Saturday, 15 January 2011

Diplomatic Disaster: update #1 plus my preconceptions about writing for children

I've worked hard this morning. I finished off chapter four, and began chapter 5.

It was missing something, and I'm not entirely sure it has enough pizzazz but the main thing now is to get it all down, then I can tweak it. So I did change it and managed to create two chapters :)

Muse is enjoying this wip. I'm actually pretty glad I'm entering the competition, because I think it suits this story to have a shorter novel. Ever since my Muse put a spanner in the works by making Safiya a Blossom Princess (title not confirmed but she'll still be that person), it meant a subplot for DD had to be dropped. It's weird how 6 chapters in I'm already at 12k (in editing some of the chapters are likely to be split up.

I love children's books. I love how much emotion gets packed into the stories. They are fun and take me to another world.

I think in the past I've been afraid at writing fiction for readers below YA because of the length issue. I always thought that my ideas would be too many and that shorter stories weren't for me. I know they can be written, because so many people do. But it turns out that stories write themselves. They figure out the appropriate length and appropriate age group. Some stories for 9-12 year olds are quite short, others are a little longer. I don't feel that I'm cutting anything out from the story, it feel right to have a halved word count to my normal one.

I used to think that you could only really write one way (yes I was somehow ignoring the fact that some authors write books in several different genres). Then I was looking forward to having a few different genres myself. Now I'm learning about creating stories of different length. I think this will widen my range of stories in the future, and I no longer screw my face up at anything below 50k.

For those of you who write, what's the latest thing that you've learnt about being a writer? For those of you who read (as well or instead of writing), what's the latest thing you've learned about authors?


Charmaine Clancy said...

I've learnt as a writer, that I'm lazy. Yep. Agatha Christie popped out about 80 books, and I've heard of other mystery writers getting their book all written in 3 days. I'd love to have the productivity they have. I think e-books are bringing the novella back in fashion. Sounds like you're having fun with your WIP :-)

Nayuleska said...

80 books? Wow! It would be wonderful to write that many - it's simply spectacular!

3 days to write a first draft - I can actually believe that. It's a lot of hard work though, and I've learnt that there is a limit to how much I can write a day. It does seem to get easier to write the more I do it. I think in a lot of ways I'm getting to understand my Muse a lot better. I don't look so shocked when she veers off at a tangent, because I'm learning that I can trust her (most of the time!) to make the right decision.

It does help with DD that I'm using a character I know. It makes me feel like I'm right at home. It's such a pleasure to watch Safiya work as a bodyguard. I know what happens between IT and DD (I haven't quite written those novels yet), and I love being able to write what she'll be like.

It's okay that you recognize that you're lazy. I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you could slowly increase your productivity.

That's what I'm trying to do at the moment. Mostly for my health I'm focusing on balancing life. I used to go online so many times a day, the hours would fly by. I'm trying to come online only when I have to - ideally just once a day. Cutting down on Twitter by only posting links to posts makes a huge difference.

Concentrating on the task in hand coupled with determination to succeed also makes a difference. I was a little surprised this morning at how easily the words flowed. There were a few stutters from my Muse, but generally I got stuck in and totally enjoyed myself!

I'm hoping this feeling lasts forever, of loving my Muse and getting on well with her. I'm not naive to think it will be all smooth sailing - although at the time it isn't fun I later find it entertaining when I've had a difficult section of writing.

I'm at such an early stage in my writing career, but hearing that my alpha readers enjoy my work despite it being un-edited is great encouragement. I could probably fill the entire document with red pen on my own. However, knowing that I've got a few things right increases my resolve to work even harder until my books are published.

(Come on, I want world domination with my fellow writers!)

Sorry for making this so long - I didn't mean to write so much :)

I think my point is if you set your mind on something, you can do it. I've wanted to create more time in the day, so I'm cutting down on net surfing which adds a significant amount to my day. It is a sacrifice because I miss knowing what all my friends are doing, but it's one I have to take at the moment.