Flash Finished?

Well the competition over at writerunboxed has ended and unfortunately I didn't place (which is sad because I wanted one of those t-shirts for jogging!). But the whole thing has been a massive learning experience for me; the challenge of writing 250 word pieces, coming up with new ideas in such a short space of time, drawing inspiration from sources/ images I wouldn't normally choose, it was all a brilliant way to get out of my comfort zone. So much so, I'm going to incorporate 250 word flash pieces into my weekly writing as a way to keep pushing myself.

That wasn't all I got out of participating though. The competition got me talking to people about my writing, including many of my real life friends. That in itself has been a big step for me. It's also the first time I've put my writing in a public forum under my "writer" name and to have other writers like my writing enough to make me a weekly winner on two occasions was an amazing feeling. It was a really supportive environment unlike some of the critique forums I've used before which can at times be little intimidating for a newbie writer ;) Anyway, the whole thing's really spurred me on and made me realise how much I want this!!

In other news, I've finally settled on which shiny new idea to move onto now that Pearl is finished. I've pitched it to a couple of friends who were enthusiastic about the premise which was pretty exciting! Just working on the plot grid and also quite excited to develop the main character who's going to be a super-cool-intelligent-wry-humoured geek. Oh and of course, I've been browsing flickr to find source images for  future flash pieces, the results of which I may post up here depending on how much I like the outcome!

Until next time.


I finally have the internet in my new house. Just in time to let you in on some good news...

Moving is always stressful. Cleaning, packing, the inevitably unreliable man with a van. But it's also a chance for reflection and renewal. During my organising, I took the opportunity to collate all the things I've written during the two years I've lived at my old house. I got the chance to read through first drafts turned into second drafts, pages of ideas, character names, pictures, maps, several timetables, plot grids, re-worked plot grids, scribbled out plot grids, an intricately devised metric time-keeping system (?). I got to see all the ink and paper that's gone into this hobby of mine.

This here, is the first first page of "Pearl":

"Pearl" which now stands completed at 82,000 words.

Yup. Somewhere in the last several months this piece of paper turned into my first proper completed novel. I'm not even sure how it happened. But after I'd finished and after several hours of not thinking about writing (and eating cake, and watching The Beatle's Anthology with my friends) I felt a little odd. Because writing (or trying to write a novel at least) has become such an ingrained habit I feel wrong not doing it.

Turns out, that's how I wrote "Pearl" in the first place. I made it a habit. But it wasn't always that way. I often fell short of my daily writing goals, sometimes for weeks on end. I found it hard to stay tied down to one project. I flitted from idea to idea, changing plots, scraping characters, re-building worlds as I went. For a long time, "Pearl" was my secondary project. I didn't even realise she was going to be the idea I put all my effort into until somewhere down the line I found a writing goal that suited me and just stopped flitting.Then I started making progress and the progress became addictive.Watching the word count go up, even when it was by as little as 1,000 words a day, was what spurred me on. And spurred me on all the way to completion.

So "Pearl's" having a little rest for a while but my brain isn't ready to give up its addiction. I've already started going through all my ideas to find out what I'm going to work on next. Some of them have been ridiculous. Some of them have been good. Some of them aren't sci-fi. One of them involves mermaids.

I don't know what will come after "Pearl". All I can say is watch this space!