An Interlude

Hello! This is a rare post in which I update you on my writing projects instead of leaving said projects to speak for themselves… normal service will resume shortly.

Firstly, I wanted to let you know I have shared 100 posts on WordPress as of this week, and I’m quote proud of that of little milestone. I am truly overwhelmed by the support and positive feedback I’ve been getting on here, and I’d like to thank each of you who has taken the time to read, like and comment on this blog. I would especially like to thank Paul at Two Voices In One TransmissionThe Modern Leper, and Jac Forsyth for their continued encouragement – without you guys I doubt I’d have the confidence that my particular brand of strange is appealing enough to pursue. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their blogs I highly recommend all three of them, they are very talented writers indeed. Please remember that constructive criticism is also welcomed on my fiction, because I am always striving to improve.

I also wanted to tell you that I now have a Facebook page, so please pay me a visit over there if you have an account. I plan to post links to my fiction, interesting articles I come across over the course of my research, and highlight other authors I think are worthy of recognition. I will also use it to share my creative progress. I am on Twitter too, if that’s more your thing.

Unfortunately I have stalled on progress with my novel over the last few weeks. It is sitting there at 37,000 words, which I expect is around half of the finished length. The truth is there has been something niggling at me about my plot, something that isn’t quote working. There’s a little voice on the periphery of my thoughts though, and if I can quieten the noise of the monkey mind I can hear it’s suggestions. It is leading me in a slightly different direction, which does feel better though it will involve a fair amount of reworking what I’ve already done. Hey, writing a quality novel was never going to be quick and easy.

I believe another factor contributing to my slow progress has been reading every little piece of writing advice out there, and that’s a lot. Much of it is written by people who believe there is a right and wrong way to write a book, and the advice is often conflicting. I have also been part of online groups full of people who are not particularly motivated themselves and have a negative attitude. This can be toxic when trying to keep yourself on task. As such I am being more selective with my advice intake now, and listening to plenty of interviews with authors I admire and the stories of people who have actually achieved what I am aiming for.

I have also been researching how to become an indie author as opposed to simply self-publishing. It appeals to me to maintain creative control and own all of my own intellectual property, and I would love to publish several books and not just a one off personal goal. This has been a great motivational exercise for me, and I’m feeling a whole lot more positive about things than I was a couple of weeks ago. I will complete this novel, and I will publish it! If you are interested in doing the same, I recommend the Creative Penn podcasts: Joanna is very lively and encouraging, and interviews some very knowledgable people in the industry.

Lastly, I have been asked by a few people if I’ve thought about releasing my flash fiction in an anthology, or if I’ll be reprinting my handmade zines. The answer at the moment is, I’m undecided about it. I always wanted the first thing I published ‘properly’ to be a novel. I also always wanted the flash fiction to be freely available as it is now on the blog, and releasing a copy you’d have to pay for seems a bit contra to that. I may look into producing a quality full colour book with the illustrations and stories in rather than a straight forward anthology if that’s something people would be interested in.

I can’t see me stopping writing the flash fiction regardless of whether I am successful in becoming a novelist, because I love writing it. It’s a great way to express those ideas that don’t necessarily need a full cast of characters and setting, and it enables me to see finished pieces on a regular basis. It’s also been very useful in discovering what my style is, and understanding what I want to write about. What genre I would be classed as I’ve still no idea, but I never was fond of being put into boxes.

Anyway, before my ego gets out of control, I’ll stop talking about me and get back to writing fiction. Thank you again for your support, it means a lot.

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35 thoughts on “An Interlude

  1. Thank you so much, Caroline! It’s reciprocal, of course, as your encouragement is just as much a motivation for me. As far as the flash fiction zine, I’m pretty sure I gave a thumbs up to that idea a while back. I know that I can always revisit anything posted to your page, but part of the appeal of seeing it in a physical format would be the illustrations and graphics, as you surmised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking rather than the handmade zines, I could price up having a quality full colour publication printed. This would obviously be at a higher cost, but hopefully a nicer thing for people to own than a home printed booklet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the continued work with your fiction. Hopefully, your novel doesn’t stall for too long. Creativity is a right bastard sometimes. Fortunately, as you noted, there is always the flash fiction to keep yourself sorted in the meantime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do think there does come a point when you have to stop listening to advice and just write. But of course I’m going to offer advice anyway, though please feel free to ignore it. I suspect you’d be better off not reworking the first half of the novel until you’ve drafted the second half. Then go back and fix. I think writers who always go back to the beginning, often never manage to reach the end. At least that has been my experience. And the changes you are thinking of making now may or may not make sense by the time you do reach the end. Reworking and rewriting are inevitable parts of the process, but they don’t have to bog you down. Congrats on making it to 100 posts! That in itself takes a lot of dedication, as does a 37,000-word half of a novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! You’re not the first to say I should finish the draft first, and I have been hesitant to go against that advice, but I see little point in continuing down a road that won’t take me where I want to go. I’ll still be able to use a lot of the material I’ve accumulated so far, I just feel I have to follow my intuition on this since that’s the part of me the story belongs to ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately I’m not working in a linear fashion so there’s no clear cut off point to move on from, but I plan to do something similar. Thank you for your input, it’s great to discuss these things.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the shoutout; right back atcha! As for writing advice, I’d check this out: https://nathanbiberdorf.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/writing-tips-you-shouldnt-obey-except-when-you-should/

    I found this guy when I first joined the blogging community, and though he never responded to my comments (kind of a bummer) his writing – and this post especially – are fantastic. A little advice of my own: don’t rush the story. My own novel has undergone countless revisions, several of which required some serious plot rework, but I’m confident in saying they were all for the better. Sometimes you need to write the wrong thing to realise what’s right. Besides, it’s better to realise that something needs to be corrected now than when it’s out on the shelves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant, thanks for that! I just had a scan over it but will definitely read it properly tomorrow. I’m basically at that point where if I don’t fix what I now know is wrong, it will become toxic to me. It’s a positive thing though, it’s an improvement not a change for the sake of change. I think some complex stories just need to evolve that way…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Undoubtedly. It’s like putting a puzzle together: when we really get into it we can sometimes stick pieces where they don’t belong. If you don’t stop every now and then to look at what you have laid out, you may come to the end and realise you have to start over. As we move along we can see where certain things would fit better, or where some things don’t fit at all. One misplaced piece could set the whole thing off.
        Okay, I think I’ve taken that analogy far enough 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pablo. There was an error in two of the links originally but they should be fixed now on the post itself. If you’re clicking them from the e-mail unfortunately they still won’t work though. I was annoyed with that, I should’ve checked them all before sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I started a novel that ended up at the same place, around 40-50,000 words. Out of desperation, I tacked some of my flash fiction pieces into it. It turned into an elaborate plot that actually worked according to my college professor. He gave me good grades on plot development. haha. The tone of the story was too archaic, though, and it was an early attempt at writing, so I finally dropped it.
    I enjoy your flash pieces immensely, so I’m anticipating the twists and turns your story will take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pablo, it’s very encouraging to know people are enjoying my flash fiction. I was thinking the other day that flash fiction pieces are basically like scenes, and wondered how it might pan out to try stitching some together… It’s a shame you dropped your novel, but it seems like you learned plenty from writing it ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You inspire me all the time to push harder and get the words written down. Me giving you advice is laughable so I will say only this – keep going and finish that book, because I cannot wait to buy a copy and gobble it up! You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am truly honoured by your kind words, thank you 💜

      The encouragement I’ve had from my wordpress readers has made such a difference to my productivity too. I really hope the book lives up to your expectations!

      Liked by 1 person

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