Thursday, April 15, 2010

Take That, Writer's Block

OK, so it's no secret that for the past couple of weeks I've been finding it difficult to write. But I've struggled through anyway, and low and behold, almost 2,000 words of new novel (potentially). Some of the words are actually spelled correctly and are in the right order too. So I'm feeling slightly better about life right now, which is a good thing.
I don't really believe in "writer's block". By that, I mean, I don't think that there is this sudden mysterious cloud of nothingness that descends upon your creative mind without warning, without provocation to scupper your writing plans. I mean, that can happen, that creative blank, but the causes of it are usually easy to trace - stress, illness, anxiety, all that stuff. And it soon goes away if you tackle the symptoms, or if you can learn to work around or even with them. So that's what I'm doing at the moment, even though I'm still anxious about the possibility of failed ambitions, blah blah blah. I know I'll get over that, and as soon as I do, I'll hopefully have a few more thousand words under my belt to prove myself good.
Election time soon. Although I don't consider myself to be a political person, I do actually care who runs the country and have always voted. I am reading up on manifestos, and will be watching the debate tonight in a bid to make the most educated decision I can, rather than pick the person who looks best on the telly.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Plan (Take 2)

Hope you all had nice holidays everyone! I meant to write a blog post two weeks ago, but was so busy at work that I never got around to posting.

So, over the last few weeks I've been taking some time to think about what to do next. It feels like ages since I actually came up with a new writing project, which is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. As I mentioned, I've been busy with work, which meant only snatched moments to ponder things, but not really any time to be productive and dedicate to new projects. And then over Easter, when I thought I'd have time, I had food poisoning instead. So yes, anyway, this post is about the Plan. Or the New Plan, as it should be known.

I want to continue on with Dorcas Grubb and The Banshee, my two completed first drafts that are currently sitting on my memory stick collecting electronic dust. I need to work out what the main event is in Dorcas, and I need to come up with an actual plot that means something for the Banshee, rather than it being just a string of events that don't lead anywhere.

I came up with an idea for a new novel, I think, though it's all a bit sketchy at the moment, and to be honest, every time I start it, it doesn't come out how I want, and I don't know whether it's fear or inability that's hindering me. The idea anyway - there is a town in contemporary England (at the beginning it was going to be Medieval, but I've scrapped that now) run by two very powerful, feuding families - the Knights and the Bakers. The story goes that once upon a time, Death had a fling with this mortal woman, who had three daughters by him. Death gave each daughter a special gift - the eldest could turn invisible, the second could move as swiftly as Death himself, and the third could see into the future. Anyway, the mum dies and the sisters start squabbling. The eldest married a Knight, hence the surname, the second the local baker, and the third became a nun (Cloister). Anyway, the story is about their descendants today, using their powers to gain the upper hand in the feud which is verging on all out gang war (a bit like modern day Capulets and Montagues). I have a few sketchy characters, a setting, a back story, but no plot as of now. So that's what I'm trying very hard to come up with at the moment.

I also started a short story last night, and I really enjoyed writing it, but I'm not sure where it's going, if anywhere. I was told a few weeks ago that Jay Lake set himself the goal of writing one short story a week, which is a great idea if you have time, so I've decided to write one short story a month starting April 2010. Even if they are just "practice" stories, it'll still be good to write on a regular basis. Plus you never know, some of them might have potential.

And there it is, the Plan. Write a short story a month. Come up with a plot for Three Sisters and write that. Work on the plot of Dorcas Grubb. Come up with a plot for The Banshee story. I think I'm sensing a pattern...