Thursday, 28 January 2016

The next move?

Food for thought - maybe a bowl of homemade soup
will help me think through my next move!
I seem to be stuck right now. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing. I read an article the other day which said that when you have written your novel you should set it aside for six months. Six months? I do see the point in a way. After all I often put my poems away for a while because when I came back to them stuff shouts out at me. The longer I leave it the louder it shouts!

My problem is this: I finished my comic novel in December. I did the first read through/edit earlier this month and then after only six days I went straight into the second edit which I finished a few days ago. That's fast....probably too fast. There are, I know, things I want to add and I'm especially concerned about the beginning, even after re-writing the first few paragraphs. Last time I looked I bracket round a paragraph I'm thinking of deleting! I suppose I should leave it for a longer time and do something else. But what?

There is my first novel festering away after several edits. Just thinking about it makes me turn my back and consider anything but this! I've tried changing the viewpoint in the first few chapters and I don't know if it works better or not. I seem to have become bogged down with it and am worried that too much editing might leave it in a state where I have over done it. Does anyone know what I mean?

To take my mind off all that I have booked myself a place at the Beach Hut Writing Academy one day conference in Brighton on 12th March (if anyone else is going let me know). There are opportunities to meet agents but I'm not sure I am ready for that again, both mentally and at the right stage in my manuscripts. The venue overlooks the beach - I fear my eyes will wander! The programme looks good and hopefully I will learn something.

The other thing I have been doing is searching for some outlets for some poetry. I'm not sure how I feel about poetry competitions right now but I did submit one to Magma earlier this month and have just sent two off to the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society open poetry competition. I have a couple of other poems ready to go to a magazine but I cannot submit until February, so they are waiting.

I know I'm going to have to tackle the editing issue of the first novel soon. I was pleased with it when I wrote it but I have written a lot of other things since then. Each time I write I think 'this is the one', so the first novel falls further down the list. And there is my goal of getting a novel to an agent this year (even if it does come straight back). The two nearest ready are the comic novel and the first novel. I'm reluctant to flit to the detective one (50,000 words written during NaNoWriMo in 2014) because it will drag me away from the other two, especially as it needs so much work, research and insider advice on all things Police (though I do have a potential person for that).

Recently I was looking for older things I have written and was searching on several memory sticks and came across something I didn't recognise. It took me a while to confirm it was my writing and not something I'd copied for a course I'd done. What made me consider the writing was that I liked it and automatically thought 'this isn't mine!' But it was. Written some years before I started the first novel it had echoes of it which is when it dawned on me that this was my writing. It's the start of another sort of time slip novel - different characters, different story. I have no idea where I thought this was going, so if I want to resurrect it I will have to do some major potting etc. It's now in my holding file. Maybe I could turn it into a short story instead of a novel. What was so good was the writing and how it surprised and excited me. I can only hope my writing has this affect on any agent I might submit my work to!


  1. I'm never sure when to 'let go' of a piece of writing and send it out into the cruel world seeking acceptance but fearing rejection. I do identify with the magic of finding a piece I wrote a long time ago and thinking, wow! did I write that?

  2. Ah.. letting go. Know that one. Thanks for commenting.