Ready, Set, Novel: Swinging into 2014

I awoke on the first day of this year with the desire to write a novel.  After deciding last year that I wanted to step it up a gear and after subsequently penning a few short stories, Ive since felt the need to bite the bullet and blaze down that ambitious and lonely path. (Poor me).  I’ve also given up smoking this year and so far (day 9) its going well.  (ten packets of bourbon biscuits later).  A great tool I accidentally stumbled upon is this writers workbook, ‘Ready, Steady, Novel’.  I picked it up last week in Waterstones and its fantastic!  I’m finding it really thorough and inspirational in planning and crafting ideas.  Its helping me become more structured as I have a tendency just let rip on the page without fully developing and exploring my initial ideas, which I feel in a way can have positive elements but I definitely need to ground myself with the finer details. There’s great sections on character profiling with family trees which definitely stretches the imagination in creating interesting and developed characters.  There’s lots of fun writing exercises and even a ‘Procrastination station’ where you’re given pictures of famous authors to colour in as you ponder ideas for your masterpiece.  Fun!

ImageMy story happens to be set in 1920s New York, a period I have always been fascinated with.  I’ve been spending a lot of time researching through library books and the internet for historical facts, social commentary, imagery.  I like to completely lose myself in the world i’m writing about and I can only write well if I can see, feel, hear and smell the scenes in my head.  I’ve been immersing myself in the sounds of 20s jazz and blues, which id already been stuck on throughout the past year and I’m really feeling it!

ImageI’m going at my own pace and don’t have a deadline date penned in just yet but I’m trying to stay focused and write a bit every day, no matter how little.  I’m making sure I have time to read every day, usually before bed, either a novel (Still on Anna Karenina, page 700, nearly there!) or a short story (currently Truman Capote, Daphne Du Maurier and Weird Tales Best of) as Santa was good at bringing me books this year.

ImageHope everyone is having a great start to 2014, happy new year.  I can feel its going to be a surprising and interesting one..