A Change of Direction…


Hi guys :) How are you all?

Me? Well, you know, keeping my head above water…just.

This break from blogging has given me time to think and I’ve come to the conclusion that i need a change. Ive recently had the change of scenery (the house move) which has been great….but I’m still not feeling inspired to write fiction, even with my new study :( But what i am feeling inspired to do is BAKE! lol

Why am i finding so much pleasure in cooking at the moment? Is it because its a creative act that gets a quick result? Does that make it more fulfilling? I don’t know. But what i do know is that combining my love of writing with my love of food seems like a natural progression. So I’ve started a new blog…

The Kitchen Adventure is where i’ll be blogging from now on, well, for the foreseeable future, in the hopes that it will lead me back to fiction at a later date. I have to stop beating myself up and if that means taking a 6 month break from writing it, then I’m not going to see that as a bad thing. I want to have fun, i want some adventure, I’m bored…and if I’m bored, you guys reading this blog will be too.

Ive joined the RNA New Writers Scheme again, and I’m probably going to submit the Mills & Boon type novel i wrote back in 2012 (remember that? Sorrento Sunrise). I do have another couple of ideas for novels, and I’m hoping, that taking a break, one will call me…does that make sense?

Anyway, I’m so sorry i haven’t read any of your blogs recently, I’ve felt kind of hermit like to be honest, perhaps its the weather lol. Please don’t hesitate to e mail me (addy on the About me page) if you fancy a chat. And in the meantime, if you fancy some cake porn…just click the link above :)

Vikki xxx

 

RNA NWS Feedback


I was absolutely thrilled when I returned home from Swanwick to discover a large envelope had arrived which The Hubster left on my desk. He hadn’t let on during the week that it had arrived, but only because he didn’t realise what it was. I’m glad he didn’t tell me as I would have been begging him to open it lol.

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Sorry, for those of you new to my blog I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists New Writers Scheme. You send them an MS and then an anonymous reader gives you feedback. The readers are all full Romantic Novelist Association Members.

In my cover letter to my anonymous reader I explained that “Tangled” was in first draft form (I haven’t even reread it all the way through since I wrote it) and that I really didn’t have a clue where to start editing. Also, that I needed guidance on whether it was too “thrillery” to be considered “Contemporary Women’s Fiction” and I got my answers on both those questions….

The first sentence of the feedback cheered me up! My reader said “This has an interesting story line with a good twist at the end so that it possibly has the potential to become an exciting novel.” So far so good I think ;)

As regarding genre, my reader said “…the opening is exciting and shocking and quickly draws the reader in, leading to the expectation that some kind of thriller will follow. It would be worth considering therefore that the whole book should be developed as more of a thriller, by adding more suspense, intrigue and tension…. Hmmmm, ok, so it’s not a romance lol… I suspected as much.

She went on to write at least 1 paragraph of feedback under each of the following headings:
Genre
Beginning
Setting
Characterisation
Show not Tell
Meaningful Scenes/Dialogue
Pace
Emotional Tension and Suspense
Presentation – Layout/Punctuation
Synopsis
5 pages in all of feedback, mainly consisting of details where I could expand, scenes that don’t work, areas to work on and a good luck message at the end.

There was one thing that my reader said that I’d like your opinion on (I’m going to be asking everyone and his dog about this now lol). She suggested that i get in early details of the ages of my main characters because she thought the names Anna and Tim could suggest much younger characters (in my mind Anna is 48 and Tim 10 years older).What do you think? I don’t know anyone under the age of 50 called Tim. Would love your views.

On the whole I’m really pleased and would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my anonymous reader. Her feedback will be invaluable when I start editing :)

I can highly recommend joining the New Writers Scheme if you’re thinking about writing romance. Perhaps I should find out if there is a “thriller” scheme I could join instead now ;)

The 30 Day Writing Challenge


Well, I’m still recovering from Swanwick and have lots to think about over the coming week. What way to go with my novel “Still” and exactly how to go about implementing all the suggestions given to me on “Tangled” by the RNA.

You may remember recently I said I was bored with my blog? Well I did lol….but I’ve stumbled across Chrys Fey’s 30 Day Writing Challenge and I’m going to give it a go :) I won’t be doing the whole thing over 30 Days though, I’ll probably post a couple a week and in the meantime there won’t be a To Do List on Mondays…all say awwww.

Speaking to Kate McCormick last week she was telling me about her daily writing schedule. Kate works on different projects throughout the day and allocates time slots for each one. Even if shes really getting into something and comes to the end of the time slot, she stops.

I’m not sure my weekly to do list is working for me anymore. I think I need to do one every evening, plan what needs to be done the following day, as I’ve been finding that I’m crossing less and less off the list lol.

These are the things I need to do every day and that’s not including the food shopping, laundry, errands and general ‘housey’ stuff!

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Perhaps I’ll have to split the week up and work on the novels on separate days?

Today I’m off up to London to meet a fellow Blogger for lunch (very exciting!) and then I’m off to a Faber group meet. As usual, it’s all go ;)

Any tips/suggestions on a daily writing schedule would be much appreciated! I just don’t seem to be able to focus these days.

Reflections on Swanwick #Swanwick65


Well I’m home! Lol

As you can imagine this past week has given me a lot to think about, and when I got home my feedback on “Tangled” from the RNA New Writers scheme was sitting on my desk. I haven’t had time to go through it all yet, so I’ll post about that next week :)

So where do I start?

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I love Swanwick, but it’s always nice to get back. I’m a real homebird at heart and I feel incredibly lucky when I hear writers at the school say its so nice to be around people who they can talk to about their writing. The Hubster is very supportive and I realise that there are many writers out there who don’t have someone who is prepared to read their work out loud to them (for example) to help edit it.

I really do value every moment I’m there, but, it is incredibly exhausting and it’s only a couple of days before I start falling asleep in lessons :( (my apologies to any tutors who may be reading this who noticed me dropping off). I’m ok if I have to participate, but if I’m listening to a talk, it doesn’t matter how interesting it is, I’m dropping off (this is what happens when you only have 5 hours sleep a night!). I think the only night I was up past 11pm was on the Buskers night! :( Even if I do stay up, I’m still up between 5 and 6 so even more nodding goes on the next day *sighs*

Being a Steward the past couple of years I find myself talking to lots of newbies, aka “white badgers” and I was amazed to hear this year the amount of people say they will be back next year but will only do 2 or 3 days, because…..it’s exhausting. One lady said to me that she couldn’t afford Swanwick and a holiday, so this was her holiday this year. She was disappointed that she didn’t get any free time, and felt a complete wreck! Yes, I know we always say…. “you don’t have to do everything on the programme.” But, unfortunately, there is always so much great stuff to do you can’t help yourself.

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See what I mean?

A couple of people suggested to me that dinner should be an hour earlier (at 6) and hence all the evening events an hour earlier. One lady said she was disappointed that she hadn’t been able to take part in the Buskers night because it was just too late after a full days worth of dashing about. I’m wondering if we could just have 1 lesson in the morning and 1 in the afternoon? I know a lot of people want to get the most out of their time there, but, if it means newbies aren’t coming back because they know how rough they will feel for a week afterwards, is it worth it? Another lady said to me she would have liked to see “Time for you” on every single day, for at least an hour. Perhaps getting rid of the 1 hour workshops at 4pm is the answer? Is there only so much information you can take in before you start to go brain dead?

I dunno, I’m not a committee member, so who knows what next year will bring. I just hope all the people I spoke to will write their thoughts on the feedback questionnaire that we hand in at the end of the week. It will be interesting to see what transpires….

As for me, I’m slowly recovering (it usually takes me about a week) and the weekend will be spent unpacking and wading through the washing (mine and the stuff the family didn’t get around to doing) and catching up with your comments, e mails, Twitter and Facebook. I’ll start wading through the backlog of Blogs I need to read starting Monday :)

So a HUGE thank you to this years committee, who work tirelessly to make Swanwick – The Writers Summer School what it is. It was great to meet up with people I haven’t seen for a year, and meet others who I hope to see next year. I can’t imagine not attending Swanwick and now begins the 11 month count down *sniggers*

Must Do’s 22nd to 27th July


Ok, well i for one am fed up with the hot weather lol. I’m not a sun lover for starters. pale and pasty that’s me ;)

So last week I felt a bit meh and I think that’s related in the To Do list. Last week I was supposed to:

1. Post Tangled. YAY, it’s gone!

2. Do Artists Way stuff. Yep!

3. Start decluttering cupboard under stairs. Couldn’t face it.

4. Finish packing kitchen & dining room. *shakes head*

5. Sort out drawing class and enrol. Well, I found one, but, bloody hell soooo expensive! :( I need to find out if I can pay in instalments before I commit.

This week is gunna be hectic (and another hot one) so the diary looks like this:

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I’ll definitely need my Boxing Day come Sunday ;)

So what are your plans for the week?

Tangled – The Synopsis


Well, its gone off in the post to The Romantic Novelists Association *bites finger nails* So i thought I’d share the synopsis.

It’s not exactly a synopsis, more like a blurb lol

Tangled is a novel about love, loyalty and the consequences of betrayal.

Anna Scott is a middle aged housewife who is bored with her life. Marriage and the pressures of bringing up children have left her overweight and tired. What happened to the fun loving girl she used to be?

Her husband Tim, several years older and recently retired, is content to potter around his garden and spend the rest of his days relaxing. Anna feels that life is slipping her by and whilst on a girls night out with her best friend she meets Harry, who she once knew as a twelve year old boy when she was involved in his case in her professional capacity, as a social worker.

Against her friends advice she agrees to meet him for a coffee, just to catch up with how his life has changed. But Harry makes it obvious that he wants more than just a mutual friendship. Flattered, Anna soon finds herself involved in a passionate affair with a man 12 years her junior.

Harry tries to persuade her to leave Tim and after she stalls he visits Tim and tells him of the affair. Unbeknown to Harry, Anna has recently aborted his child and Tim takes great pleasure in telling Harry so..

Anna decides to stay with Tim but Harry starts to stalk her. He becomes aggressive and even sets fire to Tim’s car. As Anna and Tim start to rebuild their marriage Tim is found dead on the living room floor, stabbed by a knife that is missing from Anna’s expensive knife block. But who are the suspects? Harry seems the obvious choice, but did Anna really want the boring housewife life after experiencing the excitement of Harry? Or could Tim’s first wife Fay (the one he left to be with Anna) hold the key to Tim’s final hours?

Yeah, ok, it’s definitely more like a blurb isn’t it lol ;) But that might have something to do with the fact that I haven’t really decided who did kill Tim lol. I have a theory, I know who I’d like to see as the killer, and I know how I want the book to end. It’s completely finished, so at the moment the reader is kind of left wondering who the murderer is.

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Photo courtesy of Master isolated images at Freedigitalphotos

What do you think? Who killed Tim? ;)

Must Do’s 15th to 21st July


Well here in the UK summer has finally arrived, and as we’re all sweating our nuts off, being typical Brits it won’t be long until we’re all moaning about it *snigger* ;)

Sticking to my To Do List this week has been difficult…who wants to follow a stupid old list of stuff to do when you can sit in the garden and read? Plus, Albie’s arrival has kinda turned my world upside down and I smell of “dog” ;)

So last week this is what I was supposed to do…

1. Finish reading/critiquing Faber work for meet. Did that and had a lovely evening catching up :)
2. Decluttering/sort out hallway. Done, I had to, for Albie.
3. Take Tangled to the post office. *sighs* It’s still sitting in its envelope at the bottom of my bed…but…I’m going TODAY!
4. Clear up desk and writing stuff. Nooooo, fraid not, it was too nice outside to sit at my desk in the corner of my stuffy bedroom ;)

I started doing The Artists Way at the weekend. Spent all day Saturday having a major catch up session so I can take part in the FaceBook group I’ve been invited to join. This will be my 3rd time of doing it now and I’ve gone back to Morning Pages. Just gotta make sure it’s not a 3 page rant every morning lol ;)

So this weeks list looks like this, but I also have some Artist Way stuff to do…

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What are your writing plans for the week?