Writing patterns

Golden November. And it’s NANOWRIMO too. If you’ve never done it and you want a breakthrough in your writing, DO IT; guess I’d better put the link in here. Talk about patterns of writing, this go for broke method led me to the novel I completed in late spring. I am now submitting A Body of Knowledge to agents, a whole ‘nother adventure.

Of course once I had the breakthrough — after two agonising days of facing the blank page and writing rubbish, and only then finding a voice I didn’t know — I had to keep writing for the whole month. The flow was fantastic, and the freeeedom to write any old how. Besides that, there is no such thing as a novel in a month (but it’s fun to say). Once you get to the end of November you’ve got 10-20-30-50??000 words. Rest, recover, keep writing. And then edit-revise-rethink… a very different kind of pattern.

Patterns, seasons… time to add an autumn to my haiku page. Click here for a peek.

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Writing in the dark

slkerr-chis-lanterns-shipStill bashing away at the Discovery Draft and I’d written myself into a fab cliff hanger. Next day, Nooooo. I’ve run into a wall of resistance. I need a scene with a drama between T and her father. He’s the wicked baddie… has driven her to lies. So it is a backstory set-up, tense drama but short.

BUT I am writing in bits. Scenes, short chapters, and I’m not even sure of the order and timings. I want to stay loose so as to feel free and invent. Yet I want to stitch it all together to see if the order works. Without nailing myself down. Argh — stuck every way I turn.

This is writing in the dark, bashing on. Meanwhile here’s my photo of a magical lantern show in the gardens of Chiswick House — ships that pass in the night?

Writing Once Upon a Time

birdboy-susan-lee-kerrFascinating. I asked in Facebook if I dare re-tell a fairy/folk tale in my new novel, and a whole bevy of friends from widely varied walks of life urged me:  Yes!  They are witness to the eternal appeal of fairytales (or more correctly folktales) and it was great encouragement to embarking on the writing journey. I’m delighted to discover #folklorethursday on Twitter, yet more witness.

Thing is, the novel is also a crime story, but with no gore, so really it’s more of a mystery… with some police procedure and the main character sucked in to being an amateur detective. She’s a story-telling therapist. This brings in archetypes, so I get to treat myself to my shelves of Jung, Joseph Campbell, hero’s journey… as well as Grimm, Jane Yolen, Marina Warner and more.

A Body of Knowledge is set in Chiswick. Great fun to see the place where I live through my character’s eyes and sensibilities. So now you are on the writing journey with me as I blog on about the everyday struggles of writing a novel. The fellow pictured here is Birdren Boy, one of my sculptural papiermache pieces. He’s on a quest. So am I. Are you?