Sunday, June 15, 2008


It’s about time I reported on the progress of novel number two, which is probably going to be novel number one in terms of the writing order.

A little while after I announced here that the characters were materializing inside my head and holding their own conversations, they disappeared. Perhaps they were shy or just a bit pissed off that I’d broadcast their appearance. I had a mild panic at their departure, tried to conjure them and then spent a few days thinking about giving up. I mean, really properly giving up.

See, I’ve got this writing course coming up, at the end of September that Husband is willing for me to go on, it’s not cheap and I feel it’s for serious writers. I don’t want to waste money. If I can’t make myself write fiction … what is the point of doing the course? What is the point if I want to write fiction but I cannot actually do it? I keep reading on the blogs that people are finishing drafts and making progress, and I wonder why you are all putting up with me. Why haven’t I been asked to relinquish my Novel Racer place to somebody more serious?

I am writing my blog and I’m writing my regular and one off articles but it’s still not enough. If I think about not writing the fiction I spontaneously weep. It appears I cannot give up which is rather a good thing, given I don’t think there is another thing in the world I want to do!

And then somewhere along the line, the cast of characters reappeared in my head. So now I am furiously scribbling notes, I’m reading well and I’m sort of hoping it’s going to be okay. I think the plan is to gather information now, find out who the characters are, and then write, write, write over July while I’m in England.


Yvonne said...

Great post, something I can really relate to - I've had a few panics like that too, when the characters disappear, but they always come back!

Enjoy getting to know them, I love that part, it's really creative!

Leatherdykeuk said...

We might be novel racers, but I really don't think there's any agenda for executing they who finish last ;)

SpiralSkies said...

Now, this might be a crap idea but, since you're so good at arty stuff, if you can't find any words, why not make drawings of your characters and settings?

And it's the fact that you can't give up that makes you a writer, not how long it takes to limbo under the finish line.

Just write. or draw. Oh, and this is going to sound really mean and make you want to slap me but do it now. Don't wait until July and England because then there will be lots of other things going on. Besides, it will be easier to write in England if you've got foundations to build on, rather than getting here and finding your characters have sloped of again while you were catching up with life in Blighty. They do that. Bloody sods.

Helen said...

I've nothing much to say in terms of helpfulness but just wanted to let you know I am cheering you from the sidelines. And you are a serious writer.


Helen said...

oh and I like Jen's idea about drawing. I did that, sort of, and it has really helped (and I'm sure I'm nowhere near as good an artist as you).

Fiona said...

JJ, I started Sitting Pretty over three years ago. I gave up for eighteen months because I was too tired/lazy to write and hold down full time job - unlike most of the NRs. Sometimes I feel a real fraud - I can't write for toffee. I can't do this plotting thing. Can't edit...
But I have learnt a tremendous amount from my little writing group so I think you will learn tons on the course you are going to do.
You are a serious writer!

Debs said...

Don't be too hard on yourself, I know that I certainly have times when my characters disappear and definately go through thinking that everything I write is total garbage.

I think the thing to do is just keep going as and when you can.


Pacha said...

What's the serious course??? I so know what you are saying. I think I spend more time talking/thinking/believing I write than I do actually writing. I break out in sweat whenever my unproductiveness becomes clear to me! However, I reckon you are well on the way here! Good luck with it all and all the best for 'July'!

Angie said...

I think that's a great way to approach the writing, JJ. It's so much easier to write the story once you know the characters inside out.
(And I also love Jen's idea that you draw the characters...I wish I could do that).
Hang in there, you're on the right track.

Carol and Chris said...

I have to say that I agree with Jen hon....Don't wait till you go to the UK because then you will have a zillion other distractions - I think you should start now :-)

C x

JJ said...

Yvonne, 'they always come back' Really? I hoped so, but I was scared for a bit.

Rachel, phew, thank bugger for that. I might've missed it in the small print!

Jen, thanks honey, and no I don't much like it being pointed out, but you're RIGHT. (I don't mind really.)

Helen, thank you; (and you've done more than cheer from the sidelines - you big challenger!)

Fiona, thank you. I keep wondering if I'll ever get on with it.

Debs, thank you too. Yup, I'm going to try harder.

Pacha, it's this one: (I don't know how to make it a link here.) Kate Mosse! Serious.

Angie, thanks honey. One of the characters is very mysterious - the pov character doesn't know him or much about him, so I'm going to stay in ignorance too!

Carol, I'm starting right now! Thanks hon.

L-Plate Author said...

Remember when you were little JJ and you used to cut up your mum's old catalogue (or was that just me?!). Well you might think this is really strange when I say that I use pictures of people from magazines as my characters. It's a tip I got from Kate Harrison so I may be telling you something you know. If I struggle I look at them and ask them what I need to know. I'm not sure what happens but something always clicks.

It's taken me nine years to get where I am (wherever that may be) JJ, little by little, bit by bit. You won't start writing until something grabs you but believe me when it does, you won't know what's hit you. So enjoy what you have now, never feel guilty hun x