Novel Complete!

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I am FINISHED!

“Edith’s Questions” is done.

To be honest, it’s not in exactly the format I’d envisaged and it’s a little shorter than I wanted what with the rush to complete my submission, but my novel is now with the lovely ladies at Mslexia and I won’t hear anything more until December, when the shortlist will be announced.

I’ve worked on it like a demon over the last two weeks and I am telling you that editing and finishing an entire book in that time is no easy job!

Longlisted for the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015!

The title says it all!! I am SO pleased, and excited! 

Edith’s Questions is the title of the book and I started it at the beginning of this year when the idea popped into my head and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I have to send in the complete manuscript now, which is not quite ready to go (when is a novel ever ready?). I’m still writing, editing, and adding things, and making little changes and checking the storyline is coherent… It’s been an exhausting few days and sitting at a desk at 35 weeks pregnant is not exactly comfortable.

Nonetheless, I shall be sending my finished novel off early next week, no matter what (well, actually, going into labour early might be about the only thing that could stop me).

I’ll update once the book has flown the nest. Right now, I have work to do 😃.

Novel Update and Competition Entry

So, here I am, plodding along. The story has grown and developed a life of it’s own, which I’m pleased about. It isn’t quite what I imagined when I first started out, but it feels more substantial now. My main character, Edith, is more her own person rather than the idea of the person she was when I first began.

I’m not quite finished, but I’ve entered the first 5,000 words in the Mslexia Novel Competition.

Why oh why have I done this before I’ve written the final chapters? I can’t really answer that. I just felt like it was ready for a bit of fresh air. I’ve also settled on a title after weeks of getting a blank whenever I thought about it. It’s called Edith’s Questions. At least for now. And I like that because it’s simple and it’s exactly what the novel is all about :-)

Novel Update – 20,000 Words

20,285 to be precise. That’s what I hit this morning after 40 minutes on the computer getting my words done for the day.

I should be feeling really happy about this. Reaching 10,000 words was great. But here, at 20,000… all I can think of is:

Is there really any point to this story?

Yup, I’m wondering if everything I’ve written isn’t, in fact, total rubbish. Ha! Old habits die hard :-) And I’m also wondering… what’s the point of this… will it matter to me if no one else ever reads it? I don’t really know. I love to write, so possibly not, but it’d be nice to share. Sigh. Well, what else can I do at this point, but write some more?

Onwards.

August Writing Summary

I’ve never been good at regular writing. I tend to write in sporadic bursts and then have long gaps between them. However, I’ve read so much about the importance of regular writing, and I have to admit that it’s key to finally getting a novel finished, so I’ve been making an effort to write more frequently (rather than doing thousands of words over a few days and then nothing for months).

I mentioned a website I’m using called 750words.com, which has been great for my motivation. I’ve written at least 750 words, every day, for 15 days in a row. So, I thought I’d post a monthly writing summary of my word count and how the month went. Here’s August:

Word counts:
18.08.15     2530
19.08.15     1185
20.08.15     1016
21.08.15     2089
22.08.15     1085
23.08.15     1068
24.08.15     1257
25.08.15     1143
26.08.15     768
27.08.15     758
28.08.15     806
29.08.15    977
30.08.15     763
31.08.15     854

You can see that my count has come down after the first flush of enthusiasm. I’ve also had less time over the last week to write, which makes a difference. However, what has been eye-opening is that on the days when I have had no inclination at all to write anything, days when I would normally have avoided writing because I didn’t think I had the right ‘spark’ necessary for generating decent work, I’ve still managed to reach the minimum word count.

And I’m really pleased with that – it means that my novel has steadily grown and the story has gradually unfolded, even if on some of those days it’s really been just a case of chucking anything down to make sure I’ve met my goal. When I return for editing it will be interesting to see if there is a marked difference in quality between days.

Overall, my progress now stands at 18,311 words, which I’m really pleased with, as I’m (ambitiously!) aiming to enter the first 5,000 words in the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition, which closes on 21st September.

10,000 Words

I hit 10,000 words of my novel today. 10,237 to be precise.

Hurrah!

The way I’m writing at the moment is forward-only. I haven’t edited anything, and I don’t plan to. I just get my head down and write the next instalment – most of which I’m not even sure about until it appears on the page. I want to carry on this way and leave the editing until later – I think I’m better at editing/improving than raw writing anyway, so it’ll be a more enjoyable job.

10,000 words! How exciting :-)

750 Words

I’ve started using the 750words.com website to help me stick to a regular writing schedule. I’m 9,000 words down on the novel that I’ve wanted to write since the beginning of this year. I’ve managed a four day streak so far. I’ve been writing in the evening, but I’ve found that I get agitated as the day goes on that I haven’t ‘done my words’ (I’ve always been a morning person), so I might experiment with getting up and writing them at around 6am, before everyone else is awake.

Writing Again

I’m writing again!

I’d been thinking about it seriously for a few weeks.

Since last year, when I was churning out quite a lot of flash fiction, I’ve had a lull – maybe it was a confidence thing. I had a couple of pieces published towards the end of 2014 – and it was the first time I’d ever shown anyone my work. It was a little scary. What if I couldn’t ever write anything good again?

And I became distracted, with work-related stuff, but I also got pregnant (!). However, since then, I’ve had a major clearing out of projects and to-dos. It was primarily to make sure I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with stuff once this new baby arrives (I’m due at the end of November), but as is often the case with a good declutter, once I’d made space in my life, I found there was one thing I kept thinking about filling it with again. The one thing I always come back to.

Writing.

So that novel I intended to write at the beginning of the year, and my resolution to write 50,000 words of it, might just be on the cards after all.

CyberTalk Flash Fiction 2014 Winner

cybertalk61I won!

How cool is that??

I loved writing this – it poured out :-)

Technical Support
“No!” Nathan gave a muffled shout as his eyes snapped open. He was sweating, tangled in a white sheet.

He looked across at the moulded shelf next to the bed, seeking the reassurance of a small metal box no more than ten inches across. On the front panel a red LED was unblinking. His nightmare ebbed away like backwash, revealing the stillness of the hours before dawn.

Announcement here.

If you want to read my cyber-themed science fiction story, it’s now available on the SoftBox website.

CyberTalk is produced in conjunction with the Cyber Security Centre at De Montfort University Leicester, and you can read all the issues online (or subscribe for a print copy!).

Twisted Tales 2014 Anthology

51f8ieDBQjL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_My entry got through to the final and is included in this year’s anthology!

You can read a little more about me and the story here.

Love Cures All
Dr Harris looked up from his desk and smiled. Ella Thompson smiled back, closed the door behind her and made her way over to the chair. “Ella,” he said, spreading his hands in welcome. “How are you?”

You can buy it on amazon:

Twisted Tales 2014: Flash Fiction with a twist

Or you can read it (for free!) on the Ether Books app.

Link