It may seem as if I’m justifying my time here – but I worked really hard in February! I worked on the last draft of the first children’s book in my series this month. I’m nearly ready to send it off by the end of the week to a publisher’s competition. I feel as if I have another daughter, twelve-year-old Freya, the protagonist of my story. I am spending so much time in her head at the moment. I am always asking – what would Freya do here? Would Freya be friends with that girl? How would Freya walk if she were sad? What is the first thing Freya would do when she came home from school? I’ll probably be setting a plate and cutlery for her at the table tonight!
I also entered a short story into a competition, and I have an idea for another short story. I don’t want to spend too much time on it but it is haunting me, so I need to put some of it down on paper.
I’m going to a writing workshop in Sydney next weekend. The presenter is Kate Forsythe, author of so many wonderful books I can only type in a few – Wild girl, The beast’s garden, Bitter greens and many, many books for children. The workshop is about plotting and planning a novel. Authors are usually either a plotter (plans everything first, then writes) or a pantser (writes by the seat of their pants, has a rough idea and starts writing). Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo, who host the Australian Writers’ Centre podcast ‘So you want to be a writer?’, usually ask their guest authors whether they are a plotter or pantser. So interesting to hear the many and varied ways authors write their books. Of course, it is a sliding scale, and I sit closer to the pantser side. I start with a bit of a plan and write from there but I am someone who needs to write many, many drafts. I’m hoping to try out Kate’s detailed planning with my next novel, to see if it cuts down on the number of drafts. I am a pretty organised sort of person for my non-writing life, so I want to carry that across into my writing – that seems logical, doesn’t it? It’s worth a shot anyway – maybe I’ll convert to the planning style of writing or I might come back from Sydney feeling too constrained by all the details and go back to my old pantser ways.
And I also want to redraft the second book of my children’s series, which I wrote in November for NaNoWriMo. It has been sitting patiently on my computer, waiting for me to see it with fresh eyes. Second drafts are fabulous, because I know that the first draft is so terrible that anything I do to it will improve it enormously! And because it’s still big picture stage, there’s no pressure to make it perfect. So I’m looking forward to seeing the world through my twelve-year-old street artist’s eyes.
Thank you so much to everyone who reads my posts and comments. I love having conversations about books online – and in ‘real’ life. I would be grateful if you would forward on my posts to your bookclub group, or friends/family who like reading, or want to find some great books for their kids. Thank you!