Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do Not Disturb the Manuscript, and Character Keeper

By my word count, you'll see (if you're at all interested) that I've done no writing over the last few days. The weekend seemed to set me up for some real life (some might say 'mindless') time. I've pottered; I've grocery-shopped; played with the cats; read a whole magazine without the usual half-hearted page-flipping; and watched rather too much BBC, especially this morning - G20 conference stuff, and all that (which wasn't quite as mindless as the other activities).

So Strachan's Attic is having a little rest. It's quietly taking a break from me, resting on its laurels, relishing its downtime. I don't intend to disturb it for at least another couple of days.

However, I have been web browsing. I found a particularly nice blog about the writing process that is (unlike mine) full of energy and verve. My own postings gently prattle on, as yours do from time to time. But this girl has so much stuff on her site, refreshingly new to my eyes. For instance, she has a posting on the Launch Party - that get-together to announce your published brilliance to the world and sell more books. I've never come across this subject in a writer's blog before, although it's possible it was there, way down in the archives which I didn't take time to open. Please have a look at Need2bpublished. I think you'll like it.

Another site is Magical Words - a friendly and unfussy little spot with various subscribers voicing the sorts of things that writers want to hear about. They're offering CharacterKeeper, a little (free) program for keeping your characters firmly in check, recording their peculiarities, their ages, histories and so on. My earlier characters often confounded me later in the work when I suddenly found I needed to know when they were born, what their sister's name is - and I hadn't noted it anywhere , because, at the time, their story was fully developed inside my brain...silly place to store it. So then I spent ages scrolling back to the page where I thought the little rascally character first emerged.

I've downloaded the program, anyway, and will try it out. (You'll find it in Magical Word's right sidebar.) It has to be an improvement on my present method. Oh, and the Digital Post-Its program just doesn't do it for me.

My 3-chapter link to Hafan Deg is back here again. Apparently, much as we welcome it - even believed it - few agents open links to online MS. Certainly I haven't seen any evidence of their visits unless they scout under an alias.

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