I START MY NEW JOB TOMORROW!! (and here’s my WIPpet for Wednesday)

Yes I am indeed starting a new job tomorrow which is why this post is late and short (but hopefully sweet!). I’ve been doing all my washing and other house jobs today because I won’t have time tomorrow or Friday as I’ll be working all day. :)

(Great excuse not to do housework hee hee!) I should add that I might not get around to commenting on many WIPpets this week because of said job. My apologies. Anyway as I said today’s WIPpet is a short one because of the time thing. So using my incredible powers with mathematics, you get 2 sentences: 1 + 1 for the month of November. :)

I’m not going to say much about it except that it’s from Teaching Mr Leavis again (which I’m hacking to pieces editing at the moment) and it’s taken from the first chapter. Here you go:

Rebecca heard a snap – probably the man closing his phone – and began to walk around the corner to get her bike. She collided with a solid, muscular chest and nearly fell over before strong arms caught her and lifted her upright again.

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘Ooh that’s something I’d like to take part in’, it’s easy. Just post on your blog an excerpt of what you’ve been working on lately writing-wise. Ideally it should relate in some way to the date. Then add your details to this linky thingy here. Don’t forget to check out the other WIPpeteers’ contributions.

Thanks to the fantabulous K. L. Schwengel for hosting once more.

Sort of finished – WIPpet Wednesday

wippetwednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, that time of the week when we WIPpeteers share some of what we’ve been working on writing-wise lately.

As the title of this blog post suggests I’ve finished the first draft of Teaching Mr Leavis. Yay! you might say – I’m sort of yay but not quite because now comes the hard part.

It’s come in at less than 50,000 words and ideally I want it to be longer than that. Also it needs a LOT of work on it and when I say a lot, I mean a lot! I need to tighten things up plot wise, develop underused characters, make it more romantic (yes really!) – the list is endless!

So I’ve started going through from the beginning and starting to change things. I want to edit the entire thing myself before anyone else sees it. Then maybe get an alpha reader to look at it. And only after that will I get any beta readers to take a look. Right now I’m feeling like I don’t want anyone to see it in its present state! (WIPpet Wednesday doesn’t count – I can share the better bits with you all for that!!)

Anyway onto what I’m sharing with you today. I’ve decided to share something a bit different. I thought I’d introduce you to Judith, my MC Rebecca’s disapproving mother. Rebecca and her parents – Judith and Martin – don’t see eye to eye. Judith and Martin have always wanted Rebecca to do what they think she should be doing – they don’t approve of her teaching. Rebecca won’t play ball so there’s tension. Lots of it! This scene takes place after Rebecca has had another encounter with Jonathan Leavis. Today Judith is visiting Rebecca in her flat. Rebecca’s preoccupied and things aren’t going well between them…

For today I’m sharing with you 21 sentences. My maths goes like this: 20 + 1 = 21 (I’m cheating again, taking the digits from the year!) Enjoy!

‘So how’s it all going at the school then, Rebecca?’ her mother Judith asked, taking a sip from her bone china cup of tea. It was Saturday afternoon. Rebecca’s mother and father were visiting Stokington for a few days. Maria had point blank refused to let them stay with her again so soon after their previous visit, so Judith and Martin, Rebecca’s father, were staying in a local hotel. Judith was visiting Rebecca while Martin went to explore the Stokington aviation museum, which was on the outskirts of the city.

Rebecca was silent for a moment, pondering her mother’s question. Memories of her encounter with Jonathan Leavis two days ago came flooding back. She felt heat rush to her face and downed the rest of her tea in one go.

‘Are you feeling hot?’ Judith asked. ‘It is a bit warm in here; maybe you should open the window.’

‘No, Mum, it’s all right, I’m sure I’ll cool down in a minute,’ Rebecca replied, her face warm with embarrassment. ‘School’s going well thank you. It’s busy but I’m coping.’

Barely, she added silently. She was feeling the pressure of continuing to prepare her pupils for their exams later in the school year.

Judith nodded. ‘Well you know what your dad and I say. You can always…’

‘Give it up, yes I know,’ Rebecca snapped. ‘But that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to give up after just one term. I know how much you’d love it if I did, but I won’t.’

That’s it from me today. :) If you have any advice re editing/pulling a book apart let me know!

WIPpet Wednesday is open to anyone who’d like to take part. Just share with us on your blog an excerpt from whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately. Preferably your excerpt should relate in some way to the date. Then add your name to this linky thing.

Thanks goes to our lovely currently-travelling K. L. Schwengel for hosting.  :D

 

 

 

 

I’ve finished… sort of!

BookThis is just a quick post to say that I’ve finished my first draft of Teaching Mr Leavis, the romance about a school teacher I’ve been writing.

It’s come in at less than 50,000 words though, so at the moment although it’s technically classed as a novel, it’s a short one. Now comes the hard part. It needs a heck of a lot of editing, which in a way I’m looking forward to.

I reckon I can significantly increase the word count while at the same time improving on what’s written as I go through the editing process. Why has this story kind of run away from me and made me end at the end at what feels like too soon?

Well maybe it’s because I didn’t stick to my plan enough, that I didn’t make a detailed enough plan and so things just kind of evolved. But it’s definitely been an interesting experience so far. I’ve discovered more about the characters who’ve developed and changed during the course of the story and I’ve been able to take the plot in new and interesting directions.

So anyway I’ve decided that for now no one is going to see this story apart from me. I’m going to go through it and edit it as thoroughly as I can. Then I may well see if I can find an alpha reader to take a look at it and only after that get it beta read. I’m hoping that way I can greatly improve on what I’ve got at the moment.

I do believe it’s a promising story and could be made even better when I’ve gone through and corrected things, developed some of the subsidiary characters more and fleshed out the plot. I have to say I’m actually looking forward to this process. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it in the end.

What are your current writing projects looking like? Are you in the middle of editing?

My inspiration for ‘Reunion of the Heart’

RotH-Cover

Only two days until I publish Reunion of the Heart! Hooray! And continuing with my posts about different aspects of Reunion of the Heart, today I wanted to talk about my inspiration for the book.

A while ago I had an invite to a reunion at one of my old schools.  I didn’t go.  My school days were really miserable – probably more so than my MC Anna’s, although not quite in the same way.

But for a long time now I’ve been fascinated by the concept  of school reunions and what it’s like to revisit your past like that.  Would it be an enjoyable time?  Would it be horrendous?  What would it be like to be reunited with your ex fellow pupils?

Another aspect of a school reunion which I find really interesting is the way everyone changes physically over the years.  For example I often see photos of people on Facebook who I haven’t seen for a long time and I’ll think ‘Wow they look so different’.  It’s not necessarily just that they’re older – perhaps they’ve put on weight or they’ve got dark circles under their eyes from running around after their kids!

Whatever the case I found the concept of a school reunion really appealing and I thought it would make a great story.  What happens when a young woman returns to her school for a reunion, to the place where she was so unhappy?  And why would she subject herself to it if her schooldays had made her so miserable?

The story unfolded pretty well as I began to write it.  I had to think of what my MC’s day job would be and I thought it would be great if she was a successful, published author.  What I’d love to be, I won’t deny it!  So that was really fun too, to come up with a pseudonym she could use and how she felt about her success amongst other things.

Wouldn’t that be lovely, to be earning a living as a writer and to have your own agent, as my MC does?  Anyway dreams aside, having my main character be an author worked so well.  Because she thinks like a writer: she can picture lovely views in her mind, even when there isn’t one there; she imagines what people might say before they’ve said it and sometimes she overdoes it and lets her imagination run away with her and she’ll imagine negative things.

Being an author myself I was able to write realistically about the writing process.  It did require a bit of research – on the role of agents for one thing – but I felt that I was able to write authentically about how it feels to be a writer.  Of course I haven’t had the success that my character has had, but I could imagine what it would feel like to be successful – and the minuses of success as well as the pluses.

So that’s about all I want to say about my inspiration for Reunion of the Heart.

What’s your inspiration for your writing?  Do you write from experience or do you have to research a great deal?

WIPpet Wednesday – Feeling nervous (and a cover reveal mention…)

Hi everyone!  Hope you’re all well.  This is gonna be a special week for me – or I should say a special day on Friday because… IT’S MY FIRST COVER REVEAL!  It’s for my new novel Reunion of the Heart, a romance, which I’m going to publish shortly.

To coin an American phrase  (or at least I think it’s American!) which I’ve heard in blog land  I’m super excited!!!  Thank you in advance to my 10 lovely volunteers who’re gonna help me out with it.  It’s going to be great.

All right, back to the main event.  Today’s WIPpet is for my… all right, yes, still untitled novel-to-be romance about the school teacher.  To remind you non-British people, she works at a secondary school for 11-16 yr olds.  In this scene Rebecca, my MC, is facing the dreaded parents’ evening.

Now because we’re such an international group of writers in WIPpet Wednesday, I’m not going to assume anything, so in case you’re unsure what a parents’ evening is (forgive me if you do know what it is!!), it’s just a chance for parents of children at a school to discuss their child’s work and achievements (or lack of them!!) with their child’s teacher(s).

Rebecca is a new teacher and this is her first term (semester??), so she wants to get things right.  I’m sharing 3 paragraphs, 2 + 1 from the year.

Rebecca looked at herself in the mirror and adjusted the collar of her white blouse.  Her long jet black hair was pulled back into a neat chignon, her blouse and skirt suit had been carefully ironed and she’d taken extra care with her makeup, wanting it to be subtle but enhancing at the same time.  Anyone would think I was going on a date, she thought, her wry smile reflected in the mirror.

But this evening would be ten times more nerve wracking than a date.  Tonight was parents’ evening at Wyncliffe High and Rebecca was feeling as scared as someone about parachute out of a plane for the very first time.  It was the middle of October and Rebecca had been dreading this evening for weeks.  Now that it was finally here she just wanted it to be over and done with.

She sighed as she walked out of the bathroom, picked up her heavy bag, coat and keys from the living room and exited the flat.  She would have liked to cycle to the school as she normally did, but hadn’t wanted to be too sweaty and out of breath when she got there.  Rebecca desperately wanted to make a good impression.  She was particularly anxious about meeting one of the parents there – Audi-Man.

If you’ve been reading our WIPpets and you’re thinking ‘That’s something I’d like to do’, it’s easy to join in.  Just post on your blog whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately and ideally make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then put your details on this linky.  Don’t forget to have a read of what the other WIPpeteers have shared too. :)

Thank you to our wise and knowledgeable leader aka K. L. Schwengel for also being our gracious hostess. ;)

Feeling misunderstood

Misunderstood

Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday here on my blog. Well technically it’s still Tuesday here, but I’m posting early again. :) My apologies for being absent last week – though I did manage to comment on a few WIPpeteers’ posts, I didn’t do my own.

This was down to fatigue – I’m working quite hard at my day job and sometimes I just don’t have the energy for extras (for want of a better word), such as WIPpet Wednesday.

Anyway I read some good excerpts last week and I’m glad you’re all keeping up with your writing.  Which I am with mine, though not quite every day.  I did manage over 600 words on my WIP last night despite feeling shattered so I was happy with that.

For this week’s WIPpet,  I thought I’d share with you 11 sentences (9 for the day + 2 from 2014)  from my current WIP.  (I’m definitely gonna need to think of a title soon – I’ve done over 11,000 words now!) In this scene my MC Rebecca, a teacher, is talking with a colleague about the way her family and friends don’t seem to be able to understand the pressures of her new job:

‘That badly, eh?’ Jenny’s sympathetic tone forced Rebecca to be brighter.  She wasn’t going to have anyone feeling sorry for her.  That was one thing she wouldn’t be able to stand.

‘Actually no,’ she replied turning to Jenny and smiling with an effort.  ‘It’s just that teaching is a lot of hard work.  I knew it would be when I decided to train, but it’s made harder by my family and friends not really understanding that.’ She looked away again, remembering her spat with Michelle which she still hadn’t resolved.

Jenny was nodding.  ‘I completely understand.  When I first began teaching – well to be honest with you it led in part to the breakup of my marriage.’

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of your writing on your blog.  Only stipulation is that it must relate to the date in some way.  Then add your name here.

Thank you to the wonderful K. L. Schwengel for being our hostess with the mostess!

It’s OK now cos I’m back!!!

I'm back no 2

My apologies for missing last week’s WIPpet Wednesday. I’d been very busy with work and I was also really tired. But now I’m back! And I’ve actually written some more on my WIP – finally after months. So I’m happy about that.

If you follow my blog, you may have seen that I’ve been thinking about how to increase my presence online, particularly with this blog.  You can read about that here.  This is with the ultimate aim of publicising my writing.  I guess that’s fairly obvious, but I find it amazing how the whole purpose of social networking i.e. to promote our writing can become obscured until we have less and less time to spend on the writing which is what it was all about in the first place.

That’s how I see it anyway.  I certainly find it to be true of me.  I’m finding it hard to keep up with everything, what with work and blogging, tweeting and most importantly writing.  I feel that I maybe need to scale back what I do on social media a little to focus more on my writing.

Anyway for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday post, I’m sharing with you 4 short paragraphs from my current WIP.  My maths goes like this: 6 for the month – 2 from 2014.  Not great but I couldn’t see another way to do it.  In this scene, my MC Rebecca, who is an English teacher at a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), is teaching her class of fifth formers (15-16 yr olds).  Some of the boys are mucking around.  She’s determined to maintain control over the class…

‘Daniel Leavis, what do you think you’re doing?’ Rebecca said sternly.  She was teaching the fifth formers’ English class.  It was two thirty on a Friday afternoon, the end of a busy and stressful two weeks for her – and they were only the first two weeks into her job.

Daniel looked up at her, smirking.  She saw a bit of folded paper in his hand that he was attempting to conceal.  Feeling her patience wearing thin, Rebecca stalked up to him.

‘Whatever that is in your hand, you can give it to me.’

‘Ooh give it to you, yes please,’ Daniel’s sidekick Richard snickered under his breath.

That’s it from me this week.  If you’d like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday but are unsure how, all you have to do is post on your blog something that you’ve written recently.  Make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)