I participate regularly in National Novel Writing Month, where writers are challenged to produce a 50,000-word manuscript in a month. The idea is that you don’t bother revising and honing at this stage, and, of course, the results are pretty rough.
The Syndrome Diaries began life as a NaNoWriMo novel in November 2010. Since then, I’ve been rewriting, editing and polishing. Scenes were moved around and replaced, colour was added to dialogues and descriptions and extracts have been regularly subjected to the scrutiny of my local writing group.
In July this year, Syndrome was in a sufficiently complete state to be read in full by four willing guinea pigs, selected for their honesty: I knew from experience that they would pick holes in the book where they could, and that was what I wanted. I now have lists of changes that they’ve suggested, but was encouraged by several pleas not to alter too much. By the end of September, the novel will be as ready as it’s ever going to be. I’ll be uploading it to Amazon, and blogging about the experience on here.
I’ve written other draft novels:
The Illness is the working title of the story of a group of research scientists who’ve developed a weight-loss drug. When it’s found that long-term use can have serious consequences, their professional and personal behaviour comes under scrutiny, and their relationships are tested. This will probably be the next novel that I publish after Syndrome, although it needs a considerable amount of work to reach that stage.
Happy Birthday, Jillian Jeffries! When Jillian’s three children begin flying the nest, she isn’t expecting her husband to follow suit. In the aftermath, her children challenge her to try out experiences they feel she’s missed out on. This is a coming-of-age story about a 43-year-old.
Untitled Last November I decided I needed a break from Syndrome, so I wrote a story with multiple narrators about a teenage boy’s relationship with an older woman.
The Miracle Cream was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. I think my writing has progressed considerably since then, so I doubt this will ever see the light of day. However, it was written in 2007 and talks about the predicted economic collapse, which shows at least some savvy.