So THE END??

I don’t imagine too many of your thoughts are taken up by little ol’ me dear readers – my own mind, for example, has room for few thoughts that do not concern a group of imaginary folks, what I should have for dinner and if I have been attentive enough to family and friends – but perhaps you wondered to yourself today:

THE END

‘Do you reckon that daft blog woman who has yet to decide on her blog niche and who consequently witters on about any old thing has actually finished the book she is supposed to be writing…?’

Readers, I wrote this blog post in advance. It was to serve as a kick up the… well, you know what I mean. I would write a version where I finished the first draft of my book on the date I said I would with a vintage bottle of Veuve Cliquot acting as a carrot stick. Writing that I had finished it before I actually finished it would spur me on, I reasoned.

I closed my eyes, in best Paul McKenna stylee, and visualised what that would feel like. I tried to imagine what I would be looking at – a text document with THE END in bold black, I suppose – how I would feel (ecstatic with a faint sense of loss) and how I would move (away from the lap top immediately).

And then I wrote the version where I didn’t finish the first draft. It was a post filled with doom and gloom, fear and loathing, self-pity and hatred. Blimey, dear reader, the negativity radiating from that short article would have been enough to chill your very bones.

So without further ado… I FINISHED IT.

A little haste has perhaps crept in to my writing over the past week and there are plenty of ill-advised words and phrases sprinkled though out – not to mention bonkers plot lines, plot holes aplenty, inconsistent characterisation, more loose ends than the final The Returned* episode and weird happenings. I think too, that Uncle Fred (you remember, he was the poor guy who met with a freak, deadly ending thanks to a fruit bowl) may have resurfaced round about page 283, but finito draft one most definitely is.

[Thanks to the insomnia, I got up this morning at 5.15am and blasted out just over 7,000 words in pig-headed determination.]

And with one ending comes another beginning. It so does. I’m guessing all of the hard work now begins. I’ve got to take this monster of spelling mistakes, grammatical ghastliness and bonkers storyline and try to make it (oh please) publishable.

Hmm. Anyway, egotistical as I am, I wanted to end this post by inviting you dear, lovely and esteemed audience to share your achievements with me. In the words of the lovely Heather Small: “What have you done today [week] to make you feel proud?”

 

*Huh. I sulked for hours after the last episode of The Returned.

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8,000 Words Comin’ Atcha!

I promise you the ones I wrote were a bit more interesting than this.

I promise you the ones I wrote were a bit more interesting than this.

Fiddle-de-dee!* Ladies and gentlemen of my esteemed audience – from out of nowhere (it seems) another 8,000** words has appeared.

Gracious heavens! The wretched writer’s block is blissfully obliterated and my self-imposed 3rd August deadline for finishing the book looks do-able once more.

Oh, but despite my lack of superstitious beliefs do such carelessly-uttered confidences signal an inevitable crash? You might encounter me next week with a cheery, “Hey, how’s it going? You were charging ahead great guns last week! Is another 8,000 words in the bag and The End in sight?”

To which I might mutter (bad-temperedly and shame-facedly): “Ah. Well, ahem, this week we are looking at rather reduced productivity. It’s a matter of… five words. And three of them were the result of re-reading old chapters and discovering I had missed out the odd ‘a’, ‘the’ and ‘but’.”

I am also contemplating my top of the range (not) printer and wondering how on earth it will cope with my attempts to print out 300 or so pages post novel completion. Repeatedly. I fear for my toner cartridges – I sense they are sprinters and not marathon runners. I’m definitely going to need to see this baby in the flesh (so to speak) and thus be able to survey the many, many typos that will surely jump out to me as I view the words on paper.

An additional concern! Who among friends and family can I further cajole into reading my book and reassuring my ego that it is ok? (Or suggesting in a kindly way that I should not have given up my day job after all.) I may further test patiences when I ask them to re-read said book, having swapped chapters around and added bits in.

All in all though, it’s a wonderful feeling when The End is in sight. Mucho excitement threatens to over flow in the Highheelsandpinkglitter household. Life beyond the laptop is contemplated and I may dust off my running shoes.*** Veuve Cliquot beckons…

 

 

*From out of nowhere too I appear to have developed a penchant for peculiar turns of phrase.

**8,771 words to be exact. Now I may go and write precisely 229 words to take this week’s total up to 9,000…

***Once the heat has died down.

Thousands and Thousands of Words

Makes a great carrot, don't you think?

Makes a great carrot, don’t you think?

There’s a whiff of the self-congratulatory in the air this week. Part 2 of the book is completed and more than 64,000 words totted up. My mum likes it (bless her for her bias) and my nephews enjoy having it read to them – mainly, I suspect, because I have named characters after them.

So, two-thirds of the way through means the end is in sight, hmm…? Sadly not I fear. As my top of the range (not) printer is a little on the temperamental side, I haven’t printed out any of the book yet and I fear than when I do I will spot mistakes by the millions. (“Uncle Ted’s here in chapter 14? But he died in an horrific freak accident involving a fruit bowl in chapter 7.”) I’ve also been adding in bits to chapters as I go on, so there are parts of it that feel really disjointed and contrived. And as for my horrible mangling of sentences… grammarians would shudder in horror, I fear.

Tidying up a typo or two is only a tiny part of it though. The author Elizabeth Buchan writes her novels three times. Three times! But I do reckon that when I read over everything I’ve written, I will make decisions about material that needs to be added in – and hard decisions about what needs to be taken out. Even if I cry a bit when I press ‘delete’. And after all that, there will be the hell of trying to get published. And then persuading people that my little book is worth shelling out £6.99 (say) for.

But anyway, enough of my Brit self-effacement. Two-thirds of the way through – that bottle of champagne beckons. My sister bought me a bottle of Veuve Cliquot 2004 Vintage as a wedding present.* I joked that my husband and I would either drink it to celebrate our first anniversary or when I finished my book – whichever came first. Now it’s beginning to look as if that baby will be cracked open well before we’re trying to come up with creative gift ideas with paper.**

*I’d like to be a champagne connoiseur, but the pennies don’t permit it. If they did, Veuve Cliquot would be my tipple of choice.

**Paper is what you celebrate your first year anniversary with. Apparently.