April 16, 2011 at 10:05 PM 6 comments

A recent PostADay prompt asks if we have ever considered writing a book. My answer is yes. I have wanted to write a book for pretty much as long as I realised where books came from.

I’m getting better at trying to write a book. For many years I could never get past chapter three. I would happily write three chapters, then edit and tweak them beyond recognition. Then my PC was stolen, along with the backup disks! This was back in the days before most other forms of backing up… and it is floppy disks I mean. Although by then they were less floppy looking then the earlier floppy disks, but that’s another story and may or may become blog fodder…

So I had to rewrite the novel. Probably just as well, except it never got past chapter three. The next one looked as if it was going to flounder there too, except I started a writing course which inspired me to get it out and take another look. The teacher gave some advice about chapter length, suggesting around 3k where my chapters were more like 5k, so by nifty rechapterisation I broke that bug!

Once I’d got past the chapter three block, I was away and got to about chapter twelve!

Then the teacher suggested I do NaNoWriMo, which is to write 50k in the month of November, but they want it to be a fresh story, not a continuation of one already begun. Now rules can of course be broken, but I decided to stick to the rules for my first try. So I began a new story. And I did it! I wrote my 50k πŸ˜€ but the story was an epic and nowhere near finished.

I also spent a lot of time hanging around the forums. I enjoy a good forum πŸ™‚ Being sad that Nano was over, I latched onto another novel writing challenge, to write a novel in two years, which I joined. This also wanted a new idea…

So I have now got the beginnings of three novels, all unfinished and it’s not because I am a flippertygibbet unable to stick to one story. Honest… πŸ˜‰

But I haven’t been able to work on any of them for ages. First I was working my backside off on the thesis, then I hit the wall and have not felt like writing at all, except this blog and a couple of poems and a very short story.

I’ve hardly even been to writing group this year, except tonight when they had an event, the first one I haven’t read anything out at. But it was nice to see everyone again.

I just feel a novel is too big a project to consider at the moment, as I am feeling overwhelmed by stuff. Like the thesis, which is a similar length, 90k. Eeek!

No, at the moment I can only focus on small projects, like crochet. And even then anything bigger than a scarf seems daunting… but I am going for it, I’m trying to make a garment.

Any novel just feels like there is too much work in it at the moment. Research more than the story elements, coz you can just make those up! But I feel the need to get the research right. So that puts me a bit off writing about medieval Norway as I am more conscious of what I don’t know than what I do know and I am scared of getting it totally wrong and then finding out I was wrong in an embarrassing way and my supervisor disowning me and and… you know how it goes!

Perfectionist tendencies I suppose. My Dad is a perfectionist and doing a PhD certainly fosters it. I have signed up for a course on perfectionism and procrastination; hopefully that will help!

Share what you write; even if I know the answer, my other readers might not know πŸ™‚

Entry filed under: Writing. Tags: .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bandit  |  April 16, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    one way is write about Norway but write about Norway in a alternate medieval universe, this way you can’t be wrong. πŸ™‚

    • 2. knotrune  |  April 17, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      That’s an interesting thought, I’ll consider it πŸ™‚

  • 3. Caroline  |  April 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I’m a perfectionist. I try not to do things that i’m not perfect at. Or those things i try that i’m not perfect at i try very hard to be perfect at. Do you think we get it from dad then? I think it can be a positive and a negatitve thing. I enjoy it sometimes but sometimes i find it a total pain in the arse xx

    • 4. knotrune  |  April 17, 2011 at 10:13 PM

      Yeah, I think it’s fairly safe to blame Dad πŸ˜€ He doesn’t read my blog anyway, the meanie!

      I don’t mind doing things well, it’s when feeling you can’t do it well enough stops you starting it at all that’s the problem! Not letting better be the enemy of good, which is one he told me which I wrote down and looked at while writing my paper.

  • 5. callydcfc  |  April 17, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    The problem with novels is the “ooh shiny effect”.

    I start a novel and it’s all wonderful and then it gets harder and the plot (if I had one in the first place) runs away. So my mind begins to wander and another novel pops up and distracts me. Write me, write me, I’m wonderful and shiny and much better that that rubbish you’re working on. So I start that one and eventually the ooh shiny effect rears its head and tempts me away.

    I have learned to write the ooh shiny idea down and carry on sludging through the one I’m working on.

    The first draft will never be perfect. It’s silencing your inner critic that’s the hard bit.

    • 6. knotrune  |  April 17, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      I know the ooh shiny effect! I was a bit peeved that those silly rules conspired to enhance rather than defeat it πŸ˜€
      My inner critic is mean 😦 but I do like first drafts, thanks to Nano πŸ™‚ Maybe one day I will finish one and get to edits…


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