Sunday, 20 March 2016

First Day of Spring

Pixabay Image 
Hurrah! Today is the first day of Spring, and what a beautiful day it's been here in Leicestershire. The sun shone brightly for most of today, and it's whet my appetite for lighter evenings and milder weather. I can't wait until we alter the clocks at the weekend.

Last week, I wrote a 500 word story, and did my writing club challenge. Apart from that, I thought out how to continue with the novel, and I've made a start on that this afternoon. I'm feeling highly motivated.

I need your help novelists.  When you go back checking scenes or chapters, do you have a check list? It's what I'm doing this coming week, and I'm at the stage where I'm asking,

1. Does this scene move the story forward? Something has to change, and when it does it's time to move on.

2. Does it offer some new information? Give the reader more detail about the character, or the situation, some back story, or new knowledge?

3. Are there any disconnects? Have I lost the plot? Do I leave things hanging?  And never go back to resolve at least some of them?

4. Is there anything I need to cut?  Everything has to earn it's place in this story, otherwise it distracts or bores the reader.

5. Does it hang together, is anything missing?

6. Are the scenes in the correct order?

What other 'big stuff' do I need to sort now?

Other news...

The diet ISN'T going well, I was seduced by the cake on more than one occasion last week. My body is craving sweet things and carbohydrates. I'm telling myself it knows what it's doing, it's repairing my sprained ankle and I'll be back on the healthy eating soon.

After Easter.

What have you been up to?

Part of my five a day - Maria A Smith 


  1. Hi Maria - Spring is definitely coming slowly - best way. Good luck with your ankle - saying 'no' is very difficult.

    Can't help with the story answers ... sorry about that - but being motivated is wonderful to see ... I must knuckle under shortly re my A-Zs ...

    Cheers and a happy Easter - Hilary

    1. Happy Easter to you Hilary! Will be over to read your A- Z when it starts...

  2. So pleased you are in such good spirits, Maria. Spring still hasn't arrived here. I'm looking out the window at murky grey skies.
    When I go through my novel, I just read it in as detached way possible and just note down things that make me scrunch my face or make me twinge - the same things that cause those reactions when I'm reading someone else's novel. Then I take a scene at a time and focus on one of the deeper questions, as you've identified. Addressing too many questions at the same time, for me, just leads to confusion. Wishing you lots of fun over the coming weeks. Happy Easter!

    1. That sounds sensible Nicola, I'm beginning to think I may have to break it up like that...thank you. Happy Easter to you. :-)

  3. Well done on feeling highly motivated, Maria. You've achieved a lot. I returned from my cruise a week ago with a worse cold/ cough than I went away with so I'd like some of your motivation, please. As for lists, I love them. Your questions are very useful and I know I'd like the feeling of ticking them off the list once I'd answered them. Good luck with resisting Easter treats this coming weekend!

    1. Hi Jan, poor you! Shame you've come back feeling worse than when you went away.
      Rest and recover. Easier said than done I know but sounds like you need some TLC
      Have a lovely Easter.

  4. Sorry I can't help you with your check list. This week I have finished reading two books, done the writing group homework and been to the dentist to discover I need a crown. I have promised myself I will enter the 500 word story in Writers Forum. I'm a bit stuck with my blog as I feel I need a theme. Obviously I don't want to copy what anyone else is doing, so I'm still thinking!

    1. Hello Maggie, you sound very industrious.
      Blog themes are always tricky aren't they?
      I usually try and brainstorm three or four in advance but its becoming more difficult as this blog has been going since 2009!
      Have you thought about having a guest on?
      List posts are good, and quite quick to do, or what about adding a few images of your day?
      I might do that one myself actually. :-)
      Whatever you do, have a lovely Easter...

    2. I had several in the pipeline before I started. I want to do something original, but your ideas are very useful. What are 'list posts'?

  5. Diet going badly here as well. Too much cheese I fear. I shall have to continue on beyond Lent I think. I like your checklist for chapters. Working hard on some non-fiction articles here at the moment. Have you seen the Penguin novel competition? They are asking for the first 5,000 plus a synopsis of I think 600 words. The winner gets a contract and a £20,000 advance. I'll find you the link if you're interested. Wishing you a good Easter Maria. CJ xx

    1. CJ, that sounds really interesting, but I don't feel I'm ready. Definitely good for someone though...
      Would love to know what sort of articles you write? I already know you are a fabulous photographer, so I'm thinking maybe you write about nature?
      Happy Easter!

    2. At the moment I'm writing anything and everything - some content for a legal website and a series of articles on essential oils. I also write a couple of monthly gardening things and I'm doing a series of pieces on local artists. CJ xx

  6. Sounds like it's been a good week, and everyone falls off the cake wagon occasionally.

    The only thing I hate about the clocks changing in Spring is losing an hour in bed, but aside from that it's all good. :-)

    1. Yes Carol, that is definitely the down side.

  7. I don't have a checklist - but I'm pretty certain I should!


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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