Still Plugging Away…

The good news is… I finally made it to the Pilates class last week and I really enjoyed it, despite getting cramp in my foot at one point.

There were toys! Well, mats and bands and squidgy balls to put behind your back and little rests for those of us with tender necks, that needed support. Aah. There were also men in the class! (that’s not why I enjoyed it, I hasten to add!).

I also discovered that one side of my body – the left, in case you’re interested – is definitely much less supple than the right. Weird! Anyway, the plan is to go again in the morning and let’s see if it’s a bit easier this time. If you sit down a lot (which I have been – see below), it’s really love to s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

The bad news is… I still haven’t finished my draft of the novel! I have been excused by my critique-person, who is busy with her own stuff and is, quite rightly, not just hanging around waiting for my mine to ping into her inbox.

It’s not through want of trying and working hard. Last week I spent 28 hours on it! It’s just taking me much, much (much!) longer than I thought it would. There are so many scenes to write and revise (although I’m trying not to do too much revision) and I seem to have quite a complicated plot (why, why, why?) so it’s like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together. One of those 2000 piece, all-the-same-colour jigsaw puzzles.

My main character’s name keeps changing. She’s been Dee (Delia), Lou (Louise), Gen (short for Genevieve), Gail, Becky, Rachel… aaagh. And I still can’t decide. For reasons that I can’t reveal, it would be great if she had a name with some ‘poetic’ connection so if anyone can suggest one, I’d be grateful!

So, I’m getting there. Just…. slowly.

Writing Competitions

There’s still time to enter my random word writing competition if you want to have a go. I’ve had 20 entries so far but I usually get about 40, so I’m expecting a rush in the last week!

You’ve also got a week before the closing date of the Writers & Artists Yearbook free short story competition, which has no theme this time and an even better prize than mine – ie: an Arvon writing retreat. If you’ve got a 2000-word unpublished story hanging around doing nothing why not zap it off? What have you got to lose? (Only condition is that you register on the website before submitting your entry. Don’t forget to do that or your entry won’t count!).

Right, back to the grindstone…

Plugging away

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24 Responses to Still Plugging Away…

  1. Ninette90 says:

    I have taken up Yoga, which I’m finding wonderful. I love the meditation bit and making my mind blank…’impossible’ I hear you say. The class is at 09.15 on a Monday morning which I wasn’t too happy about at first, but now I’m used to it I think it’s a good way to start the week! Good luck with the novel. I’ve gone back to mine now and I’m determined to finish it. It’s been a long haul so far. My main character’s name is Annie and it’s been that from day one. I wouldn’t want to change it. Perhaps yours could be Emily, (Dickinson) or Christina (Rossetti)… Keep on writing!

    • Thanks, Ninette. Yes, good suggestions for the names, I like them both but I have a friend ‘Em’ and a friend ‘Chris’ and they might think I’d based the character on them (you know how people do!!) so, not sure. I’ll have a think! Good luck with your novel. I am in awe of anyone who manages to finish one, as it’s not easy!

  2. Names are tough, aren’t they? What’s wrong with Delia? It’s a cool name! My MC’s crush is a psychic, so I’ve been rolling around out-there names like Celeste, Lake, Syke, Topaz, and Sienna. I finally decided on Harmonia. Well, I THINK I’ve decided on Harmonia!

    • They are tough, aren’t they? My other two MCs fit their names really well (maybe that’s because I know those characters better?!) and I have no intention of changing them but this one has been driving me mad. You also of course, have to take into account the other names of characters in the book. I have too many ‘Js’ and ‘Gs’ floating around at the moment and that can be confusing for the reader! I like Harmonia! Good luck with it!

  3. chloefb says:

    Chrissie (Christina Rossetti)?

  4. Heather Walker says:

    Actually it’s common that one side of your body is more supple than the other. I was told this by a tutor in belly dancing (yes, I had a go). Some moves were much easier using one side of the body than the other!

    Names can be tricky though with me it’s usually that I forget them and they end up in two versions! I wouldn’t worry too much if you have a name that a friend is called. I’ve used friend’s names in short stories. I’m sure they will understand. I haven’t used my own name mind you!

    Good luck.

    • Heather, thanks for your comment. I used a friend’s name unwittingly in a short story once (she’s actually ‘Chris’ and I had a character called ‘Chrissie’). I didn’t make the connection at all but another friend, who read the story, asked me if I’d based the character on our mutual friend ‘Chris’. I was really surprised – and quite worried, incase I’d inadvertently ‘portrayed’ Chris in a bad light.. so I’m very careful not to use the names of anyone that I know. Which does, of course, cut out a lot of names!

  5. Sherri Turner says:

    My favourite poem is by Charlotte Mew, jic that helps! Good luck with the redraft

  6. You could name her after Jenny Joseph who just died, or Sylvie (Sylvia Plath) Maybe Kate for Kate Clanchy, or of course Stella.

  7. Good for you getting along to the pilates class – it’s something I need to get back to as soon as possible. Ironically I took it up in 2015 after suffering horrendous sciatica, and it seemed to help.
    I had a relapse in late 2017, and the pain is so bad I struggle to do more than a few moves now, so I stopped going to class, preferring to do what I could at home. It’s doubly hard without the class support though, so I may have to do 1-2-1 pilates privately. It’s so good for you, if you can keep it going.
    Hope you settle on a name for your character, in my last three stories mine were called Rebekah, Evie and Georgiana.

  8. pennywrite says:

    So hard to write without a name firmly in place, I find. (‘Kate’ seems to be my default name, whatever the time-setting. Sometimes changed later on!) I like ‘The Guinness Book of Names’ by Leslie Dunkling to refer to – although it may now be out of print. Full of ideas and information.
    Poetic name? All I can think of off-hand is ‘Maud’!! (the one who came into the garden….)

    • Thanks Penny. I absolutely agree, it’s not easy to write without a name firmly in place. Maud is a bit old ladyish (sorry to any Mauds!) for my 39 year old but thanks for your (tongue-in-cheek, I’m sure!) suggestion! Kate is a good, solid name isn’t it? I can understand why you go for that.

  9. There’s always Shelley…..but I’d want her to be named after Mary Shelley, not her philandering and selfish husband!

    • Susanna, thanks. Actually, yes, Shelley was one of the options (which I forgot about when I did the list). I do like that. Michelle/Shelley. Hmm, does she sound a bit too young, though? (she’s 39). I will add that to the list of ‘possibles’!

  10. juliathorley says:

    Well done for making it to Pilates. Bodies are strange; I’ve definitely got a favourite leg!

  11. Sarah Campbell says:

    Thanks for your blogs which always remind me to write, write, write!

    I propose “Ginny”, short for Virginnia for your main character.


  12. jacpye says:

    Virginia? Shortened to Ginny?

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