Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘story’

All Written Out-Christmas 2015!

I have had such a busy time of late. My writing, although still managing to squeeze it in before the world gets up, has been very prolific of late.   I am however, at the present time the sole judge of the quality of the words written, but most certainly I feel proud of the content of my literary achievements this year.

We (Sexy Sporty Dad and I) finished LEJOG in mid-September (Lands’ End) and within a week we were off to Ypres to celebrate a very special centenary “the Battle of Loos”, more of that later I hope.  We hit October at a fast run as we celebrated a significant birthday for Sexy Sporty Dad which entailed a surprise weekend with friends and family coming together to help him move through the barrier.

I then slowed momentarily as I gathered information and research for NANOWRIMO.

Never before had I been so determined and so organised.  I discovered there were no other local Nanos so decided to use my wonderful Swanwick friends and online Nanoers  to support my efforts.

It all started with a ‘virtual kick off party’ at midnight on 31 October, and even before I  got to bed in the early hours of Nov 1st I had  444 words under my belt.  Others at the virtual party did many more, but I felt I had shown my face and achieved my start, I retired to my bed and woke again in the early hours to resume.   I stayed with social media for the following 30 days to keep me going and gather encouragement in my quest.

Follow the story here:

October 31st

just to warn you all – about to go into hibernation! will be out of circulation for 30 days while I again take part in NANOWRIMO – write a novel in a month – the challenge is 1667 words per day, follow my progress on twitter @TiggyHayes or on facebook Tiggy Hayes

November 1st

great start to NANOWRIMO – over 2000 words already written. Today was easier as it was a day off – see how the rest of week pans out!

November 4th

Yeah – 8376 words 4 days. Suppose to be a journey but stuck in jail in Bodmin due to be hung tomorrow – could be a short story!

November 5th

11594 words by day 5. Flowing well but how to make him sound young vulnerable & scared without being plain stupid? He escaped hanging btw!

November 6th

2588 words this morning – on a roll now. but they are calling him by a different name – do we own up or run with it

November 8th

way on target with 19757 words done so far. lost the plot slightly yesterday so very staccato writing but just jumped from a burning window

hope he survives or the end of the book…..

November 9th

so going gets tough from now on. work commitments may lessen time available but well on NANOWRIMO target at the moment

November 10th

25000 half way..with 20 days to go – work is getting in the way. maybe I shoud give up work and go full time writing! and the bills???

November 11th

a restless night helped – no sleep so got up at 4 and wrote 2000 words – it is going to be a long day -work then meeting all evening

November 13th

slowing down – work getting busy only 1173 yesterday and 1845 today but hit the 30,000 words – will that sustain over my working weekend?

November 15th

33027 words -he smashed the lock realising moments later he could have picked it – so why did I teach him to pick locks in chapter 1?

November 16th

35185 words done – we are just escaping Bath where we were propositioned. feels odd to be set upon by a woman writing as a boy!

November 17th

so a good 2001 words – strange number – what do i know about iron smelting in 1749 nothing yet….. about to find out then i think

November 19th

over 40,000 words. Awkward moment as he jumps in a river to save boy (who’ll end up his wife-Don’t ask!) But he cant swim! What a meeting!

November 23rd

46,800 words 7 days left feeling confident despite recent dip … the relationship is still icy – need a bit of love or at least tolerationTop of Form

November 24th

finally at 47,600 words they’ve a good word to say to each other. Could be a short love story, with 6 days left to live happily ever after.

November 25th

50,007 words & now they are in love. The real adventure starts here for them & me.Thanks for the support, couldn’t have done it without you.


Nano Winner

November 28th

54,589 words – both on the run now- overnight in Penrith – a name & sex change for her and he still running from cornish constabulary.

and still only in 1752!

November 30th

winner and surpassed all expectations – 60,000 words. now married but still on the run – what does Fort William have in store for them and will they ever reach John O’Groats, hope so a very special letter awaits them there

December 2nd

NANO may be over but we have to reach the destination. Loch Ness passed in 2 paragraphs. Back saving boys from water but still can’t swim!

December 14th

NANO may have finished but story continued now at John o’Groates the letter has finally found them. Lets hope they live happy ever after

73,743 words, 144 pages and 44 days – Destination is going to sleep till the New Year.

I enjoyed my story, it changed dramatically from the one I had planned.  I worked well under the pressure of 1667 words a day and I managed to achieve 2000+ a day usually between 5 and 7 in the morning, which had no effect on my normal daily routine or work commitments.

Where some adventures came from I do not know, I would start with an idea and end with a completely different scenario which then had to be woven through my thoughts and writings.  The essence of the  story involved a long journey of learning, losing and loving. Lands’ End to John O’Groats in the mid 1700’s with my main protagonist a 13 year old boy;  all  out of my comfort zone writings but totally exhilarating.   There is a lot of work to do if ever I want to publish it; which people outside of NANOWRIMO don’t really understand.

“if you have written 73,000 words why can you not just publish it?  Why put it away?”  Good questions but what about the real bane of my life;  the dreaded editing phase!  And then, the even worse rejection phase?

If Destination stands any chance of being published it needs to go into hibernation itself while I concentrate on Christmas and New Year and work on some of my older stories.  I will look at it again, fresh and with new eyes as I feel this one may have legs to pursue.

Pursue I must for two very good friends have during Nano month had their own books published;

A wonderful collection of short stories superb for a coffee break or waiting for a child moments which I have on my kindle and can reread time and again just to cheer me up and remind me where determination can take me.  Little Gems by Rae Argent

And here is a great little one for all adventure/detective lovers that is now out in paperback.  The Common Murders by S J Ridgeway

The other incredible book I have recommended this year again by a friend of mine is a must for all nature lovers and most definitely anyone who grew up loving “Winnie the Pooh” is The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

I don’t recommend these book just because they are my friends but because they are good and these are the contemporary ladies I aspire to be like and to write like.

Have the most wonderful Christmas




destination front cover - draft

Monday Blog Tour

DSC_0085It was a surprise and delight to be asked to join in this tour of blogs from some very successful writers.  I hope I can do them justice.  Many thanks to Veronica for her tag to join the Monday Blog tour, you can read her blog here.

What am I working on at the moment?

Editing is the most obvious comment I would answer here.  I have my novel “Memories” which is still work in progress but out with a beta reader and awaiting a final red pen edit before taking a deep breath and sending out to some agents.

As part of my writing group, we took on the challenge to produce a story for People’s Friend which is not my normal style of writing.  The challenge to me is writing outside my comfort zone and of course the possibility of being published in such a popular well-read magazine.  I have now finished a possible story but it still requires some serious red pen editing before I feel brave enough to send it off.

I also have my monthly mini blogs I provide for the local community magazine.   This is probably one of the hardest things to do – I have about 250 -300 words to create a whole story for a wide audience who need to be drawn in and hooked.  The time pressure as well as the inevitable writers block are my main stumbling blocks.

Finally I am doing an Open University module on “Start Writing Fiction”.  Although already behind with the assignments I am learning from this and some of the short paragraphs I have to produce I already have ideas for short stories or even longer.

You have to remember that all of this is outside my normal life of being a mother, wife, daughter and full time worker.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I still have questions of my own regarding which genre I mainly fall into.   Memories is definitely for women, mothers who will identify with the main character.  But there are elements to some of my short stories that cross the genres such as horror and crime.  I tend to write from the heart so I create characters made up of me.

This sometimes does not work as readers identify too much with a character and then get upset when the character does something unexpected.  Crime writing is particularly prone to this.   A normal everyday situation faced with an everyday dilemma and in a moment of distraction rather than premeditation the character takes the wrong path and becomes my antagonist.

Why do I write what I do?

This is hard to give an answer to as I probably do not know.  I have always loved writing and creating stories and even real life always has an alternative story going on in my head; that ‘what if?’    I have always felt that I had a novel inside of me but it has taken many years of convincing to have the confidence to actually do something about it.

I have  taken part in NANOWRIMO three times, and succeeded twice. Memories originated here and although that year I didn’t finish in time the story has developed into a passable novel.  National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November and is 30 days to write  a 50,000 word novel.  The end product is raw but the achievement is incredible.   The challenge is certainly one of the reasons I write.

I find it cathartic to let the words tumble out having been given a kickstart.  Sometimes the words are not worth the paper they are written on but sometimes there is a spark of something that might work with development.

Finally how does my writing process work?

I start by writing early in the mornings before the rest of the family awakes.   This is my time and I can get quite emotional if disturbed.   7am is when the world is permitted to wake and I draw to a close whatever I am working on.  If I have not finished,  the story and characters will churn around all day in my mind and next day I begin again.

The words often fall out in a bit of a hurried jumble and often differ hugely from the original story line I started with.   I do very little editing at this stage and only later if I feel there is a market or place to develop this do I go back and edit.   I need space away from the story before I edit.

I do send things out and rely heavily on others to critique but still take everything they say to heart and personalise it.  I find critiquing other people’s work just as difficult.  Each stage, after the initial writing takes huge steps to build my confidence to allow others into my world of fiction and make believe.


I am tagging the lovely Elaine from   and  hope to tag tone other who will  continue this exciting tour of blogs so keep checking back.


You can see Veronica’s  post at




Have a look at what I am up to with my food blog at Tea Time Treats 




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