In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?
Whoa. That's a loaded question. It implies discipline on my part, if nothing else.
I wasn't going to address this topic until my first posts in the New Year, when I look back on all I've done (if anything) over the year, and on what I'd like to continue doing or start to do.
The quick answer is, I'd like an agent and a traditional book deal!
The longer answer involves knuckling down and editing. I'm really struggling with how to achieve this, because I tend to edit on paper, and if I force myself to move past the feelings of You Suck!, then I can read my novels and scribble edits just fine during my commute.
But then I need to carve time to type up those edits, and I don't really have a system in place at home to achieve that. I don't want to make excuses or anything, but I think if I'm going to get work done in the mornings (which is the longest solid block of time), I'm going to need a new laptop. That way, during the actual commute, I can read on paper, then I can get to work early, sit down in the lounge/cafe area, and get some on screen work done (hello, Scrivener!).
I'm sure you're all riveted by these minute details! But thinking aloud on the blog has helped me see that this is perhaps the only way. Now, why didn't I think of this last week while all the Black Friday specials were on in stores?
I've just completed another year of National Novel Writing Month!
Got a brand new story -- not counting my paranormal romance (or anything written in my teens), this is actually my very first contemporary novel. Also my first mystery/suspense. It was lots of fun to write!
Here's the brief blurb I wrote for the NaNoWriMo page:
The Charm of Time
A man and a woman meet at a mechanic's garage and fall in love. Theirs is a whirlwind courtship 35 years in the making -- they've been waiting all their lives, without knowing it, to finally come together, all thanks to a broken down car.
Sounds like a happily ever after. Yet three days after they've met, during a weekend getaway in the Alps, the world-famous chef at their hotel is found dead.
Suicide of a celebrity? A personal murder? Or something more...
As threats to their lives come swifter and closer, the couple's new found love is put to the ultimate test. How well can we know another human being? How long does it take to establish trust?
How many secrets do we keep?
And here's the first draft of the opening:
Christianne didn't wait for the tow truck to pull into the mechanic's garage, but jumped out as soon as the driver had pulled up before the wide double doors, and headed for the door marked Office.
The sign on the frosted glass indicated that the place would be closing in a quarter of an hour. The streets were deserted in any case; she was the only fool still out in the middle of the old city at close to ten at night on a Wednesday.
She entered into a tiny box of a lobby with a wide staircase rising up directly in front of her. There was just space for a spindle-legged table holding a bowl of business cards, and an umbrella stand perched on the bottom step, above the black and white tiles gleaming in the strong ceiling light -- not fluorescent lighting, she remarked. The place looked more like a dentist's than a mechanic's entrance.
Both were equally unpleasant places at this time of night at the end of a long and tiring day. There was still the days of waiting to come, before she heard the results of her latest scan. The thought of having to do this every few months for the next five years of her life -- and that if she was lucky '-- was insupportable.
"There is no luck," she muttered, and trudged up the steps. "I'll make my own way."
At the top, she squared her shoulders and pushed into the office, perhaps more forcefully than she'd intended. The frosted glass rattled in its frame as the door swung shut after her.
Here was something new. Rory looked up from where he was unpacking his takeaway Thai and studied the new arrival. He hadn't had a customer this late on a Wednesday since that teen hockey club had had their coach break down just before they were due to leave on a cross country tour. He stayed open on Wednesdays and Thursdays because he couldn't very well go to the gym every night, and being the only place available at this time of day brought in enough additional income to make it worth his while. Nothing on at home, in any case. He might as well eat his takeaway here as on his sofa in front of the TV.
And the clients were marginally more interesting.
He stopped crinkling the plastic bag, fingers still clutching a clump of chili sauce packets, and pretended to be glancing down at his phone as he studied the newcomer from under his lowered lids.
Tall -- she was nearly a foot taller than his wee receptionist Melisande -- and about his age, though as he neared 40 he'd begun to realise that everyone looked the same damn age, except for kids and people stretched by facelifts. Hell, anyone younger than 30 seemed like a kid to him nowadays. When had he gotten so middle-aged?
This woman didn't look as dowdy as he felt. Her shoulders sagged as she leaned over to fill out the form Melisande handed him, and her hair had that end-of-day draggliness, but her mouth was soft, and turned up at the corners -- life hadn't given her a permanent frown. She was trim, too, though it was hard to tell under layers of winter clothing. But her legs were slim, long and tapering into ankle boots with a slight heel. He had a sudden image of her striding up to him in those boots -- and only those boots -- and pushing him back into his chair. "I've been a very bad boy, aye."
He realised he'd spoken aloud. But there was a glass divider and a few metres of space between his desk and the reception area, and maybe they'd assumed he was on the phone. He fiddled with it and rustled some paper and tried to cover up his words under other misleading sounds.
Then he dropped everything and strode up to the front.
Did you write a story during NaNoWriMo?
Add your links below if you've got snips to share!