Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ernest Hemingway - I'm Listening

Life, as usual for me, has been pretty hectic lately. So what do I do? I enrol on a Creative Writing MA, of course. A mountain of reading to get through, lectures to attend, workshops to take part in and not to mention the homework.

One of my big projects, and it pains me to say this, has taken a back seat because of the hecticness, hectivity? I'm talking about finishing my second novel. I stopped writing it this summer and haven't been able to get back to it. I've written lots of other things so I can't put it down to writer's block. I thought it was because I didn't think the idea strong enough but since starting the MA, the creative juices are flowing and I'm missing those charaters terribly. I want to find out what happens to them. I'm still convinced I have a good story there.
English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...
But how to begin - again? Enter Ernest Hemingway. 

You might be familiar with his writing tips but one in particular stands out and could be the tip that helps me get that elusive second novel written.

Hemingway suggests you read what you've written before from the start and then continue from there

The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. When it gets so long that you can’t do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start. That’s how you make it all of one piece.
So that's what I will do and I will post my progress as I go. Who knows, I may have writtien the first draft by Christmas!

What is your writing challenge? Post it here and we can all encourage each other by visiting blogs and giving words of encouragement.

Good Luck fellow writer!

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  1. Hi Fran, this is Liz from the WL writing group - good luck with the MA! I really enjoyed what I heard of your second novel, so am sorry you've stalled on the writing of it. Hope this new approach works for you, because I want to know what happens to your characters, too. :)

    As for my current writing challenge, by Christmas I would reeeaaalllly like to get my current novel up to a point where I can start submitting to agents. I'm not quite taking the Hemingway approach, but I do find that when I sit down to write, giving yesterday's writing a quick edit helps me find the right headspace/voice.

  2. Hi Liz! Thanks for dropping by. Enjoying the MA so far, hope I can cope when the assignments are due. I managed to write over 1600 words yesterday and want to keep going - a good sign:) I think my characters have been in limbo and want to resolve some issues.

    Good luck with your Christmas challenge and keep me posted.

  3. Fran, this is exactly how I finished two novels, I just didn't know I was following Hemingway's advice.
    Interesting because so many writers say the opposite, to just keep writing and not edit until you finish. Hemingway's approach works for me.

  4. I don't believe anyone can not edit along the way. Is that possible? I'm not going overboard with editing as I go, I'll save that for when I get to the end but back tracking a little helps keep me grounded. Especially as I have a lot of characters to think about!