#1stdraftdiary and #Nanowrimo Week 2

Pants! That is the only way to describe my word count this last week.


Not even small thongs, but huge enormous Bridget Jones type pants. Knickers. Belly warmers. Call them what you will.

My word count was …228 words! 228. Yup, I hang my head in shame. It happens. Or doesn’t happen.

However the things that I did instead were very useful and important, so that’s my excuse.


Last Friday I set off for the RNA’s Conference in Lancaster. I hobnobbed (is that a real word?) with published authors, those that I look up to and aspire to be like, agents and editors too.

I went to multiple sessions on how to improve my writing craft, how to add in authentic crime elements, how to promote my brand across social media etc, I did speed dating for a critique partner and more.

It was an extremely useful weekend, better than getting words on a page.

(And I sat next to Liz Fenwick for dinner. She’s lovely!)

After the weekend I caught up with sleep, children, husband and household chores. I wrote blog posts, and numerous posts on twitter etc.

I polished my submission for Books And The City #Onedayoriginals -one day in the year to submit your book. That took up a lot of time. Fingers crossed it was worth it.

I have also started two books – Iona Grey’s ‘Letters To The Lost’, and Heidi Swain’s ‘Summer at Skylark Farm’, both very good. I also read a short story by Jojo Moyes ‘Paris for One’. Excellent entertaining short read. Everyone needs to write a Paris love story at some point. I wonder what mine will be?


And the wip? Well it is working away in my brain. It is not lost or forgotten, but it is hard to get back into it again. Especially since I needed to focus again on my previous book ‘Something To believe In’. One of the pieces of advice I got at the conference was to go ‘darker’ if you can. And we’re not talking about hair colour either!

Clio Cornish from Harper also said she likes sad endings, so, since I was about 10k short for the #BATC #Onedayoriginals I changed the ending.  In the submission piece, I have allowed my hero to die at the end, so the poor heroine doesn’t get a HEA, but she does move on in her journey  of bereavement and the end is uplifting. She will be able to put her new confidence in herself to good use, and how she overcome her grief the first time, to get on with her life the second time. I know it is sad, but I have come across people in life who do have to work through two bereavements. Life can be pretty crap for some people, they seem to have been dealt a bad set of cards; but yet they are often the kindest, most empathetic people I know. Because they have experienced so many emotions they are a better person for it. I hope I can show this in my heroine. I am having a panic now that this means it’s NOT a romance. Oh dear.

Whilst doing research in how to have him die in the hospital I asked a friend for help. She’s a GP and was able to give me great advice, but I do fear she thinks I’m slightly cracked now. Sure, I’m a writer. What’s new?

Anyhow, here’s hoping next week is better.

Drop me a line to tell me how you’re all getting on.



#1stdraftdiary – end of week one


Elizabeth Gilbert is still my hero. You don’t come up with an idea, the idea seeks you out! More ideas have flown into my mind this week than I ever would have thought possible, I am amazed at where they came from. One minute I was just typing away, the next a furious new idea swirled around and just demanded to be let in. As the week went on, more and more things kept happening in the story that were never meant to be there. Imagination is an amazing thing.

The week started out quite slowly as I spent too much time plotting and not enough time writing, but by Days 4 -7 I had finally cracked it and learnt something intrinsic about my writing; it has a life of its own.

After starting on about 10k words originally, I got about the same again written. So total word count after week 1 is now standing at 20,591. Hooray! And now I can really see where it’s heading.

All of last weeks writing was working on back story. It wasn’t supposed to be, but as the back story was flowing I kept at it. the plan just became a rough guideline at this point, but I am not throwing it out because I may need it when I come to the editing later. I think there will be a lot of ‘Copy and Paste’ going on.

The backstory is about the events that happened that summer when the hero/heroine met, and events that had happened even prior to that and continued to spiral out of control.

I never meant the story to be anything other than a light hearted romance, but it now has some darker elements in it, and a mystery that occurred even prior to that summer which has consequences to the heroine.

After returning from the RNA summer conference in Lancaster this weekend, I have decided to go even darker with more sinister events and keep weaving the unsolved mystery into it. Personally I know they are the stories I love reading, the ones with a dual time line that jump back from present to past, plus weave a mystery throughout and keep the reader guessing to the end.

I attended a very helpful workshop on writing crime, particularly a murder investigation, so I shall see how it goes.

I think it’s always a surprise where your story takes you, so it is easy to see now I am a pantster, no matter how good my previous planner was. So while the ideas keep coming I just want to get it all out and type as quick as I can.

So, home again from the weekend, a ‘little’ sleep deprived, but ready for Week 2 of #Nanowrimo #1stdraftdiary .


#1stdraftdiary and Nanowrimo


Elizabeth Rose Murray (Caramel Hearts and The Book of Learning) has described how she flies through her first draft at breakneck speed, you can read about it here. So a few writers who have heard about it are also trying to log their #1stdraftdiaries . Try twitter for more information.

So, since I also wanted to join in with Nanowrimo, (National novel writing month – write 50k words in 30 days), I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to also keep a #1stdraftdiary.

Day 1 -2

Unfortunately, I am the queen of procrastination. Aren’t we all though whenever we set our minds to something, particularly when something is a little bit tricky with it.

The book I am trying to write, (I have changed my mind about three times before getting stuck in), was one which I wrote 10,000 words of a few years ago, to enter into a M&B competition. So I had a short but complete novella, but very much in a M&B style. And that seems to be the problem. I’m not really a M&B writer. It’s hard! So I have to rewrite bits of that, whilst keeping the same plot, plus extend and deepen it all.

It’s hardly surprising I kept putting it off. Part of me kept saying, just let it go, throw it out, but then the other part won’t let it go, the characters are there, I love the setting, and I still want it to see the light of day, probably self-publishing it myself sometime.

So, Day 1 – 2, I have plotted the book out. Twice. using very pretty pink post-its. Using two different methods and now, Day 3, I am ready to go again.

I should mention that the first method was by Better Novel Project, for planning your 30 day Nanowrimo novel, but it was better suited to action/adventure YA lit. There are still good points through it, so I haven’t totally thrown it out, but it isn’t a great fit for this piece.

Then I found an article by Laurie Sanders about a course she is running in conjunction with RWA, about plotting a romance novel and it is a great fit.

So last night I did finally start writing. Only about 1,300 words, and that now means I am nearly 2,000 words behind so I need to get BICHOK, as Kate Walker termed it! ‘Bum in chair, hands on keyboard’, for the uninitiated!

Here’s to Day 3!