I thought I would get to the end of my current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, yesterday…
I expect many of you have reached this point, only to have the same thing happen to you.
In my head, one by one, each character had a but, and to be fair, they were legitimate buts.
Consequently, I spent the evening reviewing their ideas. I realised the story was nowhere near finished.
I eventually switched off my brain and went to bed after scribbling several pages of notes and detailed plans for at least three more chapters. As I fell asleep, I knew why this had happened. It had happened before with one of my earlier books. After staring at the story, day after day, I had become obsessed with coming to the end, as if this would magically be the answer. Of course, it never is. On that earlier occasion, the ending I came up with was rushed, and it showed. Badly…
Endings are so essential to get right. It’s a shame they came at a time when we wish we hadn’t started…
Is this bad habit just me, or have any of you had this problem?
My days get busier than ever, so allocating just one is difficult. Wednesday is always WIP day, even though other things constantly get in the way. As usual, fate stuck his nose in, deciding my morning.
I started well, waded through the emails, checked comments on WP and made inroads into our media overload, almost ready to start writing…
When the mouse started playing up again.
Jumping around like an idiot, refusing to go where I pointed, not doing a bloody thing for my happy Wednesday. This happened last month, and I ended up buying a new mouse. Surely it can’t want replacing already?
So, I did what any self-respecting blogger should do, I switched everything off and moved to my writing chair.
I read an interesting post from Joan Hall today about WIP…
I was in heaven for the next hour as I worked on my current villain. I like my bad boys to be special and very human, so it’s always a pleasure to be in their company. I wondered why this was and if it said something about me? I mean, creating heroes doesn’t fill me with this much pleasure. Almost, but no cigar, if you know what I mean…
The other odd thing about writing is that I get such promising ideas while doing it. Ideas for different projects, so I must have a notebook beside me.
I also read another interesting post about Writing and Covers from the Story Empire. Timely, too, for I am wrestling with creating a new cover for one of our books.
I have also saved a copy of an article about Newsletters, something I really need to study.
It is lunchtime, and it’s been a wonderful day already … not counting the mouse! They say the devil works in clever ways…
I seem to have a lot in common with the house I live in these days.
Like me, it is starting to crumble. Cracks appear almost as I watch, making me wonder if there is a time limit on buildings. I mean, how much longer can it stand. I hope it lasts a little longer than I do!
I have never liked this house much, it’s nearly two hundred years old and quaintly called a cottage. God knows why, as it has large rooms with very high ceilings.
Ten years ago, after the worst luck in our history, this house was a much-needed lifeline when we desperately needed one. We grabbed it with both hands, collectively, of course.
After the ancient and dilapidated static caravan, this house seemed like a mansion. We thought we could be happy here, even without central heating and on a very busy main road.
After the postage stamp of a garden at the caravan, I was in seventh heaven when we moved here. A communal garden shared with three other families; our given space was a long section of overgrown wilderness that begged me to roll up my sleeves.
Despite my efforts, this garden has always beaten me. I swear everything can grow faster than I can think. Over the years, it has gradually reduced me to the bare minimum of control.
I have tried to turn my brain off to avoid thinking about the futility of it all. As they say, it is what it is, and there’s not much we can do about any of it…
The past twelve months have quite literally been a nightmare with all those hospital trips; the uncertainty and the long periods of waiting have played havoc with our lives.
So many things have suffered along with our family. It has been a time of indescribable worry when we have had to make do, try to cope with the basics and ignore the pile of jobs that seem to lurk in every room (and garden)
Of course, the most neglected job (and I still call it that even though I love every aspect of it,) is my writing. It hasn’t been entirely abandoned, although to be fair, most of it has been going on inside my head.
As Anita’s health slowly improves, although not entirely resolved yet, I have found a few odd moments to scribble away at my WIP (Ghost of a Chance, book four in my DI Snow series) to the glorious word count of 20,573 words. I am reasonably happy with my progress, although in retrospect, the story is just the bare bones at the moment.
My first draft tends to be just a glorified outline, as I have learned to depend on my characters teaching me about their lives. As you can imagine, this usually results in a very messy first draft, as so much is added as I go along. It’s probably not how you should write a story of any consequence, but it seems to work for me these days.
A retired detective turns private investigator to solve a case the police dismiss. Injured on the job, Snow is forced into retirement, but not ready to stop solving cases. He witnesses a serious mistake which triggers a strong desire to help the victim, a helpless old woman.
An officer resents Snow’s interference and determines to stop him somehow. But other forces are at work here, frustrating all efforts to save the victim.
Can Snow control these forces that are at work against him, or must he suffer defeat again?
We are looking forward to a year of peace and quiet, time to recharge our batteries and catch up on all those neglected things. We also hope that this year will be so much better than the last one!
There have been days in the last six months when I have had trouble doing anything writing-related. Days when I rely on autopilot to get me through the day.
What with all the worry about my sister’s health, my primary job as a carer has pretty much removed all hopes of my writing anything. Consequently, the current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, has become static. On a good day, I sit and look at it, hoping inspiration or something similar will turn up, but then duty or a problem calls, and I must walk away again.
Stubborn is as stubborn does though, and I have a new plan.
Ghost of a Chance has become a complicated mess with storyline plot holes big enough to swallow my desk and only two-thirds finished. I have realised that to keep writing, hoping it will make better sense as I go on, would be disastrous, eventually making the problem worse.
So, and I’m getting quite fond of that word, I have a new plan.
I have created a blank storyboard for all my characters, and I am slowly reading each chapter and placing them in what I hope will be the right places. This system should highlight the missing parts too, I hope.
Now I am no longer concentrating on the concluding chapters, I think I will be able to sort everything out, thereby making finishing it a real walk in the park. (Or at least something similar!)
Anita is home from the hospital, but far from well. We are taking good care of her and hoping for the best. And good news in two weeks at her check-up would be lovely too…
After struggling to finish this story for what seems like an awfully long time, I just seem to be digging myself a bigger hole to hide in.
I have made so many mistakes with Ghost of a Chance, and I don’t think it has much to do with the state of the world or the health problems we are still dealing with. Although to be fair, it might…
This is the first time I have ever created the cover before ever picking up a pen, and when I look at it now, it sends icy shivers all down my back. That evil face glares at me, and I swear he wants me to crawl away somewhere and die.
This, of course, is silly.
I created that cover and the antagonist on it, so why am I having so much trouble writing every page he appears on?
Ghost of a Chance is Book Four of the DI Snow Series, the one that follows the story of Snow’s awful ordeal of being shot with a crossbow in CrossFire.
Detective mysteries are my thing, writing a haunted mystery was nowhere in my head, and if writing them means I get haunted by the ghosts involved, I think I will give them a miss in the future.
This new story is supposed to be about Snow going back to work (or not?) Mending his marriage (or not?) Pastures new and new cases to solve, all those things. How a ghost found its way into the mix still baffles me, but I owe it to Snow to solve the puzzle.
Never one to walk (or run) away from a challenge, I need to lay this ghost, if that’s what he is, and hopefully before the end of the year, for we have plans for 2022…
Have I finally lost my marbles? I would love to know what you think…
I thought I had better update my progress today before my muse and/or madness put an end to my struggles.
I think I mentioned last week that there was a serious problem with the plot of my work in progress, Ghost of a Chance. Despite all the patience in the world and several brainstorming sessions, I don’t think I am getting anywhere. Fast.
In fact, the more I study it, I keep finding other problems too. Of course, none of this is supposed to be happening before the end is written, but probably better now than later. At the close of play yesterday (I am joking by the way) there seems to be three muddles. The major one, where a crucial moment seems to have happened far too late in the story, and second, I seem to have written the same conversation in at least three chapters. Added to this list is a character I seem to have forgotten all about.
I almost concluded that the bin was the best place for it, but luckily, my stubborn streak wouldn’t let me do it.
On a more positive note, I have managed to isolate one particular chapter, and if it can be sorted out, will point the way to a satisfactory outcome.
So, this is my target for this afternoon… and unbelievably, I am looking forward to it!