Sarita

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Is it just me, or does this happen to you too?I sit down to write (yes, this is the day I'll really …
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  •  · Take care!
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Help! I'm suddenly receiving soooo many emails about chats on here. Everything was fine until I acce…
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  •  · The email notifications setting is under the email tab
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Quote from John Banville in The Guardian today:"Writing a novel should be like swimming, but it’s no…
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You know that noise when you've taken a good couple of gulps of something then you open your mouth a…
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  •  · Quite!
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Not sure if I need coffee and cake or a bottle of tequila and an American barman to prop me up like …
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  •  · Sarita I can identify. Maybe my story will cheer you up. Hopefully by now you are far along the path…
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I hope I can share this here - it seems like it could interest a lot of you, especially if you're ba…
Sarita
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Is it just me, or does this happen to you too?

I sit down to write (yes, this is the day I'll really get back into the flow). I review the last section, check back to my timeline and notes about what happens next and start. Great! I write 2 and a half lines (yes, 2 and a half, no more), having pondered the phrasing of the first line for a while, and then I decide to insert a Haiku (it fits with the story, I promise). I go and get said Haiku (already written so thankfully prepared) but decide to change the last line. I struggle to find the right words for a while - normal with a Haiku - but settle on a version (it doesn't have to be perfect, I can change it later and the character that supposedly wrote it is hardly a pro). I then decide (a marvellous idea, I think) to write a limerick. There is a point to it - it'll give a cool contrast between the mum (the Haiku writer) and dad (the limerick writer), a little clue to their respective characters. So then I limerick for a bit. Its fun so I stretch it out, look up rhyming words for 'trivia'  and do a search for 'amphibia' (is it a word?). It's not but there's an animated series called Amphibia - I check the IMDB rating, it's good, so I watch a trailer. In the end I discard the word and look for more sensible options before deciding that Dad would settle for something a bit kooky rather than clever so I go for the silliest option. I turn back to my few lines and think 'wow, is that all I've done? At least I've got a limerick to throw in though' then come to Jericho to write this. But here I get distracted by a critique request, read it, start writing a response before berating myself and writing all this. 

Meanwhile my limerick is still scribbled in pencil  and now I need to pee. Oh, and while I'm up I should hang the washing...

I'd really like to finish the chapter today, but this isn't looking too hopeful <sigh>

Please tell me this is 'normal' 🙏 

Sarita
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Help! I'm suddenly receiving soooo many emails about chats on here. Everything was fine until I accepted everyone's friend requests that had been building up. I've tried to solve it by limiting notifications but it doesn't seem to have done anything.

Has anyone had a similar problem? How do I solve it? It's nice having friends but I don't need to know every single thing you comment on ;-)

emmaloo
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Hi Sarita. How lovely to be 'befriended' - thank you :-)

Where are you located, and what are you writing? I'm in Malaysia, and am writing women's/bookclub fiction.


Sarita
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Quote from John Banville in The Guardian today:

"Writing a novel should be like swimming, but it’s not; it’s like wading through wet sand, at night, in a storm, with no lantern to guide one’s steps and no lighthouse to warn of the submerged reefs and wrecks that lie ahead."

Pass that whiskey bottle along, Jon ;-)

Sarita
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Sarita
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You know that noise when you've taken a good couple of gulps of something then you open your mouth and give a big satisfied "____"? How do you write it? You know, that kind of (comical almost) 'I've-just-had-a-drink-and-it-was-really-good' sound. Is it "aahh"? But there's something guttural there too, isn't there?

Sounds and noises we make are tricky to write but I sometimes like to spell them out rather than a 'he made a gasp of satisfaction on quenching his thirst'.

Any ideas? Any other sounds you've been struggling with capturing?

Sarita
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Not sure if I need coffee and cake or a bottle of tequila and an American barman to prop me up like we see in so many of those US series.

I'm suffering serious demotivation issues. I'm not sure if it's the heat, the general summer mood or simply that feeling that as soon as you think you're getting close, someone seems to move the finishing line again. I don't want to go back to my WIP because it's hard. It's like that part of a relationship where the sweeping along and exciting stuff has come to an end, you've succeeded in settling down to calmer, more routine stuff and then you realise you just have to keep plugging away at it, creating new excitement and finding the joy rather than it being handed to you on a plate. 

Sometimes the writing future seems so bleak. Should it really be this hard to share your visions with people? 

Anyone for a shot?

Sarita
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I hope I can share this here - it seems like it could interest a lot of you, especially if you're based in the UK or Europe (due to timings).

https://stayathomefest.wordpress.com

I haven't tried any yet, but it's worth a try.


Sarita
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I'm in the break phase of my MG rewrite, priming myself for the big edit.

Last time, apart from using my own instincts and the feedback of a manuscript editor and a few Beta readers at a later stage, I trudged through a list of editing tips from a couple of sources I'd read and tried to absorb. I've now read several more 'how to' books and have a collection of notes building up. Ideally I'd whittle all the knowledge down to a couple of pages and work through it systematically when I go back to do the edit. But I know that's not going to happen - there's just too much stuff to keep in mind.

How do you deal with the editing process? Do you have a series of points you work through? Do you follow a system you found in a book? Have you created your own cheatsheet-style document which you've found covers all the bases?

Sarita
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I was wondering how you all feel about what lengths we should go to to make dialogue sound authentic. 

This came up when I asked on a FB writers group about what current (pre-)teens would say for 'to diss someone' or 'she's off her rocker' or 'she's really buzzed' (meaning excited). I felt (feel?) if a teen is talking (I'm doing Middle Grade), he/she should use the words a real teen would. I'm aware there are regional differences, but I find that makes it more colourful and adds to my characters and what it says about them. Others commented that it's best to avoid trendy teen-talk, that it dates the book.

Perhaps a balance is good? Not making the text dense with swearwords, 'likes' and the latest buzzwords, but throwing a few in here and there - a bit like Harry said in a previous blog entry about regional dialect and how to deal with it. Any opinions?

Sarita
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It's a minor issue, but it's still bugging me. 

We all know we should indent our paragraphs except the first in each chapter, right? That seems to be the generally accepted rule. But however much I try to get used to it, when the first line is dialogue (especially if it is followed by more dialogue), it looks a bit weird. Is it just me? 

How do you do it? Do you stick to the rule hard and fast? Or is dialogue an exception to the rule?

(cue discussion about British and American styles, different rules for different publishers and anything else that muddies the water and makes our job harder ;-)

Sarita
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Is anyone else fed up of reading about how every scene has to have tension, drama, conflict, obstacles? Is it just me that wants my protagonist to have some scenes where she at least THINKS things are going well? I mean, I'm writing for Middle Grade and I want kids to think about getting balance in life not freak them out by presenting them with obstacle after obstacle, disaster after disaster, but agents seem to be asking for roller coasters with more downward rushes than my heart can cope with. Not every kid at the fair wants a high adrenaline ride, right?

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