This week I've been frantically trying to get the final draft of my novel finished. There have been several moments of panic, which totally block me. There have been times when I've had to walk away from the computer and do something else. Those times are much more productive, as a solution to a structural problem will suddenly present itself. Getting the structure right is crucial, if you're going to write a successful crime novel, I feel, which is why I've been fiddling around with scene order for what seems like weeks. I've written scenes in, taken old scenes out and juggled around with the order so many times. Thank goodness for Scrivener, which makes the task so much easier.
I am working to a strict deadline now. We go on a family holiday to Llandysul in Ceredigion, Wales on Saturday. I don't have a laptop and there won't be any Internet access. I'm going to download my novel onto my Kindle before we leave and read it through as if it were a published book. I'll also be making notes. It should then be ready to submit when I get back.
I wanted to get The Yellow Room Issue 7 off to the typesetter before I went away, but the novel has had to take priority. I'm still in dispute with Biddles over the print quality of the last issue, so Issue 7 could be delayed for some time. We're still in the process of judging The Yellow Room Competition. We've read just over half now. My friend, Sarah Green, kindly read half of the entries.
I'm also in the process of collating some of my short stories to enter in The Scott Prize. Some of the published stories are quite old, and it's interesting to see how much my style has changed over the past ten years or so. I tend to go for very different themes now, too.
I do have one success to report this week. I came 2nd in the Write-Invite competition for the second time. Sadly, there isn't a prize, but it gives my confidence a big boost, and I love entering the competition. It makes me write something new every week and it has taught me how to finish a piece to a deadline. I used to be rubbish at endings.
Which reminds me, I still haven't written the very last line of my novel. I wonder what it will be?