Friday, 12 November 2010

Bloody hell, just spent ages drafting a post and then accidentally deleted it - and there is no undo button!!! Argh!

Anyway, very sorry for the late post, i have been at my daughters school assembly.

I have been absent for the Novel Racers a good deal of late. There are various reasons for this, firstly I got married (yippee!) it was fun, but mainly because I have been engaged in a fight with the most difficult and challenging novel that I have attempted to date. A lot of people assume that if you are writing commercial, women's even 'chick-lit' fiction that you don't have to try very hard, after all its just a load of women chatting, shopping and having sex, right?

Wrong! Writing women's fiction now is perhaps harder than its ever been. Publishers and readers want more from their books, boy meet girl, boy doesn't like girl, girl secretly likes boy but doesn't say anything, boy secretly like girl but thinks girl hates him, they realise their mistake and get it on, doesn't really cut the mustard. There has to be more to it. And so with each book I try to take myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself as a writer.

Will I succeed with book? I'll let you know once I've wrangled the mother funner to a conclusion. But I have tried, boy have I tried.

So my question to you is - how do you challenge yourself as a writer?

p.s sorry right now for typos and mistakes - don't have time to all the checking that my dyslexia requires!


Graeme K Talboys said...

Very interesting question. My fiction stalled after years of writing non-fiction, so I went back to basics by doing the first OU course (A215). At the same time I tried lots of experimental stuff that other writers had tried in the paste (all the usual stuff by Burroughs, Ballard, and so) and went on a re-reading jag that is still going on, revisiting all the stuff that inspired me in the past. And not having to worry about the commercial side, I decided not to worry about the commercial side (if that makes sense) and write exactly what I want in exactly the way I want - always with an eye to making that the best I possibly can. I doubt that will ever earn me an agent or a contract (those that like my writing have all said it just isn't commercially viable), but I am happy.

Karen said...

At the moment I'm challenging myself by continuing to write what I want, even though half my brain is worried that my agent won't like it!

andewallscametumblindown said...

Congratulations on getting married!
Like you, I'm challenging myself by trying to find the best way of writing what I want to write. So, having just about completed my WIP, I've come up with another way of writing it. That means starting again, but hopefully something better will come out of it. ~Miriam

Debs said...

Good luck with your new novel.

I challenge myself by writing each new novel and working hard to make them better than the previous one. Also, I try writing in different genres, which is something I'm really enjoying.

Annieye said...

Congratulations on your recent marriage and the new book.

I challenge myself by just keeping going, writing as often as I can and as well as I can.

sheepish said...

Sorry for the late comment, especially after last weeks post, but I lost the internet yesterday. My challenge at the moment is to start writing again!! I have been suffering from insomnia for the many months and it has left me unable to concentrate enough to write anything. I am now undergoing acupuncture and homeopathy and I hope that sleep is coming under control, so back to writing anything will be my next challenge.

Jane said...

Congratulations on your marriage and good luck with the rest of your book.

I am challenging myself by simply starting to write after wanting to for a long time. I'm 9,400 words in!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Congratulations on your marriage.

heh! I challenge myself by writing for a market that really doesn't exist any more. I made a dollar and a half last month. Go me.

HelenMHunt said...

Congratulations Mrs!

The novel I am writing now is very different from the one I wrote previously, but I think it's too early to know if that's working or not.

I think that what you are saying about novels holds true for short stories as well though, and that's the area where I push myself, I suppose. Again, straightforward romances are unlikely to cut it. You need to find something different. I do sometimes write things that I'm not sure the mags will go for just to see what happens. Last year I managed to get a story about egg donation accepted which I was surprised and pleased about. I also cover death, illness and loss quite a lot in my stories, which can be a challenge to write.

Jenny Beattie said...

Excellent question; I look forward to reading that book, Rowan. The challenge for me at the moment is to try and make sense of my first draft; to try to work out what on earth I do next... I'm finding just writing a novel enough of a challenge at the moment without trying to push that any further.

Denise said...

Oops, I'm running very late this week. I think I'm still at the stage where just writing the novel is enough of a challenge! I do have a 'that's not good enough' filter on what I'm writing, and tend of go back and add more a few more layers to the story/character so maybe that's where I challenge myself.

Anonymous said...

My challenge these days is to restrain myself from jumping the gun. I need to work on racking up some raw material and editing what I've already got, before even considering the next stages.