After three and a half years of my life and 92,000 words, I’m not going to allow my novel to wallow in the slushy stigma of rejection and, whatever it takes, I’m going to make it grabbable.
I’ve known about the Two Minute Grab Zone for quite some time and it’s time I got to grips with it.
With all the upbeat bravado that goes into celebrating a New Year, it has been a sobering experience for me to start 2019 with a rejection. I am viewing the first rejection of 2019 as a part of my character building process. I haven’t died, I will live to write another day. My determination, as well as desire to master the craft is stronger than it ever was and I’m on the way to developing a skin with the rigidity of an armadillo. So, that’s all good.
Christmas has always made me think of the beach and palm trees. Even as a child I used to fantasise about escaping to a deserted beach.
It does bother me that I spend everyday writing, but never allow myself time to sit and read a book these days. But, I have decided to stop beating myself up about it because I do read. I read a lot, but not always in the good old-fashioned way.
These days, thanks to the Internet, it is so easy to tap into a plethora of resources for literature, art and just about everything else… 24/7. So I quench my constant thirst for knowledge browsing the Net.
I’m biased when it comes to The Algarve. It is my personal, European haven, the place I would like to spend more time. It’s not just a passing phase, I’ve been in love with the place for twenty-six years… and who can blame me? I have waxed lyrical about it since I was blown away on my first visit.
I don’t think my mother read any of my literary contributions since I had poetry published at eleven when she had high hopes that I would become Gloucestershire’s answer to William Wordsworth. Oh, and helping my step-father piece together his aeronautical autobiography, of course.
I haven’t submitted to a publisher since 1998. This week was a first for me because I have never approached a scary agent before and some of them weren’t even born in 1998. Now, barely out of University, with dynamic wish lists, eager to discover the next J. K. Rowling and an enduring character, such as Harry Potter… who they’ve grown up with.
As a much-older-than-I-would-like debut novelist, my bittersweet story is about the life of a forty-year-old woman born in 1959, who grew up with the non-PC tales of Noddy and Big Ears. So, many baby-faced agents might consider that my first foray into Women’s Fiction would be better suited under the heading Historical Fiction.
I returned home with my head buzzing and lost all track of time, as I embarked on a wine-fuelled creative writing binge.
Now, I wake up a dawn. I no longer need one alarm… let alone three. Watching the sun come up each morning is my inspiration. Each dawn is different and triggers new vibes for me to pour into my writing for that day.
Then he flashed his teeth as he grinned at her triumphantly having extracted himself from between the wall and her desk. She snapped her top lip shut. Oh my God, the same bloody teeth. It’s all got to be a horrible coincidence, I can’t possibly be related to him.
I’ve moved on from binge watching Game of Thrones, along with the other addicted viewing millions as we wait, anxiously twiddling our fingers, for Season 8 to explode on to our screens in 2019.
“You can’t really go wrong if you aim for 500-800 words and, for sure, keep the thing to less than 1,000 words. Agents asking for a 1-page synopsis are being unrealistic. Anyone who wants more than 1,000 words doesn’t know what a synopsis is.” Jerichowriters.com Thank you Jericho […]
“Do you own this comma?’
“I do M’lady, yes, his name is Cid and I also own that full stop.”
“Do you know that Cid is in the wrong place?”
Three years ago, I started with an idea that had been in my head for twenty-five years. No plan, no plot, just an idea and I gave myself free rein to let the story unfold in any direction. As I was seeing life from a more mature perspective, the idea took another turn when I became all consumed with my main character’s backstory.
Whatever genre you wrap up your story up in, however many weeks, months and years it has taken you to reach The End, the next step is to get people to read it.
It was inevitable really… two nineteen-year-olds and a baby living under the same roof as my mother was never going to work.
Forty-years worth of the life and times of the emotionally fragile Lisa Grant, ex-columnist for Metropolitan magazine with a quest to dig herself out of her self-dug rut… encapsulated in 88,000 words.
I was reading Lorenzo Carcaterra’s Sleepers and I couldn’t put it down, taking it into the Indian Ocean and reading it floating on my back, standing up and sitting in the warm, briny sea, until I finished it. More recently, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt – The Diaries of a Junior Doctor, had the same effect, only I read most of it on a sun lounger.
Over the years, I have barely scratched the surface of my characters’ persona in short stories, but that is about to change. You can write a story, but you need a strong protagonist to make it fly and the good news is that the inspiration is all around you.
Comedy writers have the most fragile egos. Mindy Kaling At various stages of our lives, our egos take a bashing but now, in the Autumn of my years, I care less about what other people think. And yes, this cavalier thought process even applies to my writing, except… […]