Writing a novel.

Have you ever written a novel, and been struggling with characters, and wondering why these people bother to get up in the mornings? I love choosing a catchy title, getting going with the opening lines, then a few more paragraphs. I even get through a chapter or two, then the interest drifts off. Once when I got stuck on chapter 11, I went through my vast bookcase, looking at as many chapter 11’s as I could to see what goes on in chapter 11… You see, I’d got bored with my own story by then. Isn’t that daft.

So, to remedy this, I’m doing an online course with the lovely Sally Quillford who is full of good advice; isn’t it strange that when people point out where we’ve gone wrong, it becomes clear. Just like those detective stories when all is revealed at the end. Speaking of detective stories, I’ve just finished reading Paint me a Picture By Patsy Collins. It’s an interesting read, with Mavis being the main character. Through the story, Mavis becomes more and more confident, and has some romantic moments. At one point, I worried that her boyfriend was something more sinister. Won’t give it away though, as it’s well worth reading.

I have a few short stories out at the moment, and sending one to WW this week, so keep fingers crossed for me. To get to grips with the novel, and keep at it and at least get it finished, I’ve created a group on yahoo.com… it’s called writingyournovel where anyone who wants to discuss what stage they’re at, or how they’re going on is welcome to join. Let me know if you’re interested in having a chat on there and I can add you to the list. There’s one member so far, and that’s me. Aw,,,. The thing that keeps me going with this particular one is that I was on the shortlist last year at the RNA new talent awards. I’ve had good feedback from the lovely judges, so I owe it to myself to keep on with it. If you’d like to join, send me an email.

Digital image

Digital image

Digital image

It’s all getting a bit of a squash on our front windowsill as you can see.

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Author: susanjanejones

I write articles and short stories, and this year I've become a pocket novelist for my weekly.

18 thoughts on “Writing a novel.”

    1. Lynne that is hilarious! the poor woman, you must get her off there, she must be starving:)))) You should have saved that for November giggles…. Enjoying your writing mag column. I’m taking your advice and getting help with the writing.

    1. Thank you Teresa, it was you who said, ‘be confident’ when I sent this out to the RNA new talent awards last year, and I was over the moon to be on the shortlist of 20 from over a hundred entries. Knowing the judges saw something worthwhile in there spurs me on.. Thanks for your support.

  1. Keep at it. Novels take a long time, so a lapse in enthusiasm every now and again is understandable.
    Really pleased you enjoyed Paint Me a Picture. Did you know it took ten years to write?

  2. Oh Patsy, ten years, that’s perseverance, I’ve been writing my Hats off to Love for a couple of years now, so I’m in the early stages aren’t I? It’s getting the genre for me, I drift from romance to history and mystery and nursery rhyme I think:)))

  3. I read ‘Paint Me a Picture’ about a year ago… and reviewed it on Copperfield Press. A very thoughtful novel. I’m thinking about your novel writing group right now…

  4. I’m naturally a very slow writer so although I often had ideas for novels I resisted starting one for a long time because I was sure I’d never finish it. But in 2005, I did NaNoWriMo and managed to write about 40,000 words in a month. Of course most of it was complete rubbish but I didn’t throw it away, I just put it out of sight for over a year. When I did look at it again I was surprised to find that amongst all the waffle there was a story in there, although not exactly the story I thought I had been writing! I played about with it for another year or so until I had a detailed outline of the whole thing, then left it again …
    I’m now on Chapter 6 of what I hope will be the final draft, but I’m really enjoying writing it because I don’t have to keep stopping to wonder what’s going to happen next or going back to alter earlier scenes. No idea how long it will take to finish it though because I’m also writing short stories, articles and a children’s book!

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