THE SISTERS' SONG coming in January 2018 from Allen and Unwin. Sign up to my newsletter.

I know I said I was taking a break from blogging, but I thought I’d give you an update on what I’ve been up to over the past week.

The Novel

As you know from my last blog post, I’m rewriting Ida’s Children. I’m not thinking about the number of drafts and rewrites I’ve already done, nor am I thinking of how many writers have started, finished, and published their novels while I’m still going with mine. No. I have my blinkers on and I’m trying not to think of any of this as I focus on the pathway and head towards my goal.

I don’t know how many times I’ve nearly given up and prepared to ditch this novel and start another one, then something happens that gives me enough of a boost to keep going. Although I’m daunted by the task ahead with this rewrite, and sometimes I’m sick of hearing the words ‘Ida’s Children’, I’m also making the most of the excitement I feel when I see so many ways to improve it. Each rewrite makes it better, and each time I get feedback, I learn. Hopefully what I’m learning will help make writing Novel #2 easier. And quicker. With fewer mistakes. Hopefully. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

This week I managed to work my way through this book:

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I know the title’s a bit corny, but the advice within is great! It’s sat on my shelf for a couple of years and I wish I’d read it a lot earlier. Each chapter deals with an aspect of your novel—the protagonist, antagonist, plot, theme, setting, etc—and gives tips and examples of how to make them stronger. At the end of each chapter are exercises. I forced myself to do them thoroughly, and they really helped me come up with a few ideas. What’s more, they got my subconscious thinking so even more good ideas popped into my head when I was away from the work, too.

I’ve also started mapping out my story on the wall of my attic—another thing I should have done a year or two ago:

I've deliberately blurred the writing so there are no spoilers.

I deliberately made sure the writing was blurred so there are no spoilers.

I’m nearly ready to delve into the actual rewrite, and I can’t wait to get my new ideas onto the page!

So, it’s been a good writing week. Cutting back on social media has (unsurprisingly) added a few more hours to my writing day, although there are other interruptions—violin, piano, and singing lessons, and appointments with orthodontists and hairdressers—none of which are mine, I might add.

The rest of my week

The weather in Perth this week has been gorgeous, so I’ve walked every day.

Lake Claremont

Lake Claremont

The sunsets have been rather pretty, too.

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The view through our bedroom window

The roses in our garden are still in bloom:

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My sons had haircuts.

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He looked so forlorn, I had to take a photo.

My daughter made some delicious cupcakes …

They didn't last long.

… which didn’t last long.

And this bumper sticker made me laugh:

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Does anyone know where I can buy them?

Now, as it’s Friday, I think I’ll pour one of these and head back to my storyboard!

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Have a lovely weekend!

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