Friday, February 09, 2007


Day 3 of waiting for the verdict. I've decided I'd better get it out to the other agent who showed interest and not just be waiting on the one.

Assuming no more work comes in, which it hasn't, which is scary, I'm also going to change my routines. This is partly to stop the regular morning meeting with Simba the puppy who is enormous and every morning bounds up to eat my foot which is a bit too close to my ankle for comfort. Also partly because it would be so easy for me to disappear inside a mound of research and actually not get very far for a very long time on new novel 4. I love research but it is very easy to do too much and I find myself left with a pile of notes too big and cumbersome to be of much real use. Mental note to self is to make more mental notes, there is a theory that the best ones will stick anyway. From the little bit of teaching that I've done, I've noticed that research is by far the easiest way to feel you're progressing and actually working on your novel without actually facing the page and getting on with it.

So each morning I have from 8.30 to 11.00 to do 500 words, then I go for my run. This in theory is plenty of time. When I reach the 500 I stop and rewrite, enhance, put in atmos, colour, sound etc. I then move on to writing up my research, which will feed back into the story. The only way I can get my characters up and running is to write them, it's no good planning them for me, I have to just leap in there and make them talk and grow.

I then have from 11.00 to do Other Things with that 'having written' feeling in place. Namely, right now, trying to expand the journalism side and get some more income flowing somehow. But today it will also be posting the 3 chapters to 2nd agent; buying more noodles for the ongoing stirfryfest that is my kitchen; going to the library and getting on with more boot sale bag filling. Friend E and I are aiming for either March or April, depending on her commitments, at the Chiswick Community School which has a good atmosphere and is spacious and fun.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Anne Brooke said...

Oooh yes, I'm all for that - don't just rely on one agent. Get it out to several at least!

And I entirely agree about the lack of character planning - I let mine grow as I write. I usually only sit down and do a character study about one-third of the way through, once I've got the basics in place. Glad someone else is like that too - I got sooo fed up in the early days with people telling me I had to plan, plan, plan. The straight answer is I can't write like that and will never be able to!

Really, we should all be allowed to be individual on here.

Oh, and I was going to make a quick survey about what's on my reading piles - but the blog has vanished as I've been too slow - sorry! But, without getting up from my chair as I'm too darn lazy, across various places over the flat I have:

1. Hilary Mantel's "Vacant Possession" (good but I much prefer "Beyond Black")
2. A poetry pamphlet from Cinnamon Press by someone whose name I can't now remember (but it's not that great really)
3. The latest Writing/Writing News mags
4. Susan Jeffries' "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" (good but too demanding)
5. The Bible (with pictures, as the Bible always needs pictures, in my opinion)
6. A Star Trek novel (I'm a die-hard fan, and you don't want to know about my Teach Yourself Klingon book, do you? No, I thought not ...)
7. 365 Positive Thoughts for Women (not bad but too touchy-feely for me)
8. Daily Thoughts from the Psalms (which is rubbish really)
9. Reclaiming the Body in Christian Spirituality (dull dull dull).
10. My sudoku book.

Lordy lordy, but I am obviously a latent serial killer - someone arrest me now before it's too late!!



Jessica said...

Can so relate to the waiting. Am now on day 7. But have only submitted a proposal to one agent, so not as scary as a whole book. Am rooting for you!

I'm going to do a blog on my bedside table, as I can't fit it into a comment here. It's actually a small bookcase...

Debi said...

I am so impressed by your structure and discipline. My timetable is far more vague. Or do I mean flexible? Or non-existent?? Yet somehow, what needs doing gets done.

Good for you for going to more than one agent. Personally it was harder for me to get an agent than it was to get my first deal ... Good luck!