Friday, 29 August 2008

Apology from Rowan - You're Stuck with Me

A huge apology from Rowan who is stuck without Internet access at the moment and can't provide coffee this week. So jumping in front the coffee machine I would love to know where everyone is at the moment. By that I mean we have to a certain extent lost track of where we are in this year's race a bit. My memory at the moment is dodgy - I think Caroline or Clare came in first on the complete new write. L-plate won the the rewrite race. Has anyone completed the finish a previously started work?

Me, well I completed the rewrite just before July closed and the read through and posted off an imperfect work the RNA New Writer's Scheme. Once established back in Dubai I will cracking away on the first draft of the book that has been bubbling in me for over a year now.

Now for the the topic of the week. Which writing blogs do you read regularly that you gain the most from? For me - it's Steve Malley's blog (latest post is on saggy middles) and Ray Anne's blog .


Caroline said...

I didn't win, think I came 3rd? I'm not really sure. But I have emailed mine off this week and am waiting for a decision. I am scared. x

NoviceNovelist said...

Morning Liz - Where am I? I didn't place anywhere in our current races! I'm rethinking the opening 60 or so pages of my first novel because now I've made it to the end of the story I can see that my style has changed and the story has evolved and I need to work on the first part. I have started to make tiny steps (mainly notes etc) on my second novel and also working on short stories.

Had a nice little boost with a 'high;y commended' in the poetry comp at the Winchester Writers Confr recently. Overall writing wise - hanging in there and moving on!

I like to read the blogs of my fellow racers, plus Sarah Salway, Jane Green and for light relief - the trashy but fun to catch up on the showbiz gossip when my head is ready to explode with writerly angst!

Fiona said...

I am a straggler. I'm even in the wrong race because I thought I would only need to tweak my m/s here and there. Fool. See the post just below Caroline's.

Steve Malley said...

Awww, thanks, Liz! I like your blog too... :-)

SpiralSkies said...

I finally finished my rewrite last week. Thank the Lord. Am a little worried that I will have to leave the Novel Racers as I can't see me starting another novel alongside the OU course. *sniff*

Oddly, I read very few real writing blogs. The blogs that inspire me most are the ones that have a mixture of writing and other things but are all just really well-written. I like the fact that one can write about anything, so long as it's written well. And that really gets me going :0)

Kate said...

Hello fellow racers,

Well, I am about three chapters away from finishing my latest - I started it in May (!) and am now at 110,000 words. I'd hoped it'd be 100,000 but I reckon I have 10,000 to go still...may need to do some serious hacking back of the beginning before it's all over. So if I can focus completely and finish this weekend then I will spend next week editing (not enough really) before sending it to editor the following week, as agreed. I have had real trouble though as there's building work going on constantly next door, has been since about June, and it's driving me mad.

It's all been a bit manic, hence lack of posting recently, for which many apologies. I check the fessingauthor blog, and the pubrants blog, and also Trashionista and, the last two for information about my genre and also reviews so I can suss out books I fancy reading WHEN I GET TIME SOME TIME NEXT DECADE...

Kate x

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I'm completely stalled on novel-writing at present due to critique angst (see post three below this one if you haven't caught up with this and want to know more). I guess it'll be a couple of months before I get going again, if then.

I try to get round all the Novel Racers' blogs each week and comment. Most weeks I manage it. That doesn't leave me much time for other writing blogs, although I used to read Miss Snark regularly (and still refer to her archives from time to time).

L-Plate Author said...

Hi everyone

I am busy with a last, hopefully, read through book two which has now become my book one as I have shelved book one for now. I was working with an agent who then left the agency she was working for. She has since started to work with another agency and is taking me along with her when my book is ready, providing that an agent there 'gets' my work like she does. So I'm kind of hoping again but not trying to get my hopes built up, if you know what I mean with my track record.

I also wrote 25k words of book three which, again has gone on hold, as the advice I've been given is to make my books into a series. So I aim to start a new book in October, I can't wait until the New Year. But I do intend to have it finished in draft form to use for the race next year.

I don't read many blogs, apart from NR's but one I have recently been glued to is baldy's blog. Adrian Sudberry was a journalist until he was struck down with a terminal illness. I heard about him on the news and started to read his blog. I have never been touched by so many honest words before. He died two weeks ago and I still visit it. His thoughts will stay with me for a long time. He was a remarkable guy, campaigning until the day he died. And a fellow writer too, maybe that was where the bond came from.

Back to the reread and then my novel is going off to my mentor next week...have a good week everyone x

Leatherdykeuk said...

I finished the first draft of novel 7 on 30th July, and the first edit last week.

I read every Novel Racer blog and several arty and religious ones. Thank Google for RSS!

Currenly toying with ideas for the next novel.

Helen Shearer said...

I was at a standstill for a while because I had too much to wade through. I had written over 100,000 words but it wasn't written sequentially, so when it came time to put it all together I found myself in a bit of a can't see the forest for the trees situation. I decided to essentially start over again, weaving in as much of what I had already written as possible. Now that I've done that things are cracking along nicely. Not sure when I'll finish though since I don't have a deadline. I find that self-imposed deadlines don't work because they're so easily changed. Quick! Someone give me a deadline!

I don't read very many blogs at all. I try to check out all the NR blogs regularly but I don't always comment because I don't always have something to say that hasn't been said better by someone else. Occasionally I come across a good blog and have a root around. One that I do read regularly though is Jennsylvania by Jen Lancaster. She is bitter, obnoxious and offensive and she writes some of the funniest stuff I've read in ages. Her books are even better than her blog. Her humour is very dry, which is odd for an American writer. Often their humour is slightly more wet.

Calistro said..., so I finished the rewrite of novel #1 earlier this year, started novel #2 and got to 20,000 words then stalled (I realised that my MC wasn't likeable enough but wasn't 100% sure how to go about fixing it so ground to a halt).

Since then I've had a few personal issues which have stopped me writing but I HAVE been plotting novel #3 (which is straightforward women's fiction rather than paranormal chicklit like novels 1&2). I've got my coloured indexed cards stacked up and a notebook half filled with scribblings about the characters, now I just have to pull everything together into some kind of structure and then get writing! I'm hoping to get at least half the first draft done by the end of the year. We'll see!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Things got bumpy on my w-i-p, partly cos my brother was diagnosed with cancer and then my s-i-l (his wife) broke her leg badly, and I haven't been on top of the world, and it won't stop bl**dy raining. And then the plot derailed slightly. I had hoped to have it finished by the end of August, but I'm at 100,000 words with 10,000 still to go, so unless I get a sudden rocket up the... it will be a couple of weeks before I finish the draft. And then straight into the third level OU CW course. Aaaarrrggghhhh!

I try to get round everybody on Novel Racers (although it's been more of a limp up the road and a quick peer over the gate than proper visits of late). And I very much enjoy Belinda Webb's blog (

Debs said...

I finished my rewrite for novel 3 in mid-July, but have now received my RNA NWS report back and have to make some edits to it, so I suppose it still isn't finished.

I'm nearly 30k words into Novel 4 and enjoying it so far. I'm hoping to have finished my edits in a month or two (have a few bits I need to get right in my head first) and the first draft of #4 by end of the year. I would like to finish this earlier, but am also doing assignments for a writing course that I'm taking.

I read various blogs but they tend to be ones that have writing mixed in with other factors, rather than just the writing ones, as I find these interesting and helpful too.

Lucy Diamond said...

Hi everyone
I finished my 'previously started' novel in June, I think. It has just gone off to my editors so I am trying not to think about it at the moment!
I have just started Novel 4 but only a few pages, where I try and get my character's voice right.

I read lots of the racers' blogs and that's about it!

JJ said...

Hi all

Well I ended up abandoning what I'd done on Novel 1 and starting Novel 2 instead. I'm going very slowly on that, but surely, which is better than it went on the first one.

I read mostly other NR blogs, but I follow links that have been recommended.

ChrisH said...

Well I delivered my rewrite in a spirit of great optimism on 1 May, started work on the follow up which was meant to be my NR entry and then came crashing back down to earth. To cap it all life has gone very pear-shaped lately and I am totally and utterly exhausted. Like Graeme I wish it would stop berludy raining.

I whizz round the NRs but probably don't comment enough and wish I had time to visit more.

Sheesh! What a moaner! I'll catch up on some sleep and try to wake up in a better mood!

DOT said...

I still don't know if I am an official Novel Racer - sort of lost track. However, the novel is steaming at a sedate but steady pace. I have no idea how many words I have written as I tend to write in disconnected chunks.

I am amazed at the speed some people can write. I spend so long agonising over words. At the moment I am managing around 1,000 a day.

Re: blogs, as leatherdykeuk says, thank goodness for RSS - I keep an eye on a number, many NRs plus a few others.

K.Imaginelli said...

Hi all~~I'm about to FINALLY start the revision of my novel. I have the first 50pp due to my writing mentor October 3. So that should give me some incentive to actually glue myself to a chair and get to work!

As for websites/blog, I love Meg Cabot & Megan Crane.

Paige said...

Where am I? Good question. I honestly don't know. Up to this point I have finished completely with Book 1 and have been subbing it to agents - no nibbles, no interest, no point??? Only time will tell with that.

Having major wobbles about what to do next. Have lots of ideas but nothing seems to be settled in my head. Have wondered about my future as a blogger - Still not sure if I'll continue. Feel really crappy about everything just now so everything is pretty much up in the air. Fab.

*off to cry into a pillow*

Paige said...

P.S. I don't want Spiral Skies to quit the Novel Racers! You hear me Spiral! I demand that you get up even earlier in the mornings so you can fit your second novel into your life! (Only kidding! If you leave-and that part was true, don't want you to - then I hope you keep blogging!!!)

Lane said...

I've been meandering through molasses with the wip this summer. I think I now know how to rectify what was stalling me but just need to focus on the 'getting up earlier/going to bed later' thing.

I have over a ridiculous number of blogs in my Google Reader. Apart from our good selves, Sarah Salway, Linda Grant, Heather Sellers (to name a few) are always worth a read.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Don't worry, Liz, my memory's off too. It took me a minute to think about which book I was working on for the contest, whether I actually did what I said I would do, and what I've done since. I did finish the book I was in the race with, and I queried it. I'm still waiting on some partial and full requests. I also have another book mostly finished. I'm just waiting on feedback from my beta readers. Right now, though, my writing bottomed out, and my muse took a vacation. I'm trying to get back to work, but it might take a couple more weeks.

The blogs I gain the most from? Most of the blogs I read daily are just to network and chat about the biz, but when I need inspiration or help with anything writerly I go to - I don't know who she is, but her advice is usually spot on.

wordtryst said...

Don't read writing blogs, just those of the Racers (would like to read all, but time doesn't permit) and other blogger buddies. Took note of those mentioned here, and hopefully I'll get around to checking them out when/if things slow down a bit for me. I used to be a Miss Snark-aholic, though.

I'm finally getting places with my rewrite, and am about two thirds of the way through. Would really like to get it off to the agent sometime in September.

Anonymous said...

I regularly read Sally Quilford's blog for tips, inspiration and just chat. In addition to that, I read something of the order of 25 blogs from writing friends. Oh, and something called Novel Racers. I've just got back from holiday in Canada, and I now have only 114 RSS feeds to get through...

My writing progress can be found on my blog at the top of the page.