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Louise's current project is to make all her sweet romances available on the internet.
Look out for her new Regency romance, Regency Fortune, coming soon!


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

And more interesting! The DVD on the construction disaster arrived. I can feel my whole story cracking apart and rearranging itself. My own plot seems very thin and dull compared with reality. There are four hours to watch - and I'll need to make notes and watch it all several times - so my knitting will make progress as well! My own plot won't be wasted - this is an addition, not a replacement.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Well, no, she doesn't, actually!

I do do GANTT charts, budget sheets showing variances and calculate NPV. In other words, the latest college project is done.

And will it help me be a better writer? Who knows, Grasshopper?

Little things are bubbling away:
  • My sister and I might try a Mills & Boon together - she loves them.
  • I have 3 chapters and a synopsis ready that might revamp as a Little Black Dress
  • I have a complete novel (about a florist) that needs SOMETHING doing with it - revamping perhaps.
  • Maybe it's time I rang up My Weekly Story Collection. They have had a novella for nearly 18 months - and have ignored 3 emails and a snail mail. What is happening to it?
  • I am determined to get a place at college to do a PGCE in Creative Writing, which means passing my degree, which means GANTT charts etc were the right thing to do this week. Maybe.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Maybe I don't Want to be a Writer?

Or maybe I need a holiday. The beach is my favourite writing place. I can do 6,000 words a day! Honestly! Here's how it works. You go to somewhere gorgeous like Bali and find a place to stay costing between £1 and £4 pounds, including breakfast, so you are not worrying about money. (Okay, it's been a few years since I was able to manage this! It may cost more now.) You have a ticket home with no fixed date on it. You get up and write. Then you have an excellent lunch, not cooked by you and no washing up afterwards. Then you lie on the beach and swim all afternoon, falling into a pleasant half trance. Ideas and scenes for the next day pop into your head while you sunbathe. Then it's home for a shower (cold, of course, but really not a problem in this climate) a sunset walk, dinner somewhere cute and home for an early night.

Perfect writing conditions = 6,000 words a day.

Life at the moment = 0 words a day.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

This Week I have been mostly...

Editing - my sister sent the film script she's made from a novella called Whirlwind Marriage. I think she's done a great job, but the spell checker on her Final Draft is set to US usage, and she has never mastered the fine art of punctuation, so there's lots to do.

Have also been to a PGCE interview workshop, to make sure of the best chance of a place, spent a lot of time making a GANTT chart for college and less time on a budget, because I can do them. My share of the project work is about finished now! Hurray. Although there's a finance assignment coming up soon. Boo!

Have also been to a maths class. I've been thinking about why I have to go to maths in order to be able to write more, and there does seem to be a kind of poetic justice to it. I said I wanted an education, and the universe has obligingly made sure I get a good one.

And no, I haven't written a word this week. I have put in my order for a DVD of a construction project that went horribly wrong - I think (suitably altered of course) it will make a good background for this novel. I find business settings fantastic for novels. Whirlwind Marriage came about because of a documentary I watched - Trouble at the Top or Blood on the Carpet or one of those strands. It was about rival sausage manufacturers. Industrial espionage was rife and they hated each other. I started to think: what if a couple fell in love and then discovered one of them worked for one sausage company and the other had a good job in the second company?

Maybe next week I'll get time to watch the programme and decide exactly which of my characters is going to work where. It will be better.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Rewrites and Copy Editors

I have not done any work on my novel - not on paper, anyway. Inside I can feel that I am working on the new idea and it will be all the better for it.

My latest romance has been quite heavily edited. If I had time, I'd print out the original and compare them two versions.

I did this once with a novella, and I learnt a lot. Copy editors are a mixed blessing. It's true that they make your text easier to read, and I picked up some great tips on managing pronouns etc, but sometimes I could kill them. In the novella, an American character says: 'Hey, you got one hundred twenty! You did real good' and a diligent copy editor changed it to 'Hey, you achieved one hundred AND twenty. You did very well.'

I have to finish a pile of college work and then I can go back to the novel.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

A bright idea - which means a rewrite

I'm so glad I read that line of John Gardener's about 'writer's impatience'. When I stop now, instead of stressing about what's wrong with me, I am asking: 'Does the story need changing?'

Yes it does! It won't mean too drastic a change, but I've suddenly realised that the background is too fuzzy. I've written about a building company with lots of sites and projects. It would be much better if I narrowed the focus to one company - one project, one set of villains.

Having said that, college with all its demands is feeling like a pain! Not to mention numeracy once a week. I'm finally going to learn my tables - after only one lesson I decided it was time to stop counting on my fingers!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Null Points Again

Not a word. No how! No place! No sir! No ma'am! No words here.

Why? Because I'm too busy with degree work. This course feels like one spinning plate too many in the party trick of life! Deadlines loom. Nobody is forcing me to meet them, of course, but if I goof off I waste the efforts (and expense) of the last 5 years. And I won't get to take a PGCE and I'll stay in my new and not-where-I-want-to-be office for ever instead of being a creative writing teacher and the pig won't get over the stile and I'll NEVER get home tonight.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Chapter Three is Done!

No writing yesterday - the whole morning vanished at Learn Direct. I'm now all assessed and signed up for Numeracy classes on Friday mornings - which is another morning that I won't be writing. I sometimes wonder at the mad circle of events which mean that in my quest to be a better writer I end up spending less time writing, especially seeing as its difficult to fathom exactly how I ended up needed a Level II Numeracy qualification in order to teach Creative Writing, which I need in order to support me so that I can write. But I'm not writing because I want to be a better writer so I spend time...

I just have to have faith that it is all going to work out!

This morning was good. I rewrote the end of chapter three and I'm pleased with it now. Next comes work on the synopsis, then I can send it off.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

New Look People's Friend Pocket Novels

There's Bright! Let's hope lots of people take it off the shelf.

Unlike many authors, who say they never reread their own books, I always drop everything and read my new stories when they arrive. I read them again if I get depressed as well - if I've done it once I can do it again! My own title for this was 'Ecological Engagement' because the heroine is an eco-warrior who wears combat pants and cycles everywhere, but So Far Apart sums up the situation quite well.