Friday, 16 April 2010

The sun is shining and the prospect of doing an MA is becoming real.

What am I doing? This is a question I keep asking myself, I feel torn right down the middle. On the one hand, I'm about to cost my family a small fortune and split them down the middle to develop what has mostly been a hobby. On the other hand, I was making a career as a writer before Léonie was born and want to go develop my writing.

It feels like I'm breaking my family up, leaving the man I love more than anyone else in the world and setting up a second home as a single parent. Just for writing! It doesn't help that I've got two unconditional offers from universities but not from the one I wanted to study at for practical reasons. Actually, I think Portsmouth would suit me best as a course.

Anyway, while we agonise over how we split up the furniture, the kids and the finances, I still have assignments to do. TMA 4 is off being marked, life writing over. I have learned one very valuable lesson though, it's really really powerful. Using that intensity to bring fiction to the reader has to be good. Hate the experience though I did, I have a lot more respect for those who do life writing and I am starting to read bits of it.

I'm most of the way through a short story for a competition, about a Viking funeral. It's nice to be writing something less complicated again! I have one assignment left for the OCA so I must send that off. I am a bit lost about what to send, I have some short stories in the pipeline to edit (and could use the editing part of A215 to do it, I suppose!) but as always, I'm in love with what I am writing. I so enjoy writing first drafts, the subsequent edits are just painful! I expect I'll do the first chapter of the Chancel Hall book. I could do with a bit of a break really. I'm supposed to be planning a trip down to the Island (Wight) for a bit of relaxing camping but I'm not sure we can afford it. I need to sit down with a spreadsheet and work it out.

If there is another novelist out there, gently banging their head against the desk like me, can I recommend a book? The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman is an amazing exposition of all the major cock ups we make - that translate through the whole book. I'm lost in it at the moment, it's making me review everything I write in a different way. Fantastic little book for £8.99, looking at all the reasons your book is rejected within the first five pages - or paragraphs - or even sentences. It's a whole course in a book, fantastic.

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