Happy New whatever

I have just renewed my WordPress subscription

And I’m wondering why.

Of all the writing I’m doing now, WordPress blogging is way down the list.

I have signed up for a course called Edit Your Novel which is taking a lot of my thought and writing time.

I signed up for the course despite not having a finished draft novel yet. Although that seems OK, because part of editing is working out the key parts of your story as much as going sentence by sentence with a red pen.

I’m doing a lot of writing (by hand! in my new notebook!) I’m looking at my supporting characters, some of whom only turned up in one scene. I have a note written in capitals in the top margin of my notebook: SUB-PLOTS ARE ALSO PLOTS. So I’m working out why these characters are in the story. What’s their story arc? What are they adding from their interactions with my main character?

I’ve decided that thinking about plot and characterisation is also editing.

Writing and thinking – I could do this all day. Except for having an actual job that pays me money to think and write about other things.

My end of secondment status has been confirmed – the woman on maternity leave who I’ve been covering, let’s call her Giselle, will be starting back at work in early February, so she and I will have a month overlap before I have to go back to my old job. I am sad to be going back because I’ve really enjoyed the past 10 months of doing my something different.

It’s going to be tough to keep motivated for these last two months. Because I love to plan, and I think that might help me stay focussed, I’ve drawn up a countdown chart for these last weeks and will start to fill it with all the things I want to get done before I leave. That will help me focus on what I want to finish and hand back as completed items.

As a bonus, here’s some character background that may or may not be actual text from my novel:

Tara stood on the promenade looking down at the people scattered across the beach that curved between the two headlands. She hated the bucket-and-spade fish-and-chip holidaymakers. She always had. Her hometown was at its best in the winter months, she felt, with no tourists around. The grey and miserable locals-only winter face was more real than the smiling summer sunshine face. Growing up, she couldn’t wait to get out, and since her parents had moved, she had had no reason to return. Until now. She checked her watch – ten minutes until she was due to meet Juliet for lunch. Would they recognise each other after so long? She nervously twisted the wedding ring she still wore. When am I allowed to take it off, she wondered.

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