Friday, 29 March 2013

Matthew, word counts and writing sat nav

Evening folks, a few spare minutes and I decided to share them with you. As you know I’m on a holiday mission to write as much as possible, well there’s good news and some slightly bad news. First the good news, since last Saturday I have written 14,624 words, woohoo! The slightly bad news is that while writing, my internal writer’s sat nav decided that I’d come along the wrong route and so had to back up, reverse big time and delete a whole load of paragraphs so my actual word count has only risen by approximately 5700 from last week. Seems weird but true, I had to ‘remove’ about nine thousand of the original word total. I haven’t actually deleted them as such but I have removed them from this project as the plot was going in the wrong direction, but as we all know ‘a writer never wastes anything’ we just save it elsewhere and use it another time. So viewing it in a positive manner, I have 9,000 words towards another project – double woohoo!

For those that don’t write, it probably sounds crazy to axe such a chunk from your work but as I was writing the paragraphs were getting harder to write, as if I were wading through treacle! I began to ask why? This happened while writing ‘Her’ but I hadn’t the courage to axe the scene (until later) so this time I dealt with it head on. It felt good afterwards. Once I was back on the right track the fingers simply skipped over the keyboards and the paragraphs have grown without much effort. Confirming it was the right decision. So the new grand total for TFD stands at 61,125.

Last night brought some success at the Grace Dieu Writers' Circle, where we held an in-house open writing competition of just 750 words. All members’ entries were anonymous and each was read aloud to the group twice, after which followed our legendary scoring system - 3 points to the winner, 2 and 1 to runners up. Last night, just like every other in-house comp occasion, we had to have the points scoring verified and explained several times to avoid confusion at the winning ceremony. It always gets to a point where everyone understands what is necessary, and then just one more person will offer an additional explanation and bingo – no one then understands what has just been said! How? It is so easy. Anyway, I had the joy of being picked as one of the two readers that had to read aloud to the group. I can honestly say I stutter and stammer my way through; they are the only group of people that do this to me. But hey, I managed it. And… drum roll needed… my short story about ‘Matthew’ came 2nd out of the eight entries. I was delighted with the result, it made my day. It was a piece that I’d written a number of years ago having been inspired by a female pupil at school, whose younger brother had a condition that caused others to treat him differently. I have to say, all eight stories were pretty competent as pieces of prose work – and the biggest surprise of the lot was afterwards seeing who write each piece. I never get it right, other members have the knack of recognizing other writers’ traits, I haven’t. Each one I guessed I got wrong, so I gave up trying.

So, plans for the next week; to continue as I have this week (without the 9,000 words axe) and hopefully can reach the goal of 75,000 total word count. Now, that would be an achievement, as I’ll feel as if the novel is ¾ written at that point.
I also have a Mad Hatters meeting next week – so it’ll be nice to catch up with the gang, I missed the last session due to my horrible cold.

So before I go, I wanted to wish you all a wonderful and joyous Easter break. I shall be celebrating a birthday on Monday – yep, April Fools day, so no doubt I’ll have a glass or two, maybe three even of chilled vino in hand to celebrate.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author - so join the party and accompany my journey. I always do Follow Fridays on Twitter, so if you sign up it maybe you next Friday. Enjoy!  

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