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 Sunday, 20 September 2015

About this time last year I set up a second blog called Ray May Write which was intended to be more of a writing/studying blog as I was about to start two Open University modules in French and Creative Writing. The new blog was supposed to be where I could chronicle my progress and share snippets of stuff I did for my writing module as well talk about my own novel project.
As you might imagine that was a spectacular failure and I burnt myself out over there pretty much before the modules even started. There are a few posts from this year but the most recent is from June when I had a wee bit of an anxiety attack. That is a bit of a downer I’ll tell you now.

That blog might get a bit of a revival though soon as I’m about to start a new module which is also kinda relevant to this blog. It’s a Children’s Literature module and the 1st Harry Potter book is literally on my reading list ^_^. While I am excited I am also nervous about the fact that I’ve not “studied” literature since my English Lit GCSE way back in 2007 (fuck I am oooold). This is a Level 3 module, like we’re talking 3rd-year-of-uni-this-is-going-to-count-towards-your-degree-classification level module. Yikes.

Luckily despite all the stress I had doing my two Level 2 modules at the same time (Anyone who follows my Twitter & IG might remember how fun April was) I did actually pass both modules with what I think is a 2:1 which is insane because I fucking HATED every second of my French module and procrastinated the shit out of every assignment. I am the luckiest bitch, how does anyone stand me?

While my Uni modules were going on last year I had very little brain power to devote to working on my novel which I spent basically the first half of 2014 slaving over. I technically had fuck-loads of time that I could have used but I’m an awful human being with no concept of time management. However folk will probably have noticed the resurgence in #amwriting and #amediting posts on my Twitter and IG since June.

I’ve thrown myself back into my novel doing a combination of revising/redrafting/finishing the draft while I’m relatively free (I have been working an odd schedule during the week at my mother’s office). When I stopped working on the project last November I had over 80K of words written and the ending was done save for one chapter. The main problem was the pesky middle where nothing really existed past Chapter 13 until somewhere around Chapter 21 or 22 (my chapter numbers are going to be a mess before long). I had vague ideas about some of the things that need to happen in the gap before I got sidetracked by my uni assignments but nothing got planned out.

Now in my summer “break” I’ve been working to fill this hole although I’m only now getting to the edge of it. I’ve been reworking all the chapters leading up to the gap since several needed redrafting completely while at least one needed writing for the first time – I am a fucking idiot for writing this first draft so out of order. So it’s taken me a long time to get to this point which is ridiculous since I was more productive when I was writing only in the evenings after a day at my mentally exhausting full-time job!

Since last year I have read a metric shit-ton about writing process and craft (Mostly from SusanDennard’s Ah-mazing website which has the best writing resources EVAH, plus she is the loveliest person who writes awesome books to boot – more on that in the near future). Adding all that onto doing a whole module on creative writing where I had to write to deadlines and be objective while editing my own writing I feel like I’m a much stronger writer than I was this time last year.

I can look back at my work from early 2014 (with much cussing and wincing) and see where the issues are and come up with solutions to fix them rather than just despair at the general shit-ness of everything. Even as I’m working through this current draft (which I want to call Draft 1.5 cos it’s not really a 2nd Draft yet) I’m mentally earmarking bits that I’ll need to revisit on the next round of revisions when I go hardcore and print out the whole damn thing and attack it with highlighters and index cards.

I held off from doing that until I’d got a complete manuscript with no missing chapters and scenes from the main plotlines so I can read it through from start to finish (there are two subplot POVs which I’ve yet to draft because I’m not quite sure how & where they’ll slot in amongst the other chapters). But once I’m done with this round of redrafting I am super excited to go to my nearest staples or whatever and come home with practically an entire ream of paper that will be my book.

So that’s currently where I’m at with non-reading bookish things. Steadily plugging away on the 2nd act of my book so it meets up with 1 & 3 while everything else gets a serious sprucing-up. Then once the start of October comes I’ll be diving into OU studies again with the hope that I can actually keep on top of the workload and not look like an idiot at my first tutorial on the 10th XD.

Bookish updates will hopefully be on the way here once I get home and I’m able to do things like film a book haul (it’ll be a big’un), actually post my reading list for the year so far and do several author event write-ups which I’ve been to this year. There are a couple of reviews that I am hoping to post before then for some September Releases that I have a lot of feelings about. Anyone who talks to me on twitter will likely know what at least two of those books are :P Especially those people who were DMing me to share their own feels XD.

Stay tuned my lovelies!



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