I had hoped to be able to announce some lovely news here but it isn't public yet so will have to rein myself in! The good news is that my week here at the Anam Cara writing retreat, which draws to a close tomorrow, has helped enormously, as I hoped it would. Not in terms of writing reams of words, but in turning what I had seen as a strange mess of vaguely connected bits and pieces about my character, into a much more coherent whole. I have around 10,000 words and can see some kind of sense developing across them, an arc, which, not a novel, I think I will call a "story", which may be book-length, slim or slightly wider. Clear? Yes, I thought so. Anyhow, structure has fallen into place, interestingly non-linear, and some themes are emerging which are signposting me onwards. So: direction. What more can a writer want?
I did write several thousand words this week, bits of them for this story, some poems and a few flash stories, which is great, of course. But to now know what I am working on, the Bigger Picture, is what I have been waiting for for two years. I have another meeting with an agent in a few weeks to talk more about this project, will keep you updated.
In the meantime, here's a short story opportunity I came across - for UK residents only (sorry!):
When choosing the winner, the judges will be looking for the most original, gripping and well-crafted piece of writing.
Submissions can be on any theme, must be previously unpublished and no longer than 2,000 words.
The stories will be judged by authors William Boyd and Julie Myerson, and the winning story will be printed in Weekend magazine alongside others by established authors. Five runners up will have their stories published on the Guardian books website, at guardian.co.uk/books.
Send your story by 10 July to Short Stories, Guardian Weekend, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU or email@example.com. Please include a phone number.
Visit the site for the terms and conditions. Good luck!