The Second 10K

Last night I finally reached ten thousand words in my rewritten draft. It feels really good to get to the first big mile stone in any big project, but this is hopefully going to be the final draft that works on the story, although no promises I won’t make major changed in a redraft – I know how I work and I take tiiiiiime to get things just as I want it.

I have had a week off from my day job, which was supposed to be full of social things but because of the snow storms I haven’t been able to do almost any of what I had planned, so instead of moping and getting cabin fever as I normally would in such situations I have locked myself in my office and just written. Although we managed to take the dog for a walk yesterday and all he did was play in the snow. It was cute. You should’ve been there (you shouldn’t, it’s freezing and there’s two feet of snow in the garden).

Just a quick update today, because I don’t have much to report and quite frankly I want to make the most of this time that I have off. I will update again soon with another more detailed post about my reading of Frankenstein and ‘The Monster’ in storytelling. I have a few more articles to read on that yet though, so watch this space.

Sorry for not posting more often, too, it’s been a bit of a busy few weeks.

Don’t tread on the flowers

F x

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Progression In Narration.

Second Draft Progress: Finished Chapter Three. 6387 words.

In January I read The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka, J.K. Rowling) and one of the things that really struck me as interesting, from a writing point of view, is that the narration flits between the two main characters very fluidly. The only indicator that the narration changes, outside of the actual text, is that a new paragraph starts, so you often find yourself reading the inner monologue of the books’ two protagonists on one page, in one scene, mis-conversation.

I don’t know why this struck me as odd. It wasn’t jarring at all. On the contrary, it took me until well over half way through the book before I realised that it was even happening. But having read three books by different authors since, I have been keeping my eye out for it happening again in other works of fiction. It hasn’t. I found that in most multi-protagonist stories the change in narration is often separated by a chapter, such as in Pax by Sara Pennypacker (a must read) which I suppose makes it easier for the two storylines to intertwine, or to run alongside each other in the same timeline. But The Silkworm doesn’t have storylines that run completely separately throughout, the characters are rarely apart for the duration of the story and when they are, it is normally the male protagonist (and series namesake) Strike who is followed by the narrator. We get just enough of female protagonist Robin’s narration for the reader to be informed of her life outside of Strike, to understand her multidimensionality where Strike fails to. This is an incredibly clever choice by Rowling, because Strike, the anti-hero, constantly misjudges and underestimates Robin, but as a woman who has fought strongly for women and women -focussed stories, we are given that complexity of her character, so that when Robin is frustrated at Strike for his underestimations, and his internal misogyny (where he wants to get another assistant instead of supporting her being further qualified because she spends time on her rocky relationship outside of work) the audience is also frustrated at him.

Though this does not help me with my current novel, which I have chosen to write solely from Joelles’ perspective, it is an incredibly advanced skill (in my opinion) to be able to master. It is something everyone does in the earlier stages of writing but there is a finesse to it. I believe only the very best of writers can do it without it seeming messy and disjointed. Some writers are so good at it, that I can’t think of another example. I didn’t notice it while reading the first book in the Strike series. I think I only noticed it during the reading of this book because my purpose was to think about narration. I was making decisions on which tense I was going to use in subsequent drafts, whether or not I should write from another characters perspective as well as Joelles’, and so forth. As far as I remember, the Harry Potter series was written entirely from Harry’s perspective, and A Casual Vacancy followed the separate characters in separate chapters trend (though don’t trust me on this one, my copy is at my parents house).

I decided in the end, to write in the third person. I think most novels are written in third person because it’s the easiest way to get the reader to visualise what you are describing. Also, scripts are written in third person, describing action and dictating dialogue. I find script writing so much more natural, and it is so much easier for me not to account for a persons thoughts and feelings in writing, just their actions that portray those thoughts and feelings. Unlike script writing, however, I have chosen to write in the past tense, not present, much more difficult for me but thats the tense I feel most comfortable writing in in prose. Poetry and scripts are both first person, scripts because its the done thing and poetry because I tend to write about nature and the environment around me while I’m there. Poetry for me is like a photograph of the moment I am in and how I feel about it. Poetry for me is never really fictional in any form.

Returning to my original point, there are a few short story competitions with submission openings in the near-ish future, enough time for me to write something specifically for that competition, so I am going to definitely play around with that two character writing style. There is a romance focused genre fiction competition that was of particular interest to me, I think because I’ve never outwardly wanted to write a romantic story, so defined as to have to have a romance at its core and a happy ending where the couple end up together. That will be difficult for me, not killing one of them off or finding happiness without each other. I have an idea of where I want to start though.

And with that, I am going to bed. I have a whole day tomorrow to write, and I have lot’s of things that I want to write about, not just my novel, or short story. Watch this space.

Bon nuit, and don’t tread on the flowers.

F xdesk

My Story: A New Perspective.

Having written the title before the content in this blog post, I realise this may sound a little bit hippy dippy. I mean ‘A new perspective’ in a literal sense, and ‘My story’ as in the one I’m writing, not my life.

I spent the afternoon, post dog walk (and subsequent dog washing because dog fell up to his ears in mud), reading a journal article by Ming-Hsun Lin called ‘Fitting the Glass Slipper: A Comparative Study of the Princess’s Role in the Harry Potter Novels and Films”. Now, it’s actually not the Harry Potter aspect that drew this particular article to my attention, but I’ve been trying to find more academic text about fairy tales and such to help with my rewriting, developing character and story etc.

It’s quite an easy and entertaining read if you’re into that sort of thing, I found it on JSTOR, but it was published in Fairy Tale Films ed. Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix. What Lin does is explains what the ‘Princess Role’ is and then compares three characters in Harry Potter and compares how each of them fit that archetype, and stereotype, both in the books and the films. But this got me thinking about my own story and particularly my characters.

Firstly, it’s important to note that in the essay the ‘Princess Role’ is used in analysing the ‘function of the characters’ and ‘the type of their roles’ (Lin, 2010) of each character in the fairy tale story, in line with Vladimir Propps’ claim. He calls this dramatis personae and is used to analyse and identify each different archetypal character in the fairy tale structure, not just the Princess. As an aside, I will be researching Propps’ work and will discuss in future posts.

There’s a scene I’ve added, where Joelle (tomboy, main character) is getting dressed and finds a dress that her mother bought her, she thinks back to when her and her mum rowed about her wearing it (Joelle desperately not wanting to and her Mum insisting she had to for some special occasion, where nothing else she owned would look smart enough) and this time she is torn again, whether she wants to wear it because her mum wanted her to, or whether she actually wants to or not. If I follow what is stated in the essay, I could relate it to her subconsciously having to choose whether or not to accept the ‘Princess Role’ to grow into the virtuous and feminine traits or to accept that she is and always will be a tomboy. Instead, as she progresses through the story she accepts both, not needing to force herself be more feminine or tomboy-ish. Just being a herself is enough.

In the essay, Lin discusses when Hermione has her big reveal at the Yule Ball, her Princess Moment, and the following day when she is her usual self, rejecting the Princess Role for normal every day. Her analysis of this sequence highlighted whats important about my coming of age story arch – the difference between what Joelle imagines is the proper way to be, which contradicts the way she is now; she doesn’t know how to get from A to B, and with the absence of her Mum to guide her, that becomes her conflict. And the reason for her to do what she does. But I need to work that dress scene much better, it needs to have more weight, and the message behind it needs to be stronger.

Layla, on the other hand, does the opposite of Hermione and Joelle. Instead she is as close to an archetypal princess as possible, in that she is a young adult, who is virtuous and conventionally attractive. Side Note: the attractiveness is subjective to Joelle, and I used it in order for Joelle to have to overcome her own self doubts, like with the femininity aspect I discussed already, and become beautiful in her own right – not by anyones standards but her own. I feel like I should justify that choice. But, returning to Layla, her story arch is like a fall from grace in a sense, like Cinderella but instead of abuse from step-mothers/-sisters, she gets in with the ‘wrong crowd’ and instead of seeking the Prince and romance, it is the sisterly love and the risk of losing Joelle that causes Layla to save herself. So instead of playing the ‘Princess Role’ for a brief time and actively rejecting it, she follows it, but becomes a more knowledgeable version of her self that is chosen, rather than just is like at the beginning of the story.

So that is what I have so far. If you can find Ming-Hsun Lins’ essay, I highly recommend it if you are a fan of Harry Potter, or fairy tales. Or both. I’m hoping to write much more of this more informative and thought through posts, as well as more emotive ones that I usually write. So I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

princess hermione

(Picture found at: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/Ab2T97iqMZQ6XYmM0jJI8tGS1WcdUqC7Qylwx-Vzy_6hGEe-qkvfNos/)

The Second Draft: Scene 1, Take 5.

Draft Two. Word Count: 1817

I am still not feeling particularly well but since I’ve perked up a bit this evening I thought I ought to update you on how progress is going.

Slow.

Very slow.

But still going. I finished the first chapter.

This is the furthest I have managed to get in all my attempts that I spoke about in my last post. And I think I was right in mixing both novels into one better one. It’s not really surprising that it’s taking a longer time than I was expecting for this draft originally. Instead of typing it up and editing as I go through it’s kind of another first draft. I’ve been reading work from three different notebooks as I’ve been going along, I have a new plan, I have new notecards on the wall of my office. This time I am typing up instead of handwriting though, because I’m not being as creative as I would be in a normal first draft, I’m still editing so I still have to be more focused and analytical in writing it. It’s a weird process, and one that I’ve never really done before. But Dan has read the first chapter and he said it’s already much better than what he read of my original draft.

One thing I’m not doing now is putting pressure on myself to finish it by a certain date, as long as it gets done I don’t really care about when that is. And things at work are feeling unsettled again. The new manager has started and there are some big changes being made, which will make things better in the end, but you all know how I am with change I’m not in control of. I blame it on being an only child. And still wanting to not be in Wales, but we have things to do before we go anywhere else. But if I put more pressure on myself now I’ll just get stressed and homesick and quite frankly, life is too short. And at least I’m still able to write, which was the whole point of coming to Wales in the first place.

So keeping it chill, taking it day by day for now. And slowly, a page here, a chapter there, and slowly the whole thing will come together. And hopefully I can keep to my goal of being able to quit my day job before the end of the year. Although a lot can happen in a year. We might be travelling by then, or we might have a dog, we could win the lottery (although we’d need to play it before we could win). But I’m feeling positive. Not in that frantic omg-this-is-the-best-thing-ever way, but in a more focused, I-can-work-with-this-and-do-some-pretty-cool-things way. I’ll do the best I can with what I’ve got and that’s all I can do.

But now I think I’m gunna head to bed, even though it’s like, 8pm, because I feel gross and I already did grown up things today (I made myself some food and did the dishes).

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

IMG_0501

I have been meditating.

It’s been 18 months since I last properly tried meditation as a practise, and though it sounds very hippie dippy (scientifically speaking of course) it’s been helping me focus on what I need to do with this novel. I’ve tried four times to start the second draft and failed each time to gain that motivation I had in the early stages. And then today happened.

An important thing to note here is that I have a cold, and having had to work this morning, I have been taking over the counter medicine in order to not be so ill. I have also napped and eaten loads and loads of junk food and I’m not even a little bit sorry. But following a nap, a weird youtube rabbit hole and a two hour hunt for TEFL jobs in Spain (don’t ask), I decided it was time to do something productive other than trying to write this novel. It has been a frustrating, hair pulling, notebook throwing, office-avoiding, cuddle-needing endeavour and quite frankly, I could do without the stress if there is no reward.

But as I hauled my aching limbs out of the sweaty, crumb filled, tea stained blanket cocoon I have been gestating in since I came home from work, a train of thought slammed into me so hard I was knocked back down (although that could be the illness). I was thinking about what the book I should read next would be, having finished The Book Thief last night, whilst also making a minor blueprint for the first “Books that help me write books” post on here when I saw my first draft, sitting lonely on the book shelf, next to the first draft of another novel, that I wrote during my undergrad before The Company of One took over my life (and has yet to let go, much like the Fox in the story). This novel inspired one of the shorts I wrote during the masters degree. And then a little voice (it might have been the pain killers) whispered in my ear:

“Maybe the thing that’s missing from both of these these books, is the other one”.

And then I lost my shit, grabbed lots Things off the shelf and splayed them across the floor of Dan’s office so I could tell Dan everything that happened once he has finished doing the important thing he is doing and I am here, sat cross legged on the floor surrounded by floral patterned stationary like some sort of twenty six year old child (for that is in fact what I am) and I am going to figure out how to take these two novels and weave them both together. I want to keep the chicken and the bee’s and the Birdman from the new novel, and the talking trees from the old one. I even found a green biro the other day, which I should’ve known was a sign of good creative things ah-coming round the bend.

Let’s do this.

Time for some meditation.

Don’t tread on the flowers

F x

It’s been a month.

First Draft: Complete.

Hello and welcome, or welcome back for some of you. December has been an odd month, I am now older, slightly wiser, and slightly tireder after working so much over the festive period. But alas, now it is time to get back to the real world and the writing that comes with it.

I took a break from blogging simply because I didn’t have enough time to do so, so apologies for anyone out there who is a die hard fan. Should you even exist at all, please make yourself known as it would be interesting to see if anyone actually read this at all. I joke, I know there of a few of you who do, and I am wholly greatful that someone would spend ten minutes of their time reading the ramblings of a 26 year old writer-and-also-barista-because-money-is-a-thing-I-need-so-I-can-eat. Even if it is just my mum and her friends. Hello Mum, and your friends.

One exciting thing that happened in December is that I finished my first draft. HURRAYYYY. But, it’s not even close to where I wanted it to be. In fact it is very far removed from where I wanted it to be. If the first draft that I wanted was a 10km marathon, the first draft I have is a half hour walk with the dog. With possibly some vodka laden slushie drink that my friend at work once told me about and sounded surpringly delicious. The vodka laden slushie drink would definitely make it’s reading much more palatable. But, it’s done. The hardest part is over, and my determination has not been scuppered and my motivation, though changing day to day is still very much up there on average. I will not give up, as I told myself earlier whilst I dozed on the key board of my laptop.

I am also, finally, starting to feel more like myself. I have made it no secret that during my postgraduate degree I heavily stressed myself out, spread myself too thin (metaphorically) and just generally didn’t have a good time, and I forgot what was important. And when I left, the novel took place of uni and I was still stressing myself out unnecessarily and was just generally not having a good time. But now having taken time away from it all, good and proper, and started looking after myself and my needs and finding out what else I care about (family, friends and Dan aside, I always care about you lot) I feel a lot better. I’ve even been really enjoying my day job. I crocheted a scarf this morning, I recycle now. I even have a jet wash! Although how I came to acquire it is beyond me, I just came home one day and it was sitting in my dining room, waiting for me to come home, like some sort of weird green pet that doesn’t move or show emotion. I find it best not to question things.

I feel like adjusting to life as I know it has been bumpy and difficult so far, and will continue to do so until I’m out of this stage of my life, be that by snowboarding on some mountain or getting my novel publishable, or doing something completely different. I might get some rescue chickens and go live in the woods and knit jumpers for them in winter and eat nothing but what I can find in nature. I might make a film. Who knows, the possibilities are endless.

And with that I’m going to say good evening. I am going to go and make some soup ready for tomorrows’ lunch.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

 

Tuesday Thoughts: Why Am I Writing This?

I think I’ve figured out why I’m struggling so much with my novel, when I have excelled previously even at the first draft stage. And I’m having a bit of an emotional crisis over it. It’s because I forgot what I was trying to sayyyy with this novel. Not literally. Not even ‘the moral of this story is X’. No, I need to ask myself:

Why am I writing this?

Earlier this evening I applied the spelling and grammar changes to “The Company Of One” and it dawned on me that I feel like I’m in the position I was before I wrote that script. And the reason I wrote it was abundantly clear once again: I need to make changes in my life in order to get my mental health under control. When I started writing the script, the change was getting over a toxic relationship. That filtered in throughout the planning stages and characters kept getting cut – in the end, Madison was brought in at the eleventh hour and became a huge part of the story. She even quoted something my ex used to say to me all the time (“You’re being unreasonable”) which I didn’t remember until the revision evening last week. That drive is ultimately, what made it a good story. I would be quite interested in seeing if the people who were in my immediate writing vicinity could tell that at the time.

But now, since moving, I’ve felt stagnant. And because I’ve been stagnant, my writing has become stagnant. (Just to clarify, this is not about Dan, I want to keep him around for a long time). To begin with, if you recall, there was all that early excitement to get things going, all the motivation and keenness to be writing the first draft. Then I got ~the job~ and with it came an almost literal shit storm, that has stopped me being excited about my new adventure in Wales and really, really homesick for Cornwall. In fact, the adventure aspect of our big move has disappeared completely. And thus, I feel like I have been writing for the sake of writing, and not for the sake of really saying something. Add that to the fact that between work and being home too tired from work and I have actually not done anything particularly new or exciting since we arrived. I’m not saying it’s awful here as a whole – and I really don’t want to moan about this amazing opportunity that we’ve been given – I think that being in such an unusual, unstable job with very little support for its staff as standard has kind of ruined our first few months here. I’m trying to find something else, as are the rest of the team it turns out, but no one wants 12 years experience and prior management training when they think I’m going to leave to pursue a different career. I mean it’s true but they don’t know that. They don’t even have access to my social media so how could they know that other than my masters qualification. I’ve rambled myself off track…

With the novel I’m trying to write about “Hey look a new adventure, yes Joelle missed her friends and her family back home but exciting and scary things are happening and she has new friends to help her get to the bottom of things” and instead I’m writing “Joelle was irritated and annoyed, she just wished that her new friends would leave her alone; she desperately wished she’d never come at all, and could spend the summer doing what she always did, hanging out with Sophie reading books and having pretend adventures. Real ones were much too scary for her”. LITERALLY ME.

That is not the book I want to write. And no eleven year old is going to be interested in that miserable rubbish.

I don’t want to write for the sake of writing. I want to write because I have something to say – something good and positive and hopeful.

Realising all this has helped me a lot. I’ve been struggling to write properly for weeks, since the work drama started to be exact (even though it’s had nothing to do with me directly, we can all see it’s had a big negative affect). And I have good days and bad days writing, and it’s still being done, I just feel like I need to figure stuff out in my own life. Again, I think it’s just work. I’m sort of stuck in a catch 22 with it, where I can’t afford to leave but staying is not really a long term option unless I transfer to the open spot in Truro and go back home. That is something I never thought I would want.

But not all hope is lost. I can figure this out and get back to it. I am really passionate about the novel overall, I just need to get my head in the game. Now I know what the problem is I can try to fix it. And hey, what else are first drafts for?

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Ps. The reason Annie Lennox is the featured image is because it’s a still from her “Why” video. I was originally looking for a picture from the Miss Saigon song “Why God Why” but I thought that would be a bit of a stretch. This is more obvious. And it has the word “why” on it. My humour is only funny to me I think.

Time Off & Back Again.

Words: I haven’t counted them in over a week…

Hey people who read my blog, welcome back. It’s been probably about two weeks since I updated you all on my progress and well, I haven’t done all that much since. Why? Because I went back to Cornwall for a few days, and had a bit of a wobbly (under exaggeration) about being in Wales. I didn’t really feel like writing because of it, and honestly blogging about it now would drag it all up again and I’ve only just really started sorting myself out about it so I’m not going to digress. I’ve written it off as growing pains and have been writing all day today, so it seems I have bounced back.

Fun things that are happening in terms of life: we have a deadline for when we want the house to be done and back on the market. I mean honestly its not really anything to do with me because I’m useless when it comes to house things, but it does mean my parents get to come visit and stay with us for a weeks as per our original agreement so yay for me!! That isn’t even sarcasm, my parents are awesome.

Fun things that are happening with writing things: I have started writing regularly again, huzzah! It has been tough. I kind of wrote myself into a hole and I couldn’t figure out how to get the characters back out of it, but I’ve sort of fixed it now and I’m back on track again. Things went awry and got confusing but there we are. These things happen. Lot’s of tears and throwing pens and notebooks and drinking (tea, not alcohol. I’m a grandma at 25) was involved. Honestly, what a loser I was one entire week ago.

Another fun thing I did the other night was revise my script from third year. The one with the fox and the lesbians. That does not describe it accurately at all but I like the way it sounds. I also wrote a really weird blog post that is really cringe and I’m so glad I decided not to post it. It’s boosted my confidence in my writing, rereading something I’m really proud of (and is actually 100% as finished as I need it to be) and not still stagnant in the first typed draft stage like everything else I’ve got. I’m sending it off in the next few weeks to people who will read it and judge it in the industry. Little old me, sitting in my makeshift office surrounded by candles and fairy lights, in my old lady jumper, might have someone in the industry be interested in doing something with something I wrote. And honestly like, they might not and nothing will change and thats fine. But they might, and thats really exciting. For me at least. And to be fair that script is the best thing I’ve yet to achieve, so having written it and got such amazing feedback from people who’ve read it and were there for its creation is all I need from it. Anything else is a bonus.

I just want to be able to quit my day job soon. And be a proper full time writer. I don’t even want people to know my name, just to read my work and get something from it.

And with that I’m being told off by Dan who says I should be writing. I’ve been procrastinating for an hour now. So I’ll speak soon. And I’ll do a proper blog post. And I still want to do one of those book blog posts (I know, I know I keep saying it but I promise at some point it will be done).

Also it’s 25 days until Christmas. Or as I like to call it, 32 days until this year is finally over.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

20K: A Pre-Work Post.

Words: 20, 853

I reached the next big mile stone! I feel like it took literally all that I’ve got to get through the teen-word stage. I won’t bore you with the details, but feel free to read my previous posts if you haven’t yet seen them.

It is Saturday morning, half past seven, and the temperature outside is frightful. I have another long shift at Day Job today, and tomorrow. I can’t complain too much, I have time off next week for exciting life things, but it makes me slightly disheartened because I have accidentally added a really good sequence of events in my novel that I am just itching to write. Of course, this is all because I can’t spend my days writing when I have ~other commitments~ but I’m trying my best to fit in as much as possible. I get twenty minutes to break while I work (regardless of how many hours I’m working & it’s unpaid) in which I have to fit in lunch too, I only end up writing a couple of pages. If I’m lucky. And when I get home I start writing and I’m knackered so productivity has been down. I’m so excited to write it, I’ve got that burst of energy and motivation back that I had at the 10K mark but I just, I need more time.

But the fact that it’s back is enough to keep me going for now. I’m just so ready to have it done now. Although when I begin to type it up I think I’m going to have to chop and change some stuff around. I am already thinking of whole sections I can get rid of if necessary. But the feeling I’m getting from this new additional sequence is really strange. It’s like someone picked it up and put it on a higher step. I somehow managed to add a new character and I need to write an entire back story for him now. Which is going to be my job for Monday evening. I might even use the opportunity to write a short film first draft, do something a bit different and type it up. Sometimes I feel a bit stagnant handwriting a big project (which is probably why it’s taking me longer than anticipated).

There is so much more I want to say, to do with research I’ve been doing, and that I will be writing a “What inspired me” book blog post in a few days (maybe a bit longer). And also what I plan to do after I finish writing. All in good time my friends. I have to go to Day Job now. It’s football day, so I’m going to be EXHAUSTED when I come home.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Cosy Afternoon.

Words: 18624

Well I was productive af last night. I don’t know what happened because I didn’t feel like I was on a roll or anything. It just kind of happened. I feel better now though, 100%. I’ve been writing since lunch time too, after a bit of an outing this morning for coffee and a browse around. It’s nice trying to get that balance back, adding some quality non-pressure time into my day. Also we managed to catch the three hours of sunshine this morning before the fog and the pouring rain set in again. It’s now bloody freezing so I am in the living room under a blanket, with candles lit everywhere and listening to the Moana soundtrack. I think I’m going to try to get to twenty thousand words in the next few hours and watch a film or something this evening. Maybe even Moana.

I went through the revision cards with all the plot stuff written on it and tried to calculate how much I’ve got left to write and my prediction is that I’ll finish it on 45K words. For a first draft, I don’t think that is a bad thing. It’s not quite the 50k I was originally aiming for but what five thousand words? I know already that I need to work on making the writing fit for children anyway. But if the novel ended on 45k words in total that would make the book copy around 360 pages of solid text. That doesn’t include chapter half pages or any illustrations that might go in there. Little bit concerned that it won’t be enough but it’s nothing I should be worrying about now. I just need to get the first draft bloody finished already. One step at a time. One word after another. I could be wrong anyway, and I could end up writing a hell of a lot more words.

Another interesting thing, as I mentioned yesterday, is that I haven’t stuck to the original timeline at all. I have swapped sequences from the second and third acts, and emphasised things I don’t think were originally that necessary – somehow they have become an important part of the plot. The “Key Scenes” are still there. It’s just really bizarre watching my story evolve without me really thinking about it. I haven’t added or removed anything, but the story has become noticeably different to the one I had in mind. I’m really enjoying watching that happen.

I’m starting to really get an emotional connection to my protagonist too; last night, I wrote a scene where she spots the monster trying to get to the chickens (yes, chickens) in the middle of the night and I actually felt freaked out, like she was in the story. It helped me write a surprisingly good scene for a first draft (it will still need a lot of work in subsequent drafts of course) but I’m glad this connection is getting stronger. I think it’s been one of the downsides of trying to get through the planning stage so quickly, not getting to know my characters as well as I normally would with a script. But again, with a script I find it so much easier because I don’t have to think about their thoughts in the same way I do with a novel. It’s all action and expression. With novels it goes so much deeper than that, and it feels like the characters, so far, have been less independent than those in my scripts. Although since I thought about it yesterday, I have been absolutely itching to reopen “Our Perennials” all day. Which would be fine except I’m busy. I cannot and will not allow myself to get distracted by a different writing project while I’m busy with this one. I am self-disciplining.

I am going to get back to it so I can watch Moana later one. Not much left to write today.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x