Starting Again

14 Nov

Well the day has come when novel two begins. I’m still looking for an agent for All the Places I’ve Ever Been and marketing my e-book The Chocolate Refuge, but I’ve now got to a level of anxiety coupled with frustration which means that I need to start something big and new. I’ve been writing quite a few short pieces over the past few months which has been useful but ultimately I know that I’m procrastinating a bit. There is always another short story competition that you can enter, always another magazine looking for submissions. At work today I even thought that I might put a radio play before my novel. BUT NO.

My last post was about NanoWrimo (write a novel in a month), but when I hadn’t written a word by Nov 5th I decided that life was stressful enough without putting more deadlines in. I do know though that keeping track of how many words I’m writing does help to keep me on track, so I will be jotting down word counts and setting weekly targets. I’m going away next week for 4 days at a writers’ retreat and will put together a hefty target for that so I don’t just sit about chatting and drinking wine (pleasant though that sounds). I am determined that I don’t go there without the start of my novel written, so tonight, after homework and my daughter’s first filling will be the time when words are written.

So now for the big decisions. I wrote 20,000 words of this novel many years ago and have been re-reading it over the past few days. The story is still sound and one that I want to tell, but the writing is not very well crafted. Since I wrote the draft I’ve done the Faber Academy Novel Writing Course and had two years of extensive writing critiques from my writers’ group. I know that I’m a better writer than I was when I started this book, so I need to decide whether to try and salvage or start again.

I know, I’ve got to start again. New book, new voice. Page 1, line 1. It starts with a question ‘What would you do…’

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