My first novel... week 2

How on earth did I think I was ever going to complete this book by Spring? Must have been mad!

You'll gather that progress has been rather pedantic. Now squeezed 3,754 words in total out on 'paper'. That's all of twelve pages... I've not even completed a decent chapter's worth yet after two weeks!

I've gone at it in my usual optimistic way, hoping, believing, praying that like the parting of the red sea, other things will make way to make more time for writing. And of course they won't unless I give something else up.

Here's a selection of candidates...

  • Upating my 'One Moment Each Day' blog each morning.
  • Updating my online to do list each morning so I can carry it around on my mobile.
  • Generally faffing around with one-off things like booking accomodation for the Scone Palace Rewind Festival, chasing up the plumber for our downstairs loo, checking who's visited this blog, etc etc.
  • Messing about on the allotment... something that's going to take up more time as Spring approaches.
  • Going on long country walks.
  • Finding more long country walks for summer by trawling the library, searching maps and trying out on the ground.
  • Secretarial stuff for the Allotment Association... I've got to write most of the Winter newsletter's contents in the next few days ~;0(
  • Reading rather than writing... just got into using the library's online facility to put a hold on books, so I'm working my way through great books I haven't yet read.
  • And of course I'm adding to the problem by getting interested in eBay trading, aiming to make a bit of money to assuage the guilt whenever I spend more money on the latest gadget. Its not we can't afford it, just I'm the only one who ever seems to do the spending and the lusting is now for an iPhone, with an iMac following closely behind.

On the penultimate point, I've just taken delivery of the last John Steinbeck books I've yet to read, several John Updike novels and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. With masterpieces clamouring to be read I've come to the realisation if it's going to take a year that's fine. No use rushing it.

And that may help a bit... the background theme is the 2012 London Olympics and I've been getting a bit nervous about using this and publishing before the opening ceremony at the end of July. The London Olympic marketing machine is a bit fierce in protecting their brand, even telling retailers and charities to be careful not just about using obvious words like 'Olympic' and 'London' in any promotions, but even '2012'! So if I publish after the games there shouldn't be a problem.

Besides hammering out an extra 2,300 words (quite an increase on last week's effort you may note) what's happened this week? Well, the good news is I'm still enjoying it. Bit like working out a puzzle. I've also mocked up the structure of what I think are the fifteen chapters, where each of the four main characters appear, where other characters pop up, how the chapters interweave. Of course had to spend time on a flow chart for this.

Estimated each chapter needs to be at least fifteen pages long on average, but at present I'm only getting them to about five pages. So I'll have to go back when the first draft is completed to fill in all the nitty gritty detail that will make the whole thing more alive. Great example of this in the book I'm currently reading, Solar by Ian McEwan... like all his books, a masterclass on how to write fascinating, compelling detail.

With talent like that, what chance do I stand? I dunno... but I'm still up there giving it a go!

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