Friday, 22 May 2009

First chapter woes...The RNA Party... And other excuses to procrastinate

I'm taking a break from my current ms, which is going nowhere fast, and stopping to contemplate the writing of my fifth book, which is due out next month. Why was that one so easy to write and the last two so incredibly hard? I have no idea...

So far I've rewritten the first chapter of my latest four times!! This is not a good sign. I think it comes from nerves, after spending two months writing ten chapters of complete dross on my last ms and then having to start from the beginning again, I am determined not to ignore my inner critic this time and admit when I have a problem. Only problem is... Is one month spent writing the first chapter really an improvement? I don't think so. 

Frankly I need a kick up the butt writing wise. During my many re-draughts I have learned heaps of interesting things about my characters, their conflict and their past... This is my first proper reunion romance with the hero and heroine having grown up together in the same stately home, him as the son of the Duke and her as the daughter of the housekeeper. So what I've learned is all valuable stuff... But I seem to have dropped myself into a black hole with my opening scene which involves a corset, thigh-high leather boots, an exclusive gentlemen's club and a rowdy bunch of Hooray Henries who mistake my heroine for a stripper!

So let's get out of the writing trenches and talk about the RNA party last Wednesday which was an absolute blast. Met a wonderful aspiring author who had read all five of my books (and that's a fairly exclusive bunch of people, in fact I think my mum and me may be the only other members) and had dinner with Biddy Coady, Julie Cohen and Fiona Harper. Julie gave us some hilarious insights into her new book The Girl from Mars (which I will be first in line to buy come June), and the trials and tribulations of writing Klingon dialogue!! Sorry, no piccies as usual. I forgot my camera and while Fiona flashed hers about a bit I never saw her take any photos. We were all having too much fun nattering. 

So I'm illustrating this post with Julie's book cover which is delicious. Also, Julie's blog had some interesting things to say about the 'crows of doubt' recently and how she's had trouble starting her latest book, which made me realise that at least I'm not alone. Which is always good to know.

In other interesting news, I was reading Lorraine Wilson's blog (she's an author who I'm sure will be published soon if her blog's anything to go by) and she put me on to this article about M&B and how they're surviving the downturn. Which frankly is manna from Heaven to those of us currently trying to make a living at this gig.

Okay, I've now exhausted all possible blog topics so I guess I'm going to have to trudge back to the battle of the opening chapter... Arghhhh! 


Lorraine said...

Crikey, I was casually reading your post and almost choked on a malteser when I saw my own name :-) Thank you for the vote of confidence!

I love the sound of your opening scene by the way and am looking forward to reading it.

Rachael Johns said...

Hey Heidi

Just wanted to say thanks for being so honest about your writing ups and downs on your blog. As a HUGE fan - I've read all except your last, which I'll read as SOON as it's out downunder and loved them all - I'm sure this book you're struggling on will be equally as fabulous as the next. But as a writer (unpublished) myself I can understand the horrors of struggling with a book - I'm going through it myself at the moment. I guess my only consolation is that I haven't got a deadline and a zillion readers waiting to read another classic 'Rachael Johns.' Guess what I'm trying to say it... I HAVE FAITH but hugs anyway!

Heidi said...

No problem Lorraine, and thanks for the heads up on that M&B piece, but don't chock on your malteser!! And if I ever get past the first chapter of this book hopefully you'll one day get the chance to enjoy reading it.

And Rachael, cheers so much for the vote of confidence... and the hugs. The thing is the creating bit doesn't get any easier once you get published (or not for me anyway!) which is really frigging annoying now I think about it. Still, fantastic to know I can add you to my exclusive club of readers, too. I read your blog too... BTW loved those pink wedding DMs, totally cool. And congrats on your success in the Feel the Heat contest. Only a matter of time, now.

Kimberly Lang said...

Sounds like y'all had fun at the RNA bash. Looking forward to hearing all the details next week!

Heidi said...

Oh you will Kim, probably in a lot more detail than you could ever want.

But weren't we meeting the week after next?? Or is that me being useless.

Jackie Ashenden said...

Heidi, just wanted to say that I'm another who's probably read all of your books (it's a growing circle clearly). I adored them and boy you can't write 'em fast enough for my liking. So if you need a kick up the writing butt, I'm happy to provide. :-)
BTW, loved Connor. A scarred hero is sexy as.

Lacey Devlin said...

Ah ha! See finding people who have read all your books is not such an exclusive club after all! It sounds like your inner perfectionist has come out to play with your first chapter cheeky little thing! :) I have no doubt that it'll be another fabulous read when you're done!

Heidi said...

Jackie and Lacey, this is fantastic, forget exclusive club we're going to have to start a secret society!! But seriously, my ego and me thank you for the vote of confidence.

And Jackie so glad you liked Connor, he was one of the easiest heroes I've ever written, must be all that devilish Irish charm... Wait till you meet his brother Mac who was a lot less easy-going but is just as sexy!