I've always thought that the good thing about writing fiction is that you can do it at your leisure. Well I know you have to 'up' the pace when deadlines are looming. But in general you can let the ideas mull around in your head, then play about with them on the page, plan your story, write it, rearrange it, write some more, edit and polish, put it aside, go back to it. Then eventually, when you realise it's the best it's going to get, you can think about doing something with it, like sending it off to the publisher or your agent.
That's my normal way of writing fiction anyway, but I'm just about to embark on something new which calls for instant writing of a 2,000 word chapter, from idea to going live in a matter of two and a half days; and then repeating the process over the following four weeks!
Fun? Or nightmare? I'm hoping it's going to be fun and a great experience.
Last year I teamed up with Fiction Express, who have taken on my story The Mysterious Indian Vanishing Trick - or rather they've taken on the first chapter and the concept. The rest still has to be written in real time.
Chapter one goes out on 14th June – this Friday. If you pop along to their site, there's even a countdown clock, ticking away the seconds!
|Screenshot of the front page of Fiction Express website|
Possibly some of you Sassies have already worked for Fiction Express, but if you haven't heard of them, they work alongside primary schools, providing online fiction every Friday afternoon where the children say what will happen in the next chapter via three voting options; the author then writes the next chapter in real time, and it goes live the following Friday.
For the schools who enrol there's other activities going on for the children to get involved with, while the author can keep the excitement going through the Fiction Express blog.
So, all in all, I'm looking forward to next Friday – or rather what will be heading my way once the children have voted. The three choices are now written along with the first chapter, but then I've only got the vaguest outline as to where the next chapter will go, as it depends on which option gets the most votes.
I'm praying that when I get told the result of the votes next Tuesday afternoon, I don't get an attack of writer's block! Now what are those tried and tested methods of avoiding such a thing? Walking the dog, doing the ironing...
Or the best one – a deadline looming!
How about you, do you work best under pressure, or prefer a little breathing space?
Here's the link to Fiction Express if you want to find out more:
Please visit my website: www.annevansbooks.co.uk