You may have noticed the Camp Nano pic on the top right. Yes that’s right, I didn’t meet my target. I only set myself 35000 words because working full time and having other stuff to do meant there was no way I would ever manage 50k, but even this reduced target was too much.
Of course I didn’t do myself any favours by choosing a project for which I only had a title and an opening line and a vague idea of who the main character would be. It was ridiculous to think I could somehow improvise a first draft and find out about Jake as the novel developed, and particularly ridiculous to imagine I could do this to a daily word count.
I managed to just about keep going for the first eleven days, and the 12k words I wrote will make for a good basis of notes for when I re-explore this project in the future. But for now, I am not a Nano Winner, and I also know that it is extremely unlikely that I will take part in the main Nano in November. 50k words in a month just isn’t possible for me, especially during one of the busiest months of the year for my day job and a month when I will be planning and shopping for Christmas.
So I am a Nano failure, and will most likely never be a Nano Winner. But that doesn’t mean I am a writing failure or a bad novelist. I’m not published and I’ve only got one (not good enough) novel to my name, but I know that my work is good enough for me to one day see my name in print. Flunking Nano hasn’t dissuaded me from that.
I’ve just finished reading “On Writing” by Stephen King – a cliché I know, which is mainly why I hadn’t done it earlier. Plus the fact that I read a couple of his fiction works a few years back and wasn’t impressed enough to want to read any more, but as everyone says it’s the best book written about the craft of writing, I decided to give it a go. Continue reading
I was in a bookshop last Saturday, browsing the shelves. I have always said I don’t want to read any books on How To Write – I think I am enough of a reader to know if my writing works or doesn’t, and no problem can’t be overcome by rethinking and rewriting (I’m probably wrong of course) – but I have heard that many writers have read Stephen King’s On Writing, so I decided I would go against my own advice and pick up a copy. Continue reading
I’m thirty thousand words into a review of the third draft. I’m not rewriting, although I am correcting the odd glaring typo or badly-constructed sentence. My intention is to give the whole thing a read-through and see how it hangs together. So far, I’m very pleased with how well it reads. There are some very satisfying phrases and a few inspired pieces of dialogue which reveal character as well as being funny, sad, atmospheric, or whatever the chapter requires. Overall, I am proud of it, and I believe in my own abilities and my chances of one day being published.
BUT Continue reading
I don’t mean to say that I am blocked or struggling with a chapter or a sentence or a word. Far from it, inspiration seems to come when I need it to at the moment. Motivation might be an issue and I am often too lazy to write, but that’s by the by. Continue reading
“The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.”
I read this William Faulkner quote today and it rings true with me. Continue reading
It’s a very difficult question to answer. We don’t really know where ideas come from, but we wish we could have more of them, and better. Continue reading