Saturday, 31 December 2011

HELLO What To Do? 2012

I mentioned in an earlier post (1/12/11) that I was taking part in the 100k in 100 days challenge. What will I be doing? Well, one of the plans is to complete a novel of 15,000-35,000 words for the 8-12 yrs category. This is for the Francis Lincoln Diverse Voice Children's Book Award 2013. This award is linked with Seven Stories. The award was announced 1/12/11 and the closing date is 31/12/12 with the winner announced Spring 2013.

The entry criteria must include cultural diversity in the widest possible sense, be it in story content or ethnic and cultural origins of the author. Well, that's two boxes ticked for me.

I'm doing this like NaNo, so I'll be writing 1000 words a day and writing to the max word count (35,000). The plot is more or less laid out so type, type, type ahoy. It's called 'The Wind Knows My Name, a fantasy story for 12 yr olds. The first award winner was Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne. It's a great read.

When that's done, the next thing is to add more words to my WIP-Shadowmaker. Then I'll see how I get on from there.

Yesterday, as I looked through a months worth of blog posts; (sorry, I had a break from all things writing after NaNo); I came across A Classics Challenge from November's Autumn. I will be taking part in this. Here are my 7 works of classic literature that I will be reading in 2012:

     1- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
     2- Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
     3- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
     4- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
     5- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
     6- Dracula by Bram Stoker
     7- The Time Machine by H.G Wells

I picked Rebecca because I bought this book as a teenager and for some reason had never got past the first chapter. I don't know why, because I do know this is a brilliant book.

Tess I read as a teen and loved. Thomas Hardy was my literary hero. It will he great to read this again. And the same goes for Jane Eyre. You can believe in love after reading this.

The infamous line; 'a handbag.' I've seen the film a lot of times and the humour and the characters are perfect. I can't wait to read some Oscar Wilde.

I've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but not the second book, so this will be a nice gem of a read.

You can't beat a bit of Gothic horror so it had to be Dracula; the original vampire story.

Another great that I read in earlier years. I shall be revisiting a love of science fiction in The Time Machine.

That's some of what I plan to do this coming 2012. What will you be up to? Happy New Year! x

Friday, 30 December 2011

HELLO Well, I Wasn't Expecting To See That!

I'm still working whilst everyone in my house is enjoying the holidays. But this is okay because when I got home today, I received a big hug from my daughter; she's a teen so this is something, and Hubby was preparing tea (yay me!)

She pointed to my magazine that had arrived early-Writing Magazine Feb 2012. I like to tear open the plastic wrapping and browse over a cuppa, so that had to wait till I'd showered.

All ready to look over the glossy pages, starting from the back, I flicked through page by page making a mental note of articles I'd read first. Then it happened. A flash of recognition. Shadowmaker. Aren't I writing a YA book of the same name? I am. I opened the page up and noticed the title 'Under the microscope.' Then there was the fact file with a familiar photo. Bloody hell! That's me. I'm featured in Writing Magazine.

I did a double-take. I looked up to see if anyone had noticed. Looked again. I know it's daft but I thought, maybe I was daydreaming and the page would refocus showing someone else's article. No. It was still me. I jumped up and yelped some sort of scream of excitement whilst shoving the mag, first in my daughters face, and then to Hubby who was draining the pasta. Look it's me.

Let me explain. I subscribe to a great magazine called Writing Magazine, and every month someone's work (a 300 word extract) is critiqued, thus the title-Under the microscope. I emailed my piece to the editor in October, and, well, you know the rest. It was the first 300 words of my WIP, Shadowmaker.

The comments were fair, though some may say harsh, but that's the point of a critique and I agreed with a lot of it. When you're so engrossed in a piece of work you can forget to step back and see the scene. Fresh eyes can see new or different things, some of which may seem confusing to the reader. I suppose I have this fixed image of how everything is in my novel world and it can be hard to undo it. The critique has allowed me to pull back and see how important every word is. I guess you could say words are like notes on a score. I can hear the late, great Eric Morecombe telling me now: I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.

This was a positive experience. I'd recommend everyone to have a go.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

HELLO Winner

I did the NaNo thing. What a marathon that was. Will I be doing it next year? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. Was it worth the 30 days of blood, sweat and tears? Too right.

The fact that I can write 50,000 words in a month means I have the makings of a first draft-or thereabouts. I will be laying the baby to rest for awhile and come back to it once the cries of attention start (maybe in a month).

What next? Well I saw this in womagwriter's blog, and have signed up at Quiller's Place; 100k in 100 days. I have a few ideas that I want to pursue and this will help things move along nicely. Will fill you in later.