November never ends.

Hello

 

Alas November 2014 is done and dusted. Farewell to you. You are one of my favourite months. You make me become more focused on my writing than any other month could dream of. Over the past two years I’ve completed two NaNoWriMo’s and done my own editing challenge in the month of November. But though the calendar has moved on and tells me it’s December, I feel like you’re still around.

That’s because you chuffin are. Aren’t you?

I gave myself the task of editing my NaNoWriMo 2012 story The Searchers Want, a tale of demons and those who search and kill them to protect the earth they all live on, and initially I was well on course to complete the edit in one month. I was sticking to my plan. I was doing well. But now I find myself with two more chapters to edit but no more November left to edit them in. How did this happen?

Well, I know how it happened. Life and illness hindered my progress. Though I am very pleased to have edited around 70,000 words in a month. I can’t complain really. I’ll have the rest of the edit done by the end of 2014 at least. Then, I’ll start all over again in 2015 after a short break of probably a week. This plan reminded me of how good writing breaks can be. I have always felt fresh and invigorated when I start to write again after taking a complete break. One of the blogs I follow, a lovely blog by the name of http://rlsharpe.wordpress.com/, recently posted about taking a break (http://rlsharpe.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/writing-tip-wednesday-taking-writing-breaks/) and I am now ready for a break of my own. Once this edit is done, I’ll break and then get back to it. I’m hoping to start research into time travel theories for my attempt at a sci-fi story based on the same. I’m fully prepared for it to frazzle my mind. Wish me luck.

Right. Back to the edit. Bye!

And the Edit goes on La de da de de, la de da de da

Hello

 

So, as I’ve mentioned before I’m editing a story for the month of November and it’s moving along steadily. I have been doing NaNoWriMo for the past two years but I fancied a change.

As the edit has gone on I’ve picked up on a few things that will need researching and looking into in future. I’ve made a note of these things and they just so happen to be very important to the overall story. I’m considering doing an editing month for December more and more. Well, December through to January as December has a couple of birthday’s and Christmas parties that require my attendance. The research will cover my lead characters sister and her involvement in the whole thing and how the searcher general came to find the recipe for immortality. I’m about 2/3 of the way with the immortality back story and about half way with the sister back story. Hopefully by the end of the edit I’ll have a better idea of what I had planned for her.

I have also found that I may or may not have been trying to come up with my own language whilst writing the first draft of my human vs demon yarn, The Searcher’s Want. Some of the sentences, and paragraphs for that matter, just didn’t seem to make any sense. I’m being as ruthless as I can be and have deleted plenty of full sentences but I came across one paragraph and I could not stop frowning. What the hell is that? I found myself going back over the last paragraph or two to see what would make sense. It’s sorted now. Until the next edit anyway.

I also found that I had made one chapter 14 pages long. Now, that isn’t longer than any chapter I’ve ever read or written but when you’re editing a story that averages 8 pages per chapter, it’s a lot. I cut and chopped and changed some things round and it’s all evened out. Though my task is that little bit bigger than before. It’s all part of the fun I suppose. *groan

Anyway, I’m going to get back to it. Have a good week.

 

Cheers

Another story, a plan of action, and a question about Editing.

Hello!

 

Since last time I have not really done that much in the way of writing. Which is why I didn’t update my blog last week as I usually would have done. Today however finds me having done enough to warrant a glorious, in my view anyway, blog post.

I have been reading and am 2/3 of the way through The Picture of Dorian Gray. It started to bore me a little when it was going on about what Mr Gray had done in the years since he realised what gift his picture had given him. For instance, for around four pages or possibly more as I’m pretty sure I’ve blanked it out already, it went on about the different kinds of jewels he collected when he turned his hand to such a thing. Now, I can understand explaining what a character has been up to, but in that much detail? I almost found myself wishing I was reading another book. But then, I got to chapter thirteen. With all that over description done with, the story continued. And continued awesomely! I recommend reading it if you haven’t already done do.

Okidoke. To part of the title of this post. I finished the two swordsman, Stuart and The Count, short story for my lead up to/preparation for the sequel to my bugbear caper. As I was writing it I settled on two things. One, that I thoroughly enjoy coming up with stuff as I’m writing. Stuff which could lead to story arcs and things for the sequel that I had not even considered before sitting down to write. And two, a plan of action. I’m going to get my short stories written, I reckon I’ve got at least ten more to do, and then go head on into editing ‘Town of the Mountain.’

Now, every time in the past that I have gone to do this with any of my stories I have always been distracted. I think of another idea for a story, I see something shiny, I get hungry, my legs hurt, I’m checking how my football bet is coming along, to name but a few reasons why I haven’t exactly embraced editing. But it is an essential part of the process so I’m looking forward to going head on into it. I hope to start in August if I can. Or I might just start in August anyway. Who knows?

Along with reading for the past couple of weeks, I’ve also been on my travels. To Anglesey no less. It was great to have some time away with my girlfriend and my family. It all sets up my next holiday very nicely. Me and my girlfriend are going to Rome! For my birthday! I ordered my Europe’s yesterday and pick them up tomorrow. I’m starting to get excited. I’ve heard not one bad thing about the place so far. Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype.

Right then, I’ll leave you with a question. Do you have any tips for preparing to and doing the editing thing?

Cheers

One chapter too long. But that is what edits are for right?

Hello

I’ve continued to write the End Solution and to my huge grin, which turned to slight annoyance straight after, I realised that the chapter I had just finished was twice the size of all the other chapters in the story so far. I would potentially do this for the ending of a story but not just passed half way. I’ll have to get to stream lining that ten page monster (compared to all the other five page normal sized creatures) in the edit. Or maybe I should do it now. I’m not sure. What do you think?

That cold I mentioned last time still hasn’t completely gone away. And it will go away because I can’t be ill for what’s coming this Friday. I’m sure you are all aware and are either applauding me or frowning as if to pretend you don’t know, it’s TNA Impact Wrestling from the Manchester Arena. Me and my friend try and go every year and it has never disappointed. It will also be the day I break my self-imposed, no beer plan and get back on it. I just hope I don’t get so ratted I miss the event. I’m sure I won’t. Hopefully.

I’ve started to renew my relationship with one of the websites I used to frequent. Critique Circle has always been a valuable way for me to get good, solid feedback and to read other writer’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. If you are not aware, the idea of the site is as follows:

  1. You read other peoples stories from any genre you like and critique them once you are done.
  2. The more in depth your critique is, the more credits you will receive.
  3. Once you have 3 credits, you can submit a story of your own.
  4. Other authors will then critique your story and your feedback has arrived!

I’ve read one fantasy story and now have enough credits to submit my own work. I’ll let you know how that goes in due course.

Right then. I’m off to read and write.

Bye Bye

Keeping on with this break thing…

Hello

This self imposed writing break of mine is working out quite well. I like having not much else to do other than watch TV or play on my Xbox. It also helps having Christmas to distract me as well. I’ve pretty much bought all the presents I want to buy for my nearest and dearest and only have a few more things to buy. I’m even more organised than I was last year. Big smiles about that, I thought I’d be worse.

But, with all the thoughts about Christmas and all things in that area taking up most of my head space, those lovable writing thoughts keep floating to the surface.

I’ve been making notes as I usually do when this happens and the few notes I’ve made over the past week have been about a story I finished a few years ago and did a small amount of editing on. I was hoping to start editing the NaNoWriMo story I wrote last year but now I’m thinking of editing a the one from a few years ago. Or maybe another one. Or write a new one. As dilemma’s go, it’s not so bad really.

Ok, I’m going to get back to my break. Hope all your writing is going well and your enjoying your December so far.

Good Pie

Oh NaNoWriMo, hurry up and get here will you!

Hello

 

This post is shorter than usual for one reason and one reason only. I haven’t really done that much in the last or so to do with my writing. I’m not sure how it happened but I reckon if I break it down I can probably figure it out. Here we go…

Wednesday 02/10/2013.

After work, went for a run. Got home to find my mate had come round to watch the football (soccer). Watched the game, was tired by the end of it, it turned out to be a very dull game, and went to bed. That explains Wednesday.

Thursday 03/10/2013.

After work, went to my girlfriend’s house. That explains Thursday.

Friday 04/10/2013 – Saturday 05/10/2013

After work, went to see my parents and stayed over for the Friday night. Spent part of Saturday with them as well. Went home, had some food, and went out again to meet my mates to go watch some rugby. Rugby finished, went to get some food and then out to a rock/metal night. That explains Friday and Saturday.

Sunday 06/10/2013

Spent the day hung over and watching wrestling, football (soccer), a film and playing on my xbox. That explains Sunday.

Monday 07/10/2013

After work, had some food. Had a nap. Made my dinner for the next day in work.

But then…

BOOM!!!! Edited two of my short stories. There we go. At least I did something.

How did this happen? I did read a lot of 1984 which I’m getting ever closer to end of but I didn’t really write that much at all. I didn’t notice the week get away from me. After a week like that, NaNoWriMo can’t come soon enough. I’ve made sure I’m signed up for it and already know what story I’m going to write.

If you want to get involved, have a look using the following link http://nanowrimo.org/.

Well, I’m going to make sure this week involves a slight case of Character Profile fever. Along with finding the writing bug that didn’t bite me last week and letting it have a field day.

Good Pie

Character profile fever.

Hello

So, one week later and I’ve still got character profile fever. Yes that’s right. It now has a name. Character profile fever causes you to improve the back story of your stories and characters and potentially create new plots points along with adding and improving to your story as a whole through character building.

I first thought I had character profile fever when I started getting the shakes 24 hours after completing the character profile for the chief villain for The Searchers Want. I didn’t really know what was going on. At first, I thought I was hungry so I had some food. That didn’t get rid of them. Then, I thought that thirst was what was causing it so I drank but to no avail. Then I thought I needed to exercise. Nope that didn’t work. After all this I decided to pick up my note pad and pen and write another profile.

The shakes suddenly disappeared and were replaced by calm followed by excitement. I completed two profiles, for the hero’s sister, a drug addict who caused the deaths of their parents and knows about his job, and a news reporter who works with the searchers and wants to sleep with the hero but he isn’t having any of it so instead she sleeps with another searcher to get to him. These were both great to write and opened up more story things and stuff for the edit.

I’m close now to finishing all the main character profiles. I’ve currently got at least two more big ones to complete and possibly numerous smaller ones to do for characters than are only in it for the battle scene at the end of the story.  Not decided whether I will give them big profiles (every point thoroughly completed) or smaller ones (just one or two things for each point). Best get the next two big ones finished though before I decide, a?

I also managed to fit in an edit for two of my short stories. Although, I was watching a football (soccer) game at the same time so I know I’ll have to go over them again. And again, And again. And so on…

So, to conclude, the only way to get over a case of character profile fever is by doing more profiles. I’ll let you know what to do when all the profiles that are required for any story are completed. But the question is…

Do you suffer, or have ever suffered, from any (entirely fake) fevers as a result of writing a story or poem?

Bye Bye

 

And its done. That was quick. But thoroughly enjoyable of course.

Hello

As I mentioned last time round, I was looking forward to completing the character profile for the main villain of The Searcher’s Want, my NaNoWriMo story from last November. Last November? Dear lord that’s gone by quickly. Although, the next NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Focus John, Focus.

So, after spending the previous three days with my girlfriend and visiting my awesome big sister and my even awesome-er nephew and then helping to babysit my girlfriends niece, I sat down to write the character profile for the Ripper demon, the main villain of the story I mentioned only a few seconds ago.

Do you know when you are writing and it just seems to flow out of you? Like it’s been dwelling inside of you, waiting eagerly for you to finish doing other stuff with your life and get back to your calling which is, obviously, to write? Well, that is what it felt like. I know the character well enough anyway and as I started writing I didn’t want to stop. I could have happily kept going and wrote all day. Who needs food and water when there is writing to be done? It did end quicker than I’d like but I wrote as much I thought was needed so I’m happy with it.

I had already made the necessary notes, so that I could at least start the character profile, when I was preparing for NaNoWriMo last October. I kept these notes to hand and as I wrote the profile, as like all the previous profiles, the character became completely fully formed on the page and in my head.

What I found as well, which made the process even more electric, was that I was coming up with plot points for the story as a whole and knew exactly how and what I needed to do to improve upon the Ripper within the story itself when editing begins.

My favourite part of the profile was the history part of it. This has allowed me to explain how the Ripper has arrived at the point I found him in the story. I was slightly worried about getting all the back story right but now, I’m not worried at all. Well, I probably will be when I add everything in, re-edit the edit, and find I need to write more. Oh great. Now I’m worried and excited. And I’m not sure what to do…

And that’s my queue to exit. I’ve not done any exercise since Saturday morning so hopefully that will help.

Good pie

To be rude or not to be rude?

Hello

Over the past week or so I’ve only done any writing on one day. I know it’s not very much but I found myself either busy, hung-over or doing chores. I probably could’ve done more writing in-between but I’ll make up for it over the next week. Don’t you worry.

Within the writing I actually managed to do, I found myself with the task of writing an ‘after sex’ scene. I had contemplated writing an actual sex scene but I prefer to let the reader imagine what went on between the sheets. Although on second thought I’m not so sure.

This scene was from my vampire myth story and concerned the main female character and one of the chief male support characters. Amanda and Peter are having an affair behind their friend Marks, and other chief male support character, back. They all work at the same Admin Company and were all friends with the lead male character of the story, Bruce. Bruce knew about the affair but kept it a secret as he was close with Amanda. Now that he has become the End Solution and the United Kingdom’s only recognised vampire (of sorts), Amanda has chosen to try and find him to make sure he is ok. Mark is willing to help her But Peter is not. Even with all this Amanda continues to see Peter. I think you know enough now.

It starts inside a room of the hotel they usually use. Both are discussing Bruce and their particular views on the subject. This is mostly to enhance Amanda’s need to find him and to show that Peter is against it. It’s all about character building people! Anyway, throughout the scene they are naked as I don’t think two people, who only really have sex and barely don’t do anything together when Mark isn’t there, would be too bothered about walking around in such a way.

Now I’m getting to the title of this here post and the end of it.

I was considering re-writing the scene with a bit more happening as they are naked. But I don’t think this is in keeping with the tone of the whole story so far. However, it could act as I a bit of a twist in the tone that could set up the same kind of twist in tone sporadically throughout the book for impact. So, my question is this…

Do you think it’s a good idea to be explicit, shocking, drastic et al in stories just for effect or should it always be in line with the tone of the story?

Your feedback would be awesome.

Bye

 

A fistful of grammar.

Hello

So, I’ve continued to brush up on my grammar skills and as it turns out, I know more than I thought I did. Maybe in my haste to get my stories written I’ve chosen to forget certain aspects of the wonderful, if not very frustrating, world of grammar.

As I’ve been reading through the exceptional book, ‘Improve your grammar; Learn the skills, master the language.’ By Collins. (http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/7802960/Collins-Improve-Your-Grammar/Product.html?searchstring=imporive+your+grammar&searchsource=2&searchfilters=s%7bimporive+your+grammar%7d%2bc%7b91%7d%2b&urlrefer=search or http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Improve-Your-Punctuation-Graham/dp/0007288069/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374611468&sr=1-5&keywords=improve+your+grammar) I keep remembering things that I’ve somehow forgotten or easily working out what I should be doing. I’m currently on the section dedicated to commas and all their forms. And if I’ve missed any commas so far or hereafter, I’m sorry.

This has also helped me with my editing and writing over the past week. I’ve continued with my take on the vampire myth and editing one of my older stories. The writing is coming along nicely, although as it’s going along I’m realising that I’m going to need to create a lot more for the world this story takes place in.

It’s a world in which the Prime Minister rules the country like a dictator. He has put in place huge, gothic, dark buildings in each of the main towns and cities across the country. These help him to keep a watch over a majority of it. He uses special employees or ‘Operatives’ to keep an eye on the small villages and day to day life that he can’t control himself. This, as you might imagine, creates a whole host of questions and a whole host of answers to accompany them. I’ll let you know how I get on.

On the other hand, the editing process has been more fruitful than I’d previously anticipated. I’ve always liked editing but after almost two years away from the story I’m casting my eye on, I’m chopping and changing stuff and really starting to be critical of myself. I know I’ll have to go back over it again and again (location, character, descriptions and so on) but if it’s possible I’m looking forward to it more than I ever have.

Well, that’s me for now. I’m going to get back to it. Hmm…How do I end this post…why not with a question?

If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be? And don’t feel like you have to choose a nice, save the world, type of option. Just go nuts if you like.

 

Bye