One short story a month. Maybe

Hello

As per my usual routine recently I’ve been keeping on with the writing of my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, The End Solution. No editing done this week but I’ve enjoyed the extra writing in its stead. I’ve also decided to try and write one short story a month alongside writing the End Solution and editing some of my other stories. And reading. And so on….

But is this all too much?

Who knows? But I’m going to give it a good try. I’ve had an idea for a story based around an immortal living in modern day Manchester for a while which I started to write last week. I didn’t want to do the whole ‘fish out of water’ scenario so I started cautiously as I was wondering what I could do with it. And as luck would have it, well not luck but the way I write coming into play brilliantly, as I finished the first page I realised I needed to map the story out. It’s only going to be around 3000 words so I have to use every word wisely. Then, after writing the map and the second page, I came up with an ending. A cast iron, should be there until the umpteenth edit, ending. And I even know how I’m going to get there to. I usually just write and see where the story takes me.

But this time it’s different.

I don’t know why but when I write short stories I plan then out. Down to every last detail. But when I write longer ones I roughly plan them and go with the flow. I have never felt any problem writing this way so I’m hoping to use this and get at least one new short story finished per month. But maybe not November. That could be an extra challenge on top of NaNoWriMo 2014? Hmmmm…..

Also, following on from my last post, I’m going to be reading The Picture of Dorian Gray next. To be honest, I’ve been looking forward to reading this as much as I had looked forward to reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Here’s hoping it will be as good if not better.

Dorian Gray

Okidoke. I’m going to get on with the reading The Bottle Imp and hopefully start reading the above this time tomorrow.

Bye Bye

One book down. But which one should be next?

Hello

My continued attempts to edit two stories side by side have not been as fruitful as I thought they would be. I have been continuing to edit them but I didn’t do it for every day of last week. Which, in my head, was the plan. But I have managed to write more pages of The End Solution. It’s moving long quite nicely but I’m still no closer to finding out what the ending is going to be. I am starting to think I may have to write all of my possible endings out on paper and decide which works best. I’ve also found that I will have to go back and add in a few chapters to cover some story points I have neglected. Do I do this now or in the editing stage? I think I’ll do it now. Or maybe not. I’ll come to this decision after some careful thought. Or whilst I’m on the toilet. Or playing Pro Evolution Soccer. Or staring at the wall. Whichever way this comes to me though, I hope it is soon.

Any who, on a different subject, I finished Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (http://www.play.com/Books/Books/6-/Search.html?searchstring=dr+jekyll&searchsource=2&searchfilters=s%7bdr+jekyll%7d%2bc%7b91%7d%2b) and it has become one of my favourite books of all time. The way Robert Louis Stevenson has weaved this story is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Maybe that’s my fault (there’s no maybe about it) but it’s a bold and striking style that captivates and keeps you hooked. Admittedly it can be a bit like hard work, some of the words he uses I’ve never heard of and the way I pronounce them in my head is most likely way off and the meanings will be as well, but if you are looking for a short, sharp and engaging read, I’d go for this one.

This finishing of the book malarkey has left me with a problem….what book do I read next?

At the end of my copy of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde there is another of his tales entitled The Bottle Imp. I only found out this was in with my copy halfway through reading it when I glanced at the back of the book cover. It is an apparently sinister story which will give me time to decide which of these books I’ll read next.

20140211_211313

If any of you fine people have read any of the above, feel free to give me your honest opinion about which ever it may be. Or some if not all of them.

Cheers

And so to the edit. Not forgetting the writing of course.

 

Hello

I’ve started to edit the first chapters of two of my novels simultaneously. I’m liking how, as both stories are quite different, I’m not getting confused. Sometimes I think I’m going to focus more on one than the other or get parts of one story mixed up with another one.

The Searcher’s Want, which I started for NaNoWriMo 2012 and finished recently, starts off in the same fashion as The End Solution, my ongoing NaNoWriMo 2013 effort. I’ve found over these two and over my other stories short and long, finished and unfinished that I’ve written, start by putting the reader in the middle of the action. I have always preferred this when reading any story so it doesn’t surprise me that I have started my own stories this way. But I am pleasantly surprised I’m being consistent with my writing. Had to happen some time.

Both stories so far have started with the main character doing what he is chiefly known for. With the End Solution, the main character is about to and does remove the chemical from a potential threat to society. In The Searcher’s Want, he is searching for a demon and killing it. For me, putting the reader straight into the action is the best way to start. I like to be slowly fed the story. I also love reading a fast paced action scene. Writing them is a joy as well. All my long stories have many of these scenes in them but not too many. Well, so far anyway. I’ll probably remove some and add others when the edit gets into full swing. 

I’m going to post a draft of the first page or two of The Searchers Want on this blog and most if not all of the first chapter of The End Solution on http://www.critiquecircle.com/ sometime soon. Your comments and constructive feedback will be appreciated.

Along with this, so that I don’t get too settled into a routine, I’m continuing to write The End Solution. I wanted to write a page a day throughout January but a combination of laziness and doing other stuff meant I managed ten pages. Which isn’t too bad considering I’m editing as well. And so from this I ask….

Did you manage to get a lot of writing done in your January?

Good pie.

Editing, Writing, A Cold, Oh My!

 

Hello

Following on from my last post, I edited the first few pages of the first chapter of my vision-of-the-future story, The End Solution.

One of the pieces of helpful feedback I received from my last post was to try to picture the street that the start of the chapter takes place on. I walk up and down said street every day and have done so for the past ten months, so this should have been a no brainer and something I should’ve considered. Captain Hindsight, I know your pain. Anyway, I pictured it and made some changes and immediately thought it read a lot better. I’m a little bit biased (Surprised?) but it was easier and smoother to read compared to what was there before it. I closed my eyes to picture the street and it didn’t take long for me to write enough of a description to hopefully set the scene and put the reader in the story alongside the characters. Or floating above them or walking just behind them at least.

I also changed what I thought was needed to put the story out of the passive and into the active voice. Again the story was smoother to read and was a lot more gripping. Actually putting the reader into the action instead of telling them about it like it happened a few minutes ago. As in, if you had changed from your work shoes to your boots to go home before the end of work instead of at the end of it, you would have seen it. Anyway, all in all I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so I may post the edited version on here at some point.

I continued to write the rest of The End Solution after doing this and I reckon I’m about five to ten chapters from the end of it. Although, I don’t know which of three possible, up to now, endings I’m going to use. But, like with all the other long stories I’ve written, the ending will come to me all of a sudden and I won’t be able to stop writing. I do enjoy that part.

Right then, thank you for reading and I’m going to get back to it. Oh, and the cold part of the title refers to a cold I picked up, after a small bout of food poisoning, that slightly ruined my week. It’s gone now though. I’m beginning to think giving up beer for thirty days was a bad idea. My body seems to be telling me so.

Good Pie

The reason I’ve been so quiet (if you noticed that is)

Hello

Just a quick one, I’ve completed NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row! I’m really happy and have ordered a t-shirt to celebrate. Its a bit geeky but it also contributes to this brilliant challenge and helps to keep it running.

So, here is a synopsis of the story I have possibly given myself a back problem partly writing;

My novel, which isn’t finished yet but is well on its way like last years, is about a government that rules with an iron fist. They will let you live your lives but if you get caught talking or doing anything against them, and they are listening all the time, you will be killed or ‘removed’. This government has made the UK a very rich UK. It has also, since the now Prime Minister took over, discovered that a chemical runs through most human beings bodies that, if it’s in a high quantity, will cause that person to commit a crime. The higher the chemical level, the worse the crime. This can be removed however and the remove-ee (not a word) can re enter society and never commit a crime.

In order to make sure all those that should, in the governments eyes anyway, have the chemical removed do have it removed, they want to create an End Solution. Someone who can smell the chemical and suck it out of someone on the spot like a vampire. The End Solution ends up, after years of experimentation, being created but by accident. Now, the End Solution, a once normal, middle of the road man, is now a super charged, walking deterant to crime. Will he help the government or will he go out on his own? Will his friends find him before its too late? Will the Prime Minister get what he wants? Will the Government be brought o its knee’s? will he go for pizza?

Who knows? I only roughly know myself. If you would be interested in reading a snippet of this, let me know. If not, I’ll post a snippet at some point so you’ll see it anyway.

And now, this…

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

 

Cheers

Research…Will I ever like you?

Hello

Following on from my last post, which was two weeks ago, my fault, sorry, I have looked into buying a notice board. This may seem like a simple task but I don’t want to be buying notice boards all the time. This is necessary I can assure you. (I’m sure some of you are aware of this anyway.)

I also decided to dedicate a majority of last week to research. I have started to research certain parts of two of my stories, the story I’m currently writing which is my take on the vampire myth, The End Solution, and The Searcher’s Want, my hunter/searcher against demons for the fate of the world story I started, and finished recently, for NaNoWriMo.

For The End Solution, I’ve started by looking into the structure of the British Government. Specifically, who the Prime Minister has around him and why. I since discovered that he has around 21 members of parliament who act as cabinet ministers around him mainly amongst others. This has given me the headache of having to come up with possibly 10 new fully formed characters for this story as I don’t plan to need all of them in a complete capacity. And, along with having to write full character profiles for the ones already in the story, this is both bad and good. Bad, all that time it will take. Good, because I know I’ll enjoy it on many levels and it will help to advance the story greatly. Research…Will I ever like you?

For The Searcher’s Want, I decided to start the character profiles. Using the template I found in a post from writerdsnelson entitled ‘Profiling Blake’, I’ve discovered a lot about my characters and some things I can use to enhance their back stories, and create some conflict which I think the story needs, when I come to re-draft the story in the future. What I found out when doing this was some research, which I’d been neglecting about some of my characters, was sorely needed. For instance, one of my characters, the second oldest searcher named Abraham Smith, has been a searcher for 200 years. He became immortal at the age of 55 after being a searcher for 2 years. Now, this brings up all kinds of things when I’m writing about his history. Working out dates and things. It’s as exciting as it is frustrating. I think I’ve got the dates right, which I’m going to go over again just to be sure, to then find out I’ve missed one thing out. And I have to start all over again. Research…Will I ever like you?

I know I have to do research to make sure my story makes sense when it comes to location, dates and times of things, street names etc. But I think I’m just whining because it’s not as simple as I thought. I’m going to continue for the next week and I’m sure I’ll grow to like it. Here’s hoping anyway.

Well, to end this post and push me back into a research and character building frenzy, I’ll leave you with a question. How do you like to go about doing the research needed for any writing that you are about to do or are currently doing?

Cheers

 

 

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