Friday, March 09, 2007

Coffee Break 8

Word Count: the same...but will update later!

MUCH chirpier this end of the week, so thank you so much for your suggestions. They really helped – and the sun coming out has also perked me up no end…some great movie suggestions I haven't seen before - actually, musicals do it for me, when I remember, especially The Commitments. And, of course, Upstairs, Downstairs.

This positive mood is despite having added no words this week, frustratingly. I’ve been working my way through the proofs for The Self-Preservation Society – this is the last chance to make changes or spot any typographical errors. It’s been a slightly frustrating process as I had left a lot of rewrites to the copy edit stage (i.e. the same point that an editor, usually freelance and an expert at this kind of thing, goes through the manuscript looking for grammatical errors, factual howlers, inconsistencies and, in my case, Random Uses of Capital Letters). Alas, some of the changes I scribbled on paper hadn’t worked their way through to this version – so it’s meant I have had to get the hang of merging two documents in Word and then going through it page by page, comparing it to what’s on the paper. Merging is one of those very complicated technical things that only advanced Microsoft sorts should get involved with, I think, but I was very brave...

Next time I don’t think I will leave so many changes to copy edit stage…

That, plus various tedious admin tasks (like saving £110 on my car insurance using good old Moneysupermarket’s tips) have swallowed the week up whole, and my progress towards 70,000 words by the end of the month is disappointing. But I do intend to write today so will update later. And when I think how far I've come this year - nearly half a book since January 2 - I feel much better. It's brilliant to see from the comments how much the Race seems to be helping us all...

How is everyone else doing? If you’re a new Novel Racer, do introduce yourself? I've updated the links, so welcome to Saoirse, Isabella and Jay. If I've accidentally missed anyone, please let me know. And if you are joining up, do double check I've got the RIGHT blog for you as several of you prolific peeps have more than one!

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Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Hi Kate,

Glad you're on the up. I've not made any progress on the novel either this week - writing children's things at the moment instead. Unfortunately, I think said children's books are going to keep me busy for most of my working days this month. Eek. I have so lost this race already. Look forward to my wooden spoon...

Other news for the novel racers one and all, is that hopefully an article about us is going to appear in Writing Magazine. I spoke to a journalist this week about our race, and how inspiring and motivating most of us (all of us?) have found it. I think they've just sent the April edition of the magazine off to print so it should appear in May's issue. At this rate, there will definitely be a winner by then, though!

Have a nice weekend everyone

9:53 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Hi Kate, I think you're doing brilliantly, my first draft took me nine months. Great to have three new racers - but, oh no, that means I have to go and wrestle with my sidebar again... I managed to visit everyone this week and will try to drop in on you all every week from now on if I can, although I don't think I'll ever hit Liz's commenting heights.

I don't yet have a sense of who are the comedians in the race, but if anyone UK-based (or UK expat) has a funny post in their archive, they can submit it for inclusion in a book to be published via lulu to make money for Comic Relief, see here - the timescale is tight as Red Nose Day is next Friday, so if you fancy joining in please do. And if you don't want to join in by submitting a post, in a week's time you should be able to support the charity by buying the book.

I've done some useful revision of Chapter 1 this week, and have also very nearly got a synopsis that I'm happy with - and that has involved sweating some blood, I can tell you.

10:57 am  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better Kate and no doubt you will be ready to write this coming week!

Wow, someone is doing an article about the novel racers - how cool :-)

Zinnia, I slip round to the blogs when I become stumpted and need a break - clearly this happens often!

I had a good week as I cracked 60k yesterday. Hopefully next week will bring the other side of 70k. Although I have set the target for the first draft to be 100k I am thinking it will be 90k. In the rewrites it will grow to 100/110 at a guess. It's quite fun at the moment as I'm almost at the point where all things start to come together as opposesd to fall apart - well I hope so anyway!

Have a good writing week all.

1:29 pm  
Blogger JJ said...

Hi Everyone

I'm glad that you're sounding much bouncier Kate.

I'm just about at 10k now, which I never thought I'd be able to say. My plan for the coming week is still just to write. No bigger aims, because then I come crashing down in a pool of pathetic doubt.

I'm enjoying it, and really appreciating the support from everyone, and reading tips and entertainment on all the blogs.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and wordy week.


1:39 pm  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

I've been a bad little racer. My WIP is sitting nearly untouched (I think I wrote a couple hundred words last night.)

But I have been doing other writing-related stuff, so I'm not kicking myself (yet). I've been working on polishing my previous books, and I'm getting ready to query the second book again. Hopefully with better results this time around.

Congratulations to all of you, whether you made your word count goals or not. This isn't the easiest path we've chosen, but we're all sticking to it like champs. (Which, IMO, we all are.)

1:43 pm  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

(Seriously, how is it Friday AGAIN??!!)

Glad you're feeling perkier, Kate ~ I think its the shift from grim to spring that does it: seasonal readjustment, maybe?

I was a naughty little racer & didn't check in last week, but the last two weeks have run away with me completely! I have made a bit of progress with the WIP (maybe approx 4000 words or so, along with a bit more background fleshing & some notes on themes I want to develop a bit more) but have been hectically busy with the (god awful) day job and the (not at all awful) A215 course I'm doing with the OU. Odd thing: we had an assigment due this week (today, in fact) which I completed in it's entirity at 1500 words in a couple of hours last night (followed by a spot of tweaking this morning). So why can't I bang out words at that sort of rate for the WIP? Maybe I'm just the sort of person who needs the pressure of a deadline....
Fiance away for a few days this week so in theory I will get tonnes of words down (although I do see Celebrity Fame Academy having a slightly detrimental effect on word count as its so damned addictive).
oh, and i subscribe to Writing magazine, so I look forward to seeing that article, so thanks for that Lucy!
Happy word counts, everyone xx

2:03 pm  
Blogger Kevin said...

Well, I remembered the coffee break this week. Must indicate something good about developing my organizational skills.

Only about 2k words on the novel this week, which is unacceptable. Should be doing that a day.

Several days were given over to cutting words. As those who visit my Live Journal know (and I'm happy to see y'all drop by) I had to cut about 25% from "Men of the Earth," my story in Destination: Prague.(This is a recap, so those who've heard this particular war story can jump to the next person's comment).
The editor was happy with it, the continuity folks at BBC vetted it with no rewrites or adjustments and all was right with the world until (cue dramatic chord) Big Finish realized the anthology was too long. Their choices were drop a few stories or ask everyone to shorten the stories already accepted. They went with the latter. Some were asked to trim 500 words, some a thousand. With "Men of the Earth" weighing in at 12,000 words, I was asked to trim 3,000. I wasted a lot of time restructuring sentences and terse-ifying dialog before I accepted the fact there was nothing to do but cut out one of the subplots entirely. At 9,000 words (currently, more adjustments may be needed) "Men of the Earth" is still the longest story in Doctor Who: Short Trips history.

AND I have a ready-to-go Nyssa subplot on hand for my next adventure with the Doctor.

3:07 pm  
Anonymous Jen said...

I'm still limping along with sick kids and sick me... this week only wrote a few hundred words but read through what I've written so far which I hadn't actually done for a long time. Surprised myself by thinking it was better than I thought! Amazing what re-reading after a break can do.

Ooh, can't wait for the postie to bring my copy of Writing Magazine. That is way cool!

3:17 pm  
Blogger Helen said...

Hello all. I am also a naughty racer as I didn't pop in last week. I got sick of writing and my computer by the end of last week - I just couldn't face switching it on! I have been doing ok on the word count - up to nearly 33,500. My aim for next week is to get to around 40,000. I would also like to get started on my feature writing and next assignment for my course. I really can't get into gear on that!

Lucy - very excited about possible article in magazine. I have just filled in my subscription form!

Glad to hear you are feeling perkier Kate.

3:37 pm  
Blogger NoviceNovelist said...

Hello everyone, I'm a new racer - Isabella - also known as NoviceNovelist - I didn't mean to have two names but I am a virgin blogger and have much to learn or maybe it was a freudian slip. It's great to join you all as I have been peaking from afar and inspired by your progress and writing tales. The sunshine is marvellous here on the glorious south coast today and I look foreword to cracking 50k words tomorrow in the writing slot I have booked with myself when the house is free of husband and children. I'm glad to read that you are feeling cheerier Kate - the sun and warmth are great for the spirit!

4:23 pm  
Blogger sheepish said...

Hi everyone, sorry I missed last week but I was away from Thursday til Tuesday of this week. Did some research while I was away which was very useful but I haven't really added many words for the last two weeks. Hopefully will do better next week. Have quite a lot going on at the moment which I shall blog about soon. Will also try to get round to some more blogs too.

Amazing how a bit of sun cheers us all up, so hope it lasts all weekend for everyone. See you next Friday.

5:46 pm  
Blogger Peg said...

I think you're doing great, Kate. I haven't been as productive. All told I have 50 pages (about 12,500) but then realized I wanted to rethink my plot and add some more twists and turns. I think I will be starting over. :<( It hasn't been a particularly good few weeks. Older dd was in the hospital (eating disorder) and then younger dd (who is fine) was in a car accident and needed some extra TLC. I hope to claim next week for myself!

7:46 pm  
Blogger A. Writer said...

Hi Kate! Glad you're feeling better!

It's great to hear how everyone is doing and welcome to the three new racers!

My writing is coming along slow and steady. I only managed 400 words this week but I hope to do a LOT of writing this weekend.

That's fantastic about the article in Writing Magazine!

Keep up the good work everyone!

8:37 pm  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Oh dear. I have failed dismally this week. Mainly because as result of feeling like a lousy mother last week for not twigging eldest daughter so stressed about school, I decided I was too hard on myself and took a week off.

So I've drunk a lot of tea this week.

And nursed a sick child.

And fluffed up my oldest's ego.

And went to school to harangue her teacher.

And today, did family duty things with mil, then ferried children to show rehearsals and guide camps...

So not wasted exactly, but not very productive writing wise.

Hope to do better next week!

love Janex

10:56 pm  
Blogger Relationship Girl said...

Hi guys and hi to all the new novel racers!

Sounds like you've been busy with your new book kate - but it will be worth it when its in the shops soon!Look forward to seeing it!

AS for my writing I've done a bit - woooohoooo!!But not loads - probably only about 1,000 words - But I am developing my characters a bit more and really getting into my plot so when I do come to write it it will be clearer for me!!

Anyway off to write some more now - wish me luck!

Oh and the magazine thing - how exciting - which writing mag will it be in?Let us know!

See you all next week


1:02 pm  
Blogger hesitant scribe said...

Hi All,

I'm a day late! Not much writing at all this week as I'm up the wall with marking - Boo Hoo!

Instead I've been doing lots of thinking and planning so all is not lost. Also trying to get funding for my PhD so spending hours thinking about the philosphy behind the novel - which all helps in the planning I suppose, but isn't in the least creative!

Right, off to mark some more essays :(

Welcome to the new novel racers!

1:35 pm  
Blogger Saoirse Redgrave said...

Hi Kate (and the rest of you Racers)!

Kate, glad you're feeling better :-)

Thanks for the kind welcome, everybody--It certainly keeps me pushing forward when I know someone's occasionally checking up on me. My week's been crazy, but I've accomplished more than I expected!

I'm really looking forward to writing tomorrow morning--hopefully I'll get something decent accomplished before my son wakes up (after that it's touch and go ;-)

Lucy, great news about the potential article--I'll keep an eye out for it.

I've enjoyed peeking at people's progress almost as much as progressing with my work! This was a great idea, gals!

Take care!

4:14 am  
Blogger Joanna said...

Hello Kate and everyone! I'm writing my first novel - nearly, nearly finished it! I first tried to write a book when I was 14. I'm now 27, so it goes to show what a long process it can be to find the right story and the right knowledge! Good luck to everyone, I shall await your books with interest...

4:29 pm  
Blogger Julia Buckley said...

Aw. Lovely to see you so chirpy.

Here's to Springtime!

2:32 pm  

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