I think that I’ve been in a wormhole in time, as I can’t believe it’s a month since I sat down for my last blog. I haven’t been slacking, and I’m happy to report that I’m making steady progress on my WIP. The path feels familiar, and I’m impressed at myself in staying with the process of just putting one foot ahead of the other.
There are times when I flounder, and in picking up my notes about Lancerota, I found the print out of the Snowflake Method that I mentioned some months back. Since coming back, I’ve been working on the characters. I have a really good feel for four of them, and this week I realised that I needed a couple more ‘gritty’ characters to create some tension, so I’m enjoying raising quite a dark character. So, the first few steps of the snowflake are done, and I’m now moving on towards an outline for a novel (step four), and then the detailed character portraits, character synopses (step five). I think then I’ll really feel like I have the skeleton of the novel. This method, so far, is working for me. As you may have noticed, I’ve also been writing the book reviews (I still have a couple more to go), which I’m convinced is sharpening my writer’s mind. It’s a good discipline, and I hope that I’ll keep it up…
Meantime, in all of this, I’m continuing to do writing practice. Rather like a musician doing scales, I’ve been doing writing exercises and my daily writing journal. As an example, in Donald Maass’s book, he talks about writing passionately, about things that matter. Last week I surprised myself in my writing practice in writing out an essay on things that ‘get my goat’ (the title for the exercise), and looking back at it, you can certainly say the writing is passionate, even if it isn’t very well crafted. Some of those aspects I am sure will wean their way into my characters voices.
On another matter, I decided that I wanted to go on a writing course. Somewhere that would allow me to ‘go deep’ and focus on the craft of writing for a week, so I’ve signed up with The Literary Consultancy for A Literary Adventure – in Spain, in September. I need to arrive there with a bit more than my notebook and scribblings, so I have a self-imposed deadline to work through steps four and five as listed above. I’m really excited about this opportunity, but I’m sure will be quite terrified nearer the time. But until then, I’d better get writing!