My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Monday, 25 February 2013

A change... as good as a holiday, they say.

For the past year, I've ended up writing directly into Microsoft Word, simply adding to my master document a chapter at a time, emailing the updated version to myself every night incase of computer glitches/hitches/nightmares. Me being me, I stick with what's familiar and safe (not unlike Angela and David in my book). But perhaps I shouldn't be afraid to experiment with how I write?

I've used "proper" writing software in the past for NaNoWriMo, and I came back to it this week for my WIP. Scrivener is great when you have a plan/chapter outlines/structure. None of which I had when I started Agoraphobics Anonymous!

But now, after writing out my chapter outlines, I've transferred them into Scrivener (it has handy electronic notecards you can view alongside the actual chapter as you write). And I'm rewriting the whole book into Scrivener, completely fresh. And it's great.

Instead of skipping over whole paragraphs, I'm re-typing them and discovering better ways to arrange them. Whole sections are being shuffled around to make the story flow better. Characters are coming to life. Hurrah and, indeed, huzzah!

It's slow going, of course. I've been working on and off for three days now (more off than on, I must admit, thanks to the presence of Lovely Boyfriend) and I'm only onto page 17. BUT I'm far happier with the first 16 pages than I was even a week ago. Less babbling....speaking of which...I'd best crack on!

Friday, 22 February 2013

It's getting drafty....

...the third draft of Agoraphobics Anonymous, to be precise!

Always, always print out a hard-copy of your manuscript! This is something I learnt whilst working as a scientific proof reader and shouldn't have forgotten! Even if you're only changing the odd word here and there, print and read a final copy before declaring "The End". Here's why:

I slaved for weeks, turning Draft 1 into Draft 2. I was pleased with my progress and hoped to pass Draft 2 onto my beta-readers this week. Hah! I read a printed copy and immediately spotted areas still requiring development/expansion/cutting completely.

I think it's because I wrote this book completely off the cuff. I didn't know where I was going or who my characters were. I simply wrote one chapter a day, in the POV of ever-evolving characters. Now, after reading a paper copy straight through, and then by character, I can see where I developed them as I went. Now I have to go back and develop them right from the start! This time I have a chapter outline and it's really helping me cement Angela, David and Ryan.

However, all is not lost and I still want to have the final manuscript ready for submission in April. Then it will be all systems go on finishing the first draft of my 2012 NaNovel before tearing it to shreds and starting again!

PS: For those who follow me on Facebook, I've changed the title from Hospital Corners to The Lovingdell Series, to reflect the different books I'm working on.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Getting stuck in.... work, not snow!

Looking outside at the remains of the neighbour's snowman (a carrot on the grass), it's hard to believe that this time last week it snowed non-stop for 12 hours. Lovely Boyfriend and I took Lolloping Lexie for a long walk to appreciate the beautiful scenery around us. Then Lovely Boyfriend drove me around for the rest of the day because I couldn't get my little Poppy car out the street!

Now the snow's melted, Lovely Boyfriend is back offshore, and I'm getting stuck back into editing Agoraphobics Anonymous. I've rewritten over half of it now, but I know the really hard work is just starting as the latter chapters were written in a hurry! Once I've prepared draft two, I'll pass it onto a few people to beta read before I completely polish it off and start submitting. And thus I come full circle to this time last year when I was polishing off Hospital Corners! Nice to know I can write a book in a year AND have a life too!

My little singing class is going well, despite a lingering, phlegmy cold in the household (Little Tootsie sounds like she's purring at times). I've chatted with some of the adults, have learnt the names of most of the kids and have only forgotten the words twice. *grin*.

So - that's what's happening this week. Now I must get back to work otherwise Lovely Boyfriend will give me into trouble (I said I'd edit while he's away so we can take more long, healthy walks for exercise while he's home). Onto the second chapter of the day!