Friday, 25 September 2009

Self Observations

It's been an odd week; I began it feeling daunted by the amount of work I had to undertake. The early success of last weekend seemed to get bogged down with detail on how to string it all together and I was beginning to worry that I was drifting into my earlier, boring way of telling the story to the reader rather than painting with words.

I think I simply forgot how I write; I need to throw down the story as roughly as possible, come back to it and start seeing how it needs to work, then come back to that again. Somewhere in all that the magic seems to happen, and I end up with a finished piece of writing.

An interesting observation is that I find myself writing in discretely connected sections of around 800 to 1000 words. I don't know if that is because of the way I've been trained, or if that is my natural style, for this book anyway. I will just have to see how it works out.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


At some point today I started. It wasn't the easiest place to start but I wanted to get it done. I was given a piece of work to edit by one of my fellow MA students, and it just so happened that it was the opening chapter of his own novel. All told it was a good piece of writing and an interesting approach. This, of course, got me thinking about me own opening chapter. I've always had very definite ideas about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, but it just seemed like I wasn't obeying the 'standard' format. In other words I'd got myself a case of the doubts.

Reading my peer's opening chapter made me realise I could, and should, write what I damn well wanted to; it's not like the rest of the book is going to be exactly standard anyhow.

So at around 10.00 am I looked at my notes and began re-drafting what I had already written whilst bringing in new strands of thought. By 1.00 pm I had mapped out most of the first two sections of that chapter. After lunch, I did some house things and began to think about the third, and largest, section where the character Melanie is introduced, as she will appear in much of the rest of the book. at 3.00 I went for a long, long walk, returning at 5.30 with a lot of that section in place, at least in my head.

Tonight I'm off out, and later I'll sleep on the ideas. I know I need a way to zip it all together, but I'm not particularly concerned about that at the moment, I've done well today; even if I don't come up with a clever ending for the chapter, I can move onto other sections and come back to it whenever I need.

I'm just very pleased to feel like I'm adding to the body of work I have already.

Monday, 14 September 2009

A Rant Free Blog

I always said I spread myself too thinly, and here I go again with the creation of a new blog.

I've held off writing a diary style blog, simply because I know it is likely to end up as a rant; I hate rant blogs, they are not meant to be read (they are merely for the therapy of the ranter).
So I'm going to attempt to be disciplined about what I post (well within reason). I will avoid talking about the guy who scratched up my bike last week (If I ever catch him I'll use his face to polish my paintwork to a mirror shine) and keep the posts about my experiences and frustrations (frustration is fair territory) as a scriptwriter, animator, etc. and the new directions I'm taking in writing my first novel.

Yes, I know, I did just mention: writing a novel, it sounds very cheesy when it is put like that.
I should explain: for the past nine months I've been part of a daring experiment; undertaking a remotely operated, part-time, MA in Professional Writing, based at Falmouth University.
My original intention was to gain the confidence and skills I needed to be able to finish some of the feature scripts I had conceived over the years. As the course progressed and I needed to choose a specialism for my MA submission, I realise that I could go further; I already had the confidence and understanding to write feature scripts (I'm not boasting it's more holistic than that), and have found myself writing a book. If it turns out to be a good book remains to be seen, if it gets me my MA would be good, if it gets me an agent would be very good, published might be considered really excellent, and anything beyond that and I might actually crack a smile.