Sunday, September 28, 2008

My writing week (22)

Hi all,

Right now I should be finishing writing up the critique of that novel, but my attention span seems to be no more than an hour at the moment, with mini-lapses every five minutes or so.

Although I have still written every day this year, my word count halved again last week. My excuse is that I was writing my very first sex scene, sort of anyway. I think it might challenge the winner of that award they give for the worst sex scene published in a year.

I didn't do much reading last week, but I am looking forward to finishing the novel I am reading which is dragging a bit. It's part two in a four volume epic and having learnt that volume three wont be printed until 2010 and volume four until 2012, I think I will wait until 2012 before I read book three. I am looking foward to reading some shorter, non-sequelled novels.

Martin Livings last report on his 45 day attempt to write a 90,000 word novel, is from day 17 when he had written 32000 words:

My attention span is...


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My writing week (21)

Hi all,

Increased hours at work again cut into my writing time last week with my word count being only half that of two weeks ago. I did, however, finally finish reading the novel I am critiquing. Only took me about four months, which is no reflection on the novel which was very good, but unfortunately it lost a bit of momentum towards the end. I also finished reading How to Build a Time Machine, by Paul Davies, which I will review in the coming weeks.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Print-on-demand arrives in Melbourne.

Hi all,

Print-on-demand has finally arrived in Australia. An article in the Age gives details.

I would stilll, like most writers, prefer being selected by a reputable publisher than take the self-published print-on-demand route, but for writers who are good at marketing themselves and have a big web or blog following, print-on-demand might be preferable for them.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

My writing week (20)

Hi all,

The University of Canberra's writing department has gained a bit of prestige with the winner of the first Prime Minister's Literary Award for fiction being an ex-student. Steven Conte won with a historical novel called The Zookeeper's War. He also did a PhD in literature at Melbourne University. I wonder in any of the teacher's I had for my master's taught him. He's a first time novelist and 42, so good on him to beat the usual bunch of award winners. Incidentally, it took him ten years to write.

Increased hours at work and tired eyes reduced my writing output this week from last week, but my word count was still good compared to previous weeks. I am probably three-quarters of the way through chapter 15, at the "refusal to return" stage. I just looked that up in The Writer's Journey and my main character is about to literally refuse to return. As I have previously said, although I did not plan this novel with the Writers/Heroes' Journey in mind, it is definitely following it.

Unfortuately, I did not finish reading the novel I am critiquing. If work had not interfered I think I would have finished it. I have two chapters yet to read, about 24 pages. Hopefully I will find time this week, but my hours at work are set to be even more this week.

I only managed to read a few pages of a novel and a non-fiction book this week.

And the world didn't end when CERN turned their LHC particle accelerator on, but they are still yet to collide any particles together, I think that occurs sometime in October. I fear death by blackhole a lot less than death from a Putin-McCain confrontation.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

My writing week (19)

Hi all,

Last week I wrote the most words I have written in a day for over six years, this week I wrote the most words I have written in a week for over six years, yaaa me. I just need to keep increasing the word count. I finished chapter 14 last week and I am now just over 70,000 words in. The end looks another 30,000 words aways, at least.

Australian writer Martin Livings plans to write a 90,000 word novel in 45 days, 2,000 words a day. After day seven he had written 16,000 words. You can follow his progress at

I mentioned in my last post three writers in Albury who were in a contest to write a short 150 page novel in 72 hours. They not only got themselves a mention in the regional newspaper but they were on the local television news where one writer fessed up to being 30,000 words into her novel with about 12 hours to go. I figure 30,000 words is about 80-100 pages, depending on how much dialogue is in the story and how it is formatted. I wonder at the quality of writing done so quickly, but at least she will have something to edit, which I keep on reading is where the real writing is done.

One thing about taking a long time to write a novel is that I have had plenty of time to think about it and add bits and ideas. I have also collected lots of relevant information from newspapers etc for it. Realistically though, I have taken way too long to write it. Hopefully my word count each day and week will continue to rise to somewhere near Martin Livings' efforts.

I reckon, with a bit of luck, I will finally finish reading the novel I am critiquing this week. I've got 50 pages to go. It has been a good read, but at the moment it does not feel like it is building to a climax.

Too tired at night last week to read any books.

In the AGE: according the the last census, the number of Australians claiming to earn a living from writing or editing books was only 5,300. Not that many. The median age for an author or book editor is 48 according to the Aust. Bureau of Statistics.

Better do some writing if I plan to make that median age.