Monday, 17 September 2012

A Dream Shared is a Problem Halved

Have I told you that I've been able to read since I could toddle? It wouldn't be a  surprise  if I said that books have been an intrinsic part of my life from then on.  And probably not long after I  deciphered those simple first words in  Nose Is Not Toes, I decided that I  wanted to write my own story and see it in print.  I've had a good forty five years to do this and could have been as prolific as Barbara Cartland  if I'd got my finger out .  So why, oh why has it just not happened?

Suffice to say procrastination has played its part but it's not the entire complex picture.  But I'll spare you most of the navel gazing and the associated blue fluff and get down to the nub of the problem.  I have ideas for stories but just can't seem to pad them out enough in my own head to make them meaty enough to be a goer.  However I've come up with two strategies that seem to have helped me kickstart, what I acknowledge is still going to be an onerous task - that first novel.

First and foremost, I've started to share my idea for a story with my friends and asked them for suggestions about how the plot should be bulked out.  This has been incredibly fruitful - even though I'm having to discard some of Mr Metrosexual's more lurid ideas.   He thinks that I should include at least three swinger's parties in order to boost sales.   Aside from not being keen on doing the research, I don't want to horrify Mama and Nana Lovelygrey - or follow in the footsteps of that 'animal', Tony Blair, and  be given the dubious accolade of a  Bad Sex Writing award .

The other thing I've done is scoured the Internet for a novel template. After considering a few I've settled on this one on the website. So, with a cobbled together plot from my 'co-authors' and an outline plot in ten easy chapters, I'm off the starting block.  As with the diet, I'll be posting updates on my snail-like progress.


  1. I wish you well with this. I can write short stories but get bored with a project that drags on and on, so I give up before I start.

  2. Good luck to you!

    I suspect you're determined to get off the mark ASAP but did you see talk of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - during your research?

    It happens in November each year and the general goal is to write 50,000 words (usually a complete 50,000 word story) over the month. 50,000 is quite short for a novel but it's achievable - especially if you have thousands of other people cheering you on. For me, the graphs provided on the website and the collective celebrating when we hit targets was a great incentive to keep going. There are local forums too - there were hundreds of people near me doing it - so there were meet-ups and whatnot, and also lots of support in terms of structuring, characterisation, facts checking and idea generation.

    Having the word count goal also kept me going, rather than stopping to review every sentence over and over again. In the end, I wrote something like 116,000 words in the month last year!

    Sorry this sounds a bit like an advert but I really loved it last year and want to spread the word. It's also free!