2 weeks to write – Day 4

I have had a pretty good day today. Ploughed into Langoria and worked out that I could, no, that I needed to, remove two characters from the book completely. Shit happens, but it’s for the best. So now I am writing notes to remind myself what has to change from here on in. Some of the their dialogue is important so I will need to work that into the other characters. This is proving to be less torture and more like fun.

Of course my natural inclination to waste time is always bubbling away, so the guitar came out this morning for a while. It scared the cat away! Add to this, watching The Way (gut-wrenchingly sad first 20 mins) and I have still managed to waste a couple of hours or so, but I’m not too worried. It’s my time to waste!

This evening I might go and see Great Wall…should be fun.

George

 

2 Weeks of writing – Day 3

Yesterday, after lunch, I did enventually get into Langoria. And hey, I skimmed it and realised that it started in the wrong place. So I spent the afternoon reorganising chapter 1, ditching whole sections and toying with the idea of writing from the perspective of a different character. So, chapter one is substantially rewritten, and from here on in the first half of the story is in for a real shake up.

Today, I recorded a new song…I think it is sufficiently mediocre and so satisfies my standards, and then watched the movie Battleship. Now, some people say this is not a first class movie. I, however, think it’s great.Lots of aliens, explosions, a battleship, the underdogs winning. Yeehah!

More writing this afternoon, after a trip to the beach for lunch and a swim, and lots of large bits of paper with arrows and flow charts to work out the plot. Even with new technology, I like an A3 sheet of paper and pencil, together with loud music, to replot. Call me old fashioned, lots of people do,  it it keeps me focused.

Tomorrow, I shall progress with shredding and recomposing chapters 2 and maybe 3. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

George

new song can be found here…I did warn you it was mediocre (at best)

https://soundcloud.com/freelancer-322054251/august-1983

 

 

2 weeks of writing – Day 2

It’s lunch time on day 2 and I can report that yesterday afternoon I did indeed do some writing. Shit yeah!

After playing my guitar for about an hour while trying to write songs (I have 3 lyric-lacking tunes) I sat down and turned on the computer. This is my old computer that is not connected to the mother of all distractions (internet).

I sat and stared at the screen for a while, opened up Langoria, and set about commencing the tortuous 2nd Draft. It took me about 20 minutes to stop that cruel and unusual self-imposed punishment and look at the plot for my next story…the plot of which is sooo friggin awesome (and funny) that it completely took over. Langoria had to wait.

This morning, after paying bills, having some loud song-writing efforts with my geetarrgghh, and posting a revised Poltician’s Prayer that is now a President’s Prayer (see my previous post), I sat down to some serous writing of the new story and knocked out 2000 pretty good words (I think they are all proper ones and to be found in the dictionary), at least good enough for the literary spew that is a first draft.

This afternoon, it is time to bite the bullet and get into the real torture of Langoria, but first I’ll just check out John Birmingham’s twitter feed. Might be funny.

See ya

George

2 weeks of writing – day one

My 2 weeks of working on Draft Two of my novel, Langoria, has begun. It’s lunchtime and day one is going very well indeed.

I have gained inspiration in how to put together believeable fiction by listening to various politicians crapping on  on the TV. At least I assume it’s believable because people vote for them. It all sounded  like pretty fantastic bullshit to me. So perhaps I have heard plenty of unbelievable fiction.

After that I realised that I was out of coffee and so needed to go to the shops. That was a bit distracting because tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I needed to get a card. That took some time.

Then it was back home to work, where I decided that it was time to eat lunch and watch Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero.

But I promise to start writing this afternoon

I wonder if this is how JK Rowling writes?

George

Being unfaithful to my story

I have been slow this week in my efforts to make Langoria into a workable story. I am half way through the chapters, but now I have some serious competition in my head. I am being unfaithful to another competing story. The Dark List is clamouring for attention.

This is certainly distracting. I find myself wondering whether it is a better story than Langoria. Would I be better served by dumping the old story for the new story? Am I currently wasting my, at present, limited time on a dud, when I have a potential gold mine festering away in my head? This new story is exciting, makes me laugh at my own jokes (sorry about my ego!), and is trying to entice me into its clutches. So what do I do?

As hard as it is, I am concentrating on Langoria because that story is a finished draft and it s therefore a product, something that may be saleable. The other story is just an idea at present – 5000 words of prose that has potential, nothing more. It’s damn good-looking, though, with a sexy plot and great sense of humour.

Add to this that I do not earn a living from writing, and the priority becomes clearer. There is no imperative for me to get a bestseller, or even a seller, because what pays my mortgage is something else. I do, however, have a strong desire to publish a book that sells. I do enjoy writing. And I do want to finish what I start. Langoria is a good story, albeit with some flaws that need attention, and I believe it is worth my time. I will undoubtedly keep getting moments of inspiration for the new story, and I will write them down, but they will stay in my notebook until Langoria is at a stage where somebody else is reading it.

So, back to it. But only after I get out for a walk. Speaking of walking – this is a little article I wrote a few years ago on a now ignored blog about the joys of walking – http://itsthesmalljoys.blogspot.com.au/

Killing your creations – Langoria is evolving

I’m at a traumatic stage in drafting Langoria. It’s time to start killing bits of it. Well, not actually killing things, but certainly cutting good bits of writing that simply don’t fit any more with the direction that I’ve taken the story. So, hard as it it, well it’s actually getting easier, I am taking out in big swathes.

However, on the bright side, most of this writing is at the start of the manuscript where I was feeling around a bit.  I expect much less to be in need of disposal the further in I get. The second half of the story is a lot tighter, and, quite frankly, much more exciting and better written.

This also showed me how slow the start of the manuscript actually is at present. I have cut at least 80% of chapter two as it slammed the brakes on after setting the scene. There is stuff in that chapter that still makes me laugh out loud, but that doesn’t fit with how the story evolved. Humour is less a part of it now. Of course, now I need to make sure that nothing I take out leaves a hole in the plot later on – but I am on top of that.

So back to it. Killing your creations, or at least parts of them, is an essential part of redrafting. See y’all later.

George

Writing a novel – progress made!

No poems or music today. Today I want to relay my experience in writing one of the novels I am working on. I finished it, or so I thought, three years ago and foolishly sent it out to agents. They all gave me less than encouraging responses, if indeed they responded at all.

I picked it up again about 6 months ago and on reading it realised that although the bones of the story were still good, there were so many holes in the plot, too much rubbish in between the good writing, and some good writing and great lines that were simply surplus to the story (they added nothing, just took up space).

I spent sometime noting down what I thought needed to be done and then went on to reading some books for no other reason than to give my brain a break from the story. I spent some time writing some songs and music as well. Then I went back to the book and began to re-write it during which time I have found more holes.

Rather than be disappointed about this I have found it very liberating and motivating because I think the story can only be improved.

And many thanks to John Harman, Stephen King, Garth Nix, Peter Temple and Phillip K Dick for their assistance in getting to this point. Their writing, in most cases, and verbal advice in one, has been very useful.

 

 

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