I’ve taken a little time off from Horace over the last few months and as a consequence I’m way behind the deadline I set myself for that first draft.
So to try and kickstart myself into action I’m taking part in the yearly National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) initiative. The objective will be to complete 50,000 words during the course of the month of November which will be a heck of a challenge for me. It won’t get me quite back on track but should go along way towards my original timescale expectations for the project.
I’ve taken part in this initiative before and whilst I’ve never achieved the 50,000 word target it certainly is a good way to get you motivated. Joining some of the forums means that you can share your woes with other participants. Definitely recommended for the budding writer!
Wish me luck!
It’s been a little while since I posted on this blog. I’ve had a break from my writing since my last self-published memoir – Discovering My Suomi Roots. Guess what? I’m itching to get started with another writing project!
Some time ago I started a fiction work but never finished it. I think the thought of a writing project approaching novel length scared me off somewhat. After all, previously I had only written short stories. And so that led me to embark on a “step by step” approach and build up my word count for my writing projects. Hence the three self-published titles I completed over the last 18 months.
So now it’s time to clean the dust off that old manuscript. I have a few ideas to change it slightly and maybe write it from a different viewpoint to the original partly finished draft.
What’s subject matter? Briefly it’s about a man called Horace who has just retired but whose retirement plans are turned upside down. It’s not a quasi-memoir, but I guess I can relate to some aspects of it having retired almost five years ago. The title? Well I haven’t figured that out at the moment but for now we’ll just use the working title of Horace.
Like my other projects I have set myself an initial timescale for completion of the first draft. Hopefully I can achieve this by the end of November this year. With the editing process I should be looking at a finished work sometime during H2 next year (2018). That’s the plan anyway!
I’ll endeavour to post some regular updates to this blog updating my progress. Wish me luck!
My new memoir is now available in eBook and printed formats from Amazon. The UK and US direct links have been added to the side bar of this blog.
It’s been a little while since my last post all those weeks ago. Christmas has come and gone and we are now into a brand new year. I’ve been kept busy with some family time, writing and walking the excesses off from the festive period!
So what about the writing? I finished my first revision process and now have “Discovering My Suomi Roots” on my kindle for final editing. I find this process helps me get a feel for how the book might look and read in eBook format.
Usually I correct any grammatical and punctuation issues at this stage. I also tweak any awkwardly structured sentences or paragraphs as I read through. There are a couple of the later chapters which I am not fully comfortable with. I’ll take the opportunity to review these and rewrite as necessary, but nothing major.
It’s another short memoir, but over twice the length “Timmy” turned out to be. After final editing I have a couple of readers lined up to help with any last minute tweaks but otherwise it should be just about there.
So what exactly is this memoir about? I’m not sure I’ve gone into any detail explaining this apart from some small references to the content here and there, either in the “Timmy” memoir or my blogs.
I don’t want to say too much or I’ll spoil one or two twists and surprises I have in the book. Briefly it’s about discovering my Finnish roots later in life in a very unexpected way. I take a look back on my childhood years, touching upon my relationship with my family, and the story follows the roots thread throughout my life up to the present day. Hopefully you will have got a flavour for what’s in store.
I set myself the deadline of the first quarter of this year and fully expect to be on schedule to have released it or certainly have it available for preorder by the end of March. It will be available through Amazon in both eBook and printed format. I have in mind also to bundle it up with “Living With Timmy” and release that version at the same time.
That’s it for now!
I am nearing the end of the first revision of Discovering My Suomi Roots. It has taken almost six weeks with some distractions along the way. I have found this process satisfying as I have something to work with, unlike the first draft stage, where all you have is a blank sheet of paper or computer screen!
So how has this stage in the process gone? Not bad at all. Briefly :
- Some of the initial drafting was good and detailed – I kept much of the content, adding bits here and there. Some content I deleted entirely. Other areas of the drafting were “bare bones”and I spent most of my time here redrafting.
- The structure of this particular memoir is starting to come together. Whilst there is some necessary plotting deviation, hopefully it is all held together by a common thread. At least I hope that is what the reader will find!
- The number of chapters have increased as I have remodelled the structure of the draft so that each chapter flows logically into the next.
- I had chapter headings in the initial draft more as a point of reference for me. I have revised and renamed most of these to fit in with the finalised chapter content.
- I have done a small amount of obvious punctuation and grammar fault-finding although most of this I will pick up in the final revision stages.
Finally, I need to complete this process over the next couple of weeks and then leave it until the New Year to pick it up again for a third revision. This allows me to take a fresh look at the writing and hopefully assists before loading onto a kindle for a final polish of the work from me.
Afterwards I have some readers lined up to give me their thoughts and honest opinions before preparation for release which I hope will be in the first quarter of 2017 … a little later than anticipated but hopefully better for it.
Finally I finished the first draft of Discovering My Suomi Roots on time (by a couple of days!). Now the real work begins!
The first draft I always find hard work. I’m more of a plotter than a pantser that’s for sure. But, despite all the planning at the outset, I still find it hard working my way through to completion. Somehow I manage to plod along convincing myself it will all be worth it in the end.
My planned structure and content for a writing project always has to be flexible. As I am writing I find other detail I have overlooked for inclusion. Or ideas on how I might tell the story differently suddenly strike me. So there has to be some flex in your plan.
It is very tempting to look back and start rewriting parts of your writing that you know will have to be rewritten. Avoid this! Your focus needs to be aimed at completing the initial draft. Revision comes later!
Once completed, for me, the enjoyable part comes next. I find the revision process much easier. You have something tangible to work with even if you are working with a very rough first draft. My words and thoughts flow easier. I am much more relaxed as the story starts to come to life and take shape.
But without that first draft there can be no revision process!