Easier said than done

My images are photos I took whilst visiting Scone Palace, in Perth, Scotland.  This is a token selection of the international range of trees on the estate.  The decision to produce woodland that was representative of so many countries would not have been taken lightly, but the men who suggested they would do it, stuck by their word, took many years and produced a splendid example of tree species from around the world.

A snapshot of the variety of trees in the gardens of Scone Palace, Perth, Scotland

As a writer it’s easy enough to suggest you will undertake a particualar task, like entering a competition.  We can all throw caution to the wind and make a claim like that but it’s getting down to the hard work that is the test.  I know I don’t have to write a complete novel in a short time span but I do know that in the next few weeks I have to produce my best writing to stand a chance of being taken seriously.

A word count of 5000 is not a big deal to show a sample of a writer’s work.  Making every word earn it’s keep in the entry is the task.  I have the novel written and I have already spent hours editing the first two chapters.  My introductory work now shows the protagonist take unexpected action which is followed by dialogue.  The dialogue doesn’t explain the reasons for his actions but serves to further complicate the introduction into the plot.  The action is maintained with traces of dialogue but still no full explanation because I want it to come in a later chapter.

The second chapter shows the protagonist in an entirely different setting.  He is no longer a serving soldier and is now setting himself a task that some would suggest was foolhardy.  He meets a lady who will be a close companion and ally throughout the tale but she has a secret she will not divulge to him until almost the end of the story.

My attempts at a two page synopsis have so far ended in frustration and a lot of lost hours of writing, but having now consulted different reference books on the subject I feel more confident.  Making the synopsis as good a read as the novel is a challenge although I have to remind myself that the novel should also mirror the standard of the synopsis.  I have six weeks to produce my prize winning effort so armed with a fair knowledge of Glasgow, my hero’s home turf, my plot, cast of characters and a host of reference material I’m off again into a world of my own.

Douglas Fir - a specimen tree, grown from seed sent from the Columbia River in 1826

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2 comments on “Easier said than done

  1. Pretty pictures! Sounds like you’ve got everything well in hand, Tom. Now you just need to make sure you don’t over-write and start making it worse again. I couldn’t get to sleep the other night because I kept trying to synopsise my novel in my head!

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    • Thank you Chloe. I’ll keep that advice in mind. I intend to give myself a week between each ediitng session so that I attack the task with a fresh approach each time, but I’ll make notes as I go so I don’t end up going around in circles. Many thanks.

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