For those of my readers waiting to hear about the publication of Losing Face, here is the news. After a very fast start by Roundfire Books (an imprint of o-books), it looks as if everything has slowed down. So I am waiting for something to happen. It was suggested that I post a gentle prod on the publisher's forum - but alas, their website has recently changed and I cannot fathom out how to do it! Meanwhile, I have had trouble writing anything much else, probably because Losing Face's stagnation is forming a mental barrier to moving forward.
So I was rather stuck in the doldrums. But then along came November - National Novel Writing Month. Along with some other members of Norfolk Christian Writers, who I know, and thousands of others who I have never met, I have taken up the challenge to write a novel in a month. 50,000 of a first draft, that is. This is a very daunting task, but I have been much encouraged by, not one but, two writing buddies. So far I am only about 1500 words behind target (not counting today) but considering it takes about two hours a day, which I do not really have, I am quite pleased with the progress so far.
The new novel is a prequel, or sequel or even equel to Losing Face. In fact, is is probably all three. It is Em's story, whereas Losing Face is the story of her friend Cassie. It was probably the wrong story to pick as it needs a lot of checking up as I go along to match in with LF, which takes valuable writing time. But, heyho, I always do things the difficult way! I'm not sure quite what is Em's story - but it seems to be unfolding as she tells it.
But however the story develops, taking part in the challenge has worked for me. I am now forcing myself to write and surprising myself at the number of words I can achieve in snatched moments of time I did not think I had. I am enjoying the support of my two buddies as well. It no longer feels as if I am writing totally on my own.
So, based on less than a week of fast and furious imaginings and key-bashing, my recommendations for all stuck novelists are to team up with other writers who will encourage and inspire. Set yourself a target, and make it public. Remember to have some quiet time each day, to pray maybe or otherwise prepare yourself for writing. Then just immerse yourself in this strange other world of your own creation.
Oh, one more recommendation: forget the housework!