Slow but steady

I have written a few more pages of my book. It is coming along nicely and I am hoping “fingers crossed” that the first draft will be completed soon. I don’t know when it will be completed, but I am not rushing it, as, although it’s a first draft I will be constantly editing and improving it throughout writing it, in order to make it a solid first draft which I can then build on. I am loving every minute of writing the book and I hope that people will enjoy reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it. So… if you are currently working on a project, or working towards a goal and it isn’t working out, take a step back. Take it slower. Your best work will come when you give it a bit of time to develop.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

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Short story

Hello!

Sorry I have not been on here for a few days, I have been busy with exam revision. I have literally just finished a short story. If anyone would like to read it, please feel free to let me know in the comments. It was partially inspired by three Victorian short stories I read during my English Literature course although it is set in the present day. I am still working on my novel, (slowly but surely!) and I am still writing poetry regularly. So that just gives you a brief update of where I am, writing wise right now.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

Criticism

I did a lot of work on my novel both yesterday and today. I have also had one of my friends read it who has given me some helpful criticism that I will take into account when constructing the 2nd draft. Never be afraid to take criticism. Good or constructive criticism, both are essential to helping your writing develop. It is important to know the strengths and the weaknesses of your piece. If you know the weaknesses you forget the strengths. If you know the strengths, you tend to overlook the weaknesses. You can choose to ignore some criticism. That’s fine. It could be that they’ve suggested taking a bit out that you really like. Keep it. Remember that although advice and criticism is good, you ultimately take ownership of that work if it gets published or recognised in any way. Find as many people to read your work as possible. In my personal opinion the more criticism the better!

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

Patience and persistence

I have realised that being a writer involves a great deal of patience. It takes a great deal of time for any of piece of writing to be created. It takes numerous drafts, persistence and motivation to write any piece of writing, especially a novel. A lack of any of the above things can cause your writing to grind to a slow halt. Make sure that, even if you have to take a break from writing, which is absolutely fine, do not give up. Don’t let your work become a half written file on a computer. When you return to your work you’ll probably be full of ideas you didn’t even realise you had. Be patient. Don’t give up. My blog posts might be shorter than normal for the next few months as I am studying for exams.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

Reading…

I am currently reading a book called “The Fearless” by Emma Pass which is a great book and if any of you reading this are interested in post-apocalyptic/dystopian  YA fiction, then I would definitely recommend this book- and that’s just from the first few pages. One of the keys to success when writing a novel is make the first line draw people in- a narrative hook. Make it something that is short and to the point. Nothing puts people off more than a lengthy opening line, so keep it short and sweet. Also, basic tip, but one that is very easily forgotten in the writing process, (I have had first-hand experience of this,) is to briefly set the scene, create an image in the reader’s mind from the word “Go!” Don’t make it heavily descriptive, as this may put off some readers. Save the detail for when the reader knows a bit more. Then, they are likely to emphasise more with the character and their situation.

So… those are my writing tips for today.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

A note on comepetitions…

I personally believe that writing competitions are a great way for an author to get exposure and practice writing genres that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. I recently found this with a writing competition for Flash Fiction. I had never written in a Flash Fiction form before and I’d only tried my hand at historical writing a few times before that. I made sure it was as good as I could get it, then sent off my submission. Fingers crossed. I would say though, for any new writers, be careful with the amount of competitions you enter as most competitions charge a standard entry fee which is perfectly normal, but if you enter too many, the sum of money you spend on entry fees can add up quickly. Also make sure you read the submissions guidelines at least twice, so you can be sure that your piece of writing is relevant and meets the initial submission criteria.

So that is my (hopefully helpful) advice for today.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona

The unknown

The unknown. It is a subject that many people have written about and the emotions that come with it, the excitement of the unknown, the fear of the unknown, the curiosity of the unknown. For me, one of the great things about life is the not knowing. It gives it a sense of mystery, a sense of intrigue, which has also been a major inspiration point for many authors. I am at that difficult stage in my life where I am deciding whether or not to attend university. There is a huge element of not knowing, of not knowing the city, the people, the course, the lecturers. I don’t know what it will be like. But I also don’t know what it would be like if I don’t go to university. It’s the same with a book. At the start of the novel we get a rough idea of the characters and the setting but we don’t know the whole story. The end of the novel is something that is always an unknown (unless you cheat and read the ending!) In this way, I believe that a book is a metonymic representation of life. We always know how it starts, but we never know quite where we’re going to end up. Where will I be in six months? Who knows? Read my blog to find out.

See you tomorrow!

Catriona