Monday, 26 June 2006

The first words are the hardest...

Right. I’m going to start my new book today. Honest.

It would be so much easier if I hadn’t taken a break to decorate my house, do copy edits and generally let life get in the way. I’ve lost the flow of the story.

I can’t seem to write unless I feel the story is ‘bubbling’. By that, I mean the point when my head is crammed full of ideas, I can see the scene in my head and I just feel itchy until I sit down and get it out of me. Of course, I can write when the bubbles aren’t there, it’s just that it tends to be awful.

I think the problem is that my plot is still a little sketchy. I went back to my plot board this morning and pinned some bits on it. It’s a bit empty. As I look at it, I know what is happening in the beginning and I’ve got a vague idea of how the story resolves itself, but it’s the middle section that is blank.

The problem is, this is a story about a couple reuniting and, although they are stuck in a car together, their journey is really an emotional one. So, before I can plot it, I am going to have to make sure my character arcs are solid.

More about character arcs when I have made myself take a look at them.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

I love my bookcase

Okay, something daft made me ridiculously happy yesterday.

I had to demolish some lovely stone cladding in my living room (my house had been done up in the 70's in the "fake country cottage" style). So, fo quite a while I had to live in what looked like a building site. All moveable furniture left the room - including my big bookcase.

I love that bookcase. Mostly because my father-in-law made it for us not long after we were married, and since he died only a few years later, it feels good to have something that reminds us of him as a very central thing in our lives.

But yesterday, it was just the sheer joy of seeing the bookcase full of books and sitting in my living room that made me smile. I hadn't realised how much I had missed it until it was back. There is something strangely comforting about seeing row upon row of books all waiting eagerly to be read (or re-read, most likely). I keep looking at it and feeling all warm inside.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Barking mad

I must be stark, raving bonkers. I was varnishing my living room floor at midnight last night.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Would my real life stop interrupting my writing life, please?

My house is in turmoil. We have painted our open-plan living room and now we are sanding the floorboards. There is dust everywhere. Everything we can move out of the room is now in my bedroom (which looks like an overstuffed storeroom with a bed in the middle). We were eating all our meals in the garden until it started to rain and now we are forced to picnic in our bedrooms -if we can find the floor space.

And just to top it all, the proofs for “Her Parenthood Assignment” have arrived. I have two weeks to get them done and I can’t even find a flat, dust-free surface in my house to put them on. Last night I dreamt that when I looked at them I realised that it wasn’t even the right book staring back at me. In my dream, the word document had corrupted and had somehow morphed into my aborted first attempt at a novel, full of typos and gobbledegook.

I think my brain is trying to tell me I'm a little overstretched.

Saturday, 10 June 2006

So many words, so little time...

At the moment I am far too busy to write. In the next week or so, I have both a house to decorate (I’m trying to get a huge chunk done before I really get going with the next book) and a “pirates and princesses” birthday party to plan, cook for and host.

I’m feeling a bit odd, because I’m a writer who isn’t actually doing any writing. Mind you, I’m having lunch with my editor next week, and since we will be discussing the synopsis I sent her, I'm sure I will have plenty to run with once the pirates and princesses have sailed away home to their mums.