Thursday, 29 January 2009


This lunchtime I got to just over 77,000 words! I'm planning to do a big push this weekend, and get as close to the end as I can. I'm actually quite surprised by how the pacing is working. One of my biggest worries when I started was that I'd have run out of plot before I reached 50,000 words, let alone 100,000, or go the other way and have only just established my characters and the situation when I finished NaNo, but it seems to be working out better than I could have hoped. That said, I haven't reread any, except the odd bits here and there to check things, so it could all fall apart when I start the second draft...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Déjà lu

Yesterday, I began 'The Welsh Girl' by Peter Ho Davies. I bought it last week, having been meaning to read it for a while now. When I started reading, I got the strangest feeling I had already read it. While I couldn't remember the plot exactly, the scenes seemed familiar. It came out in 2007, so I checked my 'Read in 2007/8' blog posts, and it wasn't on them. I might have missed it off by mistake, but I remember seeing it in bookshops and thinking 'Oh yes, I want to read that!' for quite a lot of last year. It's possible that I read an extract somewhere (I've only read the first 30ish pages), so it will be less familiar when I've got further in, but it is the strangest feeling.

On writing, I cracked the 75,000 barrier yesterday!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Disaster strikes! (and is then averted reassuringly quickly)

I didn't bring my laptop to work today as I was getting the local train (for local people), which is not equipped with the luxury of tables, making typing while commuting harder. I was still planning to do some writing at lunchtime, thinking that I had saved a copy onto my work computer yesterday, but when I looked in the folder to check, Oh Horror!, it was an Earlier Version. For a full thirty seconds, I was devastated! The new chapter I was hoping to start would have to wait, maybe until tomorrow morning, and possibly even until Monday due to a busy weekend! Those ideas might drain away! It might all go wrong now!

Then, my brain kicked in. I'm starting a new chapter. I can do it in a new Word document, then copy it into my WIP later. Phew. Crisis over!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

"It accumulates by a magnitude"

No, not snow, words. I don't do a thing for ages, and now I can't stop. When I'm working (and therefore have very little free time), I can do 1000 words a day without noticing, because I fit them in around other things, little batches of a couple of hundred words. But when I have acres of time....

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Words vs pages

I'm writing my WIP in Word, and I'm currently on page 291 (and 72,371 words). Everytime I finish a chapter, I copy it into Scrivener, partly for back-up in case Word goes wonky, partly for when I start revising (it makes it easier to swap chapters around, make notes and see the bigger picture). When I was doing NaNo, I came to terms with the fact that word counts are different between the two programmes, but was excited that the Scrivener word count also includes a 'Paperback Page Count'. I had been getting a little bit frustrated by this page count - it wasn't going up anywhere near as quickly as I had expected/hoped it would, despite my growing word count. When I realised that it was saying 177 pages for around 69,000 words, I decided to do the maths, and found that it must be using about 390 words per page to calculate the number of paperback pages your wordcount would fill. Is it just me, or does this seem a lot? I would have expected 300-350, but might be way off...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Slow going

Sometimes life trips you up when you really think it's going to be smooth underfoot. Last week was pretty much a washout in terms of writing for reasons beyond my control. I did get some time (and brain-space) yesterday, and managed to crack 70,000 words, a milestone which has been looming on the horizon for weeks, never seeming to get any closer. I'm thrilled to have passed it, and really hope that the 70s are going to be easier to get through than the 60s...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Routine vs holiday

I did write over Christmas, just nowhere near as much as I had anticipated. It was silly of me really – I live a long way from my family, so when I go there for 10 days over Christmas it shouldn’t have come as a shock that there were things, like having fun with them, that were more important than writing... I’m not worried about the hiatus, and managed about 2500 words over the weekend, so I’m back on the horse. It just highlighted to me that I work better when I’m in my normal routine, rather than engaging in wrapping paper-based warfare with my brothers.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Read in 2008

  1. Beneath the Bleeding - Val McDermid
  2. Bones to Ashes - Kathy Reichs
  3. Borrower of the Night - Elizabeth Peters
  4. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
  5. Careless in Red - Elizabeth George
  6. Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood
  7. Crazy for You - Jennifer Crusie
  8. Disraeli Avenue - Caroline Smailes
  9. East of the Sun - Julia Gregson
  10. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
  11. Fast Women - Jennifer Crusie
  12. Fault Lines - Nancy Huston
  13. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
  14. Gifted - Nikita Lalwani
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling
  17. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
  18. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - JK Rowling
  19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - JK Rowling
  20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
  21. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
  22. Human Traces - Sebastian Faulks
  23. In Search of Adam - Caroline Smailes
  24. Interesting Times - Terry Pratchett
  25. Leviathan - Paul Auster
  26. Making Money - Terry Pratchett
  27. Mudbound - Hillary Jordan
  28. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (e)
  29. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
  30. Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
  31. Painting Ruby Tuesday - Jane Yardley
  32. Petite Anglaise - Catherine Sanderson
  33. Read in 2007
  34. Rebecca's Tale - Sally Beauman
  35. Second Glance - Jodi Picoult
  36. Sepulchre - Kate Mosse
  37. Shakespeare - Bill Bryson
  38. Sihouette in Scarlet - Elizabeth Peters
  39. Star Gazing - Linda Gillard
  40. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
  41. State of the Union - Douglas Kennedy
  42. Street of the Five Moons - Elizabeth Peters
  43. Swallowdale - Arthur Ransome
  44. The 39 Steps - John Buchan
  45. The Alchemist's Daughter - Katherine McMahon
  46. The Athenian Murders - Jose Carlos Somoza
  47. The Cairo Diary - Maxim Chattam
  48. The Cleft - Doris Lessing
  49. The Confusion - Neal Stephenson
  50. The Courage Consort - Michel Faber
  51. The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
  52. The Dante Club - Matthew Pearl
  53. The Dante Trap - Arnaud Delalande
  54. The Duchess - Amanda Foreman
  55. The End of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas
  56. The Evil Seed - Joanne Harris
  57. The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  58. The Gum Thief - Douglas Coupland
  59. The Hippopotamus Pool - Elizabeth Peters
  60. The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
  61. The Light Years - Elizabeth Jane Howard
  62. The Lollipop Shoes - Joanne Harris
  63. The Magician's Nephew - CS Lewis
  64. The Mathematics of Love - Emma Darwin
  65. The Murder Book - Guillermo Martinez
  66. The Night Climbers - Ivo Stourton
  67. The Outcast - Sadie Jones
  68. The Point of Rescue - Sophie Hannah
  69. The Post-Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
  70. The Rose Labyrinth - Titania Hardie
  71. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  72. The Secret of Lost Things - Sheridan Hay
  73. The Seville Communion - Arturo Perez-Reverte
  74. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
  75. The Virgin in the Garden - AS Byatt
  76. The Woman in the Fifth - Douglas Kennedy
  77. Welcome to Temptation - Jennifer Crusie
  78. Winter in Madrid - CJ Sansom

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