Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Writers Life

I know it's been a few weeks since I last updated my blog but there's a very good reason so please forgive me. If you read my last blog you'll realise I've been writing my first novel most of which was written during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). So I am sure you'll appreciate that it's been a busy month with much of my time taken up writing. Yet what a great month it's been. I am pleased to report I met my Nano target of 50,000 words with some to spare and I should complete the first draft of my novel this week. Then the next stage of editing begins.

I can now tell you a bit more about my novel. It is a murder mystery set in Dundee, Scotland my home town. The working title is Murder in Time but if I'm honest this could change. The main character is Detective Inspector Shona McLean of the Tayside Police who heads up a team of disparate detectives in the CID. There are enough bodies for the most hardened of Murder Mystery fans and yet it is a book which could be read by anyone. The idea is this will be the first in a series of several books. Ideas for the next books are already swirling around in my head adding to the excitemet in this writers life.

I started by saying I am new to writing novels so being a voracious reader myself I have been reading some books to help me develop my craft. One excellent book is How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs if you Ever Want to Get Published.

This book is really about how to write a novel but takes a novel appraoch (excuse the pun). It points out pitfalls that novice novelists make and then demonstrate them by writing passages from a book. It was laugh out loud funny at times and I could see things I was doing although not to the extent of their parodies. I have to say that this approach worked for me as it was easy to see immediately what doesn't work. Each chapter covers a different mistake and then demonstrates it in a number of ways. These are the types of mistakes that have publishers throwing your novel in the nearest dustbin rather than straight to the printing press so better to avoid them in the first place. I appreciate this type of book may not be to everyones taste but for those who are able to have a little gentle fun being poked a them this is definitely a winner. To all you aspiring writers out there get this book you wont regret it.

Have I enjoyed writing so far. Theanswer to this is a catagorical yes. I love it. The characters daily become more real and they are taking on lives and characterisitcs of their own. Just when I think I know everything about them something pops up tha takes me by surprise. I certainly can't control them. It's been a whirlwind month full of highs and lows but I wouldn't swap it for the world. It certainly is a writers life.

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