A Novel Idea

Thursday, 3 November 2011


It is November. October, month of the dreaded Novel Writing Challenge, is over and done with. So here's what I know:

I DID IT! I am very proud of myself for this simple fact.

Trying to write 50,000 words in a month is HARD. Harder than I ever realised. If (like me) you have a full time job and try and have any semblence of a social life/exercise in the evenings/etc then it is really sodding hard. Forget about having a clean house, any ironed clothes or any food that takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare. My basic problems are that a) I'm not organised enough to plot things out before I start them and b) I don't write that fast, so doing 1600 words a day of original thought takes me 3 hours+. Trying to fit that in around your normal life is incredibly difficult, hence the lack of blogging/reading/sleep/doing anything fun.

I wouldn't have managed it without Char to constantly witter to when I was behind on word count and having stressy moments (and in one instance, nearly an actual panic attack) about my complete inability to get any words on the page. I love you missus.

I would probably have gone slightly nuts without my amazing Twitter pals as well. Some of you were excellent at telling me to get off there and write the bloody book. I have cried laughing on more than one occasion when talking to Steph, Chloe, Char and others about quivering members. Sarah gets a special mention for making me snork by reminding me of this lady:


(it's not that dirty a book, honestly)

But slightly gushing thank-yous aside, the main thing is that I really like writing again.

I am under no illusions whatsoever about the quality of the novel. It's not in a state where I'd be happy that anyone else read it. I know that certain parts are not good at all. This was never about quality though. It was about finally stopping procrastinating and getting these characters out of my head and down onto paper (or a netbook screen if we're going to be very fussy). I haven't written any fiction for years. There's a half finished loosely fan-fic inspired piece knocking around somewhere but other than that, I haven't done anything for a long, long time. Yes, I write this blog and my diary and all the web content and newsletters for work, but that's different.

Writing at a pace beyond my usual comfort zone was never going to be conducive to producing my best work but the main thing is that I've completed it. And you know what? I don't hate it. I know bits are duff and I really need to work on some technical elements of it but there are parts that I've reread when scrolling through and thought "oh, that's not bad." It's a good feeling.

I'm having a week off and then I'll go back and look at it properly. After a bloody good edit, will it be good enough to even consider the next step down the line? I hope so. Even if it doesn't; even if I only ever write for myself, that's fine. This has given me so many more ideas and I'm going to allow myself the indulgence of following them up instead of automatically assuming I can't do it.

ps - if you're interested, the ring at the top came from MerCurios. I absolutely love her jewellery.

pps - Go and sign up for the Bloggers' Secret Santa that Char is organising. You might get ME as your Santa. I buy great presents, even if I do say so myself.

24 comments:

  1. Congrats, that is a huge accomplishment!

    http://kathrynscuriouslife.blogspot.com/

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  2. Well done you! Now have a rest and a big cake to reward yourself! xxx

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  3. Well done, a great achievement! Now, I agree with carrad - reward yourself with cake!

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  4. What a bloody fantastic achievement, Alex! I'm dead chuffed for you.
    Like you say, now it's there, written in front of you, you can tweak it around without the pressure. That's probably gonna be the best bit. (Other than getting the first published copy! See, I have high hopes for you!)
    Z xx

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  5. That's CJ from the West Wing! Not sure what film that pic is from though

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  6. Wow well done - I am impressed. I hear ya, I find it really hard to fit studying in too.

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  7. wow 50k! my MA dissertation was 17,500 and that was heavy going! cannot imagine doing that many... go you!

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  8. Well done lovely, I'm very proud of you for sticking it out :) xx

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  9. Congratulations on completing it! So when will it hit the shelves then?

    X x

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  10. Congratulations! V. V. Impressed :) Happy to read *anything* - just saying. Oh, and thanks So much for the reminder of 10 Things :))

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  11. Now that's what I call a challenge! Well done. There is a lesson for us all here, to stop thinking and start bloody doing!
    Now, cake, wine, night out, breathe and then GO! GO! GO! we all want to read thus novel :-)

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  12. congrats! Well done for putting in the effort and getting stuck in. Would love to read it, so I'm hoping you get happy enough with it sometime soon x

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  13. i'm super proud of you - and if that wasn't enough, you've made my day by stilling one of my favourite EVER movies! :)
    love you too, you super novel writer, you! xx

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  14. HUGE congrats on achieving this Alex. It would be really useful to have a post on where you were at before you actually sat down to type chapter 1, e.g. how long had these characters been in your head and how fully formed were they? How much of the plot had you loosely worked out in advance and how much just happened when you got into the writing flow? I'd love to get more insight into the process, it's fascinating. xx

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  15. Well done, Alex, that's a great achievement. xxx

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  16. Well done! I could never do anything like that; I am in awe!

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  17. I really admire the effort you have put into this Alex, what a great concept and rightly so achievement. I would be very proud one day to read any written work of yours. Well done xxx

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  18. Wow, what an achievement, well done! You have written a novel now, whether it gets published or even read by anyone but you is irrelevant - you've done it! Put your feet up now xxx

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  19. Well done queridita, a fantastic achievment and I'm super glad that you really got something from this. I for one, would love to read the finished product one day.

    Wasn't away that I created so much laughter, but I'm glad to have been of service.

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  20. Bloody hell, you did it! I'm properly impressed. I like to think there's a novel in me, but it may be a YA novella. Or possibly a pamphlet. My blog has definitely been the first step for me getting back into writing though - let us know if you get any further on the novel journey, you can edit and polish at your leisure now.

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  21. This post proves it. You are, indeed, a writer!

    Huzzah!

    Tibby

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