A Milestone

Wow! I have just completed the first draft of the first part of my third book; that’s 20,000 words done. I more or less know what the second part covers but am hazy on the third. Overall I am aiming for 60,000 words, so shorter than the other two books, more of a novella than a novel. It could all change as I develop the story. I am not one to have everything planned and set in stone before I start. I have been reading about writers who have everything down on a spreadsheet, the characters all worked out and the plot done chapter by chapter. That’s not for me. How about you?

About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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3 Responses to A Milestone

  1. Angela Petch says:

    First of all – congratulations, Rosemary! As we all know, however, the first (writer’s) draft almost always requires revisions and decisions! Well done though! Some people procrastinate and think about what they are going to write and then don’t!!!
    I think it would be amazing to have everything mapped out beforehand. I went to a talk once given by Lesley Pearse (not one of my favourite authors, I have to say) and she has her books down to a formulaic method. She explained it was a question of ‘needs must’. She was left with a young family to care for and literally burned the midnight oil to churn out books and find money to survive. Her books sold, so she sticks to her system.
    My first novel, “Tuscan Roots” was written after very lengthy research into the Second World War in the area of Italy where it is set. I talked to lots of elderly folk who had memories to share and I looked at archives about partisan activity. I ended up with almost too much material and that was my first big project: to know when to stop! Inevitably there was much pruning to do everywhere and I actually changed a major detail (no spoilers!) in the process.
    My second novel, a sequel (“Now and Then in Tuscany”) continues to be a bit of a nightmare. I wrote it when I had very limited time and rather than doing so in an orderly fashion, I decided to write snippets of chapters here and there, when I found time. I reasoned if I didn’t do that, then I would end up writing nothing and lose any momentum there might be. The result has been like combing out an extremely tangled head of thick, curly hair…throwing the hairbrush at the wall several times and vowing to cut it all off. I might get there by mid summer but I do not recommend the “patchwork” method!
    I would add that I believe that writing sometimes guides itself anyway. An author might set out in a certain direction but the characters themselves decide to take a detour or a left instead of a right. When that happens – and if it feels right and exciting – then follow them. Throw your plan out of the window and let the muse do his/her work.
    Now there’s another question for us – is the muse male or female?
    Happy and inspired writing everyone!


    • Rosemary N says:

      I read the interview with Louis De Bernieres on Goodreads which you liked and, not to compare my style of writing with his – he is a master after all, I tend to agree on how he writes. A novel is organic, characters change and develop, the story may go in a completely different direction from the one you planned in your head, all those months before. It’s exciting when that happens. Also research is often better done as you write. It is frustrating when you half remember something you read and then can’t find it in your notes and bookmarks.
      Thank you for taking the time to respond.


  2. Angela Petch says:

    Whoops – and another thing!!! I note you might make this into a novella, shorter than your other books. Now, here’s an issue: being an indie writer and using Amazon CreateSpace, the cost of writing a longer book becomes prohibitive, I think. The minimum price Amazon set for sale is high for a longer novel (obviously because of the printing costs) but it then becomes embarrassing to have to charge over that price in order to make some kind of profit. For example: mine has been priced at £10.38 and that gives me a two pence profit! Now who on earth will want to fork out that price for a completely unknown author? It is easier to stick to e-books but then there are readers who prefer books… I suppose it boils down to why we are writing in the first place? Any thoughts?


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