My writing week in the New Forest went well: I left with 20,000 words more on the manuscript and a much better idea how the final seven chapters were going to pan out. That’s the tip about planning what to write, which I find invaluable to help my writing productivity. I travelled far and wide (Bath, Brighton and large swathes of Hampshire) visiting friends, worked my way through my box set of Dawson’s Creek - I know it’s cheesy, I know it’s a bit old now, but I just love its eternally optimistic view of romance accompanied by schmaltzy music – perfect escapism.
So at the moment, The Second Book stands at 72,000 words, with three chapters left to write on the first draft. This time, I’ve resisted the urge to look back and see if a certain character’s hair if brown in early chapters, and changes to blonde later on, or other similar details. Instead, I’ve just forged on, like a road trip, until I reach the end. I now definitely see this first draft as me just getting stuff on the page, I can always come back to fix things later, but you cannot, and never will be able to fix or edit a blank page.
Alongside writing, I also like to read a wide variety of books, and this, as well as seeing friends and family helps spark ideas as I’m writing. I’ve gone through something of a retro phase of late as the last two books I read were: Lace, by Shirley Conran, and Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. And I don’t mind standing up and admitting it here and now, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THEM BOTH FROM COVER TO COVER. I know, I know, they’re not exactly M/M fiction, but between my life and my friends, I do I have quite a lot of M/M going on already, so do like to foray into the arena of more mainstream fiction.
What a foray it was: sex involving a goldfish; a Swiss finishing school; a wig being flushed down the toilet; and I now know what the 'dolls' in the title refer to. This was guilty pleasure of the highest order, and I can’t wait for more. Straight after finishing them, I ordered Lace 2 by Shirley Conran and Love Machine (no, not the Girls Aloud song) by Jacqueline Susann and they’re both now waiting for me. I will review Lace and Valley of the Dolls in my next blog post, as well as an update on TSB.