Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Project 10K December 2017

with one comment

Plans for December? Nope. Life has gone slightly awry since the month started.

November goals:

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?

Yes, I completed NaNoWriMo successfully.  I wrote 50000 words and that seems to have exhausted my creative juices. I also had a successful pitch event on 27th November with a lovely agent who gave me some great suggestions on my book. Now I need to pull my finger out and make the changes she suggested before resubmission.

2. Did you have fun writing?

Yes, definitely and I want to keep on writing about my new character’s life.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?

Yes, because posting my plans is a great way to keep me on track and accountable.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?

I don’t think anything else exciting happened in November. It was all about NaNo and the opportunity to pitch.

 

December goals:

December has started like a damp squib – any writing will be a bonus.

1. Read 9 books and get them back to the library by the end of the month.

2. Edit the first 3 chapters (approx 8k-words) of my book post-pitch.

3. Get a 1000-word ‘Christmas’ story ready for my writers’ group on 12th.

4. Participate in one Friday Fictioneers’ challenge – I’ve missed the last two.

 

 

Advertisements

Written by Sarah Ann

December 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm

OLWG#26 – Micropoetry – #amwriting

with 2 comments

This week’s New Unofficial On’Line Writer’s Guild prompts leant themselves to being an American sentence all by themselves. Very lazily and only slightly adapted, here are 17-sylables:

‘You can learn a lot from books,’ the gypsy woman said. ‘Mine’s out March 1st.’

I need to spend longer than 25-minutes coming up with a response to these, and to stop using the prompts as titles. However, taking each prompt in turn I’ve stuck with poetry this week: a haiku, a cinquain (although having read the original post on these, I’m not sure the stresses are right at all), and a shadorma. Having broken away from the grip of NaNoWriMo, I decided to have a bit of fun.

 

You can learn a lot from books

eccentricity

more read about than achieved

he practised daily

 

The gypsy woman said

Happy,

I see you are.

May it last forever.

On the other hand it may not.

Useless.

 

It won’t be available until April 1st

*Her new book:

glossy front cover,

overpriced,

badly writ.

April fools’ day a good day

to launch such drivel.

 

* ‘The’ did not fit here, feel free to replace ‘her’ with ‘his’.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

#NaNoWriMo – getting there – #amwriting

with 10 comments

NaNoWriMo was progressing well, slowly but surely. It is good to have a word counter that also gives percentages. By the end of day two, I had written 3800 words, which I was reliably informed was 8% of the target, and this gave me hope. Strange the effect percentages can have compared to raw numbers.

The words were flowing freely, but that might be because I am writing a stream of consciousness novel, in the present tense. I wondered if I might get stuck with nothing to say mid-month. I didn’t, and haven’t now I’m nearing the finish, but on day 9, I went back to the beginning. My story had gone off-track; I was venting about my stuff rather than discussing what my character needed to say.

I lost a couple of ‘home alone’ days late in the month as they were filled with other stuff or hubby’s appointments were cancelled. This meant I needed to work harder at the front end of the month. All good in theory, but on 6th Nov I received an email inviting me to pitch my existing novel on 27th. So I had a new priority, learning how to pitch a novel and getting the pitch word perfect. My NaNoWriMo word count fell behind and I have consistently remained about two days behind where I need to be. I worked on my pitch, which got me back into my novel, but the structure of the pitch was superfluous in terms of the lovely informal chat I had yesterday. I am still unsure if I am able to summarise my novel in an enticing way given that Broo Doherty had read my synopsis and first three chapters and had lots of useful advice on how to take the work forward.

The good thing with this year’s NaNWriMo has been that, as I get the bare bones down, I can see where I need to go back and pad out with muscle. As this story takes place in one day, with flashbacks telling the reader how my protagonist came to be standing on the edge of a cliff, there is going to be a lot of cutting and pasting to make a coherent narrative. Character back-stories will need to be developed and incorporated on a third or fifth draft, but I am hopeful I am making notes of these requirements as I go. This is a development from my previous NaNoWriMo attempt in 2014, which was put away and only resurrected relatively recently. As I read through it last month, I noticed the holes and found a whole load of other stuff that needs explaining more fully, as well as characters I’m not sure are needed. Hopefully by the end of this month I will have 50000-words and maybe another 1000-words or more of questions to answer/ research to do to make the story consistent, which is more than I managed last time. I am only just identifying the jobs needed to sort out my 2014 efforts. At 42000-words or thereabouts this time, and with only two-days until the finish, I might not ‘win’ this year, but at least I took part and wrote a story that didn’t exist a month ago.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

OLWG#25

with 4 comments

I have finally got to posting my response this week’s OLWG prompts and had fun with an American sentence, a cinquain, and a haiku. I used the prompts as titles, but that’s boring. For a great poetical example of what else you can do with them, go see TN Kerr’s wonderful post.

 

She smiled that way

He spent years waiting. And here she is. Time’s up. Gorgeous; his assassin.

 

It’s a curse

Ginger.

Springy tight curls

Sally hated her hair.

Everyone else loved it, not her.

Jealous.

 

 

Money to burn

shock inheritance

party hard and long, repeat

easy come, gone soon

 

Written by Sarah Ann

November 25, 2017 at 11:40 am

Posted in OLWG, Poetry

Tagged with , , , , , ,

#FridayFictioneers – 24/10/17 – Lucky Charm

with 37 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

Once I got to thinking, this week’s story came quite quickly, but a decent title remained elusive.

Thank you twice Rochelle, for your photo and for hosting.

 

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Lucky Charm

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Marion looks high and low for Keith’s shirt, in the washing basket, the ironing pile, the airing cupboard. She remembers getting it ready for his interview, starching the cuffs and collar, laying it on the bed. What happened next is gone. She has searched everywhere and it is nowhere. Keith isn’t worried, doesn’t know the shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons is his lucky one. The last job, the house exchange, the Pullen contract, he was wearing it when he won all those, and Marion worries.

Keith gets the job.

His shirt reappears a week later amongst the bed sheets.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

November 24, 2017 at 9:28 pm

How to pitch a novel? #amwriting

with 7 comments

How do you? Please can someone send me the foolproof answer, like yesterday?
I’ve looked online, read a number of articles, and tried to sit through some Youtube videos. So far I know I need:

(1) a hook/ the elevator pitch – the attention grabber in around 20-words;
(2) 2-3 paragraphs/ 2-3 minutes about the book including title, genre, setting, protagonist, the conflict and how she overcomes it. These words need to be simple, clear, irresistible, and an interesting description of the novel that captures its best qualities and sells it in a most intriguing way;
(3) to be confident in my presentation;
(4) to say why I was best placed to write this book and where the idea came from;
(5) to say what is unique about my book;
(6) to identify where the book will sit on the bookshelf and comparative works/ authors;
(7) to know about my prospective agent and the authors she represents and where I might fit on her list.

I have less than a week until my pitch. I will never be (3). I think I have the answers to (4 -7). I am still at a complete loss with (1) and (2), which are sort of the important bits. I keep writing and re-writing the opening to the pitch hoping the killer lines will appear eventually.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm

The Telepathwriter – Using every opportunity #amwriting

with 2 comments

An elbow to the ribs in the middle of the night, as hubby woke suffering excruciating cramp, got me thinking. He was asleep ten minutes later whereas I didn’t drop off again for another four hours. I read a bit, usually a sure fire way to drop off, but not this time. I scribbled a bit, in the notepad by my bed by torchlight, and worked on some 100-word stories as well as drafting this blog post. After two-and-a half hours of lying quietly growing ever more frustrated, I thought about getting up and making myself a drink and hitting the laptop. However, hubby and I live in a very small space with creaky floorboards and I would have woken him. While he says I’m like a bear with a sore head with no sleep, he is worse.

I was starting to get delusional in my imaginings when I began to wonder how long it will be before the Telepathwriter is invented. The Telepathwriter needs another name obviously, but insomniac writers the world over need it. As we lie waiting for sleep and brilliant ideas weave their way into our minds, we need the electrodes taped to our temples to capture and transmit our thoughts straight to a document file. All those wonderful pre-sleep notions and incarnations will be caught forever. Over-writing will be a thing of the past as immediacy and freshness are caught on the page. No longer will those brilliant story plots be lost when we wake. I haven’t actually planned the machine besides the basic concept. Someone with a more technical or scientific bent needs to draw up some blueprints. Perhaps during another bout of insomnia I might come up with an outline design… if only I can remember it in the morning.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

%d bloggers like this: