Happy New Year to you and yours. A belated, but nonetheless, heartfelt wish.
A couple months have passed since my last post. Very bad on my part.
At the time of my last post, I was in the midst of the Nanowrimo frenzy. I am happy to report that I successfully completed the 50,000 word goal that lets all who participate claim winner status. There are no monetary or publishing prizes; being a winner gives me the bragging rights to claim that such a massive word count was achieved in a thirty-day time-period. Most of those 50,000 words were added to my current novel project and brought me up to a total of 88,000. Now that I am in editing mode, I’m sure that 88,000 will be decreased somewhat in the process. My end goal is between 80 and 90 thousand words, which is about the average size for publication.
I also wrote a number of posts for this blog – look for them in the coming weeks.
The Christmas season was wonderful in our home. We had a live tree for the first time in decades, and it added to the sights and smells of the season. Nothing beats that fresh evergreen scent I don’t care how many smelly candles you burn.
Adding to the joy of the season was welcoming my sister and brother-in-law from Alberta for a week. It was nice to share the holidays with them because the two of them would have been on their own, as would have Mom and I. Their visit was especially special for Mom, who at 100, each day and year is not guaranteed but a gift. Three years ago, Mom and I ventured to their home for Christmas and walked off the plane to -35 Celsius and mountains of snow. This year, they had it a bit easier here. Even though it was colder than normal in Victoria, it was still considerably warmer than Northern Alberta.
Once Christmas was put away I intended to get back to writing the week of January 9th. Unfortunately, I managed to catch the nasty cold that is going around and was sick in bed for a week. During that week, I still had to look after my dear Mummie. Inevitably, she caught the cold and has been sick this last week. I am completely over it, and she is on the mend, thankfully, so now I can once again focus on my writing.
Yes, the story is on paper, but the characters still need some depth and the relationships between them need to be crafted to serve the plot. I want the he plot to be believable, without holes, and the dialogue to be realistic and not just a means to pass on information. For my first novel, I want it to be good. Not that I don’t want every book I write to be good, but, if the first one isn’t well written, no one will want to read anything else I write. That means that every word on the page has to serve the story.
EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.
Despite focusing on editing in the next two to three months, I am still looking to my next project. The basic story is outlined and on paper, but I still have a fair amount of research to do to fill in some of the gaps. It is a historical novel, the first in a series, set in the twelfth century. This project was started in 1999 but the majority of it was written when I spent five idyllic weeks during the summer of 2001 on the West Coast of Ireland writing everyday, and spending time with my dear friends Bridget and Gerry and their four children, whose hospitality gave me the ability to concentrate. It was at that time, that I knew I could do this, I could actually write an original story. I left Ireland with a rough draft, six chapters shy of complete. A copy of that rough draft has been in the hands of my friend Bridget who has occasionally picked it up and reread it. On one of these occasions she told me in her no nonsense Irish way, “will ya finish it already.” Bless her. If that isn’t encouragement, I don’t know what is.
So, the coming months will be filled with editing my contemporary novel titled All that it Takes, researching my historical novel, with a current working title of The Token, writing blog posts, and other bits and bobs.