My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Make your mind up...

Reading is a very personal thing.  Two people who normally agree on everything, from what to have for breakfast to the appropriate colour of towels to use in the spare room, can read the same piece of work and come up with vastly different reviews.

This has been my experience over the past week.  On one hand I've had two reviews berating me for allowing Esme to linger in the hallways of LGH for as long as I have, but today I had a review applauding me for such a slow pace!  What's a girl to think?!

Never mind...I'm taking all the comments and storing them in a Word file.  Once I'm ready to edit the first draft (probably in the New Year), I will work my way through the comments and see if I can't find a happy medium. 

The reviews have, on the whole, been helpful rather than hurtful.  For someone with as thin a skin as I, I'm pleasantly surprised at how I've coped with people dissecting my work.  Some comments I will throw away, but others will help me mould my book into a more appropriate form to be published.  I know, for instance, that I need to change the pitches (again) to make them less chick-lit and less about the diaries.  Esme is on a journey - a journey through her own life - and that's what I need to convey. 

But for today I'm focussing on chapter 33...don't ask me what happens in it because I don't know yet! 

Friday, 23 September 2011

New Trailer...

I'm still trying to get used to free evening, after show week.  So I spent last night with Windows Movie Maker and some generic Google images to put together a book trailer.  You can view the finished article on YouTube:

My word count has shot up in recent days, and now lingers somewhere around 77000.  I haven't had huge bursts of creativity - I've just found ways of bringing in sections I wrote earlier in the year while I played around with the main story.  Don't get me wrong though, around 3000 words are completely new!

Julie knows that Dr B has OCD and that Alex and Rosie were once an item.  She now grudgingly accepts that Alex maybe isn't quite so arrogant and that Dr B has a reason for being such a b*tch.  Alex has been granted a half hour nap, but he's about to wake up any minute humming Pennies from Heaven.  Dr B is about to confront Esme about her past.....things are going to start making sense!!!  And then Brian will turn up...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wifies What Write...

I've spent my first free Tuesday night in 6 months at the library (one week after the show and I'm already missing the regular rehearsals!).  Author Aline Templeton (a crime writer I'm adding to my watch list after tonight) spent an hour with us and I thoroughly enjoyed the session.

The funniest point was actually two minutes before she was introduced, when a member of the audience turned to her at the coffee table and said "So, the person who's coming tonight - who's she then?"  Even I recognised her from the dozen posters hanging around the place!  What made it funnier was the fact he was married to the librarian who had organised the event...

She made a lovely remark at the start, along the lines of "I knew I was a writer.  It's just the publishers didn't".  A lot of what she said rang true with me and my own writing experiences over the past few months.  Things like: do your research - but know more than you tell.  Things like: "I start with an ending in mind but I'm probably wrong". 

When the floor was opened for questions, someone asked about character names.  I sat there in shock as she said almost exactly what I have John Jones saying in his magazine interview (somewhere around Chapter 23).  Names are intensely personal and an author/actor can't help but ascribe personalities and traits related to someone they know with that name. 

Then, after a comment she made about criminals being inherently stupid (with the stories to back it up - my favourite was the bank robber who realised the teller he was holding up with a sawn-off shotgun was scared, lifted his mask and said "It's OK, it's only me"), a member of the audience asked if characters were ever a bit Jekyll & jaw was scraping the fuzzy felt floor tiles.  Again, in the same magazine article, John describes his mother as a little like Jekyll & Hyde. 

But then Aline went on to say that some people, with mental issues, a bit like Asperger's, can be like that....I nearly put my hand up and said "Like me, then?".  She did go on to say that characters in books are simpler than people in real life; that real people are simply too complex to put in novels (could explain why my own personality is spread across virtually every character in the book!).  In general, people are normal and simple.  The trick with writing is to put the character into a situation that pushes their button which makes them act in an interesting way.  All books are about conflict....

All in all - an enjoyable night out.  And good to know that I'm doing things pretty much the same way as a woman with a dozen books to her name.  And like her, I think I've found my niche in mental health.  She said that she tried writing romantic fiction but "somehow people kept ending up dead".  I know how she feels....I keep writing characters who end up mentally flawed.  Oh well, stick to what you know!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

70 000 and counting...

At last I've broken the 70000 word barrier!  I know, in the grand scheme of writing, that it isn't the word count that matters but the story but, let's face it, the word count counts! 

Apologies if that sentence makes no sense - in my Lemsip-ed up brain, it does.  The show was an absolute roaring success but now I'm suffering the inevitable post-show cold.  I always get run-down in the run-up to a show but I managed to stave this cold off until after the final show.  We've had nothing but positive comments about LAMS first production and I can't wait to see the DVD we made for "training purposes". 

It was nice to get back into the writing today though.  Shows are good fun, but they don't happen more than two or three times a year (cabarets are a bit different - not so much hard work.)Writing is for life:stick that on a bumper sticker why don't you?!  (Note to self:  if you're coming out with comments like that, go back into your MS once you've got rid of the cold and read it carefully for any stupid remarks that may have made their way into it!).  Actually, I'm quite pleased with how things have progressed today.  Not only have I bumped the word count up by nearly 2000, but I've introduced a bit more depth to Dr Alex Stevens (and remembered to go back into earlier chapters to make the necessary tweaks too!) and I can see my way just about clear to the Esme/Rosanna scene.  Alex just needs to get half an hour's kip; Rosanna needs to do a bit more internal musing in her office, and Julie needs to grab a large cup of coffee and get all three of them sitting round a table together.  Easy......

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Waiting on the oven man...

My cooker is only a year old, but in the past two weeks I've lost the use of the oven and one of the rings...not very impressed!  I have the oven man coming to repair it sometime today.  Originally I was told between 8 and 6 (very helpful!) so, despite having the dress rehearsal last night and only getting to bed at midnight (more on that in a minute), I was up and dressed for 8 which is always a struggle for me with the after-effects of my medication.  Then the mannie phoned at half nine to say he'd be here between 12 and 2.  Cue a shower and a dash to the shop to buy something for tea and enough chocolate to get me through the afternoon.  With any luck he'll be finished by 3 and I can take a nap!

The show, Bad Girls the Musical, opens tonight:  St Laurence Hall, Laurencekirk, 7.30pm, Tickets £10/£8.50.  I had about 8 hours at rehearsals on Sunday, 5 on Monday and 6 last night.  When my computer told me it had 10% battery remaining this morning, I knew how it felt!  It WILL be a fantastic show - the set, lighting, sound FX etc are absolutely top notch (the photographs for front of house are absolutely stunning!) and the acting/singing/dancing ain't bad either.  A few glitches still with getting tables/chairs on and off, but we staggered through the dress rehearsal pretty well.  Just please don't say "break a leg" - one of our stage crew/prison officers nearly did just that on Monday night.  She tripped over a piece of the set and has an impressive lump on her ankle now.

With my BPD, I experience all emotions at maximum volume, whether I need to or not.  I know that I know my lines, the songs and the dances perfectly well.  I know I'm doing a good job (because the director hasn't shouted at me) but I still feel stressed to the max, which means I'm knackered with a capital K-N right now.

So - Hospital Corners is taking a back seat this week and I'm spending my time reading chick-lit and eating chocolate.  Don't worry though - Esme, Dr B, Julie and Alex are all simmering away on the back-burners of my imagination (unlike the back burners of my cooker!) and I'll probably spend a lot of time writing next week to make up for the anti-climax of the show finishing.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Under 600...

A huge THANK YOU to everyone on Authonomy who is reading and rating my book!  In a week I've moved from 652 to 584 in the rankings, which I'm really happy about.  I also have a star rating of 4.09 which is pretty darn good.  (I'd like to wave a hello to Eric for following me over from Authonomy - let's see if he's actually reading this!!) 

Word count is now sitting at just over 68000 and I've incorporated an interesting little scene between little Elizabeth and a doctor....or is it Esme and Alex? 

Dr B is summing things up with a list in her office (as she does) and the face-to-face should get written in the next couple of weeks.  I can't make any promises because next week is show week and I may spend most of my days flopped on the sofa or in bed.

However, things are taking shape and I love it when everything starts falling into place!

Unfortunately I now have to get myself ready for THE GYM...I'm the youngest there by a good twenty to thirty years and they're beating me at everything hands down.  I nearly collapsed coming off the cross-trainer last week!  But that's what happens when you haven't exercised since the run up to your wedding 7 years ago, have had two kids since then...oh, and spent two and a half years locked up in hospital!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I'm a finalist...

You may remember I wrote a short story last month for a competition on Authonomy.  Well, today I got an email saying that I made the top 6!  I'm absolutely chuffed to bits!!!  I don't know how many entries there were, but she has over a hundred followers on her blog and I'm guessing a fair few of them entered, as well as various Authonomy members.

I've been taking a bit of a break from Hospital Corners this past week - I've just had so much happening and I was getting a bit frazzled trying to fit everything in.  So I stocked up on library books yesterday and am taking some well deserved me time in the afternoons.  That's not to say I haven't been thinking about the book, and I've added in a few bits and worked out a few more areas to add in later on when Dr B and Esme have their big face-to-face.  I'm also reviewing other people's work on Authonomy through the Brutal Honesty Crit does exactly what it says on the tin.  I've had three reviews from various members of the group and they've all been overwhelmingly positive.  I'm now sitting at number 615 in the chart and moving in the right direction. 

Thursday, 1 September 2011

I only want to be with you....

I'm not just preparing for Bad Girls (opens in under two weeks now!) but for a weekend cabaret/dinner evening with my "other" musical society.  We had auditions a couple of weeks ago, and I discovered last night that I have a solo song plus various group sections to prepare for the end of October.  I've spent the morning editing Hospital Corners and listening to Dusty Springfield....I can only hope that lyrics haven't found their way into the manuscript.

I'm doing quite well on Authonomy, having worked my way up to 665 in the chart.  I've joined a couple of review groups and, so far, most people have commented favourably on the book.  At the moment I have 63 661 words written, so only another 30000 or so to go....I'm really hoping I can pull it out the bag and devise an ending that keeps everyone happy, doesn't sound too contrived, and doesn't just babble on excessively to meet the necessary wordcount!