Friday, 19 December 2008

What editors want

It's all about the links this week. Here's a good one about why your novel was rejected/what editor's want and includes some useful things to think about if you're not sure why your book isn't quite working:

I'm off work at the moment so, in theory, I've got all the time in the world to work on novel 2 (well, 24 hours a day if I don't sleep). The only trouble is I have been sleeping - a lot - and watching TV - a lot - and getting out and about - a lot - and faffing around - get the picture.

It's weird isn't it, when you've got a day job you think, "Oh, if I could just give up work and write full time I'd get a lot more writing done" but when you do have time off you write exactly the same amount as you would if you'd done a full day at work.

Well I do anyway.

Over the last few days I've written between 1,000 and 2,000 words a day. Not that my word count has grown much. Today I deleted all the words I wrote yesterday and wrote something new (I changed my mind about the right way to approach a certain scene). I also went back and tweaked a few scenes. When you write romantic-comedies your novel has to be humorous and my first 4,000 words were decidedly NOT. For a while I worried that I'd lost my 'funny' but an idea for a scene came to me today that actually made me grin while I was writing it.

Which is a good thing.

I read an interview with Sophie Kinsella the other day that said something along the lines of, "If a scene doesn't make me laugh when I'm writing it it obviously doesn't work, so I go back and re-write it until I do laugh."

I'm starting to understand the way I write - I need what I've written to be structurally sound before I can move on and write more. If I don't it bugs me and I find myself thinking about what needs to be fixed or what doesn't work and I feel blocked and can't write.

So things are good and I'm actually enjoying writing book 2 (crossed my fingers when I typed that bit!). My aim is to get to 10,000 words by the end of the year.

Book 2 wordcount: 6,339 / 90,000 (7.0%)


JJ said...

That sounds very positive. I can't leave loads of mess behind me in the manuscript to tidy up 'later' either. It doesn't need to be perfect, but it needs to roughly right.

And while you're off work, are keeping nocturnal hours? You often appear to be up and awake when most people in the UK are asleep. I notice these things because my life runs in two distinct time parallels: Thai time and UK time!

Yvonne said...

I know what you mean, I never got as much writing done when I had time off as I expected. I'm just not one of those people that can write for eight hours a day - I write in bursts.

But I did find that when I wasn't working I spent a lot more time thinking about the book, the structure and the characters. In fact I found it difficult to sleep. It has not quite left me now that I'm working but it has been pushed into the background by all the other things that are occupying my time.

So what I think I mean is this - writing is a lot more than words on a page! Keep up the great work Cal!

Kate Lord Brown said...

It's always felt like writing time is very precious (it has to fit around day job, kids, house etc). If (when - think positive right?!) I can write full time I'm curious to see if productivity shoots up ... And yes, always been a big believer in if it doesn't make you laugh/cry/turn you on, it's not working.

Captain Black said...

Thanks for the link. Very useful points, despite the obvious leaning towards certain genres.

I'm more of a disciple of "don't get it right, get it written". Otherwise I lose the flow.

Based on your current book #2 word count, you'll easily make the 10K before the end of the year. That is, if you don't keep deleting stuff.

Cappy Hmas Xally :o)

Debs said...

Thanks for the link, I'll go and have a look.

You sound as if you're moving along well with novel 2. I also seem to manage to fit more in when I'm busy. If I have all day, I tend to faff about and get less done, then be thoroughly fed up with my lack of progress.

womagwriter said...

Sounds like you are on a roll with novel 2 - keep it up!

Vodka Mom said...

good luck to you!!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

That's a very useful link, thank you. Now stop reading this comment and go write some more words!

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