Tag: #amreading

That’s time travel done with. What’s next?

Hello

I’ve finished my time travel story! I managed to answer all the questions I had rolling around in my head about it and then come up with two possible endings for it. And now I’ve moved onto another project.

Okay. Picture the scene. I’m typing furiously and marching my way to the end of my story. The hero and villain are engaged in a battle of wills for the fate of the country. As I was writing it I wasn’t really sure where the ending would come from. I had a vague idea but I always prefer it when the ending naturally presents itself. And then two endings did. Great. Another question to answer. Which ending to pick? The happy one, which in itself leaves the reader (or it should anyway) wondering whether our hero has made his decision for the right or wrong reasons, or the apocalyptic one, where everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

I have to say I’ve never been so worked up about the ending to one of my stories in my life. I felt like I was going to tear up when I thought about my apocalyptic ending, which is brought on by an unexpected event. Should I go down the sad route? I thought over and over again. But then I realised that I didn’t really like that ending. Hell, I really didn’t like it and I didn’t think it fitted well with the story. So, I went with the happy one, which leaves unanswered questions. I always prefer books and films that leave you to discuss its ending with others till the end of time rather than have it spoon fed to me. I did write the apocalyptic ending out as well and I’m even more convinced I picked the right one. If ever gets published I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong.

Anyway, once this was done I decided to enter a competition. I had found one but misread the deadline date and it was the end of May 2014. Not 2015. Well done eagle eye. Although it didn’t take me long to find another short story competition to enter. And I can use an already written story for it as well! So now I’m back to editing. Again. Like always. The competition is the British Fantasy Society Short Story comp at www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk. 5,000 words and for any type of fantasy. Wish me luck.

Okay. Have a good week and do good things and all that.

Bye!

Time travel and moral ambiguity. Obviously?

Hello

With my last post in mind I am still no closer to knowing what I would do if I knew when and how I was going to die. And no one else does either considering I didn’t get an answer to the question I posed last time. Yeah, I’m sticking with that for the reason why nobody answered it. I’ll sleep better if I do.

Anyway, I closer to the end of my sci-fi story. Well at least I think I am.

My hero Arthur had just woken up on the day of his death and was about to put his plan in motion. He did just that and it all went exactly as he wanted it to. But only if you forget about the explosive reaction of a certain someone within the government. That someone was watching him all the time and kidnapped him and took him to his lair. Makes my villain sound like the claw or something. He might be? I’ve taken Arthur to his final show down with the villain of the piece and I am enjoying writing it. I have said in the past that I mostly enjoy writing battle scenes but battles of will’s between hero and villain are actually pretty cool to construct in themselves as well.

So how did I end up having to develop moral ambiguity within my story?

This did creep up on me I have to say. I’m about half way through the ending of the story and my hero is faced with a problem. Should he let the government head honcho continue ruling as a secret dictator, which has made the UK very wealthy, or stop him completely and thus restoring the UK population to its free and sometimes reckless self. I’m not sure which way he should go. On the one hand my hero, who is only just beginning to live life the way he wants to after years of slogging away for seemingly nothing, could rule the UK and become an even further behind the scenes dictator of a dictator. On the other hand he could destroy said dictator along with the government and put the UK into potential chaos, but it would be a chaos that could lead to a better future without being pushed down by an iron fist the public currently don’t know anything about.

I got to this point all on my own and then I read a wonderful article by Alex Davis in the February edition of Writing Magazine that concerned character-building. There is a section about moral ambiguity that I seem to have covered all on my own. Though I have opened myself up to asking more questions and making sure I’ve got it right. I may even have to rewrite parts of the story so it will flow.

And with that in mind I’m going to go away and try and answer them. Once my story is finished I’ll post parts of it on here for your eyes to peruse. Or not. Your choice of course.

Bye Bye

The story gets bigger and (hopefully) better.

Hello

So, last time I said I had started a story and that I would probably need only another 8-10 pages to finish it.

That was a lie.

And…well that was the only lie from my last post.

My story, which involves time travel and the impact it has on those who are lucky or unlucky enough to partake in it, is picking up speed but is taking longer than I thought it would. It is for a good reason though.

I realised that I had a lot to explain and that I just wanted to get the story written and not worry about it being a short, novella or long story. In my head I thought 15 pages would be enough but I sit here now with fifteen pages of it done and no time travel having happened. How could such a thing happen? You might ask.

I don’t know, is the answer.

I have made sure to describe everything well enough and to move the story along at a natural pace that I’m comfortable with and 15 pages isn’t enough. At this rate I’m sure it’ll be double that by the time it’s finished. And it doesn’t help that each time I think the next paragraph is going to have my hero travelling through time, which will change the pace of the story and everything from there will move along a lot faster, I discover I need to explain something else. Or set something up. Or describe something important. Each time this has happened with this and every other story I’ve ever written, I’ve been annoyed.

But then I move on.

To what? You may ponder. Well, to bigger and better things regarding my story hopefully. Each time I thought of something else I needed to cover I immediately knew that it needed to be done for the story to work. All the seemingly endless parts of the story must link together to make the whole thing run just like a song right?

And so it is that I’m now on the cusp of making my hero travel through time. What will happen to him? How will it change him? What will happen?!

No idea. But I’ll tell you when I know.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

Bye.

Getting back into the swing of things and feeling giddy about it.

Hello

As I mentioned last time out I’ve started to write my own time travel story. Once I’d gotten my head around my own concept, which was sending me loopy as I started to get into the story I have to admit (see https://johnrsermon.com/2015/01/29/oh-life-its-bigger/ for more details) it has been full steam ahead.

I’ve given myself the task of writing at least 500 words whenever I sit down to write and so far the story is moving along nicely. I’m hoping to get it all finished within the next week or so and then start editing it. I’ve introduced my two main characters and started my main character, Arthur, on the road to having his own ‘Future Chance’. Albeit against his wishes and he would’ve avoided any chance of taking such a…chance if his friend and would be/possibly/I’ve not decided yet love interest Victoria had not drunken entered him into a competition to win one. He is reluctant, given that it could end up in his death, but he’s starting to figure a plan to change all of that.

Pow! And that’s how far I am. I reckon it’ll only be another 8 – 10 pages before I’m finished and I have to say it has made me slightly giddy about the whole thing. Why only yesterday, when I’d done some exercise and eaten my t, did I feel a long dormant (a few months) giddiness about writing. I was about to write, get the 1st draft well on its way to being finished, and feel even better about myself than I usually do. And with that in mind…

I’m off to do some more writing.

Bye Bye

P.S Here’s a picture. Just because I felt like it.

IMG_10088872137343

Oh life. It’s Bigger.

Hello

How are you all? I’ve left longer than usual between my proper, just about me blog posts due to an assessment I was studying for as part of my day job. I’m glad to say that…I passed! With Merit! Leading up to the day I was going to take the assessment I had been running all manner of scenarios through my head. What if I don’t pass? What if I’m the only one who doesn’t pass? What if my head explodes with all this new found knowledge I have? What if I forget it all and start to cry? And so on and so on. I was amazingly relieved when the computer told me that I had passed. Nice to know all my hard work paid off and is paying off. A button came up asking if I wanted to re take the assessment. Bugger off! I’ve done my part. But now I have to get back to my other thing.

Oh life. It’s bigger. Popped into my head from R.E.M’s losing my religion. Not sure why. It’s probably to do with how I can’t just focus on one thing and I know that I’m happier when I’m focusing on many things in this big life of mine. Or maybe I heard the song on the tram into work. Who knows? But there it is.

So, just this past Friday was the day I took my assessment so I could not wait until the following Tuesday when I was going start writing again. I had received some very useful feedback whilst I was studying about the first half of the first chapter that I posted 04.01.2015 from one Giselle Marks of the Super writers group on Facebook. She very kindly lent me her eyes and made some editing suggestions and, as I have come to value her opinion greatly over the years, I took them on-board. She mentioned that some of the sentences seemed chunky and I understood what she meant when the edits were done and explained. She liked it so I’m quietly confident I’m on the right track. If you’d like to read it yourself, click here https://johnrsermon.com/2015/01/04/feedback-request-an-excerpt-from-my-latest-finished-story/.

As I said, I started righting again this past Tuesday. I’m tackling my own sci-fi story, which has time travel as one of its main story points. I’ve written two pages so far and almost tied myself in knots trying to easily explain how time travel is used in the world the story is based in, which is 2020 Manchester and a UK that has the best train network in the world and daft amounts of profit as a result, and why it is so dangerous, or possibly helpful, to those who populate it. And, it’s not the train network that is also one of the main themes alongside time travel, it’s the creation that made the train network possible.

Ok. I’m off now. Glad to be back to my writing and hopefully you’re glad to be back reading it.

Cheers

Somehow….I didn’t get much done really. Or did I?

Hello

 

Looking back over my last post I realise I’ve only partially stuck to my new routine over the past week.

The writing part of my routine has moved as slowly as ever. This is due in no small part to working over-time on Saturday, wanting to chill on Sunday, and starting back on the weights again Monday through till Today. Now, I don’t lift a crazy amount of weights but after 6 months of not using them at all, it’s made me pretty tired and lacking in the energy to write. Though I know this will change once exercise is as much a part of my routine as writing, reading and editing, I’m hoping it will come sooner rather than later. I’m feeling tired now as I write this post. I have managed to write a character profile for the hero of my time travel piece. Once I get my internet sorted, as in unlimited and not with a cap on it, I’m looking forward to going head long into time travel research. Who knows what I’ll come out with or even if my mind can handle it.

The editing part of the routine is going along as always. I’ve just finished Chapter 7 as it goes. It ended pretty poorly and I noticed how I’m very aware of the style of my story. My hero was on a hunt when he got distracted by his would be love interest. I added this in because it’s happened to me before. Not the hunt thing the distracted by love interest thing. I’m glad this is in as I hope it gets across how normal my seemingly abnormal hero can be. Like I said, the chapter ended pretty poorly and when I edited it, I removed three lines and put in one new one. I’ve read enough about having to be ruthless whilst editing and to make sure everything left in is useful to the story and I think I’m getting the hang of it.

The reading part of the routine is coming along nicely. Along with moving onto the latest edition of Writing Magazine, which has an interesting article regarding how Amazon could help authors instead of hindering them that was pretty interesting (thank you Tom Ellis author of the Parish & Richards crime series) I have been moving on with my current book to read, Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument by Corey Taylor. As in, the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour aka The Great Big Mouth. Now, I picked this up because I’ve heard a lot about how tough and diverse his upbringing was and listened to how he has used it to help his song writing but my curiosity wanted to know more. And so far I’ve not been disappointed. Some of things he’s gotten up to so far, I’m up to chapter about Sloth if you’ve read it before, are…well…all over the place, which is how I like my reading to be. He does this with structure and he writes so well I’m glad I forked out the money for it. To think I forgot I had it until I came across it when I last moved house.

Ok. That’s me for the time being. Have a good week.

Cheers

Getting a routine going.

Helllo

 

How do I get a routine going? Do I just start doing stuff and hope it all falls into place or do I stick to a plan and never waver from it whatsoever?

I’m not sure really. After a week of trying to stick to a routine which encompassed doing three things every evening I’m having a mixed time of it.

Firstly, the routine in question. I decided, after going back to my parents’ house for a weekend and finding two Writing Magazine’s for October and November and having not finished reading September’s, I needed to crack on. I didn’t want to rush for obvious reasons but I did need to get to the reading and that. So it was that I said to myself I will read some of my magazine every evening. I will also edit a few pages of my story and start to write another one.

I’m not doing too badly so far. I’m reading the magazine more frequently and getting, as usual, all kinds of helpful hints and tips from the articles and reader’s letters. One letter had me re editing something I’d only ten minutes prior edited. I pretty much slagged off a venue in Manchester and remembered, if I sell copies of my book someday, that I can’t do that unless I’d liked to get sued. Thankfully it was a quick edit to change from a negative to a neutral stand point on the particular place. This shows me that at least one part of my routine is working.

So far as editing goes, that’s moving along as well but not as fast as I’d like. It’s all my fault but what can I say, life keeps getting in the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night so I got to bed early the next, I played on my Xbox all night, I was drinking at a beer festival all day Sunday and was hung over all day Monday, you know the drill. I’m hoping to catch up with my editing this weekend and am looking forward to my own, made up, NaEdMo (National Editing Month) extravaganza. More on NaEdMo closer to the time.

The writing has gone even slower. I’ve started to make notes, which has led to having to do plan to do extensive research on time travel in the future, for a sci-fi story I’ve wanted write for a while. I’m not going to mention anything about it but for anyone who’s written a story with time travel in it, it does seem to be a bit of a mess. I’m sure whatever I come up with will be ripe for someone to pick holes in. Most time travel stories are whether they are air tight with their logic or not.

Right I’m done. Thanks for reading. Have a good week.

One off, One on, and a pleasant surprise?

Hello

 

In case you noticed, I didn’t update my little corner of the internet last week. That was because I had done exactly bugger all in the way of writing. I’m not sure how it happened but that week just flew by. I do remember thinking about what I was going to write next though. When I had chance. Which was never during that week. But I did keep on reading Dorian Gray. I think it was once on the tram to work. So that was One week off writing. But then…

One week on it! As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I was considering writing a short story based around the idea of the two greatest warriors of a fictional planet. But, I’m thinking that will make a good, full length story or a novella. As I was writing the synopsis and background to it I realised a short story would end up long or novella anyway. Having put that on the back burner, I decided to sit down and write off the top of my head. The last time I did this, wanting to write a short story only, just so I can get a story written as the time before that, a few years back, I did the same thing and it ended up getting really, really long. I’ll get back to that little ditty at some point.

Anyway, I sat down to write a few years ago, off the top of my head, and that turned into my bugbear odyssey, The Town of the Mountain. And as I sat down to write a few days ago I began to tell the tale of a hunt. A bloke hunting and fighting a demon. Which has turned into part of the second book to follow on from Town of the Mountain. It has been running around my head for about a year now so I thought, why not put some of it down on paper. I’m planning on several short stories focusing on all the main characters that will feature in the second book. I have to say, taking a week off can be pretty good sometimes. I took a week off from running as well, which led to…

A pleasant surprise? I ran my quickest run for ages after a week off. Although what I got next took the goodness of that away. I received my running number for the Manchester Bupa 10k Run 18/05/2014. Last year I was in the third group to run, now I’ve gone and put myself in the second group. The white one. The group I remarked on, as they ran passed in the opposite direction looking all professional and that as I ran passed trying not to laugh at the guy dressed as a Rubik Cube, how professional and that they all looked. I was a little worried after I opened the letter but now, I’m looking forward to it. A challenge for me to beat last years’ time. And push myself further as well. I’ll go for a beer afterwards anyway so there is that.

Right, I’m off to do some chores. Hope you have a good week.

Bye

Short stories take a long time.

 

Hello

Last week I wrote about how I thought doing a lot of things, editing, reading and writing, all in one session could be harder or easier than I thought. I wasn’t sure if I could do it but I was going to try. It seems my subconscious has made my decision for me.

Editing done in the past week = None.

Reading done in the past week = Some.

I’ve kept reading the Bottle Imp, which is a really good piece of suspense and thoroughly enjoyable read so far, but I’m yet to finish. I said I’d finish it last Tuesday night. What a fool I was.

Writing = A fair amount.

Along with doing some reading, mostly to and from my girlfriends flat, I have started and am close to finishing my first short story of the year. It is the story of an immortal who lives in modern day Manchester. He was born in 1900 and has travelled the world seeking the reason for his existence. He knows there are more of his kind but, as they all travel as much as he does seeking new adventures and getting away from people who have worked out or who are about to work out their secret, he has been unable to find any of them. Then he decides to commit an act that will get theirs, and his main target, The First Immortal’s attention. He feels The First must have the answer he craves. But will it be that easy?

Buggered if I know. I have one ending which I’m going to go with initially but I’m going to consider a few more, whatever they are, as well. I am glad I have written this story. It has been on my mind for a while. The word length will stay at 3000 so when I’m done, and I know I’ll go over it, the edit will delete the unwanted words. And then the next edit. And so on…

As for The Picture of Dorian Gray, that will have to wait a few more days. The Bottle Imp looks to be coming to an end, I only know this without reading the ending as I checked when it roughly finished, and then it will be onto Oscar Wildes book. Here’s hoping all this build up I’m giving it will be worth it.

Ok, well I’m off to watch Olympiakos Vs.Man Utd. Have a good week and enjoy as much of it as possible.

Bye Bye