For a few minutes this afternoon, I did.
I’m writing a book called Viva Voluptuous. It’s about the adventures of a feisty, curvy heroine and her two besties, who decide they’ve had enough of all the negative press that fat people get and set about trying to change things. At the heart of the story, our heroine has to find her own lost Mojo too, as she’s just been dumped by a boyfriend who left her feeling less than sassy and she’s trying to make herself feel better as well as big up the confidence of gorgeous, curvaceous women everywhere.
It was dead easy at first. Fired up with the big idea and with my cheerleader Lisa behind me, I submitted my first three chapters to a publisher and did a little dance when I heard they’d accepted it and I was going to be a published novelist! Then there was the tricky bit…I only had three chapters. Now I had to make them into a book. *scared*
So I wrote and I wrote. I gave my heroine adventures, lovers and a past. I created her two besties, sent her all over the place and got her into loads of trouble. The “Shitty first draft” didn’t really take me that long to finish, and I was soon editing, chopping, changing and moving bits around. I sent it to be edited by a proper, clever, knows-what-she’s-doing editor lady who sent it back with lots of encouraging comments and set me back to work on editing it again.
This time it was trickier, but mostly it was adding in extra words. Turns out I’m a way better blogger than I am a story teller, and so it’s been a real eye-opener getting to grips with the way I write and changing it up so that I’m telling a tale, spinning a story and dreaming up adventures. Who knew making up conversations was so hard?
So anyway, it came back again last week, and my heart sank. You know when you’ve worked really hard on your homework at school and it comes back with red teacher’s comments all over it? That. Trouble is, I know my lovely editor lady is right! She wants the book to be a fantastic success and thinks I’ve got a brilliant idea, but the book, well it just needs some love. It needs crafting into a work of fiction, something that will get women everywhere to shout a big ‘Hell yeah’ as they turn the pages.
What do I want the book to be? I want it to be fun, a bloody good read and the kind of story that makes anyone who reads it feel good. I’ve never written a novel before so it’s gonna take time, love and practice…and determination!
Plan A is to get my head into some of my favourite girly books and really study them to see how they craft their stories. This weekend I’m mostly going to be hiding myself away with my netbook, sitting in a coffee shop in Bury St Edmunds somewhere and people watching, making notes, reading, rewriting and totally immersing myself in my characters and their lives so that I can bring them to you and make you love them all like I already do! If you’re in the vicinity, and want to treat me to a coffee and a cakey thing, be my guest.
So I’m not expecting Viva Voluptuous to be unleashed until later in the year, but to keep me going I thought I’d share a bit of the process with you. I’ll check in every week and let you know how I’m doing…and when it’s finally finished and I’m finally happy that I’ve done my book baby justice, you’ll be the first to know!