• meilingvenning

The Covid elephant is shrinking. He trumpets at me every now and again to remind me he is here, but I am getting used to his sound and fury, and he allows me in my writing space for longer periods.

I have painfully unpicked the various pieces which make up my story. Four different subplots lay forlornly wondering where they will go. They are currently in a “holding pen”, while I examine the main story. I ask myself endless questions. Does the main storyline hold up on its own? I think it does. Next week I shall start to assemble the beginnings of each of the supporting plots and gently ease them in where I think they would be most useful.

And the writing groups? The crossword above constituted what would have been our April meeting prompt, and a few people responded. A few of us have learned how to use Zoom and have had a few trial runs. A “brainstorming meeting” is scheduled for later next week. We used to have such meetings in "real time, face to face" periodically before the days of isolation. I am also hoping to contact every member of the bigger group and see if we can arrange a virtual monthly meeting, but that will take some doing.

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  • meilingvenning

Tuesday 21 April

The emoji challenge brought forth a few pieces of writing which I will put on the Wyong Writes website—to show the world we are still in business.

And what of my own Work In Progress? The Covid elephant has glared at me, while I have actually started to attack my novel in earnest. He grudgingly allows me space in my writing area early in the day.

This is where I am up to now: I have one strong storyline surrounded by four subplots all of which crowd in towards the end, taking away from the impact of the end of the main story.

Now I am in the process of finding every reference to subplot no1. I have printed out those pages with relevant key words.

Before I can reassign those pieces, I need to follow the same process for subplots no 2,3 and 4. Only when I can see them printed out and highlighted in different colours, will I see the bones of my original plot laid bare. Then and only then will I be able to add in those cut pieces. Each piece will need to earn its keep.

In writing to a friend, I likened the 1st draft to the laying out of pattern pieces to make a dress, the excitement of cutting, pinning, tacking sewing and finally the joy of having a finished garment. My first two novels were planned well so that’s pretty well what happened, but this one—let us say the pattern pieces were not carefully considered enough. I am now painstakingly unpicking seams. The cloth will have to be ironed and the new pattern pieces carefully laid over the old shape. There will be wastage, yes, and some new pieces of cloth will have to be found and fashioned to fit the gaps.

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  • meilingvenning

Tuesday 14th April 2020

During this past week, I mostly allowed the elephant’s takeover bid for

my space. I expect the coming weeks will see the occasional tussle from me as I try to work around this huge bulk, and sometimes he

will win.

A chance comment on social media from a friend about how we all “make up our own story”, brought a string of emojis from me. And from there, it was a short hop to creating the basis for the “emoji challenge”. That is a 500 word story using a set of five emojis: one character, one animal, one setting, one obstacle, one thing thrown in for fun. I explained to a writing friend and asked her to send me such a list in order for me to be a guinea pig. I received six.


Having established that this works, I then chose another five emojis and emailed the new challenge to all of Wyong Writers. I wait to see who has written what over Easter.