Sunday, 6 January 2013

Diary of an aspiring writer – Week one

So that is the first working week of 2013 finished. I had resolved to work much harder on my writing and as those who have seen my tweets will know this did not exactly get off to the best of starts.
Day one the plan had been to get up early write for one hour and still have time for breakfast and to get to work at the usual time. Early is between 6:30 and 7:00. So when I rolled over at 8:15 you can guess the panic that set in. The rest of the day went much the same way and by the time I got to bed I had the distinct feeling I had spent the whole day “Busy doing nothing”.
I have been a member of the Daily Telegraph Creative Writing Group (DTCWG) for some time but I have recently joined Shock Totem who has a flash fiction competition in January and I had decided to enter. I have been struggling to find my genre and so I thought I would give horror a go. I have read horror for many years and have read all Shaun Hutson’s work and a large amount of early James Herbert so maybe I could come up with something. So day 2, I actually managed to get up with plenty of time to write and I did just that. The premise of the competition is that a prompt is given and you have one week to write a story in one thousand words or less. By the end of my morning session I had thirteen hundred words and I had a completed story. Day three involved editing the story but something wasn’t quite right. I had come in just under one thousand words but as I read it out loud it sounded really flat. I knew in my head how spooky the story could be but it just didn’t have the punch I wanted. I put it away and decided that at least I had something to submit and that maybe some of the feedback given with the competition might help me improve for next time.
Then 6:30 on Saturday morning (why always on Saturday’s?) inspiration struck. Suddenly it all made perfect sense. I had written the whole story from the wrong point of view. I introduced a policeman and got him to tell the story. He could see so many things that the previous narrator couldn’t see or know. Within one hour I had the story written and it finally sounded like the story I had originally had in my head. It may still not be good enough to get any votes but at least I know I have tried my best and put together the story I wanted rather than a poor attempt. The story is ‘The Red Shoes’ and is also somewhere on this blog if you would like to have a look.
After writing that story I was suddenly on a roll. I remembered I had suggested a weekend writing competition with my Open University Group so I had to go and set that up and then I headed off in search of a new laptop. I usually do my typing on my ipad and I then have to convert to word and move it onto the family computer to get it formatted for any kind of submission. Now as I write to you I am on my new, well new to me, Acer aspire one with a ten inch screen. It is so dinky it fits in my handbag, no jokes about the size of my handbag please.
I have spent the rest of the weekend working on the poetry module in my Open University course and I can assure you, you will not be subjected to any of my efforts there. Poetry is so far not for me.
I one regret I have this week is that as yet I have not started editing my novel. I think I am worried that when I start reading it I will find it is a load of old tosh and not worth the effort. These are very similar feelings I had when I wrote it but the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) gave me the push to get it written. Maybe now all I need is a National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo) to get me through the next stage.
I hope you are all progressing on your own journeys and that those resolutions are still holding strong. Until next time…

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