Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Writing Week

Hi all,

Nearly half way through the year and still, I estimate, only nearly half-way through the first draft of the novel I am writing. Hopefully, now that I am back using broadband, I will spend less time waiting for emails and facebook applications to appear and more time writing.

I think I have finally broken my new computer in, although I have a feeling that Office XP will be flashing a message at me in about forty days saying that it is no longer active because I have installed it on two machines. Originally I thought the software could only be installed on one machine - my old computer - but it seemed to let me install it and activate it on my new computer. I have Open Office - a free clone of MS Office - as a back-up if XP starts to complain.

So with broadband saving me time and no more software and hardware to install and register, I wrote more than usual this week. I even had one of those sessions when writing didn't feel like a hard slog. I love those days. But isn't writing supposed to be a muse-run, fun-filled, extended burst of creative energy I hear you ask. Nope, not for me. I feel validated everytime I read about a successful author who finds writing a hard slog, like Nam Le, the Vietnamese born Australian author who is getting big raps for his short story collection "The Boat".

I sorted through the pile of articles from newspapers and the net on my desk and found one that I had ripped out of the AGE referring to a competition for a Young Adult novel of at least 25,000 words run by Text Publishing. The winner gets a contract and a $10,000 advance. I am suprised that Text is having such a competition because I thought that if any genre of Australian fiction was doing well it was Young Adult. I wonder what Text's attitude to speculative fiction is. Anyway, the competition closes on the 30th August so it can be announced at the Melbourne Writer's Festival.

I have read a few chapters of the novel I am critiquing. I worry about the info dumps in it because a large proportion of the first few chapters is background information. The information is interesting and entertaining, but I think I am going to have to start asking: is it necessary to move the plot forward?

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