Sunday, 20 January 2013

Happy New Title

Happy New Year all! And apologies because I know it's halfway through January already (how did that happen?),  but blogging had kind of slipped into a comfortable it-hasn't-been-that-long sort of place in my head.


I had a fabulous Christmas this year, not only had the small one reached an age (4) where she really understood Christmas and Santa and all the twinkly wonderfulness of it for the first time, but it was also a big Christmas year (my other two children are from a previous marriage and so we share Christmases - this year was mine so I had a lovely houseful!). With DH home over the break I also had time to try out a couple of new things I've been wanting to give a go for a while.

One is fast-drafting - in its truest sense it involves writing a full first draft of a novel within 2 weeks by using strict word counts and abandoning your inner editor, a concept developed by Candace Havens, see here for more details. I watered it down somewhat by simply writing without looking back and editing as I went, without strict aim regarding wordcount. This was a big thing for me as I usually go back over everything daily, tweaking and fine tuning, and I know this limits my first draft productivity.

The other is writing hot. I have only ever written sweet romance - my couple get to have a bit of intense snogging and then the hero slams the door with his foot and we cut to breakfast - that kind of level! Not really sure what's held me back (thought of my mother reading it? - a bit maybe), only that I've always been quite satisfied with a happy ever after without the need for any detail in love scenes. (I am a huge fan of Jill Mansell, her stories have never needed a hot sex scene for me to love them.)


I've nonetheless been curious as to whether I could write hot or not. And so over the Christmas break I combined my two wonderings and tried to fast-draft a fairly hot romantic novella. Writing sex was a whole new world. How hot is too hot? I check in with the DH, who is at first interested in the whole concept, but as I feared it turns out to be on an FHM kind of level as he is bemused when I tell him about the kind of language used (no coarse descriptive words etc) and the fact that it has to convey emotion and development in the romance. If left to him I fear the story would turn out to be worthy of Loaded or Nuts.

Soon-to-be-16-year-old son isn't fazed and advises me, pound signs in eyes, to 'write porn under an assumed name.' Even my teenagers have heard of Fifty Shades. Sigh.

Fast drafting seemed to work in that I got a full draft in a couple of weeks, however the editing stage which normally isn't too intensive turns out to be monumental. I've given myself a couple of weeks to drum it into some kind of shape and I have no idea if the end result will find a home although I've got a few places to try and pitch it.

In other, proper, real-stories-that-I-might-actually-get-paid-for news, I now have a name for Alice and Harry (the much-hated Book #2 which I called The Date Pool, because it is about an office betting ring). I am thrilled to announce that it will be called 'All Bets Are On' and I have to say I love this title and wish I'd thought of it myself.

I am also thrilled to bits to announce that I am heading into 2013 with a new two-book contract, and I am currently putting together some ideas for a new story to submit to my lovely editor.

So that's it. I feel very busy, but in a good way. Hope 2013 brings you all that you could wish for too.