read before I start mine in November. So, I got: Love Letters: Message in a Bottle by Jahnna N. Malcolme, Are Those My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison and Avalon High by Meg Cabot. The library is great and all, but it doesn’t have many NEW books. These three were the newist I could find that seemed romancey for the age group I’m aiming for. I’m planning on finishing all three before the end of the month. Hopefully that’s an achievable goal!

I think that’s all I have to say for myself right now. Hope you guys are having a good week. Just think a lunch time tomorrow, we’re halfway to the weekend – woop!!!

Late Thursday Blog – Writing, Reading and Running

Ok firstly – really excitingly, it’s my last day at work tomorrow. Woopie! That means today I did absolutely NOTHING. In fact I spent a whole hour reading my book this afternoon. Result. Tomorrow looks like it will be filled with the same – especially as all our computer systems go down at 16.00 (ready for a data centre to move over the weekend) and I work until 18.00. I’m well looking forward to those two hours!

Almost as exciting as that is that I got Before I Fall in the post today (thank you Amazon for offering a FREE next day delivery trial). And, due to all the reading today, I’ve finished my current novel so can start it straight away! * dances round the room in excitement *

I went through a load of emails last night to try to put together all my ‘Holiday’ documents. I think I’ve lost some of them. Possibly two bits. This is what you get for not writing a novel in order, but jumping around doing which ever bit you fancy on that day!

I discovered the loss when I was writing yesterday and what I was typing seemed familiar. I thought I’d written exactly the same thing before. In that scene. But, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Thinking more about it, I realised there was another scene I remember writing, which I can’t find. Oh dear. I’ll have another look tonight. Maybe they’re just not titled Holiday, so a search doesn’t bring them up. I need to get more organised!

I’m still doing well with NovelPI. Really well. So well, I’m thinking of unofficially upping my daily goal. I’m hitting over 300 nearly everyday without too much trouble(409 today), so think I might increase it to 500 – to myself anyway. 300 isn’t stretching me, it’s getting me into the habit of writing, but 500 would stretch me. Although do I really want to be stretched when I’ve got NaNo round the corner? I’ll think a little more about that.

I’m getting more and more ideas for my NaNo novel. It’s def going to be the YA novel I’m calling DD at the mo. One of the possible titles I’ve thought of is the same as a movie that came out maybe a year ago. Does that mean I shouldn’t use it? It’s a saying, so it’s not like it’s unusual or anything (I’m not thinking of stealing a title that’s original – this title is totally not original. Maybe that says it all.)

Off the topic of writing, I had my last practice run today before my charity 10km run on Sunday. I did 4km, in a time I’m really happy with. Considering I’ve been injured recently, if I even complete it all running I’ll be happy, if I can do it in a decent time I’ll be ecstatic. I’m running for cancer research, a really worthy cause I think. If anyone fancies sponsoring myself and my two friends (collectively known as The Three Helens) this is our fundraising page: http://www.run10ksponsorme.org/helenwilkinsonandhelenjackson

Ooh, I’ve done my Fiction Friday piece for tomorrow already. Very proud of myself. I hadn’t planned to do anything this week cause the prompt didn’t fit in at all with Holiday, but an idea came to me and I couldn’t shake it. I HAD to write it. I wonder if I’ll like it as much tomorrow!

Without FB & Twitter… What Am I doing?

It’s 4.30 PM. Now I don’t have Twitter or Facebook at work, you’d think I might have done some writing today wouldn’t you. Uh… No! I have no idea in fact what I have been doing. How does that happen?

For the last 20 minutes I’ve been doing something pretty productive. I’m kind of plotting one of the ideas I’ve got for NaNo. I’ve got a couple of ideas for the title, so until I decide on one, I’m going to call it DD. This is the young adult one. At the moment I’m loving the idea. I think it could really work.

I think it’s going to be 1st person again and the MC is 16, maybe 17. I’m getting her worked out in my head. And her best friend. The other girl that’s going to hold a pivotal role in the novel, I’m not so sure about. One of my problems with her is that she’s American. Language and slang are going to be a problem. I wonder if watching hours of American TV could be classed as research…? Friends/How I Met Your Mother here I come. Ooh, I could probably watch the Gilmour Girls too, that’s got a teenager in. Oh! And Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or maybe I should find something more modern, with teenagers, so the language is up to date. Or, maybe I shouldn’t use TV at all?!?

I’ve not started on the plan for the other novel, maybe I’ll get as excited about that as this one, but at the moment I doubt it. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this one in November. I think I decided that at the weekend, but I’m not sure. Not 100% anyway. Not yet.

This does mean that I need to read some YA novels before November. I don’t have any at home to be read… so I think I need to visit the library. Woo hoo. Uhm, I mean, oh no!

Well, that and… buy a new book! I just snuck off to buy a book (hooray for Amazon). It’s Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. There was a lot of hype about this when it came out, and I really wanted to read it, but never got round to buying it (or wouldn’t let myself with such a huge TBR pile of books at home). Now I have an excuse. Excellent.

On Amazon I also stumbled upon a book called Before I Die (by Jenny Downham). I nearly bought it, but then told myself buying two books that revolve around death probably isn’t the greatest move. Maybe I’ll get it next month or something.

I’m really enjoying Summer Dreams, Winter Love. I thought that it might not be as great as an adult as it was at 13, but I think it is. It’s really good to be reading just before I write a YA novel anyway. It’s shown me that there’s not that much difference between YA and adult romance (except some of the things the characters do!). It’s all about emotion and falling for someone. That’s almost the same however old you are. You still get the rush when you see them/kiss them etc. It’s just how you handle it is different.

It’s now 17.30, and I’ve still not done any writing today. I should be shot, seriously! I’m going to do some now, then when I get home later too. Or maybe I’ll do some plotting (for Holiday) instead. I think it would be easier to start writing if I knew what I was about to write! Who would have thought I’d be a plotter not a panster when it comes to writing??

October = #NovelPI Month (Mark II)

Oh no. In a moment of madness – without thinking about it, I signed up for a Novel Push Initiative in October. I’ve signed up for 250 words a day with Nick over at 5-Rings. Part of me thinks I’m pretty stupid (I seriously did not thing about it, I read about it on Merrilee‘s blog, went over and signed up) but the bigger part of me is happy. A few months ago I said I’d like to do another one, PLUS it’s the best warm up for NaNo!

Pretty much one year ago to the day, I signed up for my first NovelPI. It was hosted by the lovely Kait Nolan, and it took a lot of talking into – both from Kait and my boyfriend. 250 words a day? For 31 days? I’d never done anything like that. It was crazy. But I think I’d written about 7k words on a novel at the time, so thought it would be a great idea to move on with it.

As it turned out, I found 250 words a day pretty easy. Most Days I churned out more, in the end I think I completed about 13/14k in the 31 days.

Halfway through that month, someone pointed me in the direction of NaNo. Now, although I was finding 250 words a day a breeze, 1,667 was totally different. But, for some unknown reason, I signed up for it. And went on to complete it. Despite not writing for about 14 of the 30 days due to a stomach bug and then an operation!

Now gets the slightly disturbing bit of this post. For NovelPI last year, I worked on… Holiday. Yep, you know the one, the one I’m still writing. In fact… the one I’m going to be working on for this year’s NovelPI. That is ridiculous! In a year I’ve not finished it. In fact, in a year, I’m only about 3,000 words further on that I was on 31st October last year. *sigh*

My boss has given me loads of work to do today – that really sucks. I was planning on reading the next modules of my writing course. Obviously won’t be now. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow!

Totally unrelated to writing, but something I’m really proud of is that I went for a run in the rain last night. I’m training for a 10km run in… *screams… runs and hides behind the sofa… in her head anyway*… 10 days! AGGGGGHHHH. Um… Yeah. In 10 days I’m running the Cancer Research Run 10k. It must be said, I’m not totally ready for it (did you guess), but I see voluntarily going for a run in the rain as a huge step forward. Yay, go me!