Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Monday, 30 July 2012

SUCCESS BREEDS ....

.......well, for me it's discipline....and I can only hope more success will follow.
Getting a first novel published when I already had a bus pass in my handbag has been a wonderful feeling, but nothing prepared me for the follow-up.
I used to be a wet-weather writer. If the sun was out then there were always better options to pursue than writing - gardening, or walking, or coffee with friends to name but three. I could catch up with writing in the evening, couldn't I? Except evenings are not my best time for writing......alas .....so that little ruse didn't always work. But no matter - I didn't have deadlines then.
But now I do. When TO TURN FULL CIRCLE began to be put out there on the web it was billed as the first in a trilogy. I had suggested to my publisher, Choc Lit, that my characters could run to a trilogy and that I had, in fact, begun a sequel. Good, they said, we love trilogies. And then to my delight, I read on the Kindle version of my book that the sequel was due out in June 2013.
Gulp!
I think I must have been the only person in the entire country punching the air with delight when it rained day after day after miserable day all through June and into the first half of July! It meant I had no trouble at all getting my bum on the swivel seat, and staying there. And the words piled up very nicely. First draft, you understand - so a way to go yet.
I wrote THE END on the first draft just as the wet spell finished and the sun came out - and then some. It's been a bit phew! here. I could slope off into the garden now, couldn't I? Pull a few weeds and trim a few things early in the morning before the sun got too high and too fierce? But as the keen gardeners amongst us will know, there's no such thing as a few weeds or a few things needing trimming....it's like the Forth Bridge - always just the next bit needing doing.
'I haven't seen you for weeks,' friends wailed. And I began to feel guilty so I met up for coffee or lunch and sometimes both.
And all the while I was aware that while I'd got the plot down and the emotional lead of the sequel down I had work to do - lots of it - getting the historical feel to it; all the little references an historical novel needs so the reader knows it's 1912 and not 2012.
Now, we've all heard about that big name writer who no longer has to write synopses? The same big name writer who gets her settings handed to her/him on a plate? 'We want your next book set in the world of ballet/flying schools/skiing/the diamond industry'. As much as I might dream about it I am a realist and know I'm not going to be one of those writers. And I am not much of a synopsis-writer either. I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer.
But book reviewers and readers - and indeed my publisher - made very loud murmurings about a secondary character in TTFC - we love Matthew, they all said. We do hope he will feature more in the sequel.
He has. But is it enough?
Well...the sun is out now, so I've pulled the curtains so it doesn't lure me out there. I've got a healthy dose of discipline this morning....in fact I think I might be becoming addicted....:)


14 comments:

  1. That's one of the reasons writing is hard work. You really do have to be disciplined. Wasn't it Douglas Adams, the author of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who said something like, 'I love a deadline, I particularly like the sound of them whizzing past.' Unfortunately deadlines in reality have to be met. Good luck with yours Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Cara. I am actually more productive with a deadline.....once I sit at the desk to work towards it....:)

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  2. Don't you think it would be horrible to be 'handed' plots and settings? Part of the fun is in waiting for the new characters and places to 'walk in' to the mind, trying to grab their story time.. Best of luck with the writing, Linda!

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    1. Ah yes, well.....as a short story writer I have been handed plots and settings on a plate a few times ... and it was quite pleasant not to have to dredge about in the grey matter quite so deeply. But agree with you..the fun of writing is these characters that inhabit the ether and choose to come and live with us for a while...:)

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  3. Great post, Linda. I know exactly how you feel about wanting to do other things when you should be writing. Congratulations on being asked to write a trilogy - and on getting the first draft completed. Just stay focussed - the weeds will always be there!

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    1. Thanks, Mary....glad you enjoyed the post....a bit late again but am relieved none of you slapped me on the wrist for it...:)
      I'm very focused today.....about to web search for shipping lines from the UK to Canada in 1913....wish me luck!

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  4. With you on this one, Linda! Rain has never seemed so welcome... Looking forward to the sequel already, so keep writing!

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    1. Thank you, fellow wet-weather writer....:)

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  5. Oh, I wish I could get addicted to discipline. I agree that the wet weather has helped - and it sounds like you have made fantastic progress with your first draft, which to me is the hardest part, as I love the editing bit best - but I'm the most hopeless faffer. I heard Carol Matthews confess to actually tying her leg to her desk so I think I'm going to try that method next. Great post, Linda!

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    1. Ooh, Janice, a touch of Fifty Shades there!! Jenny

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  6. Thanks, Janice....lovely to see you pop up on this blog ...:)

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  7. Sorry I'm a bit late, Linda. More discipline needed perhaps? Your post reminds me so much of myself, but like Jane, I prefer my charcters to appear as if by magic. It is such a relief to complete a first draft and I love trilogies too so will eventually get around to yours. My excuse for leaving the desk - "no man is an island". We need to be part of the real world if we are to write realisic stories i.e. not fantasy. As for the garden I get inspiration while out there. So yes, I did enjoy your post very much.

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  8. Thanks, Gwen.....I've been nailed to my seat for days now on my sequel but sloping off shortly for a trawl through old newspapers in the library....still working but sort of socializing!

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  9. I have only just heard about your debut novel and am looking forward to reading and reviewing. I am a fan of Choc Lit authors as you may notice if you chek out my Book Review Blog. Delighted to meet you.

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