Posts Tagged ‘drafts’

This is going to be a short post as I have a horrible headache and am feeling a little sorry for myself…

I met my target of finishing section one this week, which was a good feeling, but it did prove how much further ahead I could be if I just plugged away when I got the time.

I must do better – at organising my time, at planning my various activities, at prioritising, and at just sitting down and getting the words out even if they’re not exactly what I want them to be.

I have so many things calling on me at the moment that I have to let some things go – I’ve already stopped doing the courses I’d planned to do over the last few months, but I’m also rearranging some of the other things I take on to balance my time a little more.

I am not indispensable with regard to my various committees and groups and if I have to step back so be it.   It’s important for me to give my new job proper attention and to get to grips with writing again – and there are certain things in my life that I have to focus on now.

All in all, I have to do better about saying no when it needs to be said!

In other news – Book 38 of the list is The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame.  I have read this one, as an adult actually; in fact it’s on the bookcase next to me as I type.  I used to watch the TV show when I was little – voiced by Peter Sallis (Wallace from the  Wallace and Gromit films) and David Jason (Delboy Trotter from Only Fools and Horses, amongst other things); those voices are rather evocative.

That’s all for this week, I’m off to lie down in a darkened room…

Happy writing,




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This week at writing group we were talking about feedback and critiques.  As the person responsible for making sure we cover these things, I took along a poem I wrote a couple of years ago so people could practice giving feedback without worrying whether they were offending someone.  

It’s a poem I’d forgotten about, to be honest; although I think it has a certain charm it’s not one I’ve revisited since June 2012 – and that was only the second draft!

Being able to listen to feedback and make it constructive for you is important, but that’s not the point of the post today.   No, what really struck me is that I haven’t looked back at old work for a long time.

Working on the woods novel, which is now in stasis, I spent a lot of time working through its inherent issues, and writing new pieces to keep me going.  What I didn’t do was revisit old folders of work.

I often work on old pieces, don’t get me wrong – but they’re the pieces I’ve finished and take to open mike nights or readings.  I amend them based on hearing them read out loud.  On the other hand, I haven’t looked back at my files of early, unfinished, drafts for a while.  I think that without really noticing, I just closed my mind to them.

So after having that blast from the past, after having a look at my old folders full of random lines, or articles, or early attempts at expressing myself, I am determined to write a whole new set based on those bits – a whole new set to go out and read for an audience.

I don’t write drafts just to forget them, and I don’t want that to be their fate.

In other news – We’ve got to Book 19 of the Best Novels list – The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins.  I saw this come up and read it this week, I’ll give you my impressions on Thursday.  I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really agree with this list though – or at least, if these books are really the best in the English language, then I don’t enjoy the best!

Also – as I was looking at the newspaper, I found this article about the deadly argument two friends had over the relative benefits of poetry and prose.  I thought I’d share it to remind us all to keep things in perspective – and to say I think both poetry and prose are fabulous!

And finally – I was watching a programme about house-hunting in Wales, which discussed, briefly, Dylan Thomas’s love of the area. Subsequently I came across this article about places to visit in the area to celebrate the centenary of his birth.  I’m taking it as a sign that Wales is a good writing destination, and that our trip to the retreat at the end of April will be a success.

We writers love to interpret signs, after all!

Happy writing



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Today was my deadline for completing the first draft of the woods novel.  So – did I beat the clock?

Yes I did.  I am really happy!

Unfortunately there’s still lots of work to be done even if I don’t have to face it straight away…

There are some issues I am aware of with this first draft. Firstly, the closer to the end I got, the more dialogue came in to speed me up! When I revisit it in February, I’ll have a fair bit to do getting that fixed – but as it started in NaNoWriMo and I’ve done nothing in the way of revisions anyway, this whole first draft is a bit uneven.  It’ll probably need some remedial planning work to flesh out some of the ideas.

I’m also – probably – trying to stretch the story too much at the end. It feels a little scrappy, as though it should have finished, and then I got another idea and just tagged it on the end, so that needs some attention.

I think once the revisions and editing get going, I’ll make the last chapter shorter, or change the order of things in the last chapter.  The second option would probably work best – there’s only one reason to do it as I have, and that’s to reintroduce a character; I could do that a different way.

Still, I got through it – whatever its limitations! Final total word count of draft one (which will probably be about 10-15,000 words shorter than a final version) =74,128.  Shorter than expected, but long enough to cover all the ideas I wanted to cover. This works for my expectations of 85,000 words in the final version, which is about right for my target audience.

So I’m having the rest of this evening off to watch something rubbish on TV for a bit, and from tomorrow I have until the end of January to complete the new scenes for the family tree book, to get it back for a second round of proofreading at the end of the month.

Wow – I did it!  Neo-NaNo is working 😉

Happy writing,



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