I’ve written just over 1000 words on my novel today, mostly on the timeline. This looks at the progress over the past twenty years or so, book time, explaining how the changes in society came about and how and where my characters fit into those changes. I’ve also written a first draft of the synopsis. This all helped because I had to think about what the book is actually about, and also the characters themselves, what their parents were like, what their attitude towards childcare and education is, and how the stories interleave and are connected. Does anyone have any tools they use for organising timelines? I think the Write Your Own Novel software that I used to have contained a useful one, but scrivener doesn’t seem to have a built in calendar/timeline tool.

Now I really need to come up with a title. I’ve been thinking along the lines of a quotation, but can’t find one suitable. Something like “I believe that children are our future”, but it needs to be shorter and snappier. The idea of the book is exploring what family means, what education means and the relationship between families and society. Any suggestions gratefully accepted!

As I came up with the facts about the characters’ childhoods, I found that mini stories jumped into my head, like the time when Meryam was left at boarding school for the first time, or how Layla used to visit her mother occasionally and be impressed by how busy she always seemed and how important she was. Chantelle I’m not so clear on – she is rich and famous and working as a model/actress, which is not something I have any experience with!

The next piece I’ll actually be drafting properly is the opening of Meryam’s story, which will the the closest I’ll come to actually using the draft I wrote for nano originally. I hope to take that to the next writing group meeting at the end of the month. Apart from that, I’ve decided to write out the novel in note format – to be broken up into scenes in scrivener, to play around with for order, and then to go through each scene writing it properly once I’ve decided on final flow.

So for example Layla and Jenny discuss caring for a baby and Layla realises that maybe it’s not as difficult as she’s been brought up to believe turns into… a piece of marvellous prose with clear, thoughtful writing and well-crafted dialogue.  Maybe. In my dreams. Or in the fifteenth or sixteenth draft maybe.

In the meantime, I’m also improving my writing through my beta reading, which gives me opportunities to really dig deep into the writing process and see what works and what doesn’t.


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  1. I LOVE coming up with title ideas! 😉

    How about another quote from that song? is there another line, or couple of words that would suit?



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