Friday, June 22, 2007

Coffee Break 23: a change of web scenery

What's writing? A way of escape, like travelling to a war or to see the Mau Mau. Escaping what? Boredom. Death.
Graham Greene
Word Count:25,203

Wow...I go away for a day and look what happens. We (the original two racers, Lucy and I) are overwhelmed by the really fantastic response by racers and so thrilled by the fact this means so much to you all.

Thanks to all the volunteers: I haven't yet had chance to read through and reply to all my emails so am getting my head round whether everyone who wanted to be involved in the new incarnation IS involved (I know, Kate K, you very kindly volunteered too and hope you're involved, I will definitely email you later), but I think perhaps the best thing might be for Nichola to email me a post I can put up here as a main entry rather than a comment explaining how to go about getting writer 'access' to the new home which is at:

I think it's such an exciting evolution and I'm really looking forward to popping over, not just on Coffee Break days but other times too - which is a real benefit of the move. Maybe in time the website that Jen's bagged will be handy, too.

My only techie comment would be that if only 'members' can leave comments, it may stop new racers joining? So I'd suggest, if others agree, perhaps having comments allowable but one person on a rolling basis checking for newbies? Do feel free to cut and paste the rules of the Race from my entry, which I updated recently...I will update later to include the new address and so on

I feel a bit like a mum watching her 'baby' (the race, not you lot) striking out on her own. I will still be blogging about writerly stuff on here so don't be a stranger, but over the summer perhaps less than before.

In other news, I had a meeting yesterday with a really fascinating movie producer to talk through one of my projects (more in an advisory role, no-one's bought the rights or anything, so don't be breaking out the champagne just yet). It does tie into the 'change of scenery' idea (OK, it's a bit of a stretch, maybe) in that I learned so much in that meeting and realised how writing five and a quarter novels doesn't mean I can write a movie treatment properly. I managed to make the plot of Book 5, which I was so excited about, sound about as thrilling as the proverbial wet weekend. But am hugely enthused by the idea of doing better - it's good to take yourself out of your comfort zone.

Enjoy the new site and thanks for being such brilliant racers. Reading through the lovely messages about what it's meant to everyone, I feel quite choked!

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Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Kate/everyone

I wonder if I could be included in your new home please?

I didn't join up at the start because family crises and other matters have brought me to a complete standstill on my novel. But I can now see the possibility of being able to restart it very soon and I need all the encouragement I can get. I have been following all your progress with interest, even though I wasn't taking part.

9:40 am  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

So happy to hear yesterday went well! You are wonderful Kate :-)

I think the new blog is great. I think we do need to have comments open as there are many people who may want to comment but not take full part.

As 'official racers' we are all owners if you will of the site so we can jump in and post wonderful news and not have to wait to share.....happy news etc.

This week has been very chaotic for me but I am still pressing forward. The one reader allowed to see the rewrite at the moment is very cross that I have slowed down - a good sign , I think. She is also angry with me that things are not going as she thought so maybe I am learning part of the lesson I needed to learn. I hope so any way.

Hope everyone has had a brilliant week :-)

p.s. Welcome Cathy.

9:47 am  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Well done, Kate on getting as far as you have done with the script thing. Writing is all learning I reckon, so it's another step forward.

And thanks again for the novel race and all your hard work.

Look forward to seeing you all in our new home. And hi Cathy!

9:49 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Kate (and Lucy), thanks so much for all the work you have done for the race over the last six months. I think a group blog is a great idea and look forward to finding out how I can join. And I promise not to be a stranger here - or at other racers' individual blogs - time permitting. The novel race is a great support in the isolated business of novel writing, and I'm very glad to be part of it.

9:51 am  
Blogger DOT said...

Oops I got a couple of comments from Zinnia saying that I hadn't linked fellow novel racers on my blog. Sorry. I was doing it but slowly. I shall try and speed up.

Her other comment was about the Friday coffee breaks. I've looked under the rules and see a mention of these events but have no idea what they entail.

Am I being dim? (Don't shout YES all at once.)

9:54 am  
Blogger Rowan Coleman said...

Hello everyone, wow I'm out of the loop! I think it's wonderful that you've hosted the race and the coffee morning for so long Kate,even as a recent joiner thanks so much it-s a great resource and so nice to be in touch with other writers from my solitary confinment in my paper filled pit. I am happy to follow the race where ever it goes, what do I have to do? (sorry I am thick)! I'm a rubbish blogger principally beucase I have about zero time to do anything except write books at the moment and I don't undersatnd how to link bloggers to my blog (see)

Kate I so admire you proactive approach to turning your book into a film treatment and then film we hope. I have so far left this up to other people but perhaps the answer is to get out there and do it yourself? Not now though because apparently there aren't enough hours in the day (or night) as it is! Please let me know how you get on with it. Take care all Rx

10:16 am  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Hi everyone (and welcome, Cathy!)

It's so exciting to see all of this happening - I think the new racers blog will be brilliant, cheers for doing that, Nichola!

And the website could be great too - when all the book deals start pouring in for the racers (as of course they will!) we can feature our books on there...!

David (or DOT) you're not being dim at all, I guess now we're moving home, you can just link to the new blog, problem solved.

Happy writing, one and all

10:19 am  
Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

Love the new blog - application requested - I found out, when I sent the copy edit of 'An Ungodly Child - that it won't be published until next easter so that project is off the boil now. I'm currently editing Nephilim's Child for the Daily Mail contest and plotting for the next book.

10:33 am  
Blogger Helen said...

Great idea for the new blog - thanks Nichola. I also like the idea of using the novelracers domain in the future (thanks to Jen's lovely bf!)to highlight all the published work (or to showcase unpublished work?) I can see this evolving in a very exciting way. Thanks Kate and Sue for starting it off and everone else for carrying it forward. I'll certainly do my bit to help with any admin etc.

10:36 am  
Blogger KeVin K. said...

So on the last Friday Coffee Break, KeVin finally remembers it's Friday on Friday instead of Saturday. Symmetry, that's what it is.

Great news on the movie pitch. And no one can objectively evaluate their own pitch, so I'm not accepting your "wet weekend" assessment. I've no doubt you wowed them.

Got my rewrite notes for To Ride the Chimera from my editor and the continuity person for the series. Nineteen errors, but all at the wrong hair color on a recurring character level. Actually, what I'm most proud of is a problem. The book exceeds the publisher's maximum word count -- they'd have to add an extra bunch of pages (apparently these things come in standard lots so it's not just a question of one or two leaves) -- so I have to trim about 2500 words. That's not the cool part. The cool part is my editor writing: "I assume you will already have some thoughts about where we can cut. Because I sure don't." I tend to write long and I usually write tight (the writing, not me) so I'm used to editors -- including this one -- asking for cuts and having to struggle to do it right. However I have never had an editor look at a 102,000 word ms and tell me she can't see anything the story could do without. (Obviously I'm going to have to cut a few scenes or maybe a subplot. Can't trim 2500 words just deleting adverbs. It's a headache, but a good one.)

Speaking of pitches -- though not as romantic as pitching movies -- my first effort was turned down by the British game company I'm wooing. Seems they're dark fantasy and I'm too damned cheerful. However, they liked my imagination if not that specific example and have invited me to pitch again. I'll see what I can do about contracting depression and give it another go.

I've already signed up at the new blog, but haven't posted anything yet. I think it should have open comments as well. And some way to sort things. Any way to have the Novel Racer intro and rules always at the top or linked someway for easy access? The potential for this developing into a active -- and interactive -- community is pretty exciting. I'm thinking we'll be expanding into that website in the not too distant future. And we'll be forever referring to Kate as "the mother of us all."

11:17 am  
Blogger Lazy Perfectionista said...

Congratulations about the new direction Kate, sounds so exciting! I agree the new blog looks great, can't wait to participate. This is such a fab group of people I'm really glad it's going to continue, and the evolution into the new blog looks like a really productive direction. Well done to Nichola for putting it together!

11:22 am  
Blogger ChrisH said...

It's been an exciting week, hasn't it? The new blog is a brilliant idea and I look forwards to joining (will hot foot it to have a look in a minute). I feel as if I need all the support I have access to at the moment as I'm trying to deal with waiting to hear about novel 1. That has to be the worst part about being a writer, doesn't it? The writing is great - the waiting is agonising!

Well done to you Kate, I'm sure your pitch wasn't the least bit like a wet weekend. It sounds as if you are going great guns at the moment. Great too, to hear what everyone's been doing. Looking forwards to the next stage.

11:54 am  
Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

I've just got back from town (where the one shop I was desperate for was closed) and thought I'd mention that I'd picked up The Self-Preservation Society from WH Smith at £7.99.

Alas, my favourite independent bookshop has been forced out of business by Waterstones.

12:23 pm  
Blogger Jen said...

Aarrgh, I can't even figure out how to join the new thing. Hey ho.

I’m thinking of using the website as a ‘toolbox’ for writers on the novel journey… hopefully it will complement the blog aspect that Nichola has set up and vice versa. News, reviews, showcase for Novel Racers’ work and suchlike. Hope you approve!!

1:13 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

This race really is breathing! I am so impressed. I have no idea how to join the new blog, but I think it's a great! I'll yty and figure it out later.

Back to writing from Tuesday. I can't wait.

1:43 pm  
Blogger The Moon Topples said...

So I've been...absent for a while. I had hoped to explain some of that to Zinnia following her comments on my site this week, but she has a post explaining that her email is broken.

At any rate, I'm still in, if you still want me. The realities of my time zone and schedule make the Friday coffee thing difficult, but I can certainly try harder to check in. And my links are up to date, or were as of last Sunday.

I tried to post a comment on the new blog but was resticted from doing so. I'm not sure what has to happen to have access to it.

Suppose in the meantime, my real question is: am I still in? Or back in? Or whatever?

1:46 pm  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

Hi all,

Bittersweet coffe break this morning ~ our last meeting on Kate blog, but the excitiment of th new blog! (registration requested ~ I bet Nichola's inundated!)

I'm especially pleased to be making a new home over at the new blog as I have just started a new project and am positively bursting with enthusiasm! Hence this just being a very mini coffee break check in, as I'm on my lunch hour now and have five paragraphs in my head that need to get out!

Best of luck to everyone with their writing this week, see you all over at our new pad, a billion thanks to Kate, Lucy, Zinnia, Liz, everyone basically for getting this thing going and making it what it is, thanks to Nichola for setting up the new doo-dah....I could go on, but they're playing the "leave the stage NOW, Gwyneth!" music...
Kate K

1:47 pm  
Blogger Nichola said...

I've just had six requests for membership to deal with - yay!

Oh, this is making my organisation fetish tingle, so it is. :D

There's obviously still a few things to do with the blog, especially with Kate's suggestion of opening up the comments to others, not just blog authors.

I did have one idea - perhaps instead of an extended sidebar we could have one link to the novel racers' community blog? What do others think?

I'll go an open up the comments section now, then see about a post to link to, explaining the 'new' race.

Ooh, I love organising stuff. But I shouldn't do it too much or I won't get the book written and that's what we're all about, isn't it?!

2:33 pm  
Blogger NoviceNovelist said...

All very exciting and lively here today. Kate I hope you will continue your postings - good luck with your new directions - hope to hear about them in the future. Thanks for getting all this off the ground and for looking after it for so long. I'm off to visit 'our' new site!!!! How lovely!

2:39 pm  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

I like the idea of the communal blog link, rather than the extended sidebars ~ it will save updating when people come & go

2:42 pm  
Blogger KeVin K. said...

I did have one idea - perhaps instead of an extended sidebar we could have one link to the novel racers' community blog? What do others think?

Good idea.

3:08 pm  
Blogger Jen said...

Yep, brilliant idea :0)

3:12 pm  
Blogger Rowan Coleman said...

I did it! I linked all the racers to my blog and found out to join the new Novel Racers one. Thanks to Helen for basically telling me what to do! Hurrah!

5:21 pm  
Blogger sheepish said...

Wow I go away for a few days and the world has moved on. I am definitely in for the new Blog it sounds a great idea.
Thanks to Kate for all your hard work and brilliant idea in the first place.
I have had a few weeks of very little progress so a new impetus will be the kick up the derriere I need.
So I'm off to visit Nicola to see what I need to do.

Thanks again Kate.

5:32 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Can someone send me an invite to join? Please.

5:53 pm  
Blogger A. Writer said...

Great news about the meeting Kate!

I agree with everyone else; the Novel Racers is a fantastic idea and I'm glad it's continuing! Thank you for creating this wonderful community!

Love the idea about the website and I'm sure the Novel Racers Blog will be fantastic once it's settled into a routine.

Keep up the good work!

A. Writer x

7:09 pm  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

Love the new site. Commented on my request for invitation over there, but consider this my formal request. I wanna play, too.

Sorry I took so long to get here, but we're in the long drawn out process of moving, so I'm not as computer-bound as usual.

I'll be more talkative when we're through. Promise.

8:14 pm  

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