Thursday, 22 January 2015

Highs...and lows

Things are a bit weird at the moment.

On the one hand, I'm on an incredible high; I've had the very exciting news about StarMark, am prepping More Granny Rainbow for publication, and I've got four author events lined up over the next month or so. (Harry Potter Book Night on the 5th Feb at The Reading Shop, celebrating National Library Day on the 7th Feb, and two school visits, if you were interested.)

Writing-wise, I'm not feeling the same. I've got an idea bubbling away for a short story for the second Random Writers anthology, but otherwise things are a bit stuck. I've got Rurik, who is written but I'm not sure what to do with him - edit, like I did StarMark, or self-pub as is?

And then I've got a half-written novel which has stalled, big-time.

'Ani's story' (working title!) has a broad theme. It has characters who are beginning to make themselves known to me, and it has an animal POV popping up ocassionally. I know what's going to happen to my MC and how to resolve her issues. BUT - and it's a big but - I cannot make the storyline believable. I can't pull everything I want to include together enough to make a credible story. I've got about 18,000 words down so far of a s****y first draft, but when I sit down to flesh it out, I get tied up in knots and stop writing. Pantsing just isn't working this time...

So today, I concentrated on firming up the plot. I spent hours on it, the result of which is a good dozen pages of A4 filled with what-ifs and questions, that have not supplied a single satisfactory solution in any of them. I tried writing out the characters a la Ally Spencer and still can't discover certain characters' motivations for their actions. I've even tried to run the ideas past the kids..."Sorry Mum, got homework to do."

And that's when you realise this writing lark's a pain in the proverbial. On the one hand, it promises the highs of publication, of creating something other-wordly and unique, of talking to your readers, (I won't say fans, but if they like your writing enough...). And just when you're riding the crest, it slams you with a wall that you have to break through in order to create that which might be published or enjoyed by readers.

Today, it's felt like an impossible task. Some would say keep going - get the words down and you can polish them later. Others would tell me to keep mulling - let the ideas percolate and something will come... Today, neither are working, and the writing demon at my shoulder is telling me I need to get it right before I go any further.

Tomorrow, things might feel different. I flippin' well hope so.

The roller coaster of writing...


  1. Hi Katherine. It seems to me you're trying to think about to much at once. Ref the 'what if's' - I find it helpful to go on Amazon - In the serachbox use keywords from your story/plot to identify your story out of the thousands already on there. Now, take a look at the results, let's say 1600. Next add a what if to the keywords you've put in and check the results again - let's say 200 come up this time. The idea being that the lower the results, the more unique your story idea. Therfore you'll find a niche. On the results that come up, you can also use the look inside feature too. The other thing, StarMark is on its way not a lot to worry about. Rurik, if it's ready as is I'd selfpub, you can always return to that later to edit for agents. Ani's story you'll have more time to concentrate on given that the Amazon thing may spark it into life as to how you proceed with it. Good luck with whatever you choose.

  2. Thanks Baz - hadn't thought of that as a way of identifying the USP.

    I think, on reflection, it's more a case of I've got things I want the characters to do because I think that would give me a good scene, but in fact it doesn't make sense for them to be doing those things because they don't have a good enough reason for doing them! Sounds complicated I know...but it goes back to the character's motivation. Perhaps I need to work on the character stories a bit more and the back story before I can 'know' them well enough to get them to interact?