Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's Your Story?

I've just entered Waterstone's What's Your Story? competition, where you have to write a short story with only 600 characters to fit onto a postcard. It was really difficult, but fun too! You also get to customise your postcard. Some of them are really good.
Anyway, you can read mine (easiest to find if you view by date in the Gallery section - mine was uploaded today, called 'Time Bandit'), you can read other submissions, and also enter yourself at:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


At 22:10 last night, in the David Wilson Library, I finally completed the first draft of Inter Vivos. Well, I am calling it Draft 1a, as I need to go back and fill in a few missing blanks that I skipped over in my quest for the finish line. I also need to come up with a couple of important names, so will be using Behind the Name again to see if I can find anything suitable. Then I'm going to spend a few days typing up what I've written (yesterday I wrote 22 A5 pages in 1 and 3/4 hours and my hand got cramp), and then I will go back and write it all out again with corrections and the missing sections completed. I'm hoping to have Draft 1b completed by 20th June at the latest. And then I will be giving it to a few friends to read (let me know anyone if you're also interested), and then will begin my second draft, to be finished by October 2008 at the very latest.
So yippee to me for finally getting to the end!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tick, Tock, Tick

I'm feeling really frustrated because I want to be a writer, but I don't have anything written! I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but that's just how it is. I've been reflecting on my own writing style and habits, and I've come to the conclusion that my weakness is story. Don't get me wrong, I can get Character A and Character B from X to Y with a few subplots inbetween perfectly well, thank you, but when someone asks me 'What's it about?' I get stumped. I vaguely have a notion of what I would like the story to say on a deeper level, but find it difficult to get my story to reflect that. I know, "practice makes perfect", but noone's getting any younger. I read in this book I got out of the library (can't remember the title right now), that having one child = two books (in terms of time, energy, etc). It was controversal when whoever said it said it, but I can kind of see what they mean - I have friends who have kids and they don't even have time to have a conversation with their husbands, let alone write a manuscript. I really want to get a book published before I have a child. Not that I'm planning on having children in the next few years, but it's something to think about (especially when everyone around me seems to be 'up the duff'). I feel better for ranting now, so hope you'll excuse me!
I've been thinking of radio, and so I emailed Amanda and asked her for her advice, as she's written quite a bit for radio now. She told me that radio is a lot more intimate than theatre, and sent me one of her radio scripts to look through. This is where story comes along, as radio is all about the storytelling. Think I might have a go and adapting Hoodies and High Street Aphrodite for the airwaves.
In terms of Inter Vivos - still not finished. Am thinking that maybe I should just trust my inital feelings and set it in the near-future, rather than in it's own dimension. Should not let people sway me before a) I've finished and b) they've read it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Nox Update

Well, Inter Vivos is finally coming to an end, and my most recent contributions to the story are absolute rubbish. But, I'm moving on from this, and thinking of ways to fix it. I think draft two will be written in the third person. Whereas some of the chapters and scenes work really nicely as first-person narrative, the Maiden is turning into a Bond villian - telling their life history and motives to the captured hero before they plan to kill him. Not good. And there are some things that Nox (my narrator) just wouldn't know, that feel false to add in, and yet are pretty vital in setting up my universe.
I want to buy lots of books at the minute, but just haven't the time to read them. I'm currently reading Charles De Lint's Moonheart, and, well, it's a little bit boring. I think part of it is that it hasn't aged well - there's a bit with a Jamacian musican which seems very un-PC to my 21st century ears, and everyone is smoking all the time, and the story has just taken too long to set up - but anyway, I don't want it to be another Glass Book, so I'm going to stop reading it, and move on to something else. Possibly Le Guin. I'm also reading The Book of Lost Things, which is quite good, but hasn't hooked me yet, American Gods, which is ace, and I've been listening to Labyrinth (the Kate Mosse version; sadly not the Davie Bowie movie), which is quite dull, so far. Any good book recommendations are more than welcome.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Have decided that I'm going to concentrate on my writing, and so am not going to audition for 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'. So there.

Twisty Knickers

People get their knickers in a twist about anything. Right now it's the Rosen vs. Rowling story-that-never-was. I keep promising myself never again to read the comments on Guardian blog, but I inevitably do, and then I get pissed off again.

I'm trying to decide whether to go and join KPAOS and do Thoroughly Modern Millie. The problem is that the group rehearses on a Tuesday (which is fine), with Monday rehearsals for principals, which is not good, as this will clash with rehearsals for Jekyll. Pros for joining are that it's based in Leicester, so no more expensive train fares and waiting around late at night at dimly lit railway stations, and that I might get a part. Cons are that I might just get chorus, and it looks like I may have to quit Jekyll, which I'm just starting to enjoy. One to ponder, I think.

I've still not heard back about Calypso, and it's been forever! Well, three weeks, but that's still a very long time. I wonder what the longest some one has had to wait before finding out if their submission has been accepted?

IV still not finished, and the five pages I wrote on the train last night coming back from rehearsal really stink. Let's hope a second draft will save it all, eh?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekly Post

For some reason, I am currently only managing to write one post a week. How strange. I will endeavour to write more regularly in future.
However, despite the inactivity of this blog, I have been very active in terms of my own writing, though I have to confess that IV still isn't finished. "Almost" is all I can really say at the moment. Nearly finished draft 1a, and then it's on to draft 1b, before the fun begins with the second draft. Oh joy! Isn't it weird though how, even though I'm trying to concentrate on writing this one thing, other ideas keep popping into my head, pleading with me to write them instead. The Dorcas idea is practically wetting its pants with desparation, but that has to wait til November. And I've had a few ideas for short stories, and for turning play ideas into short stories until I get round to writing them as plays. So at least my procrastination is productive.

I got a short but sweet rejection email from 'Podcastle' for Lupus, which could be due to the fact that it's not quite fantasy enough, or its too rude, or too short, or its just not their cup of tea. Oh well. Still haven't heard about Calypso yet from the other place. Two weeks and counting. I am so not a patient person.

I went to see Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, which was really brilliant, though was annoyed that Svetlana has an extra song in this production than she did when I played her. Josh Groban, Adam Pascal, Kerry Ellis and David Bedella were amazing. Marti Pellow was not.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Sun is Out, The Skies are Blue...

For some reason, I'm feeling proper head dizzy today, like I'm drunk but sober, or have been spinning around for ages and have just suddenly stopped. Very weird. At first I thought it was low blood sugar level or something, but I've had tea and a plum, and that hasn't helped. Peculiar, and not very nice.
Anyway, this blog isn't supposed to be 'Hypocondriac's Haven', it's supposed to be about writing. And I have almost finished Inter Vivos, which is very exciting news. Nox is in prison, about to meet the person who holds all the answers and then in about 10,000 words time, I'm done. Whoop!
However, I have a long way to go after that, and I've already started planning my rewriting process, how to make sure my story is structurally consistant, and so on. But with a bit of look I can send out the first draft to friends to give me feedback (volunteers anyone??) sometime in July.
I have also been researching places that I can submit short stories to and which might actually pay me for them. I've got a couple of shorts in production at the moment, so it would be nice if I could find a home for them. Fingers crossed, etc.
Still haven't heard anything regarding my submission of Calypso, but it has only been 6 days. Really am not a patient person at all!
And I have recently lost two friends to 'The Motherhood', that exclusive cult where they turn their backs on normal activities, such as drinking, staying up late, and watching Desperate Housewives, in favour of all-day morning sickness, falling asleep before 9pm, and wearing elasticated-waisted gypsy skirts (because 'maternity clothes are too expensive'). Seriously, though, Congratulations you guys!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nearing 'The End'

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I wish I could say I've been busy writing, but unfortunately I've been busy with work. I have since been to Canterbury, which was lovely; though I got lost trying to find the exit at the Cathedral, I managed to write another 7 pages of Inter Vivos. I *think* (fingers crossed, etc) that I shall have finished the first draft by my deadline. Then it will be time to go over it with a fine-toothed comb, and fill in the missing bits, and possibly change the narration from 1st to 3rd person, I haven't quite decided. Guess I shall see how it reads once I've reached the end.
Isn't 'The End' a wonderful phrase? Though I don't think creative work ever really has an 'end' as such - there's always editing and proof-reading to be done, and I don't think anyone is ever 100% happy with what they've written. Rather than 'The End' maybe it should be 'I can't stand to fiddle with it any more - I'm done!'. Also, in terms of stories, characters always tend to live on after the book is finished, and, especially in these days of cash-in spin-offs and sequels, they will sometimes reappear elsewhere later on.

So on that note, I can tell you that I've finished my short story Calypso, and have sent it off to see if it's considered worthy enough for publication. We shall see.