I just looked at the date I last posted, 8th April, but it seems longer than that, much longer. April was a month of writing graft; I took part in CampNanoWrimo and made a start on the second draft of my novel. I set myself a target of twenty thousand words and surprised myself by actually achieving it. Every writer needs a formal goal; shame I’ve slacked a little this month but I do have an exciting reason for this.
So far, I’ve really enjoyed writing the second draft, editing away the superfluous chaff and crass gratuity; there’s a lot of unnecessary swearing in the first draft, but hey, that’s what first draft’s are all about. I see the story very clearly now, and the themes, and this helps the whole sculpting process. My characters are revealing more of themselves, a lot more, and this is impacting on the prose and narrative in a good way. I originally wrote the first draft in first person present tense, and this helped me to feel my way into the main protagonist’s voice, but the second draft I changed to third person present tense. I think writing in the third will open up greater depth, more psychic distance between me, the narrator, and all my characters, and add further dimension to the peripheral characters too. I decided to continue writing in the present so as to retain the immediacy and pace.
Anyway, as I said earlier I have a reason for slacking on wordage. My other blog, Older Mum in a Muddle, has been shortlisted in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards (BIBS) in the Writer category. To say I am an over the moon about this is an understatement, and I’ve been concentrating on pulling some imaginative posts out of the bag; I would really like to become one of the six finalists, but the competition is fierce this year, and I’m competing against some of my favourite bloggers too. Older Mum in a Muddle is currently the main blog, my space for personal musings on the grey flavours of motherhood; the good, the bad, and the illness. The blog is home to much of my creative writing and prose, and if you would like to send a vote my way *cheeky wink* then please do so here… (voting ends this Friday, 16th May)
But I’ve saved the best news for last…. a couple of weeks ago I applied to become a mentee on the WoMentoring Project which pairs professional literary women with up and coming female talent. Am I up and coming? Well that’s purely subjective, and I didn’t expect to hear anything back – it was challenge enough writing the application – but then I had the best news of the year on Friday; I received an email from the mentor I’d applied to, SJ Bradley, to say that she had chosen me as her mentee. I had to read her email three times over before it all sank in. I’ve already sent her the unadulterated first draft and what I have of the second so far. I’m really looking forward to working with her – she has a novel, Brick Mother, out this month – and I can’t wait to receive her feedback ; the input is just what my novel needs to ratch it up another level. And she’s mentoring me for a whole six months, exceptionally generous given the amount she has on her plate at the moment. Exciting times indeed.