Monday, 24 February 2014

Making progress

If you've written, or are working on, a crime novel you might like to try this competition. You have until May to get your synopsis and first 15,000 words ready. The prize is £1,000, plus possible representation for the best entries.

One character does something illegal in Poppyfield Farm. Although the result has a big impact, I don't think I could convince anyone it's a crime novel, even if I was eligible to enter.

I've written lots of short stories recently but made very little progress on my novel. I don't know which is cause and which effect. Carol says putting her word count on her blog helped her get through her first draft so I'm going to try that myself. Will you nag me if it doesn't go up?

Being me, I'm working in a picture of the garden too. My aim is to double the figure by the time it's backed by colchicums and dahlias.

40 comments:

  1. You may not have written a lot for your novel lately, but at least you've been working on short stories! You're not just letting your skills grow stagnant. I thinking putting a word count on your blog is a great idea. Gotta do whatever it takes to stay motivated, right?

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    1. Yes, it's good I've written short stories instead of slacking completely, Heather.

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  2. Yay we have permission to nag you!!!!:-) Not that we'll need to of course, right!??! LOL! take care
    x

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  3. That's a great word count Patsy, keep at it.... I will too.

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    1. Quite right, Suzy. If I'm going to work you jolly well can too!

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  4. Putting your word count on your blog is an incentive. I'm struggling to get back to my novel. I'm sure it's because I've been away from it for too long. Perhaps I'll start another?

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    1. Taking too long a break from it can be a problem, Fanny. Maybe reading it over will help?

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  5. The important thing is that at least you're writing something. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, Keith. Yes that is a point in my favour.

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  6. Good luck with it, Patsy.

    I'm sure you'll find it helpful. Even small amounts soon add up. :)

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    1. That's good, Carol as small amounts are probably what I'll write.

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  7. Great word count, Patsy. I love the way you'll have a different back drop picture from your garden with the passing months as your word count increases!

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    1. My plan was the pretty flowers will detract from my lack of proress, Jan. (Hubby says the figure doesn't stand out enough - he didn't realise that was the whole idea)

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  8. Will you nag me if I nag you?

    My poor flowers. I was so behind last year at the end of fall, I didn't bury my rose bushes. Now I am worried they were killed by the harsh winter. I could just kick myself so hard. I will be so sad!!

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    1. Oh, I hope those roses are OK, Elizabeth. They're fairly tough so it's worth planting them to see.

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  9. My plan to start my novel has fallen by the wayside, Patsy, as the short stories are always calling me... and it's these that pay the bills.

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    1. Short stories do have the potential to bring in money much more quickly than books, Wendy. That's one of the reasons I've been concentrating on them.

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  10. It's long term versus short term, isn't it? With a short story, you get the results of your labours relatively quickly. Novels are a long term investment of time and you (or I) get so much more involved with them. Good luck with the word count! I keep mine to myself.

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    1. True, Frances. Even when I'm working reasonably hard (for me) on a novel I still spend time on short stories so I feel I'm getting somewhere.

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  11. You're in the neighborhood now with that word count. Wrap it up with another 10,000 and, Voila, you're finished.

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    1. I wish, Oscar. The first draft will need to be at least double what I have now. There's more story left to tell than typed out.

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  12. I love that picture. And your new haircut makes you glow.

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  13. Thanks Patsy for the competition alert. I will check it out.

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  14. Shall we all just nag each other? I know how you feel, except I'm in 2nd draft, and feel like I've left it too long, and I'm not living it anymore. Time for all of us to knuckle down by the sounds of it. I shall nag you... :-) and it will remind me to buck my own ideas up!
    Get writing...

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  15. Good luck with that novel, Patsy - I'm in the middle of one too and writing short items instead! Wish I could enter that crime comp but think I might not be eligible - will recheck.

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    1. No, you probably aren't, Rosemary. It's always disappointing to see a competition you have something just right for and then discover you can't enter.

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  16. I find when writing a novel is slowing down and I don't show up at the computer it's because the novel is lacking something for me and I'm not excited anymore. If it's doing this to me I can only imagine what it would do to a reader. So, I back up and take the character into a different direction and most of the time that does the trick!
    Good luck and hit that keyboard!

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    1. Good point, Catherine - if we're not interested we can't expect anyone else to be. I don't think that's the problem at the moment - just my own laziness!

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  17. If I nag you to get up beyond 37K will you nag me to start my rewrite? It's been lurking since before Christmas.

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    1. If you've left it for a couple of months then now is probably about the right time to get on with the next draft. I'll give you until the first of March before I start nagging, OK?

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  18. No writing is one thing, but you're working on short stories as well, so your still keeping creative juices pumping. We won't nag you just yet, but we are excited for you to publish so we can gobble up your novel. ;)

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  19. Agree with Wendy above that it can be tough to work on the novel and ignore the short stories, Patsy. I've tried devoting one week a month to my novel and it does seem to help - it's moving forward and I'm still able to work on other writing projects too. Good luck with your word count.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. Allocating some time to the novel and keeping some free for other writing sounds like a good plan.

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Thanks so much for commenting!