13 August 2016

#amwriting - Or Not.

Not exactly Hornsea's beach, but near enough
Across on the website run by Hornsea Writers’ we muse on our use of August, Taking the Summer Off? Er... 
The question posed to members made me consider my own situation a little deeper than my answer admits. I’m well behind with my work-in-progress, the final book in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy, and I have a deadline I doubt I’m going to meet. Fretting about it leads to it becoming a self-fulfilling truth.

Unlike the others in the trilogy, this novel has thrown up structural wobbles that have turned into minor earthquakes. As with most people I’m also running a long normal-life To Do list, items of which have needed to take precedence. Once that occurred all the items started screaming for attention, and in my mind they’ve kept up the sort of raucous chanting more usually heard on a football terrace.

I’m not a minutiae plotter, neither am I a total pantser, but I write atmospheric prose and need to be in the zone so I can get a scene’s tone correct. I write in as near silence as I can manage; distractions and interruptions play havoc with the mood.

It became so bad yesterday my husband came up to tell me to stop fighting it and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. So armed with an iced cordial and an editing pen, I decamped to a lounger and put the current chapter through its fifth incarnation in as many days. And then wrote the following chapter in longhand in two hours flat.

If you, too, are behind schedule, the old adage can hold true: sometimes a change is as good as a rest.


  1. Having similar problems with my WIP: though mine mostly fall around the dates (I'm employing two different calendars for reasons that will become clear on reading the book) and discovered I'd somehow managed to merge two separate fifty-odd day intervals into one! Since the sequence of actions is crucial to the story, I've had to go back and unpick the two calendars and re-date, which also means altering the text in many of the sections. Somewhat belatedly, I decided to employ a spreadsheet, so i can see what's actually going on. Considering I've already used this technique successfully for other book, I'm astounded I never thought to use it for this one in the first place. But such is the state of the artist's mind in the heat of creation. Good luck with your amendments and restructuring, Linda.

    1. Thanks, Stuart. Makes us wonder, on occasion, why we don't just write simpler novels!!

    2. That would be far too straightforward!