When it comes to writing I am not a plotter. I can plan maybe a few scenes in advance, but that’s as far as it goes. I can’t even plan my characters because they reveal themselves to me as I write. For example I was writing Rosie on Wednesday and the antagonist suddenly revealed himself to me. Up until this point I had no idea who this was and at twenty five thousand words into a hundred thousand word manuscript I was starting to wonder if I even had one. You see I start with a scene of a new story and the writing goes from there.
This sounds lovely and creative and in many ways I enjoy it because I get surprised by what happens as much as the reader does. However this is proving problematic for me in regards to entering The Richell Prize. To enter the competition you have to submit the first three chapters (up to twenty thousand words) as well as a chapter by chapter synopsis. I don’t have chapters!!! I have natural breaks in the story followed by three of these things *. With the way I write the story it doesn’t really lean towards chapters very well and I’m freaking out a little bit. Enter the time honoured art of procrastination. As of this very moment I have sorted out one chapter and not even touched my synopsis. I do have time on my side but the past has taught me that I often vastly over estimate how much time is my friend.
This is why it’s absolutely fantastic that another writer I know, Marie, is entering the competition as well (you can check out her website here. Her book reviews are awesome and varied by the way). Through social media she is keeping me focused and honest about where I’m at with my submission and I have to say I’m really thankful. Without her I would leave it to the last minute and more than likely end up not entering because of it. Then I would be sad and angry with myself for not giving it my best shot and I don’t want to go down that path anymore. What is even better is that other writers we know through social media are supporting us.
The writing community as a whole is great and really, if you’re writing, get out there and connect. Pick a platform, start posting and make friendships. Twitter is pretty good for interaction, but I have to admit that Instagram is my first love. Follow your favourite authors and pretty soon you’ll find other like minded people. Take a look at my accounts on Twitter and Instagram (you can find the links on my contact page) and you’ll see what I mean. And if you want to say hi, I don’t bite or whatever the social media equivalent would be (that’s got me thinking).
So go and connect, writers love supporting each, especially as writing can be a solitary thing to do. And in this era of technology embrace the fact that there is someone at another device, cheering you on. You may never meet face to face, that doesn’t lessen their impact on you. Take it, run with it and write.
Have a happy and creative week everyone!