Monday, 23 December 2013

Writing progress report

I am slowly but surely coming to the end of the book. I will not complete it by the end of 2013, but if I work hard enough, I will complete it in the beginning of 2014. I can't wait to put it all together and begin the revision. I'm sure that I'll be cutting out and changing lots of things, but I just want to know that I did it - that I've written another book!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Writing progress report

I'm not sure if I'm going to finish the first draft of my fantasy novel by the end of the year, as was my intention, but I'm definitely going to come very close to my goal. I've almost finished the second part of the book and then there would be only the third part left. It's around 50K now and it's hard to believe that I've come this far. It all started many years ago with a tiny ten-chapter story that didn't come up to more than 20K and that would not let me go, though I put it behind me time and time again. It has had so many versions, drafts, revisions and rewrites but now I think it is finally shaping into what it is supposed to be - all thanks to my impromptu participation in NaNoWriMo two years ago when I discovered a giant plot hole in the story that ultimately brought from its depth the story I'm currently working on.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Writing progress report

I've almost completed rewriting the beginning of the second part of my fantasy novel and I'm looking forward to moving onto the next part. I've been looking through what I've written so far (approx. 45K) and I'm afraid that I still have a lot of tucking in and polishing to do. I never seem to get it right. No matter how many times I rewrite the damn thing.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Writing progress report

Well, I completely failed to meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing the first draft of my fantasy novel by the end of summer as I'm only half-way through the thing but I'm writing so that's good and that's all there is to say on the matter. I'd better get to writing before I get sidetracked again. It happens a lot these days...

Monday, 19 August 2013

Writing progress report

I'm happy to say that I'm back to writing my fantasy novel. In fact, I've been writing for well over a fortnight now. Funnily enough my writer's block always coincides with extreme heat that hits my area, though this time around I have also been crippled by my sudden obsession with Star Trek and, especially, Captain James T. Kirk. Don't get me wrong, this obsession is still as strong as ever, however, my need to write has finally overridden my desire to watch the films and interviews with the cast over and over again and (which is much worse because once I start I can't seem to stop) read fanfics.

Monday, 8 July 2013

No writing progress report - I blame Star Trek

I'm afraid I haven't done much writing or thinking about writing this week but is it my fault that I find Star Trek irresistibly fascinating and attention stealing? I can't help it. I'm being sucked into a black hole that is fandom. I've been there before and I know for a fact how easy it is to lose myself there...

Monday, 1 July 2013

Writing progress report

I've been rewriting the beginning of the second part of my fantasy novel and I'm reasonably happy with the result. At least for now. I also wrote a short piece of backstory for my own personal use. I find that the further I go into the story, the more I have to go back - to change, to rewrite, to cut...

Monday, 24 June 2013

Writing progress report

I haven't done much writing this week but I've solved an important question concerning places and their names. The change of name of one place, in particular, triggered the change in its entire history. I'm very excited about it.    

Monday, 17 June 2013

Writing progress report

Once again, having read the piece I'd been working on to my critique partner, I discovered gaps and holes that I had forgotten to fill with necessary substance. I have to keep track of so many things while working on my fantasy WIP that I inevitably lose sight of some of them - until I've written the whole scene out, read it aloud and spotted a mistake (i.e., my critique partner did - she's extremely sharp-eyed and awfully nitpicking; she has a knack for asking important questions that make me explore directions I wouldn't otherwise).

I've decided to go back to the beginning of the second part I'm working on at the moment (right now its word count stands at about 13K) and rewrite the whole thing. I also spent much of my time revising the original story, sending the first three chapters to the editor and hoping that she would contact me. I hope that she's OK, because she never answered back, but her silence gave me an impetus to do something I couldn't find enough courage to do for a long time: I'm taking "Almendra: A Fairy-Tale" off my publisher's website and other places where it could have been purchased. It's time to face the fact that it's just not good enough for publication (that not everything that we write is!) and I should never have published it in its current state in the first place.

At the moment I don't know if I should ever get back to it. I'm not going to say never, because it has a certain power over me that compels me to come back to it, but it has too many problems: plot holes, things appearing out of nowhere without any explanation whatsoever, inconsistencies, illogicalities... But, with all that, I still like it a lot and I had high hopes that someone else would like it too. Alas, no... It was the first "book" that I wrote (in fact, it's no more than a novella) and it's clear now that I didn't really know what I was doing while writing it, but I've learnt a lot since then and I hope that new "Almendra" will turn out just fine.

Question of the Week: Does the number of discarded drafts indicate how good or bad a writer is? What if I have a dozen discarded drafts of the same story and I'm still struggling with it? What does it say about me as a writer? That I'm bad at what I love doing, because I can't get it right, no matter how many times I try?

Monday, 10 June 2013

Writing progress report

After the meeting with my critique partner, that takes place every fortnight, I realized that the bit I'd been working on for the past three weeks or so needs much more work still. Therefore, I went back and rewrote parts of it that we decided needed changes made to them but I haven't finished yet. Here I'd been thinking that it's all good and then I printed it out and started reading it aloud and realized that it was raw and wanting... Suddenly, it struck me how much I hadn't included that should have been included, how many things had escaped my notice!

I've also been contemplating why exactly I'm in such a rush to finish the book. It's not like I have hordes of fans waiting for the next instalment to hit the shelves with bated hearts. So there's no rush and no pressure. And chances that I'll ever have hordes of fans are - well - not big. I have fun writing it and I do it for myself and I love the experience. Besides, I had rushed into publishing "Almendra: A Fairy-Tale" and it was a complete disaster. So - no rushing things this time around - no matter how much I want to move forward and write "The End"! If I need to go back and rewrite something - I do that - and rewrite it as many times as it takes for me to be satisfied with it! Sometimes, I do have to remind myself that.

Question of the Week: How do you determine when to write exactly what someone says or when to report it? Are there any rules? What is to be my guide in making the right decision? Why is it that sometimes I put down a full conversation and at others I simply report what someone says?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Writing progress report

I'm working on the second part of my fantasy novel, based on my novella "Almendra: A Fairy-Tale". (I still haven't heard from the editor about the edits she proposes to introduce to the original story - I expect she is properly horrified by now and wishes to take her offer back.) It's an on-the-road part and it gives me some grief, because I'm not good at describing the journey and pushing the story forward. Nevertheless, I'm doing my best!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Despite the fact that I'm re-working "Almendra: A Fairy-Tale" into a fantasy novel, I can't seem to let go of the original story, because it'll be a completely different story once rewritten. That's why I've decided to review and edit it and then, maybe, even re-publish it. I even found an editor who agreed to help me with it but, though she assured me that my story is not a waste of time, I haven't heard from her since I sent her my MS a week ago.

I've been wondering if, perhaps, she changed her mind and is looking for an honest but tactful way of letting me know. Or else my email has never reached her. I find that it sometimes happens to important emails of mine... Well, in any case, if I don't hear from her by tomorrow, I'll write her a follow-up email, asking if she got my MS and brace myself for the verdict... 

UPDATE: Blast! She never got it! 

Friday, 24 May 2013

I can't seem to make up my mind whether to keep track of my writing progress on my blog or not. I doubt that anyone ever reads anything I write here, so that might be a mute point in and of itself. But it's always fun to go back in time via written record and remember how I used to work on this or that novel... bursts of inspiration... great ideas... important discoveries... plot woes... characters misbehaving...

I guess that settles it. I will return to my weekly writing progress report. After all, I used to do it on and off ever since I started working on "Margaret's Rematch", so why not now when I'm working on the novel that has been haunting me for years? It's a very important novel - the work of my life in a way - and I have high hopes for it. Besides, I hate to see my blog not being updated!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Party Blog Hop

I don't remember how old I was when I saw “Pride and Prejudice” (BBC, 1995) for the first time but I remember that I was very young and I also remember how much my family and I enjoyed its light tone, its humour, its characters. It seemed so very different from everything else and it was impossible not to have a good time and a good laugh while watching it. I remember the agony of the wait until the next episode. 

I was captivated by the language, the manners and the fashion and I would watch it each time one of the channels would broadcast it. Luckily for me, it happened at least once a year and then we would follow the story and enjoy it as much as ever. Of course, now I have a DVD of the movie and I can watch it whenever I want, because it is not something that I can ever get tired of. In fact, I've just finished watching it and I'm thinking about watching it all over again! 

At one point I discovered that the mini-series I loved so much was actually based on the novel that was written by Jane Austen and, as strange and unreal as it is to think about it now, I knew nothing whatsoever about Jane Austen or any of her books back then. Alas, I couldn't read the book at that time, because my English wasn't what it is now, but I would come back to it again and again until I finally managed to do it. Naturally, I've been rereading it ever since... And my English has much improved since then; in fact, so much so that I wrote a Regency-set novel of my own - Margaret's Rematch - as a tribute to Jane Austen.

This year I'm taking part in “The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge” and for the first time ever I'm going to read (or, at the very least, attempt to) different interpretations, variations, sequels, spin-offs and even parodies based on “Pride and Prejudice”. 

As for myself, I think that if I ever find myself so bold as to trifle with Jane Austen's characters, I would take up Caroline Bingley's case (I feel extremely sorry for her!) in order to redeem her in the eyes of the readers and give her something that I'm sure will relieve her bitterness – a fine gentleman with a sense of humour and a happily ever after. 

Here is the LINK to the list of other participants (you will find them at the bottom of the post).

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

I decided to take part in "The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013", hosted by Laurel Ann at Austenprose, by challenging my ability to read Pride and Prejudice interpretations, variations, sequels, spin-offs and parodies. I'm not yet sure about the exact schedule but here are the things that I intend to watch and read:

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen 
2. Pride and Prejudice, A&E/BBC, 1995
3. Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James
4. Darcy's Days, Fitzwilliam Darcy
5. Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy's Dreadful Secret, Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian
6. Mr. Darcy's Letter, Abigail Reynolds
7. Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy, Barbara Tiller Cole
8. Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife, Linda Berdoll
9. Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, Karen Doornebos
10. Becoming Elizabeth Darcy, Mary Lydon Simonsen
11. Georgiana Darcy's Diary, Anna Elliott
12. Charlotte ~ Pride and Prejudice Continues, Karen Aminadra

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Journal, New Writing Resolutions

Now is the time to make Writing Resolutions for 2013 and my main resolutions are to WRITE as much as I can, to COMPLETE my fantasy novel and to FIND an agent for it. Here is the time-frame that I intend to follow:

January - September: I write the first draft;
September - December: I revise, edit and polish the thing;
December: I search for and find an agent :D

It's important that I don't get side-tracked by other projects that keep popping into my head, taking all the space there, though, I think, I would like to have small side-projects to work on from time to time, such as fairy-tales, short stories and novelettes.  I would also like to keep up with my Regencies, though at present I will limit myself to research.

Well, we'll see! Happy New Year everyone!