I always knew I was deadline driven but writing over 13,000 words in 3 days, two of which were work days, then printing out the manuscript and trying to write a (forgotten about until the last minute – oops) synopsis whilst packing for a camping holiday and then posting manuscript on the way to said camping holiday was a little white knuckle even for me. It wasn't even the real New Writer Scheme deadline, that isn't until the end of the month, it was the made up deadline I inflicted on myself because I wanted to relax during my holiday knowing I had sent the TS safely off.
And because it is time to think about New Voices.
This year's camping trip was refreshingly free of rain except when we travelled there and packed up but, although my nostrils are filled with the scent of drying out canvas draped over every chair I possess, that is such a marked improvement on last year I can gloss over it, dwelling instead on swimming in blue, blue seas (very cold blue seas), roasting marshmallows on campfires, local cider, cliff tops filled with gorse and heather, no news. Riots? What riots? Safe in our Dorset bubble we had no idea that anarchy and craziness was breaking out across the nation's cities.
Should have been the perfect idea dreaming up scenario. Sun, sea, cider, what else does an aspiring author need? Armed with a freshly sharpened pencil and a very gorgeous A4 notepad from Paperchase I sent husband and daughter to collect fossils on the beach and started to explore the several ideas that had been stirring whilst I finished the NWS book.
They were all rubbish. Contrived, derivative, dull. Was it the writing in longhand? I am so used to typing have I lost the ability to use pen and paper? Looking at the state of my hand writing I am worried that the answer to that question is yes... Or were my batteries simply completely run down by that last, frantic weekend of writing?
So I read instead. I didn't go near romance opting instead for some nice bleak Scandinavian Crime and a touch of Young Adult.
There is just four weeks to go until New Voices launch and although there is almost a month for competitors to post entries – and several finalists did post late on in the competition last year – I want to get in at the start (there's that self imposed deadline again), not just because you get more comments and feedback but because it's fun to be taking part.
So I ran through the five bad ideas with my three faithful friends who very kindly didn't snort with laughter (actually as they are online friends they probably did but had the very good grace not to tell me) and they all quite liked one and helped me work it into something that may just work. If I can sort out those pesky motivations and conflicting goals and all the other ingredients that doth a good romance make. Meanwhile I am returning the favour with definitely no snorting with laughter just awe at their inventiveness and talent.
So now I just have to write the thing, that's the easy part isn't it?