I pushed the button

Oh God, oh God, oh God. Breathe.

 

This morning I sent the first six chapters of my novel off to an agent to get the ball rolling for this year’s round of “getting stuff done”. It counts, right?

 

I can’t help feeling a bit like Simon Pegg’s geekalicious Tim Bisley in Spaced in the episode where he submits his portfolio to Darkstar comics.

 

I just hope this doesn’t happen:

NaNoWri No: Why I’m Missing NaNoWriMo and Some Great Writing Resources, Part 1

A few months ago I had a concept, some character sketch ideas and a world I was steadily building. I had also read several great books on my Kindle all about the craft of writing. I was absolutely ready for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – nanowrimo.org) and nothing would stop me!

 
NaNoWri No

 

OK, so something stopped me. That something was job related, so I’ve landed up spending time on real life things (e.g. job hunting, budgeting, etc), rather than writing my fancy fantasy book. However, I’m really glad I did the groundwork and I’m not going to just throw that away (no bloomin’ way!). I found some really exciting resources in the lead-up that have changed my way of thinking, plotting and all that good stuff.

 
Enough Waffle, what did I find?

 

When writing I always get hung up on things like page count, word count, length of chapters, etc. I know it is possible to pick up a book in the genre that you write, count the lines, count an average number of words on a line, count the pages and work things out from there. I know it’s possible to calculate typical chapter length this way as well. I know a lot of things about writing. I know a lot of “things” about writing, without blowing my own trumpet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t forget them and forget the process, or that I don’t need to streamline that process.

 
Rock Your Plot

 

Among others, I read a wonderful little ebook called Rock Your Plot, which I’ll cover in more detail in an upcoming post. For now, suffice to say, it has really helped me while setting things out. I have a tendency, you see, to want to just write. An idea becomes a few ideas and I want to write down these ideas. An idea though, or even a few, as we all know, does not quite add up to that next bestseller. This book gave me an easy way to ensure my ideas weren’t just that, and had me really thinking hard about why a scene needed to be there at all and what it achieved for the characters, their arcs and the story as a whole.

 
My Fantasy

 

Even though my (as yet, unnamed) fantasy remains unwritten, I have a bunch of notes and character sketches all nice and ready. I also have a plot sketch, which will evolve into a proper scene-by-scene outline of the entire story. Though it would have been good to start with this, I have backwards engineered it to fit my other stories, which has helped me to root out plot problems. Check out Rock Your Plot here, and the downloadables (including the scene outline), here. I’d recommend these resources for any budding author’s arsenal – it’ll help things take shape more quickly and give you a nice framework to boot things up!

 
My Other Fantasy

 

I know, I know I’ve dropped off the radar a little of late. Real life decided to deal one of those more peculiar hands. Sisters Noire lives though, and I’m planning a lot of things, including a mini-site and eBook launch. Promise!

 

In the next few blogs I will discuss what else I learnt from Rock Your Plot and share some other great ebook steals.

 

One more thing – best of luck to all you budding NaNo’s out there!

 

 

On Writing part ten: finding your genre

What do you love to read? Become familiar with the genre you’re writing and absorb as much as you can. Chances are you’re already then familiar with the market. If you’re writing a genre you wouldn’t normally read, hold fire and read as much as you can before you start, or you may come unstuck.

 

You know you’ve a formidable marinade in there somewhere, but what on earth’s your genre?

On Writing part nine: Let your mind wander

As a writer, to daydream is crucial. Take a notebook and paper wherever you go and always keep it close to hand. Notebooks will become your best friends, especially if you have that lightning bolt idea, or you had no friends to begin with.

 

Wallace Collection – Daydream