Monday, 21 June 2010

On Facebook!

*testing*

Hey, I finally figured out how to get this thing to appear on my Facebook feed! *feels the connection* Perhaps now I'll get a person or two reading this thing, though there's no obligation, my friends. I wouldn't be a writer if writing depended on being read... -_-

Funny how everything is connected these days. I'm not on Twitter, because I haven't deserted Facebook yet, but most of the sites I visit link back to my Facebook: iPlayer, YouTube, now this blog... can't remember if there's anything else. I like it, most of the time, although sometimes, I don't want everyone on my Facebook friends reel to, say, know that I've liked a video. Not because it's anything bad, but perhaps slightly offbeat. I might be quite aware that something is terrible (crude filming, etc), but if it's vaguely related to Literature, it might still amuse me, and I might still want to give it some positive feedback. But I might not want to recommend it to all my Facebook friends, because most of them probably won't understand why I'd rate it. So then I have a bit of a dilemma.

But oh well. Look at me, writing two blogs in one day. I even started writing the opening of something that I've potentially considering developing into a new novel. I'm on fire... or perhaps I'm just bored...

Thrifty living

As an impoverished student/writer, I've mastered the art of living thriftily.. So I thought I'd share a few tips with my fellow impoverished readers...

1. Keep your eyes on the ground in public places - pennies make pounds, after all, and sometimes you can even find notes! My greatest find was a £5 note in London one time. Sure I nearly got run over to fetch it, but the point is, I didn't!
It's not only money, either. If you happen to be in an academic type institution and ever need a paperclip, don't bother buying a set on the ground. Just look to the ground. If I'm trying, I can pick up one every day! Not too bad.

2. Try out cheap brands. Experiment. Sure some of them aren't that great, but a lot are practically the same as their famous counterparts. I find that Tesco or Co-Op cheap tomato soup tastes the same as Heinz, for about 40p less, and I'm partial to Co-Op mushroom soup!

3. Buy whole milk and add water. I've never tried this, but it sounds like an intriguing idea. Also, if you live near a Poundland, have a look inside to see if they sell milk. You can get a 4 pint just like any other, but for £1 rather than £1.50+.

4. Don't bother with a TV and TV license. Is there REALLY anything worth watching on TV to warrant it? You can get most of the decent shows on the catch up programs like iPlayer anyway.

5. If you're a student, check out StudentBeans.com. Monday-Thursday, get 2-for-1 on Cinema tickets each week. And find various discounts on eating out. Why go out for a meal on a Friday or Saturday, when you can pay half the price by eating out on a Saturday?

6. For non-students, simply sign up to restaurant mailing lists by visiting their websites. They'll routinely email you with offers. Also, get familiar with happy hours and make the most advantage of those.

7. Keep an eye on the deals and buy in bulk when long-life products are on offer. Canned products and tea lasts forever!

8. Make the most of anything free. Take away the free sachets of tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar from cafes!

9. If you go for a day-trip to London, don't buy ice cream from the ice cream trucks. Go to McDonald's and get a much cheaper McFlurry.

10. Travelling long distances? Buy train tickets as far in advance as possible to get cheap prices. Buy from the 'official' places if possible, rather than something like raileasy.com because those places don't charge booking fees. My favourite is eastcoast.co.uk, which offers further online discounts. Don't be mislead by the name - it sells train tickets for all over the country.

Use those tips to survive on low income until that novel is finally published!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Completed novel!

Hello! *blows out the dust*

Surprising how many spiders invade when you don't visit for a while...

Anyway! I just finished 'Zack'. It ended up totalling 68588 words. And because I like stats, that means I wrote 229 words on average per day, 10 words an hour, and 0.2 words a minute. Hehehe. More accurately, I tended to write a few thousand for a couple of days, then have a few weeks/months off...

It's likely that that word count will change in the editing process. At the moment, I feel it will grow, as I fear there's some work to be done on at least one character in the early stages of the novel, if possible.

I'm not too worried about the word count, even though it is probably 'over' what is recommended for YA. There are a couple of reasons. One is that I'm not even sure if it IS Young Adult. It feels too dark for a large part of the novel. I'm not sure. Another is that because it's a bit of a genreless blob floating on white space, it's probably not going to be a break-through novel... Hey, but I'm reasonably happy with it, and I think it will be a good one to read, even if I have to get another novel published before I can hope to get this one out in print.

The publishing world is a mean place. They want you to be original, but at the same time, they don't want you to be too dangerous, lest it flops. That's especially true if you're an unpublished author trying to break into the market.

Perhaps I'm just being pessimistic about my novel's chances, however. I'll run it through my writing circle this summer to see how it is received. Have I mentioned http://www.critiquecircle.com/ before? Without exaggerating, it's the most amazing place on the whole wide web. I've been a member for almost six years now...amazing how time flies.

It'll take about 20 weeks to get the novel through Critique Circle, chapter by chapter, taking us into November. After that, it'll be time to edit and decision time: do I bother trying to submit it? Hopefully, if I stick to the plan, and I do decide to go with it, then I'll get some submissions out in the new year. What a long process.

In the meantime, it's time to go back to the ideas folder. I have a vague idea of what I want to do next...