Friday, December 22, 2006

The countdown is on

Well I'll be moving to Queensland in January, and today is my last day at work. Christmas and New Year in Melbourne, lots of packing, and then moving North for the next few years.

I have mixed feelings about the move, so much so that I'm walking around saying, "it's only for a few years, it's only for a few years......" I'll be the mad woman walking around Queensland, pushing a pram (because I'm having a baby) with two dogs, repeating this mantra out loud to myself.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fifteen commandments for mystery writer's who want to be published

Brought to you by You can write mystery.

I. Thou shalt think like a professional starting now.

II. Thou shalt begin and keep going till you're
Writing is rewriting. Let that give you confidence as you stumble along - you can
make it better after you finish a draft.

III. Thou shalt take your efforts and desires seriously.

IV. Thou shalt call it work.

V. Thou shalt write for yourself, not the market.

VI. Thou shalt not wait for visits from the muse.

VII. Thou shalt not ask whether you are good enough.

VIII. Thou shalt not intimidate yourself by comparing
your writing with a published and polished work.

IX. Thou shalt not worry whether your idea is new

X. Thou shalt not talk your idea away.
The words on the page will allow the reader to live your story. If you tell it to
someone the xperience will be completely different and disappointing.
XI. Thou shalt not self-censor at all during the first

XII. Thou shalt not risk writer's paralysis by looking
for the precise word or being afraid of sounding

XIII. Thou shalt not believe that if writing's hard, you must be no good.

XIV. Thou shalt not set yourself up for failure with
impossible goals.

XV. Thou shalt not believe in writer's block.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Back to the drawing board

It's all Agatha Christie's fault. The night before I began to read Dead Man's Folly. I'm only on chapter two and already I can see what's lacking in my own mystery novel. There are not enough suspects. I've been focussing so much on the actual villian that I've forgotten to introduce other possible villians and even to flesh out the other characters properly, aside from the heroine of course. What this means, is that I've had to work around the murdered character, and come up with possible murderers as well as motives etc. This has caused me to want to change some of the existing characters as well.

So, now I have to go and research once again. This time I'm researching characterisation. I did a little of this well before I started to write, but obviously not enough. I'm finding it difficult to strike a balance between the research aspect of writing and the actual writing. When do you know enough is enough? It looks as though I haven't done enough, otherwise I wouldn't need to go back to the drawing board so to speak to continue with the research.

So, this week I will continue with some research. I will decide who my cast of characters will be once and for all and what part exactly they play in my murder mystery.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Writing and the order of things

I'm trying to organise myself and the way I write. Over my mid-year break I found this to be a fairly easy thing to do, but with other classes and work, I'm finding it difficult to find time to write, yet alone strike a balance between my other subjects and work

Something I discovered only recently, is that I can write from my head into the computer. Everything I wrote prior, was in long hand. A subject I did last semester called Electronic Writing, forced me to think differently in relation to writing. At first I found this idea really going against the grain, but over the break, I tried writing my story straight into the computer. Admittedly, there were bits and pieces that I had written in my journal and in an excercise book, specifically bought for the writing of my detective mystery. I found that I suddenly had a freedom of writing, and that my typing could keep up with the sentences coming out of my head. I didn't do my typing lessons in school in vain! So, with this tool, if you like, harnessed, I found I was able to write, add the bits and pieces from my journal, change things around, and more importantly, delete. Deleting writing is the hardest thing to do.

As the title of this post is 'writing and the order of things', I thought I would list a bit of a to-do-list. I need to research more. Not just write. Therefore, I will begin researching the following:

  • Historical journals from Australia's Victorian past. Dates approximately 1850 onwards
  • Old architecture in Australian rural towns

As well as the research, I need to keep writing. Otherwise I feel like I will lose the impetus of the story. That brings me to ordering my day. How to work writing around my other academic projects - that seems completely frivolous in comparison. I've struck upon the idea of writing on Saturday afternoons/evenings/nights. Unless my social life intervenes. Although, it is semester time so the social events should really be curtailed. Anyway, this seems like a good time to at least aim for. Thus, this post has now allowed me to get some sort of order in my mind in relation to my writing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Literature/Media Project

I have been asked to submit a Statement of Intention for this class this semester. The following is the statement:

HALM317 Literature/Media Project
Statement of Intention
I have been working on a detective mystery novel, off and on, for the past year. My Literature/Media Project will be continued writing of this novel, as well as conscientiously exploring the writing process. At present, the draft manuscript is close to 20’000 words, most of this writing taking place during the mid-year break 2006. My personal goal is to have the manuscript at least 50’000 words by the end of semester. I plan to use this project to structure my writing. I don’t expect my supervisor to read 50’000 words; therefore I will submit the following for assessment:
  • An outline of the plot
  • Profiles and brief biographies of the central characters
  • A bibliography and reference list of works consulted for the research of this novel
  • The first chapter as a final draft, or as near to it

My experience of this project will be documented on my weblog,

My hope is that the above will give a good framework to continue the novel to completion.

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