Hooray!! My second book is DONE!

After six accumulative weeks of writing, it’s finished!

Even though I knew that I was approaching the end, it only properly sunk in once I wrote the last sentence. I then realised that I have written two books in the space of a year, which is quite the achievement methinks.

Compared to the first book (which took eight months to write), I bashed out this latest yarn in no time! This is partially because the story is quite close to home, but also because my productivity has greatly improved. In all honesty, I am very relieved that this book took less time to write, as I would like to churn out as many books as I can during my lifetime! I have lots of ideas in the pipeline, so it would be nice to breathe life into them all.

But as most writers know, it would be impossible to develop every idea. There are simply far too many – ever-growing in number – and they can threaten to distract you from your current project. However, I have very good tunnel vision so I always give me full focus to my current project.

Now that the second book is done, I am sure that my next project will present itself to me. Out of my idea bank, I always go with the idea that naturally develops in my head… the one that resonates with me the most. At the moment, I’m developing a fantasy series, but another idea may well jump the queue in the meantime.

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Priorities and distractions

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I last posted! So here’s an update 🙂

The last you heard, I was taking a much-needed break from writing my second novel, after three intense weeks of conjuring HALF of the entire book! I was planning to carry on writing it after a week or so, but unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Instead, I took the time preparing my first book for a writing competition that I simply couldn’t miss out on (the prize is a £50,000 publishing deal, so fingers crossed for that one eh)!

And after I had submitted to this competition, other distractions then filtered into my life, namely Christmas and starting a new job. Before I knew it, weeks had passed since I last worked on my second book. I knew that the longer I left it, then the more difficult it might be to return to the story, but my focus remained on my first book. Since the New Year, I have been submitting my first book to literary agents, as well as polishing it for when somebody does hopefully decide to take it on!

In a few days’ time, once the polishing is done, I will finally be able to return to my second book. With any luck, I should be able to slip back into the story without too much trouble. It’s regretful that I have abandoned it for so long, but I can only do one thing at a time. I have never been any good at multitasking, but I am always determined and persistent in my endeavors. When I want something to get done, I stick at it until it is done. Everything gets done in the end, even if the progress can be painfully slow!

Knowing when to stop

Sometimes, it is very important to take a break, even if it is from something that you love doing.

This month, for example, I took part in a writing challenge called NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where you try to write 50,000 words of a novel throughout November. I was doing very well for the first three weeks, but then I started to grow weary and decided to call an end to the challenge. For the sake of my health and the quality of my book, I simply had to recuperate and stop writing for a few days.

However, with 40,000 words in the bag, I don’t feel like I have “lost”. There is no losing when you take part in NanoWriMo, as any word count that you produce is better than what you started with! And without the challenge, I would not have been spurred on to write such a large quantity of material.

But of course, it’s not all about the quantity. I’m a great believer of getting something right the first time, and so I put a lot of effort into producing an excellent first draft, which saves time later on when redrafting. This month, after three weeks of intense writing, I started to feel the quality of my work begin to slip, which is when I knew that I needed to rest.

Now that I have recovered from my mental exhaustion, I feel ready to carry on writing. I am nearly halfway through the book now, so I’m very excited to deal with the latter half of the narrative =)

Woaaah I’m halfway theeere! Woooaaah, living on a prayer!

So far, NaNoWriMo is going rather well!

I’m halfway through the writing challenge now and I’m generally managing to keep up with the daily word targets. Some days I fall behind, but I make up for that on super-productive days that bring me back up to speed! In addition to that, I am extremely pleased with how the book and the characters are coming to life =)

This year, the writing challenge is so much easier. For a start, I have grown leaps and bounds in self-confidence, so I am not afraid to pursue my goals and have lots of faith in myself. And also, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, as this has hindered my progress in the past.

All things considered, I think I’m actually in with a good chance to write 50,000 words! Of course, it helps that I have bags on time on my hands, which I am extremely grateful for. Lots of other people taking part in the challenge will be doing their writing alongside their jobs, so I count myself lucky that I have more time than most.

If you’re taking part in Nano, then I wish you the best of luck with your novel! If you’re not taking part in Nano, then I highly suggest that you try it out one day! They say that everyone has a book inside them, and I totally agree with this statement because everyone is unique and has something to say about our crazy world. So why not write a novel folks? It’s fun, I promise you!

For more information on NaNoWriMo, please visit my previous post: https://nickpetersonblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/as-one-book-ends-another-begins/

As one book ends, another begins…

On November 1st, I will begin to write my second novel.

Until a few days ago, I never dreamed that this would be the case. However, I have been swept away by inspiration and cannot deny the strong flow of creativity. An old idea, which has been bubbling for a long time in my subconscious, has finally matured and I think that it is time to bring it into the world.

As for my first book, “Pearl’s Hereafter”, the second draft should be finished some time this week. I am eager to distribute it among family and friends, so that they can give me feedback while I work on my new project. It may take a bit of time to get feedback from everyone, which is why I may as well start work on something new.

The new book will focus on the struggles of two university graduates as they navigate their way through the “real world”. This is a topic that is very close to my heart, and I want to write a story that accurately reflects the circumstances and hardships that all twenty-somethings face. Hopefully, it will be a very relatable book and might educate those who discriminate too harshly against young people.

Again, I shall be writing a drama/romance novel, which is not what I originally intended. Nevertheless, I’m just going with the flow and doing what comes to me. At some point, probably with my third book, I shall delve into an entirely different genre! As I’ve already mentioned, I shall start writing it in November, as part of NanoWriMo.

“What’s NanoWriMo?” some of you may ask. Well… NanoWriMo is a global community of writers, which comes together in the month of November for a very special challenge. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel during November. It is a personal challenge and it is up to you how seriously you take it. Last year, I got to around 40,000 words, and then wrote a further 130,000 words over the following months. This year, I reckon I can reach the 50,000 word target!

A call to return

Last week, I felt that it was the right time to return to my book. So that is exactly what I did.

For the past month or so, I’ve been setting up a business, which is still in production, but I simply can’t keep away from my book any longer. I got a calling from deep within my soul and I just KNEW it was the right time to carry on. This will probably delay the launch of my business slightly, but hey, it’ll get done at some point. That’s the problem with long-term ventures.. it can take a while to see the results!

Nevertheless, I am confident that I can see everything through to completion.  Now that I’m back to polishing my book, it’s like I’ve never been away. And, if I may say so, the revised prose is looking mighty fine! Taking a break has definitely given me fresh eyes and I can now quite effectively cut out the crap. Thankfully, there isn’t much crap to cut out, just minor tweaks and such.

Before long, I should be sending out the completed second draft to friends and family to see what they make of it. Hopefully, (fingers and toes crossed) they will enjoy it! So far, only three people have seen it, and they have given me good feedback, so I am pretty confident that it will go down well with others. I can’t wait to get it out there to a wider circle of people!

A break from my book.. while I work on something else :P

What’s this? I’m putting aside my first draft for a little while??

Yes, that’s right! In his book, “On Writing”, Stephen King suggests that when you finish your first draft, you should put it in a drawer for 4-6 weeks until you can look upon it with fresh eyes. Only then can you edit your work without sentiment.

At first, I wasn’t going to heed this advice. I started my story eight months ago, so I was looking upon the majority of my manuscript with fresh eyes anyway. But I understand what Mr King is saying, because I can be quite sentimental when it comes to editing.

As it happens, I have another project to work on in the meantime, which is brilliant because Stephen King actually recommends working on another project during this period! The project involves a lot of writing, so I’m still honing my craft with every passing day, and shall return to my book when the time is right.

I’m actually setting up my own business, you know! It’s a creative business too (hence all the writing).. basically, I’ll be writing and selling murder mystery parties! So I’m currently in the process of creating characters, storylines and all the other objectives which are required for such parties. And I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying the process!

When the website for the business is launched (probably some time in October), I’ll then return to my book and pick up from where I left off. Hopefully, I will have received all of my feedback by then too, so I’ll be able to plough on with the rewrite with completely fresh eyes!

P.S. Here’s a preview page for the business website.. I’m so excited xD (www.mysterycow.com)

And if you’d like to follow the updates of Mystery Cow, then why don’t you add it on Twitter? @mystery_cow

It’s done!!! I’ve finished my book! xD

Today was the day, after eight months of story-writing, that I finally crossed the finish line.

It’s been an intense two months getting it finished, but it was definitely worth it, because the first draft of “Pearl’s Hereafter” is now in the bag!

Now that I’ve finished, I feel relaxed and peaceful. When I wrote that last sentence earlier, I exhaled a happy sigh, because my task was finally done.

Wow. I’ve written a book. An entire, fully-fledged book! And I’m extremely proud of myself 🙂

Cruising to the finish line!

Back in April, I predicted that I would finish my book in July… and it looks like I was right!

At the rate I’m going, the first draft should be done by next week! Since I worked out how close I was to the finish line, I’ve been powering through the last several chapters, writing at breakneck speed to get it finished. When you’re so close to the end of the tunnel, you don’t want to stop! Recently, I’ve been writing a new chapter every 2-3 days, which roughly equates to 2000 words per day! Whew… it’s taking it out of me, but I’ve only got three more chapters to go, so I may as well keep up the pace!

It’s a very exciting and emotional time, wrapping up the plot and approaching the end of the characters’ journeys. After eight months of working on the book, it’ll be weird to finally say goodbye to it. You’ll have to forgive me if I shed a tear or two!

See you on the other side guys.

Could my book really be finished by July? xD

Sometimes when you write a novel, you end up veering off-course from your plan, as your story naturally evolves into something different. This is what happened with my novel, but there’s nothing wrong with that, because a plan is just a guideline anyway.

So recently, I’ve had to revise the latter half of my plan to align with what I’ve written so far. As a result of this revision, I determined that I have twenty chapters left to write. And I realised that if I want to finish before July (as a treat for my girlfriend’s birthday xD), then I would have to write one chapter every six days – roughly one chapter per week.

To me, this is a very realistic target. With the revised road mapped out ahead, and a weekly deadline to whip me along, I have every confidence that I can make it to the finish line on time.

Wish me luck!