Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Upwards and Upwards

My my my! I think I might actually be close to allowing myself to call myself a writer. On Friday August 26th, I officially became a staff writer for Milliver's Travels, yay! However by the time I came round to rewriting my biography, I think my brain had turned to mush so it sounds a bit daft, but check it out at the bottom of this page.

This of course was the result of finally submitting my second article, Seaside Weekend on the Southbank, my first London based article, which means that I have the honour of having written the first articles in both the UK and New Zealand sections of Milliver's Travels :-)
Please do comment on my articles if you enjoy them, or equally if you don't, feedback always helps any writer to improve.

Sunday saw me buy myself a new camera, just a nice little Fujifilm Finepix, nothing particularly expensive or swanky, just enough that I know I've got pictures of a decent quality for any future articles.
I got to test it out yesterday on a day escape from London with the girls to Southend, so there should shortly be a follow-up article on Milliver's detailing how the real Southend beats the Southbank edition hands down.
The camera will also be getting tested in a darker environment on Wednesday when I review The Folly Mixtures at Madame Jojo's in Soho. Certainly looking forward to that one ;-)

So it would seem that writing articles is something I'm not too bad at, though of course there's still plenty of room for improvement, I know of at least two people who don't like the conversational style that I use.
So can I knock the fear out of writing fiction?

Fear of Writing's 10K days didn't go as well for me as I had hoped. While I was working on the Southbank article things were ok, but I was having to dash onto the internet quite frequently to check details, making focus an issue.
Once the article was complete I tried to work on some of the character profiles for my novel. It was slow going though. Total word count for the day - 2870.

So fiction is still a bit of a problem. Though the novel is well formed in my head, committing those details to the page is like pulling teeth. And I think I've figured out part of the problem. Very few first novels get published. They are often considered to be the practice novel, the project where the writer is learning how this whole shebang works. Anne R. Allen gives some helpful advice in her post Can You Write A Publishable First Novel?
But even with this advice, I don't want to risk The Pirate's Daughter becoming a practice novel! It may not be the best story ever, it may not even be that original, and yes I may very well be being far too precious about the blasted thing, but I think it's a good story that it could do well given a chance. But then I have to live up to that expectation. I have to actually write it. It's all well and good talking about how good my novel is going to be but I've got to deliver the proof, thus mounting a lot of pressure on myself.

Perhaps I need to find another concept to use as my practice novel? Sure I've got loads of other stories that I've started in various formats over the years...but I don't want them to be practice novels either!

Something of a quandary I am left with. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.


  1. I see what you mean -- we are on the same wavelength no question. I feel your pain, believe me, about the having trouble writing. But 2870 words in a day is NOTHING to sneeze at! Good for you! As for the 1st novel being a practice novel, I would not pay attention to that necessarily. Remeber the post I wrote about Harper Lee and Truman Capote and writer competition? To Kill a Mockingbird was Harper Lee's first (and only) novel. There are others too, I'm sure. Easy for me to say (since I can hardly do this myself!) but I would write what you want to write! Sorry you're in a quandry, especially about a story you clearly want to write!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Julia, lets hope we can both get our WIP moving soon.


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