Tag Archive | The Dating Project

Fiction Friday #190

Just a very quick piece here, I don’t even know if it really makes sense because it’s so short, but I started it at the beginning of the week and thought I’d get a chance to carry on and didn’t.

This is two of the teenage main characters from the novel I started during NaNo last year (it seems so weird saying last year when it was only a couple of months ago) Madison and Lucy. Only in The Dating Project it’s Lucy’s first person POV, but this for some reason went 3rd.

The prompt for yesterday was: Sometimes lies can have serious consequences. Describe a time when a lie had major consequences for your character. And this is what Lucy and Madison did with it:

‘It’s a shame because I think you two would have made a good couple.’

‘Us two?’ Madison almost shrieked. ‘Why us two?’

‘Wooh there Maddy, calm down. I know you don’t like him but I just felt there was something there between you.’

‘Bu… Wha..’

‘Why are you so surprised I think that? I asked you if you liked him for a reason.’

‘What reason?’ Madison grabbed Lucy’s arm.

‘Comeon. You Americans aren’t that thick. I asked you cause I thought, oh ok, I knew he liked you.’

‘BUt… Why didn’t you say anything?’ X looked at Madison puzzled.

‘I kind of thought I did. You told me you don’t like him.’

‘But I do!’ Madison shouted. A couple of people at the table behind them turned round and giggled. Madison ignored them. ‘Oh no. I can’t believe if I had have told you I like him, I could be going out with him instead of that bitch Jenna.’

Lucy threw her hands up in frustration. ‘So why did you say no?’

‘I didn’t realise HE liked ME. I thought it was just general chit chat and didn’t want you to know that I’m some loser that fancies people that don’t fancy me back.’

‘But he does. Or did.’

Madison put her head in her hands. ‘I know,’ she muffled through her fingers. ‘I know.’

I know it’s pretty short. And I know it’s not really MAJOR implications, but to Madison it is. Please, let me know what you think. Oh, and remember, I play by the Fiction Friday rules – this is unedited.

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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!!!!

December Plan Making

My Mum asked my yesterday if I felt relieved that NaNo was over. My answer? No! No because I know the story isn’t finished yet. And no because now I don’t have NaNo to kick my butt, I have no idea if I’m going to finish the novel or not. Sucky eh?

No, I need to be more positive. I will finish the novel. The fact that I have done no writing in December means nothing. It’s not even the end of the second day yet!

I’m just about to go to the TGIOP. Any guesses what that is?? It’s the NaNoWriMo Thank God It’s Over Party. Woop! I’m actually really tired so half don’t want to go, but I’ve had such a blast meeting new people over the last month, that I’m going to force myself. And I know I’ll be happy I went once I get there. I just hope I’ll still be happy about it tomorrow when I’m suffering from a hangover!!!

As this blog is titled, Plan Making, I really should make some plans for December. Ok, how about this:

  • Finish reading 12 books for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge
  • Finish Reviewing 12 books for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge
  • Finish reading Her Fearful Symmetry
  • Participate in Fiction Friday 4 times
  • Participate in Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Competition
  • Write another 5,000 words for The Dating Project.

I think I can happily focus mainly on reading this month. I really want to complete the T&SRC, and I’m already really into HFS. I hardly read anything in October and nothing in November, so I’m happy with that to even the months out. The Dating Project can stay in my life, but just take a little step back for a while.

I’ve got a day off tomorrow – yay. I’ve not decided what I’ll do, but I imagine reading, reading, reading maybe with a little writing sprinkled in too!

NaNoWriMo Day One

I want to go to bed more than anything else right now, but I wanted to stop in here and boast how well I’ve done today.

Last night I was half thinking about staying up past midnight to start on NaNo. I’d had a late night on Saturday though, so was really tired. Nasty Twitter people talked me into staying up though, and to be honest I’m actually glad I did. Getting 154 words in before bed felt like an achievement.

But boy am I paying for it now. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

The story started pretty well, and I’ve managed to rack up 1854 words today *runs round the house in excitement* I’m on my way. Not only am I on my way, I’m ahead of target! By nearly 200. Woop!

I do have a pretty big problem. actually I have one pretty big problem and one medium size problem.

The medium-sized problem is that I keep forgetting what I’m doing, and deleting words. WHAT?? I’m deleting words and replacing them. That can’t happen. There’s no way I’m going to be deleting every time I get a word or two, or sentence wrong. I have a plan. At the bottom of where I’m writing, I’ve drawn a line. Any words I don’t like, I’m going to move below the line. That way I get to keep all the words I write, but I also get to keep my real word count. Result.

My bigger problem is tense.I’ve been writing Holiday in present tense, but this one is in past tense. Or would be if I could remember. It seems at the moment I automatically write in present. I guess that’s to be expected when that’s all I’ve been doing recently, but it’s so annoying. I keep wanting to hit myself. My housemate may be wondering what all the strange noises coming from the room are!

I’ll get there though. Part of me wants to just scrap the idea of it being past tense and just do it present, but I don’t want to. I managed Italian Infatuation past so I can damn well manage this.

What I really didn’t like today, was constantly seeing my word count in word. I’m using 2007 (I think) where at the bottom next to the page number, is a word count. Because I started on 0 this morning, the word count was my word count for the day. That made it hard to write. Although actually it only made it hard to about 800, after that I was flying.

I’ve said this before, but I find writing to be a little like running – it’s hard when you start, but once you get into it each time, it gets much easier. Yesterday I went for a run. I planned to do 20 minutes. For the first 7 or 8 minutes I was constantly clock watching, it seemed to drag, but then once I got into it, I started flying, then suddenly I was on 18.

Writing today was the same. I was constantly looking at the count. I worked out where half of my total was and kept watching to get there. Then as soon as I passed it, I forgot about it until about 1500 words. See, writing is like running!

I got invited out for dinner tonight, but said no. Why? Because I wanted to go to the gym, then come home and write my words. I really hope I can be that disciplined for the next 29 days!

I’m going to my first write-in tomorrow. I think someone’s called it Two Thousand word Tuesday. The plan is to meet up at a cafe, chat for a bit, write for 45 minutes (I think) chat, then write again. I’m going to try for Three Thousand word Tuesday. He he!

I’ve been thinking about tomorrow actually. I’ve got Wednesday off work (some reason like going to meet the boyfriend at the airport – although just as much so I can write lots of lovely shiny NaNo words) so don’t have to get up early then. Which means I guess I could stay up late tomorrow writing, seeing as I do my best writing at night. Well, that or I’ve run out of other things to do instead by th evening?

Just before I go, I’ll just remind you about the Search Term Challenge over at Ergofiction. There are ten stories entering the competition. One of them is mine. If you go over to the website you can read them all and vote for your favourite three. There are some really good stories (well, one’s mine isn’t it, ha ha), well worth the time if you have it. And all cleverly constructed to included some of the bazaar search term words that have been used to find blogs. Bazaar like ‘secret smell,’ ‘corduroy buttons’ and ‘ torpedo breasts!’ Seriously, go check it out.

 Me, well I’m off to bed now. Night people!

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!