Saturday, December 19, 2009
I have been giving all of the Absolute Sandmans now, and I have all of new Who, so am very happy in a very geeky way. Love early Christmas presents.
Am working on a new first chapter of Inter Vivos at the mo (like, literally, a minute ago on the train). I'm trying to make it more engaging right from the beginning, rather than from chapter 11 onwards.
Plans for Christmas involve going home to Shilton, visiting Alex, and starting to edit IV. I also want to read Sandman volume 2, but it's not the most portable of books.
If I'm not online before then, merry Christmas everyone!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I won NaNoWriMo 2009 with The Banshee. I finished on Sunday, though had to wait til Monday before I got internet connection so I could upload my file into the official word counter thingie. Sunday was hard. I had basically written the story to the end, but had about 3,000 words to go until my target, so I gave my banshee and her best friend a nice Christmas dinner together.
I'm not sure what I'll do with my Banshee novella, whether to write it as a novel or adapt it as a short story or play even, or whether to just leave it in the drawer for the foreseeable future. I think it has potential, and the characters seemed very real to me, but as I mentioned before, I think I'd have to introduce some sort of exciting sub-plot to liven things up a bit - currently, Tom meets a banshee, falls in love with her, whilst his best friend falls in love with him, they run around a bit, whilst also trying to save the man the banshee is assigned to escort to the underworld, and then people die. It was at the "running around" part that things got really boring.
Anyhow, for now, it's back to Inter Vivos. I'm reading through all the way to the end without making notes. I'm on chapter three right now, and so far can say very definitely that the first three chapters suck. I think because I still wasn't sure at that stage how to begin my story, so I left out vital pieces of information and wrote really formally for some reason. All stuff that'll need to be rewritten in draft 3. Sigh.
No rest for the wicked!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I have just under 6,000 words to write before I reach 50,000 for NaNoWriMo, and my novel is almost finished. The banshees have bansheed, and my cast is one character lighter, but it feel good. I still don't think the middle is that exciting - I think if I were to write a second draft, I'd have to add an interesting and adrenaline-fuelled sub-plot to raise the stakes slightly.
So once again the cup is half full.
As soon as this is over, I'm going straight back to Inter Vivos. I have started reading it through, and am half-way through chapter two at the moment. It's really difficult to read it without wanting to take notes and mark it up, but I promised myself I'd read until the end without getting my pen out once before going back and dissecting it to pieces.
I have to admit, the beginning so far isn't very good. There are some good bits, but like the flowers in my really messy garden, they are being smothered by crap.
I got a rejection from Weird Tales about one of the stories I had sent off, so have sent it back out to another magazine, and hoping I'll be second time lucky for a sale.
I'm really hoping that this new year will be when it all takes off for me, so for now I have to keep slogging away.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Anybody have any good ideas for ways to add excitement into my life? Or at least a good book to read that I can escape into?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
My story is a little boring, lacking in explosions and the like, but at least I have stuff planned now which should see me through to 50k.
After writing Inter Vivos though, 50,000 words seems like nothing. I don't mean in terms of effort, because it is still a big achievement to write that much, especially in such a limited time. What I mean is in terms of story developement. I've less than 20,000 words to go, and I'm starting to realise that the big things in my novel are going to have to happen soon. I had planned to kill off a minor character at 32K exactly, but I'm nowhere near that yet (about a day away in story terms). And then a major character has to die, and I've realised I'm going to be writing that in about two days time at this rate. So the whole writing process has gone so fast that it doesn't feel like it's even sunk in what has happened yet. It's like I've sleep-typed my entire story. I can type approx 2000 words an hour now so that helps and it doesn't - the story is just thoughts on a page, rather than laboured over prose. Oh well.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In terms of word count I'm doing well. In terms of story though...it all feels a bit rushed. I haven't read back over anything I've written yet, so I don't have anything to really reflect on, but I feel like at the minute I'm merely capturing scenes, rather than feeling and living them. I've moved away from 3rd person singular to 3rd person multiple viewpoint, so that now I can jump into anyone's head that I feel like it, depending on whose is the most appropriate mind to view a particular scene from. It's working so far. Plus, it's nice to get out of Tom's head. He's a bit dull. I might have to inflict him with a lisp or something to make him a tad more interesting. If he was a Sim, I probably would have drowned him by now.
I've had quite a productive year this year. I've written Inter Vivos draft 2 from scratch starting in January, which amounts to just over 120,000 words in its unedited state. I've completed three short stories, two of which are making the rounds at the moment looking for publication. And now I'm almost 19,000 words into my new Banshee novel.
I'm not sure what I'll do when I can finally say "Inter Vivos is finished" and start sending it off to publishers and agents. I will start working on another novel, naturally, but the decision will be between Dorcas Grubb and Banshee, and possibly something else, depending on how long it takes me to finish IV. I also want to work on a collection of interlinked short stories, ordered a bit like Pulp Fiction out of chronological order with occasional recurring characters.
It's good to have options.
So that's it really. Still reading Juliet Barker's Brontes biography, which weighs a tonne. I've drawn the conclusion that Charlotte wasn't particularly likeable, rather selfish actually and quite condescending. My favourite is Anne, the more practical, realistic one. Going to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall next.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sure, the last couple of paragraphs are a bit shit, but that'll all be fixed in round 3: Editing. Roll on December 1st for that one!
So this leaves me free to write my new story for NaNoWriMo. Very excited.
Still no story for Hallowe'en though, unless I can come up with something later tonight.
Anyway, I'm too happy to stay now, so I'm off to Morrisons. Woop again!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I've been working on Inter Vivos since November 2006. Not exclusively, mind you. This year I have pulled my finger out and tried to make a go of things, tried to get the story into shape and all that. And now I'm on the last chapter, and you'd think it'd be easy sailings, but no. Now I have to invent a whole political system for my new society. And I know diddly-squat about politics. It's sort of fun to make up your own system of government, but the problem is that I'm fundamentally lazy. And there's a voice in my head going "but it's the end! You shouldn't have to work anymore!" But I do, and so that's what I'm here doing. Urgh indeed.
It takes so much discipline to write something of novel length. And I know that once this last chapter is finished, the manuscript as a whole still won't be completely. I have to go back over it and check it for consistency and tone. I already know there are passages that will need to be reworded or corrected, either because I was having a bad day that day, or because a character changed slightly during the course of the novel.
But, the positive side is at least most of the "hard work" will be done before NaNoWriMo. November will be a month of experimentation, spitting out a whole new novel to worry about in years to come. Then December will be time to re-read IV and note down what needs changing, and then January 2010 - well, that's when the "hard work" starts again.
And I still haven't even thought of what I can write for my hallowe'en story. Well, I have a vague idea, set on a different planet (or our planet millions of years in the future) but I'm not sure how that will fit with the hallowe'en topic. I could always add zombie-vampires to it, I suppose.
Right, break over. Back to work. (I'm such a slave driver...)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tonight I'm off to the library to try to finish Inter Vivos. I just want to write something where the plot of the story isn't "girl trying to get boy to like her". I do enjoy romantic comedy, but I've been getting a little bit annoyed that most films with a female protagonist tend to be about relationships. Now, Alien is an obvious example of a film with a strong heroine who doesn't spend the entire film wondering whether her crush will ask her out, but that part was famously written for a man before Sigourney Weaver was cast. Is that telling? Can anyone suggest some good non-horror movies that aren't about women bitching about men (or their lesbian crushes)?
Anyway, my heroine Nox is more concerned with the fact that she's murdered folk, rather than trying to win the heart of some handsome prince, so that's alright then.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I finished a new short story last week, and I'm just putting the finishing touches to it. Well, I say "new" - I actually started it last November during Damien's writing class, and have only just gotten around to completing it. It's currently called "The Eye That Came To Work", though the more I type that, the less I like it. Still, I think I'll be sending it off shortly to see if I can find a home for it in one of the e-zines. Fingers crossed.
As per usual, Scary Duck's condensed movie made me chuckle. This one's The Hobbit/LOTR: http://scaryduck.blogspot.com/search/label/Condensed%20films
Inter Vivos is still ongoing. Going to head off to the library tonight to do some more. Must work on The Maiden not being a very bad pantomime villain. Think it'll help though when I have a completed first draft, so I can look at her role the whole way through, and decide what to do with her. Gotta stop her monologuing - that's for certain.
Hallowe'en is coming up, and I'm having a Mary Shelley party, where we all have to write a horror story to read to the group. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to write. Hannah said she'd do a comic, which sounds excellent. If only my drawings didn't look like those of a five year olds...
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
This bit in The Guardian made me chortle: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/oct/05/shakira-she-wolf
I guess it helps if you've seen the video it's talking about, which is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aEW_Z5Va5s
Monday, October 05, 2009
I am still working away at Inter Vivos - going to go and do some more once I've finished this blog post - and I'm still waiting to hear from a couple of magazines where I've submitted work, so it's quite busy at the moment, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed all goes well.
It's almost NaNoWriMo time, and so I thought I'd blog a little bit about this year's project, although I don't have everything planned out yet. I have mentioned it before in bits and pieces, but thought I'd try to expand a little bit on what I've already told you, so you have more of an idea what I'm on about.
So that's the jumble that's in my head at the moment. Will hopefully have it in some sort of semblance of a plot before November 1st.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Good news, Anakin Skywalker and Scarlett O'Hara were voted worst movie boyfriend and girlfriend respectively. Now that would make an interesting pairing:
Him: Sulk, sulk, no one appreciates how good I am. Sulk.
Her: Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Work is crazy busy right now, but back to the writing tonight. Finish Inter Vivos by end of October? I hope so, because then I can spend November "having a break" doing NaNoWriMo, and then get on with the editing in December.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
I haven't worked on any of my stories whilst I've been off. Yeah, I know. Naughty me. I had hoped to have IV properly finished by now, but I'm still working my way through my revised ending notes. I watched the last episode of the BBC version of Jane Eyre whilst I was off, and it struck me how much the end part of IV that I'm writing now is like the bit in Jane Eyre after she runs off from Rochester and is found by St John. I have previously referred to Inter Vivos as "Jane Eyre with Cyborgs", but had picked Jane Eyre simply because it is one of the best known examples of a Bildungsroman. Having read the story in my first year at university, I could only really remember the middle bit, Jane's time at Thornfield up until she runs off after the wedding. So I'm rereading those couple of chapters from the point she leaves right up until she gets found, in the hope that it inspires me when I'm writing Nox's journey from Calista to Aquarius after she leaves the Governor's mansion. It was purely coincidental, but it is kinda cool to think of Jane as Nox's very distant ancestor.
Anyhow, hopefully in the next month or so I should be able to post some proper updates about writing and stuff. I've sort of "fell off the horse", or "off the wagon" or whatever other phrase you want to choose, so it's time to pick myself up now that I'm rested, and hop back on.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The shows that I saw:
Broken Holmes (twice)
Over the Threshold (see review in previous post)
The Big Comedy Breakfast (pretty funny, and still quoting "past life related" from Sarah Pearce's routine with my friends!)
A Stroke of Genius (really inventive staging and use of props and multimedia, genuinely made me laugh and the lead actress was amazingly good - reminded me of Shirley Henderson).
Orphans - great dialogue and acting, slightly disappointing plot (flaws of logic in the main premise and the first act a little dull).
Perfect Pitch presents...(free showcase of some of the new musicals on at the Fringe)
The World's Wife (Excellent one-woman show performing Carol Ann Duffy's work of the same name)
The Great British Soap Opera The Musical (really well structured show, catchy songs, great acting, although one of the actresses seemed to have a problem with her belt - that's her singing, not her accessorises!)
Baby (Cambridge Uni version of the musical - a couple of the male actors playing it up for the crowd, but generally really good).
The Rap Guide to Evolution (this was funny, but not a parody. Really explained the theory, but also put it into everyday context and related it to rap music. Great lyrics and beats).
A-Team the musical (really funny silliness, though the songs - and singing - were poor).
Ophelia (Drowning) (bizarre yet beautiful play staged in a swimming pool. Got splashed quite a bit, acting good from the "Ophelia" and the "Gertrude" but I would have cast Gertrude as older, without the Claire's accessories tiara, and the bloke in it was just a bit weird).
Plus a seminar on "How to Sell a Show at the Fringe" and a quick visit to the Museum on the Mound.
I also watched a bit of a terrible free comedian at one of the Laughing Horse venues quite late at night, but we left when we realised that this guy clearly had no friends to tell him "hey, you're not funny".
My favourite shows of the bunch (Broken Holmes aside of course), were The World's Wife, A Stroke of Genius, The Great British Soap Opera (not because I found out that I guy I know wrote it, but for the fact that I still have one of the songs in my head now - 4 days later) and the Rap Guide to Evolution (which, for the month of August you can download for free here. Funny and educational - do it!).
It was really great seeing loads of uni friends, old school friends and meeting new people too. It did make me want to write a play again, but at the same time, the question kept coming to me - do I have the energy anymore to do all that promotional work, all that press liaison, all that flyering, etc for three straight weeks? Morph is looking to take a play next year, to continue on the "Semper Theatre" name. Guess I'll have to find some energy from somewhere before then!
So for me now, post Edinburgh, it's back to the writing. More Inter Vivos, and I think I'm going to start my next novel a little earlier than planned. I was saving it for NaNoWriMo, but after what happened with Dorcas Grubb (where I basically had run my inspiration dry by waiting too long to actually write it) I'm a bit scared to leave it much longer.
So short term goals are currently: lose the extra inch I've gained in Edinburgh whilst surviving on a diet of nachos and fried breakfasts; finish off Inter Vivos in the next two weeks; start something new.
Friday, August 07, 2009
The second show was a new musical, called Over the Threshold, that made the hairs on the back of my arm stand on end. Really stunning, emotive storytelling, with a really talented cast. I did think the guy playing Charlie was a bit miscast. I wasn't sure whether he was a yuppie or a player. Also, one of the numbers wasn't as clever as it thought it was. Still, it was really good, and I'm really glad I went. On my own now, killing time until we all meet up again. Edinburgh is buzzing, it's quite exhausting. Anyway, more shows tomorrow.
I went to see Broken Holmes last night, and I really enjoyed it. I love Robin's writing; his quirky combination of elegant Wilde-like (Wildean?) wit and the cruder parlance of today is seamless, and in BH, every line is a zinger. As a rule, I don't like farce, but this play is farce without the extreme silliness, as found in Orton and Fo (though there is silliness there; a green snake sock puppet comes to mind).
Not only is it elegant farce, but it is also farce with a heart. The characters of Holmes and Watson aren't merely stock 2 dimensional caricatures, but fully functional disfunctional individuals. Robin has built on our conceptions of these characters and given them a believable reinterpretation, raising Holmes to true antihero status and giving the whole story a refreshing 21st century shake up. Watson is a giant of a man, quite capable, one feels, of knocking the abusive Holmes to kingdom come with a single punch, had Holmes not already demasculinised him. The show is on for 3 weeks at venue 45, so if you are in Edinburgh or are going to be coming up, I recommend that you try and see it. It was a really nice way to end a busy day.
Monday, August 03, 2009
So on I go, working on the novel that I seem never to be able to finish, no matter how close I get.
In a blog related note, I'm off to Edinburgh for the first part of the Fringe on Thursday, and am going to try to post some reviews of the plays I see on here whilst I'm away, if my BlackBerry holds out. I've already booked tickets to see Orphans and The World's Wife, but I have a list of approximately 5 shows a day that I want to see, so I may be very busy!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
My Corrie Flint story, henceforth referred to as "A Natural Talent" (unless it undergoes yet another title change) has been released into the world, landing safely in a magazine slush pile, and I don't expect to hear anything back from it or them for at least a month. But at least it's now officially "out there", so I'll keep you posted should anything come of it.
Whilst adding my latest submission to my log, I discovered I have not submitted any of my work anywhere for eight months! How crazy is that? And I pertain to call myself a writer? I guess I've had a fairly good excuse (busy writing the novel), but still.
I've now decided to try to get a short story or two finished, as well as continuing on with Inter Vivos. I've got 5 chapters to write for the novel, then it's re-write time, and I haven't done much on it in the past 6 weeks.
Now is the time to kick myself in the arse and get a write-on again. I have found that not enjoying the day job is a great motivator to write, so now seems like the perfect time to kick-start my would-be career.
Reread Deathly Hallows again on Sunday (yeah, yeah, I know). I don't understand how one can get so absorbed in a book. Like literally, whilst reading I was impervious to hunger and sleep and the need for the toilet. Dark magic indeed.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I'm still not finished with my Corrie Flint story - I'm just tidying it up a little bit now. Plus, I can't think of a title. I wanted to come up with something witty and clever, maybe some sort of pun based around fire and talent, but I can't think of anything good. I think the latest draft is called "Burning Talent", but I think I might go with "An Unusual Talent". I can't really decide - neither are right. Suggestions on a postcard please...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I am presently sitting in Starbucks - since when did they become so ethnic? African drummers on loop on the CD player, and prints of Kenyan elephants and Antigua on the wall. Last time I was in here, I distinctly remember them playing Christina Aguilera. Oh well. Times they are a-changing.
Speaking of which, all seems to be going well with my Semper buddies. Broken Holmes is into its rehearsal period, Phil's book is now available from Amazon (plug, plug), and Hannah is taking over the internet, one tweet at a time. I sincerely hope that I have some news soon, but unfortunately right now all I can report is that I'm writing. It takes so long!
In other news, I have a small project in the works at the minute, more news to follow, but hopefully it will take off and be grand!
So that's it! One more thing I wanted to add to that was, I think I may have found the perfect job! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8138665.stm
Monday, June 29, 2009
(I tried to embed the video here, but for some reason couldn't copy and paste the whole of the text code - anyone know why?)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I have decided to reread the Harry potter books, and have just finished the first, and I'm also reading The Host by Stephenie Myer. It's not bad. Good idea, pretty well executed so far, though the love scenes are embarrassing. Plus, I don't get why having sex at 17 (post apocolypic world or not) is a bad thing. Guess that's mormons for you.
I have a new story in development - Corrie Flint, fire demon, auditions for America's got talent. As I started to write today (idea occured whilst in hotel room yesterday in Sheffield) I thought that I might like to write a series of short stories with intersecting characters, sort of Pulp Fiction style but without all the shooting. Not sure when ill have time for this grand project, but thought I'd document it here in case I forget.
Inter vivos tomorrow. Am locking myself in my hotel room in the hope I finish at least two chapters. There is a chance though that I instead go mad, a la the shining. Five TV channels, I mean!
Monday, June 22, 2009
It is weird eating in restuarants alone, especially commercial ones that are geared towards families or couples. Even in this bar right now there are kids running around. I don't mind doing it, but I wish people would lay off with the pity stares.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
The problem with Inter Vivos is that I can't get the scenes right where Nox is possessed by the heart. I'm trying not to worry about it at the minute, but know ill need to fix it when I come to edit it.
I think when I get home this afternoon I might have a nap.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
European Elections tomorrow. One thing that confuses me (I don't know much about politics mind), is how some people are very anti-Conservative, when really what they are referring to is the Conservative party some 19 years ago (Maggie Thatcher), rather than their policies today? I also get the impression that Labour (as in New Labour)'s policies are very similar to the Conservative party policies today anyway. I'm not planning on voting for either of them, but it just seems a little strange. I'm reading manifestos right now, something I've not done before, as I'm hoping to make educated decisions from now on, rather than just voting for the person whose name is prettiest. ;-)
I'm watching Arrested Development at the mo, and it's really good. Have you seen it? It's really funny, and the writing is just so tight - there's not a bit of dead wood anywhere (up to series 2 at the minute). And I care about all the characters, which is quite an achievement these days.
Bit bitty this post. Will try to be more coherent next time!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
"Lucy Ann Wade starts off the stories with her take on the Calypso and Odysseus episode from The Odyssey (“Calypso”), doing so with great success as she explores the always treacherous nexus of naiveté and sexual lust. The “do as I say, not as I do” two-facedness of Calypso’s fellow Naiads made them read like a pack of modern high-school girls and not the far-off subjects of what is often (wrongly) seen as an irrelevant and antiquated tale."
Not too bad at all.
I started working on a new story yesterday, as well as adding to Chpt. 23 of IV. I'm hopefully going to be in a position where I can send off a few more submissions in the near future, so look out slush piles of the world! You have been warned.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Am bored of Twitter already. I just don't have anything to say that anyone would be interested to read. "Brushing my hair", "At work", "Sneezing due to hayfever" - hardly makes riveting reading, right? Plus, I still don't get it. I mean, at least with the status update on Facebook you can reply to it, and have a bit of a conversation. But Twitter, well it's just micro-blogging, but without the feedback, right? Oh, I guess there's that "@" thing, but they don't show up unless you manage to catch them on your home page before they disappear into infinity. It's not like Facebook, where they get saved nice and neatly under the original posting. Perhaps I'm using it wrong. I don't know. Maybe someone with more "Twitter" knowledge will clue me in.
Oh, I'm such a luddite!
I've had a nice long break from writing, but I think I'm in the right mind set to actually enjoy it again. It's been bloody torture these past months - I've had to resort to crude similes just to get the bastard text out. It's not good, funny or clever, but I'm hoping in the edit that'll all get sorted out.
Off to Edinburgh at the beginning of August to see Robin's show. We're definitely going now, as we're booking our accommodation tonight. It's a little bit expensive, but I thought it would be; it's peak time, and normal hotels around the country are £40-70 a night at off-peak times, so paying £50 a night during the Fringe is actually a bargain. Yeah, it's standard student accommodation, but it's ensuite and comes with breakfast, so can't complain. We're going from 6th - 12th, as that's the only time we can have off work. Will try to blog each day whilst I'm there and fill you in on the happenings!
Right, off to the library now to do some real work...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
1) New Ghostbusters. I'm glad it's not going to be a remake of the original starring Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan, et al, so I'm glad it's going to be a ghostbusters film with the originals in it, and hope they're getting back together to fight a new baddie. The "passing the torch" thing, well, I just don't want them to continue the franchise if the originals don't have anything to do with it. Especially as it'll probably be Zac Efron playing the grown-up Oscar. And I'm a little bit anti the 'all girl' ghostbusters idea Dan Akyroyd mentions, simply because Hollywood seems to believe that if a film has several female leads, then it has to a) be a love story b) involve a cat fight and c) involve said girls in their underwear/some pervy costume at some point during the film. Not really want I'd want from a Ghostbusters movie.
2) They are remaking Footloose starring a guy from Gossip Girl and possibly Hannah Montana. Eek.
I just don't think they can get away with doing a straight remake any more. Star Trek was great, and what they did was create an alternative dimension to set it in, therefore not shitting over the former TV show and films. I think Footloose 2009 will be a standard remake, but why? Is there any need to remake the classic that was pretty much perfect?
I have another pet peeve, and that's when sequels are basically remakes of the original, but with a different (less attractive/talented) lead and sometimes different location (Poison Ivy II, S Darko, The Rage) - especially when the events in the first film were so extraordinary that no way would that happen again.
I watched Dollhouse last night, and it was really intriguing. It doesn't have the same pizzazz that Buffy had - it's more grown-up, less wit and more action (well the first episode anyway), but I enjoyed it and will be watching it again. It posed more questions than it answered, which is a pretty good start to a series, so we'll see how it progresses. I've just got to remember that it's on, as the Sci Fi Channel isn't in my "On Demand" services I don't think.
I don't normally watch TV, so it's gonna be an experience having to tune into something every week and waiting patiently for the next episode. I used to watch The Big Bang Theory, but I think the schedulers moved its time at some point, and then I had no idea when it was on, so subsequently missed it. Am waiting for the second series to come out on DVD, and will watch it all that way instead. The future is "TV On Demand", definitely. Not sure what that will mean with regards to TV writing, etc. It'll be a nightmare, no doubt.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Some writers need a while to charge their batteries, and then write their books very rapidly. Some writers write a page or so every day, rain or shine. Some writers run out of steam, and need to do whatever it is they happen to do until they're ready to write again. "
I'm really glad he addressed this in his post, from the point of view that you do only tend to hear about writers who work like machines, who write, say 5000 a day every day. In fact, I've just been reading Writing magazine (aimed at retiree writers by the looks of it) and all the interviews with authors in there are all "I write X number of words a day" etc and no one tells you how difficult it is sometimes, how your brain feels fried and you feel like what you've written is utter drivel and that you must have serious problems of self-delusion to think that you're ever going to get published...
So that's why it's nice for a 'proper' writer to recognise this fact that writers aren't robots. I should add that there is a distinction however between the words not coming and simply "putting it off", which is often hard to distinguish and both can be self-perpetulating.
I think I need a holiday.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Just a quick post to say that I have now got myself one of those Twitter accounts, though I'm really not sure how it all works.
Anyway, if you want to follow my feeble efforts at Twittering, Tweeting, or whatever the right verb is, then you can do so!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Hannah, Robin and Phil are all doing really well at the moment with their separate creative endeavours. It's nice to be inspired by people that I actually know. I'm hoping to go up to Edinburgh to see Broken Holmes, if I can get the time off. It's going to be great.
My mind is buzzing with all the different stuff that I started working on, which isn't good, because I don't have time to do all of them, and really need to crack on with IV. I've been working on the plot for my pirate story; basically, an upper class English woman is kidnapped by pirates on her way through the Caribbean to be married. She is captured by Fat Red, a grotesque female pirate captain, and gradually becomes submerged in her world. A little bit like a sinister "Desperately Seeking Susan" - no on second thoughts, nothing like that at all! The mood and feel to the story is more grungy-rock than 80s pop.
What else? I have half a plot for my space story, and the beginning and end of my monster story. Does anyone else find middles hard?
I'm going to have to forget about the stories for the time being, as I do need to finish IV, else it's never going to get done, and I'm never going to be able to write anything else. Single-minded obsession is what is needed; no more of this multi-tasking nonsense.
*pic from Ophelia's Art: http://www.cafepress.com/opheliasart.153104524
Thursday, May 07, 2009
So, I'm sitting at my desk, hair slightly falling over my face, and typing this with one eye closed. I've just drank some camomile, honey and vanilla tea, and I'm counting down the minutes until lunch.
Aside from the eye thing, just a typical day.
I found out that UA Fanthorpe died recently. I studied her work for my English Lit A-Level, and her poems are some of the only poetry I can stomach. Her poems about the buried rivers in London, the parson's response to Coleridge, and the Mary Rose poems still continue to inspire me, even though they are all but semi-forgotten lines and whispered ideas now at the back of my head. I saw her once at a conference we were dragged to at school, where she read her work and answered questions. She was truly remarkable, and that was the first time I realised that to be a poet you didn't have to be a dead male. If you haven't read any of her works, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Off on my travels later, so am planning on doing some writing on the train, so long as it's not too crowded. I'm thinking of having some time off soon to concentrate a bit more on my work, but it's a bit tricky at the minute. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted on how things are going, as always! *Squinty.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Have started another short story - I'm starting to wonder whether this is productive procrastination - this time for an anthology that I'm hoping to get accepted for. Deadline is in September, so I figure, if I start now, then I'll hopefully be finished by then. My story is about pirates, which is a condition of the anthology, and I have created this wonderful grotesque female pirate - I'm thinking of Claire from Der Besuch Der Alten Dame with a bit of "Fevvers" from Nights at the Circus thrown in - this huge, repulsive, but larger than life woman as a very unconventional anti-heroine. Anyway, I'm trying to decide how (stylistically) to tell the story, but have made a crack at it anyway.
Starting short stories isn't the problem. Finishing them is. I do suffer from The Fear quite a lot; what if this promising story with these intriguing characters is made crap half way through by some stupid plot device I've thrown in? Urgh.
OK, will aim to finish off one short story by next Monday. Can she do it? Stay tuned to find out...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I managed to write whilst I was away, and have almost finished chapter twenty two of Inter Vivos (there are thirty planned chapters) and also worked on this monster short story I'm writing. I came up with the idea when I was taking part in Damien's writing class in November, and just really loved the tone I had come up with, so am continuing on. It needs a structural overhaul, as it was starting during a stream-of-consciousness exercise, but I have high hopes for it.
I'm also working on another story, a proper sci-fi story, with space ships and aliens et al, but I have to keep leaving blanks because I don't know about space travel. How fast does a rocket travel when taking off? How long does it take to train to be an astronaut? I'm sure a Google search would dig up the answer, but it's all very frustrating. Stupid brain.
(Pic from www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com)
Just read "The Book of A Thousand Days" which was just beautiful. Love fairy tales. Also reading the letters of the Mitford sisters, which is great, but has done weird things to my brain - my inside head voice keeps thinking I'm upper class for ages after I've read it, so have to be careful what I say or do! It's like I'm temporarily possessed by Nancy Mitford or something! Peculiar.
Need to get these short stories finished so I can send them out - more so that I have something active to write about in this blog!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Was in Berlin last week, and my tum still hasn't recovered.
Update on the writing soon.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I was never allowed to go into the board room. Though to get even as far as the corridor that led to that part of the house would have been a monumental achievement for my eight year old self. To say I was watched is an understatement. ‘Kept prisoner’ would be a more accurate term, although my parents did it mainly out of concern, at least, they did at first. Even though Inter Vivos had not yet been officially announced, there was word on the grape vine that things were not all as legitimate as they appeared. My father's people went on the defensive, and I was not seen in public again, not as ‘Nox Izotz’ anyway. Around the white facade of my family there popped up protesters, placards and chants, and for the first time since my father came to power, there was opposition. But what did I care, at that age? All I was concerned about then was firstly, to get well and away from those stupid machines, and secondly, to get my parents to allow me to go out and play.
The months after the operation were almost worst than the time before it. I was sealed in a clean room, allowed no physical contact, no food that wasn't through a tube. But I couldn't really complain, seeing as I was weak and sore from the procedure. Ghost nurses would float around my bubble, the plastic overalls they wore making distinctive creasing sounds that would wake me even from pill induced sleep. My mother did many of the check-ups herself after that, and I guess part of it was because of her protectiveness of me, and the other was out of necessity, to keep me hidden, to keep me a secret. As the months passed, I grew stronger, and my mother was forced to unplug me and let me move about a little. The clean room stayed however, white and clinical, insipid and horrible. The light was harsh and unforgiving sometimes, and I, a pale ghost with jet black hair in the middle of all this whiteness. Though even the whiteness and the sterility couldn't keep out the heat when summer hit, and that lead to me being allowed to sit out on the veranda.
“What's the point of a clean room now, when the child's just been exposed to all the elements?” My mother sobbed when I got my way and was allowed to sit in the shade on the porch.
“She's fine, isn't she?” My father replied, condensation from his iced tea staining the front of his white shirt.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Perhaps I shall donate my notebooks when I'm actually a published author, though I'll have to wait til after I'm dead I think, as I'm not sure right now I could cope with people knowing that the book they (hopefully) love and treasure was once a pile of steaming crap. Ho hum.
Bloody freezing in Northampton, but what cheers me up is that I can get up after 6am tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that too. Yippee!
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I've bought my writing stuff with me today and after this has finished, I'm going to find a quiet spot to do some work. I've broken every deadline I gave myself and inter vivos still isn't finished. They are still stuck in chapter seventeen limbo, and although I know what I need to write, I've been so tired and travelling so much I've not had chance.
Early starts don't agree with me, and two half 4 starts in a row have made me grumpy. Good job I'm on my own today!
Think I'm going to stop by the British Library today if I have time, for inspiration.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I'm also of the opinion right now that my writing sucks too. I'm bored of the part I'm working on and want to fast forward to the good bit. Plus I've just finished reading Neverwhere and now I'm glum because ill never write anything that good, etc etc. Sigh. I'm even boring myself now. Will come back when I'm in a better mood.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I'm off to write in the library for a bit as soon as I'm done here. I'm feeling quite tired, as I've been at work since half 8 this morning with no break as yet, but I need to stay motivated. Once I've finished this draft, then it's time for the big edit, and after that, I'm half way there. It is tough to try to write, and be a writer, when you've also got a full time job, but I'm doing it as best I can and trying not to waste a second of my time.
Well, aside from the odd blog post ;-)
After Inter Vivos is finished and doing the rounds with friends, I'm planning on finishing off a couple of short stories and sending them out to slush piles around the country, and also I'm planning on making a proper start on my next novel, which I think will be the banshee story. I'd like to squeeze in some drama too somewhere, but haven't really got the time.
Oh! That reminds me, for those of you interested, Script Frenzy, which is the play/film/graphic novel version of NaNoWriMo, begins on 1st April. You have to write 100 pages in a month. Interested? Details here.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Anyhow, went to see Watchmen and it was really good. Am going to read the novel but have been told its fairly accurate, though the film is more gory.
Will be starting to work on IV shortly, so will update later.
Ooh, steak's here. Gotta go!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Ideas keep fighting for my attention, but I'm trying to keep focused on Inter Vivos. Chapter 15 is still ongoing, but I'm hoping it'll be finished before the night is over. Then its on to chp 16 which is going to be tough. Why is it so hard to write about falling in love? Sex, no problem. Death, piece of cake. But love at first sight? I feel decidedly under qualified. I fell for my best friend; it's so difficult to write about lightening bolts without, ahem, resorting to clichés. Perhaps because (aside from lust)love at first sight doesn't really exist? I wrote a post last week about my thoughts on love, which I never had time to post, and might not do after this one, but its all interesting nonetheless (well to me anyway).
Anyway, greetings from Manchester, how are you?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Anyway, you see, my job is even infringing on my blog now! Crazy!
Sorry to my... I don't know... three readers who have been peeved that I haven't been updating more regularly. I'm going to try to do better from now on (ooh, school parents' evening flashback!).
One of the reasons for the absence of posts recently is that I've actually been busy writing. And it's been pretty good, so far. I know the story, what's supposed to happen, and so I've been working through the first draft of Inter Vivos, and in some places merely connecting the dots, but in others I've had to do a major overhaul of the chapter, else start from scratch and add scenes where none previously existed. I'm on chapter fourteen at the moment, now known as "the longest chapter in the history of the world" because I've been working on it for about a week and I've still not got to the part where the chapter ends! I think when I come to do the proper edit that I'll end up splitting it in two, but I'm not worrying about that now. It will just be a relief when I can finally save it and move it into my "Finished Chapters" folder.
And seeing as activity breeds activity, whilst writing my chapters I also had a new idea for a story. I think I might toy with having two narrators, one a banshee, the other a wannabe rock star university student. Not a love story, but a death story, about losing someone and the futility in not only that loss, but in being powerless to prevent it. It's a work in progress, anyway; something to work on when my Volunteers are reading through Inter Vivos looking for spelling mistakes and huge plot holes (there's still plenty of time to become a Volunteer, btw, so let me know if you're up for it. I might even make you t-shirts).
Just a note about the picture - I was searching Yahoo images for a pic to use for my Banshee, and I came across these slightly creepy but really beautiful dolls. Anyway, the website is: http://www.enchanteddoll.com/ Absolutely lovely, but extremely expensive! (I even found one that looks like "Nox"!)
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm approaching the busy time at work, which will see me travelling to Manchester, Portsmouth, reading, Sheffield and middlesex in the space of three weeks. And I still can't drive, so its good old railroad for me!
Saw The Pillowman at Curve at the beginning of the week, which was really good. The play is fantastic (sickeningly dark, twisted And funny), acting was good, and set designer brilliant. Great use of the space. It made me want to write something for the stage again. Maybe next month.