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.  😀

 

 

 

 

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Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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 Welcome to my contribution to Romance Writer’s Weekly. This week we’re answering questions from Beth Carter about how we write about our characters and how much of our own experience we bring  to our writing.

If you’re joining me from J. J. Devine’s blog, then welcome! I hope you enjoy my answers to the questions. 🙂

1. Which type of character do you prefer writing about: Sexy, romantic, sweet, quirky, mean, old, young, smart, silly or other?

I think for me it’s a mixture of sexy and romantic. I like writing about a guy who’s sexy, but also sensitive enough to the heroine’s needs to be romantic, so that it’s not all about him. But I also like to write about someone who’s hot enough to make my heroine start to think twice about him and maybe not write him off for being arrogant or whatever faults I’ve given him.

2. Have you ever killed off (or gotten back at) an ex in your writing? On paper of course.

No, I can’t say I have. I tend to use my intuition a bit when it comes to describing men who let the heroine down, or are love cheats and so on. I find it a lot of fun, though, to create these characters and scenarios, all that tension and heartbreak. It’s good to get creative with ideas about how a guy has treated or mistreated a girl and how she responds to that.

3. What hobbies do you have that you incorporate in your writing?

Actually my latest novel Reunion of the Heart has a writer as its heroine. So for me that was an easy one. I’ve also written about characters who have a love of reading and some of the books I love are the ones they love too.

Now why not hop along to A. S. Fenichel’s blog and check out her responses to the questions!

Another interview for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi one and all.  I hope you’ve had a good week.   I have, enjoying the long May Day weekend here in the sunny UK.  Seriously, the weather was pretty good for once!! (It nearly always decides to rain in this country every time we have a national holiday!)

Anyway, on with my WIPpet for this week.  Well I guess the title of this blog post is a giveaway – I’m treating you to another interview with a different character from my WIP Reunion of the Heart.

This time I’m interviewing Lizzie.  She is the close friend of Rachel who I interviewed here last week.  When Lizzie, Rachel, my MC Anna and her best friend Melissa were at secondary school, they fell out over a boy. Rachel sided with Lizzie insisted on going out with Matt who’d made Anna’s life a misery.  Anna and Melissa stuck together and so the friendship group was broken.  I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.

I should say this interview is quite long, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  One more comment: it doesn’t relate to today’s date (shock horror!).  I’m sure K. L. Schwengel (she of the flying monkeys) is going to shoot me now! 😉  But before she does, here’s my WIPpet:

Me: Hi Lizzie, thanks for agreeing to meet me at such short notice.

Lizzie: Well it was a bit of a pain for me to get here in the rush hour, you could have picked a better time.  But I’m here now.  So what do you want to ask me?

Me: I wanted to get to know you a bit more and to talk to you about your relationship with my main character Anna.  How long have you known her?

L: Since secondary school.  We were in the same PE group in the first year.  (laughs) Anna always hated PE.  She wasn’t bad at running, but didn’t like it because she felt everything wobbled when she ran, you know her boobs and so on.  She had really bad self-esteem; she was a little bit podgy when we were at school but still gorgeous, you know?  Though she could never see it.

Me: Anna told me that you fell out with her over a boy.  Matt, wasn’t it?

L: (face reddens) Is she still going on about that? (angry) Because that was such a long time ago.  I thought we’d made up on that score. (folds arms and glares)

Me: No, no, Anna’s fine with that now.  She’s forgiven you.  But as she’s the main character in my book, I just wanted to make sure that I’ve portrayed her in the right way.   And you too; I’d hate to get my facts wrong. (I fan my hot face with café menu)

L: (leans back in chair and sighs) Well if we really have to talk about it… Yes, we fell out over Matt.  You know, of course, that he and Will made Anna’s life hell when we were at school.  And I’ll always regret that I chose him over Anna.  All those years of friendship wasted for some stupid bloke.  He is as thick as two short planks.  But when we were all at school, he was cute and fun.  All the girls wanted to be with him.  They were so jealous when he chose me. (pauses) It was a stupid mistake on my part.  By the time I realised that Matt and I were going nowhere, it was too late.  We’d just left school.  Anna and I had burned our bridges and there was no going back.  Till the reunion.

Me: Yes, tell me about that.

L: When I got the invite, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make up with Anna.  But in all honesty, I thought it unlikely that she’d go.  I mean, why would she want to revisit her past, to go back to a place where she’d been so unhappy?  Of course, I had no way of knowing if she’d be there until the evening itself.  Rachel was with me.  I suppose she talked to you about all this?

Me: We focused mainly on your schooldays and the falling out.

L: (nods) Right.  Well when Anna did turn up to the reunion, I knew that this was my chance to make up with her.  Most likely I’d never have another opportunity.  Rachel was keen to speak to Anna too.  (pause) She never forgave herself – or me – for what happened.  I think she must have told you that she sided with me when we were at school?

Me: She did mention it, yes.

L: At the time I appreciated Rachel sticking by me.  We’d been friends pretty much all our lives, so I was glad not to lose her friendship.  (sighs) I told myself that Anna and Melissa were overreacting to me dating Matt.  But deep down, I think I always knew that by choosing my casual relationship with Matt over my friendship with Anna, I was making a big mistake.

Me: Why did it take so long for you and Anna to make up?  Couldn’t you have contacted her before?

L: (irritated) What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? (has a long sip of coffee)  OK, if you really need to know, I wasn’t sure where she was living for one thing.  I had no idea she was still in Warston.  But also I didn’t know how she’d react if I tried to track her down and contact her.  Then there’s the fact that in a way I wanted to save face.  As the years went by I felt… embarrassed by the whole thing.  Matt was at the reunion.  I hadn’t seen him for years, but when I did I could barely believe I’d ever seen anything in him.  I mean, the man’s a joke.  It’s like he’s stuck in the late nineties. (pauses, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears) Anymore questions while you’re at it?

Me: Only one, what’s your relationship like with Anna and Melissa now?

L: (brightens) Oh it’s great.  The four of us went to a spa together not long after the reunion.  Did Anna tell you about that? (I nod)  It was fabulous.  It’s like no time had passed since we were friends at school.  All those years when we weren’t in touch – they’ve vanished.

Me: I’m really glad to hear that Lizzie.  Is there anything else you want to say?

L: Only this, that I think Anna deserves to be so happy.  She’s a wonderful friend and would make the right man the perfect partner.

Me: Thanks for talking to me Lizzie.

L: You’re welcome. (looks at watch) Oh crumbs, is that the time?  I must go.  See you.

If you’ve never taken part in WIPpet Wednesday and would like to, just post on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date – my contribution today didn’t!  Then add your name to this.

Big shout out goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂