The days that say no

Here's the place to talk about today's email - "The days that say no" - in which I talk about that feeling of reluctance to grapple with your current draft. We've all been there. What's your solution? What's worked, what hasn't, what's your advice?

And here's a picture of apple blossom to make us feel happy.

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  • Lately (nb. never start a comment with an adverb) I was writing a 17C novel set in London but getting bogged down with the linguistics (how many would know or care what a 'flying pasty' or 'sirreverence' stood for?) and after a vivid dream I immediately moved to Mongolia (fictionally speaking) where my proposed farmer hero Gongor Khunbish and his eagle-hunter cousin Bat Erdine are about to benefit (or not) from a visitation of mushrooms from Mars. Having completed the first chapter I woke up the next morning energised to write Flash Fiction and start a 365-day blog.

    I do not recommend this method for those with vertigo.

    • Actually (to continue in your mode) I do get vertigo, so perhaps I'll refrain from rushes to Mongolia  😊 

      • Dear Poggle, it is better to have vertigo than no vertigo (think 'pun.') But seriously, I may have to go to Mongolia to flesh the scenes out. Google is all very well but . . . My uncle wrote Rose of Tibet using only an old ordinance survey map . . . and Googlemaps is so good (as one can actually get down onto the road surfaces and look around) but unfortunately one only sees Mongolia from the satellite. I need to know what peasant farmers eat for breakfast on the Steppes. Lots of stuff like that.

        Am thinking to go next summer. Anyone want to join me??

        • Hi Harry,

          I suspect I'm having a 'NO month'. Is that a problem?

          I've had my second book plotted (fairly roughly for a plotter, extremely detailed for a pantser) and researched for several weeks now and keep on finding excuses to not start it. I don't just waste time, I do all the other stuff I think will help (check out writing tips, read other books in the genre, browse writers' blogs, write short stories, research writing festivals, come to the Jericho forum, etc.). I fear it's because my first manuscript is out with agents and I'm gradually getting rejections back in dribs and drabs. It's not that this makes me want to give up, it's more that I think I might have to go back to manuscript 1 and do something genius to it to make it irresistible. I think this anticipation and the knowledge that changing something so radically would be a nightmare, is causing a block on the starting of project 2.

          How can I let go of M1 to allow myself to get creative with M2? Have you experienced this kind of urge/need to have one project completed (in this case accepted) before starting the next?

          • Yeah - that kind of thing is definitely part of the pro author's life. I'v experienced that kind of issue a million times, and so have most other pros. You just live, learn... and drink gin

          • The gin just makes you forget about M1? Or relaxes you into being creative with M2?

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