Monday, 29 March 2010

Can't stop

Since printing out my novel, things have changed. I've completely failed at writing a blog a day, although it had pretty much become two every other day. I'm slipping back into old ways.

When writing my novel, I'd try and start around 9.30am and keep track of how much time I had until I had to leave work. I'd feel good if I had anything more than 5 hours in which to write. Now without a project on the go I find I'm looking at the clock trying to work out ways to kill time before work.

I've got a short story that I keep meaning to write but I'm just not feeling it. I think it's a decent enough idea and it's all planned out and it's worth my time but in many ways it's too similar to my novel. What i mean is that it's sci-fi but not excessively so and I feel inside me that what I want to write is something incredibly, indulgently sci-fi. I want to write a story with robots and spaceships and hovercars and laser beams. I want to lash on helping upon helping of cyberpunk and tech noir motifs.

I've got such a novel planned but that's just the thing; it's a novel. I can't be getting into writing another novel with my first one still on the go, can I? And yet I'm being drawn to it. Planning and writing little snippets of this new novel is brilliantly addictive and it's the only thing stopping me from wasting my mornings.

I guess if I've gotta write, I've gotta write.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

73 - Ink

I printed out my novel today ready to hand to my ladyfriend this weekend. I'm also emailing a copy to another friend and I could easily have done the same for first friend but it feels good to actually hold a physical printed out copy. It looks good, seeing all those pages there. I can see that I've achieved something. It looks like a big, hefty, long story. You know what? It looks like a novel.

I used pretty much an entire ink cartridge printing it out. Actually I used two. I bought one, took it home and it must have been faulty because try as I might, my printer wouldn't accept it. It was incompatible one minute, then it wasn't present the next and occasionally it was empty. Of course rather than go right back down town and return it, I sat for a good half hour taking it out and putting it back in again.

And I swore. A lot. I got incredibly angry. Nothing frustrates me more than a computer that doesn't work. I was fuming. The air was very blue around me and eventually I resorted to insulting my printer. This didn't work and I felt a bit bad about it afterwards, so I apologised.

Eventually I went down town, exchanged the cartridge and printed it all out. So yeah, a vaguely eventful day and I have something to show for it, kind of. In the future I'll just email it.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

72 - Two little three-letter words

I'm still riding a vague wave of euphoria having reached the end of my second draft today. I'd been aiming to finish tomorrow, maybe Thursday but the words couldn't wait to get out today. I feel good about it. Better than I did at the end of the first draft. I feel like I've achieved something. I didn't until now.

When I finished the first draft last year I felt as though I still hadn't written a novel. As I was typing the final 500 words today I could already sense that anti-climactic feeling returning. I expected to feel similarly underwhelmed and not any sense of achievement. Yet as soon as I wrote those two little three-letter words I felt good. Pretty bloody good.

In part this is due to the fact that the first draft trailed off. I wrote 'The End' but it wasn't really the right place to finish. I wrote a half-arsed epilogue that I eventually cut. Today I wrote a finite last line. Also, the first draft was really closer to a half draft. There were frequent parts where I'd written, 'Put in description in later draft.' 'Emotional scene here.' 'Sort this bit out.' It wasn't complete. Okay, so it's still shoddy and needs a lot of work but at least it's complete. I feel like I can honestly say I've written a novel now as opposed to before where it felt like I was still writing one. Hopefully with each redraft the sense of euphoria and achievement will become more intense.

Monday, 22 March 2010

71 - Who am I?

author n 1 a person who composes a book, article, or other written work. 2 a person who writes books as a profession; writer. 3 an originator or creator.

creator n a person or thing that creates; originator.

n a writer of novels.

storyteller n a person who tells stories.

writer n 1 a person who writes books, articles, etc., esp. as an occupation. 2 the person who has written something specified. 3 a person who is able to write or write well. 4 a scribe or clerk.

Can I say that any of these accurately describe me?

Sunday, 21 March 2010

70 - The end is nigh

When do you end a story?

Someone told me once that you should write a story until it naturally ends, then go back and remove the last paragraph, page or chapter. Many of us have a tendency to overwrite. Novels can often be compared to songs with endings that fade out over a very long time when often they need to end with an explosive drumbeat.

My story originally had an epilogue. I knew it had to be there. After the first draft I realised it was completely superfluous and unnecessary. Writing chapter 19 the other day I typed a couple of words that I realised could be the new ending. The novel could end there, two chapters earlier than expected. There'd be a whole lot unresolved but is that such a bad thing? For the time being I'm going to continue up until ch.21 but I'll keep this earlier ending it mind. It definitely pays to think about it all in a new light from time to time.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

69 - The mind boggles

I love a bit of Boggle. Actually, I love a lot of Boggle. I get the guys over, crack open some beers and play some Boggle. For those that don't know, it's somewhere between Scrabble and a wordsearch. You have 3 minutes to find as many words as possible, but you only get points for words you've found that no-one else has.

Among my friends, I pwn. The secret lies in the 3-letter words. They're only worth 1 point compared to 5 points for a 7-letter word but they're so easy to find. Most 3-letter words can be spelt backwards too or rearranged and, throw an s into the mix to pluralise them all. Most people overlook them. Crackin'.

We played 3 rounds the other day on the super-size cube.
Nick got 41 points.
Matt got 48 points.
I got 75 points.

In fact I got 35 points in round 2 alone. I need to find some more competition.

Friday, 19 March 2010

68 - 11 > 10

I just saw an advert for the new series of Doctor Who and I'm pretty sure I already prefer Matt Smith to David Tennant. I could quite easily write thousands of words as to why only I can't be arsed. I can very easily say that I definitely prefer Stephen Moffat to Russell T. Davies as a writer.

The little ad gave me a shiver down my spine, quite literally and I really can't wait for the series to start. With a far, far, far, far, far superior writer at the helm and, in my eyes, a much more suited actor playing the part of the Doctor, I can't see how this series shouldn't be the best yet.

I might eat my words in a few weeks time, but I'm pretty excited. I think I'm almost as excited about this new series of Doctor Who as I was excited at the prospect that David Tennant and Russell T. Davies were finally leaving the show.