No Definitive Reasons

I haven’t had a chance recently to sit down and write for an entire day. There have been written reports about wrestling to do and podcasts to prepare for. Pretty much all the stuff I do to give me a break from writing a book has taken over. I seem to have spent time writing a book to give me a break from watching and writing about wrestling. Strange how this pans out sometimes.

It was late on the other night and the rest of my family had all gone upstairs up to bed. I started my computer thinking I wouldn’t be able to write anything. ‘Even if I get a couple of paragraphs done then it’s a win’ I thought to myself. In the end I managed to get around 700 words done in about half an hour which was a surprise even to myself. It meant I was able to fit in a couple of hours gaming before bed so it was a positive result all round.

We’re closing in on the 40,000 mark, the final aim is 55,000. This middle part has probably been one of the hardest parts of written work I’ve ever done.

Aniki

As if by some strange miracle I actually managed to get to work on the book before 10am this morning so had a good blast at it for a couple of hours. I’ll need to go and wash the breakfast dishes eventually but I’m now over 34,000 words. At around the 25,000 mark I was thinking this story might peg out before the 55-60,000 I wanted to get to. Now, with about 20,000 to go, I’m worried I won’t be able to wrap it up in time. It’s a much happier problem to have though.

I’m becoming more and more concerned with how I’m handling time shifts in the story. It’s very much a 50/50 split between the events of ten years previous and the girl’s initial disappearance and what happens after her return. It’s sometimes feels hard to piece all this together without seeming like it’s terribly confusing being as it features the same characters. I’m finding myself laying down markers with scenery and parts of the actual town itself changing. Heck knows if this is working or not.

But progress is good and I’m feeling a ton better about it than I was even a month ago.

Melancholic Communion

The characters are beginning to morph.

Even after all the notes I made this time last year about each and every character in this thing I’m finding that the more I write the more they’re changing. A good example would be the girl who actually goes missing.

Originally, throughout all the planning stages, this character was always ten years old. It seemed like a good number and it was actually the age that my son was at the time. As a result of that it seemed really easy to write. As I’ve got further along the word count though I’ve realised that her actions and mannerisms seem to make her that little bit older. One of the main police investigations into her vanishing is the theory that she’s gone off to meet a boy against her Mother’s wishes. Ten years old would seem rather young for this sort of thing to happen, fourteen would make a lot more sense.

So I’m keeping going for the meantime but it’s painfully obvious in the structure currently that her character has altered halfway through. It’ll end up being one of the main things I’ll be smoothing out when the time comes for rewrites.

We stand at 33500 words.

Lightsaber Nunchucks

Writing a blog about writing a book is difficult to keep interesting at the best of times. When progress on aforementioned book has ground to a halt in recent months then it’s even harder. The noise of Christmas and New Year has now faded in the rear view mirror and I’ve suddenly became very much aware that it was one year ago since I started writing the basic outline and notes for the story. The actual task of putting words on the page was started in March and I made fairly steady progress over the summer months. Then in October, once the nights had started drawing in, I reached a part of the story in which the whole thing seemed to suddenly run out of steam. It’s been hard picking back up after that and I’ve constantly been saying to myself that I’ll return to it. That return keeps getting shoved back.

Reading what I have so far confirms the worst fear that it’s 30,000 words of utter nonsense. It’s a combination of small town Scotland, aliens, child abduction and people not quite seeming what they are. If that sounds like it shouldn’t hang together well then rest assured that at this current moment you are indeed correct. The overwhelming feeling is that even if I do charge forward and reach the end then the editing job to get it anywhere near watertight at the end is massive.

I seem to have spent the first two weeks of 2018 taking up other projects separate from the book which seems like a subliminal effort to avoid actually doing anything about the thing. I’ll write about video games over on Dragon In The Castle¬†and I’ve had the mad notion to start a printed games fanzine. I’m also still involved in the pro wrestling podcast called Conquistabores. I’ve also had the pleasure of being invited up to Edinburgh on a fairly regular basis to talk about Doctor Who on another podcast called The Polis Box.

These things are all great fun and I look forward to participating in them. The strange thing is that I’m struggling most with the one that I’m solely responsible for. It seems just that little bit uphill at the moment and the hope is that I find a thread sometimes soon and carry on. I have a feeling that once I hit a rich vein then it’ll become far easier.

 

Content Generator

If I had a publisher then they’d probably be yelling at me down the phone right now. They would tell me to put down the car wash sponge as the car was only a little bit dirty and it’s about to rain anyway. They would tell me to stop filing my nails down. They would tell me that the list of video games I have made that I think need completed by the end of 2017 isn’t really the most important thing in my life right now.

There would then follow a long talk about how it’s coming along gradually and that the chapter I was having so much trouble with has now been finished. The completion has brought with it a complete red herring as far as the police officer’s investigation is concerned and a brand new character who will only remain in the story for another chapter at the most.

We’d then move onto how the final phase of the book currently tilts between and ending which will be fun to write but doesn’t make much sense and another which is the polar opposite.

Then we’d laugh and laugh.

Promising to do this all again next week before hanging up.

I’m quite glad at this stage that I don’t have a publisher.

The List At The End Of The Universe

Blame it on getting past the halfway marker on the book but I’ve been thinking a whole lot about endings recently. A chain of thought that led from the ending of the book and spanned further outwards into how everything ends, eventually stopping in one form or another. Then I began to think about ideas and projects of my own.

It’s said that Stanley Kubrick only made one film of each genre. Whilst I’ve had a look at his filmography and that statement isn’t completely accurate there is a tendency to regard his main cannon of movies cornerstones in their particular field. His Science fiction movie was 2001, his horror The Shining, his comedy Dr Strangelove and hell knows what Eyes Wide Shut was going to be.

I have no idea if this will be the only book I ever write. For something that I felt like doing just to give it a go it’s going fairly well. Any thought that I’d have it done by the time the clocks go back has pretty much faded right now though. If it is the first and last book I ever write then at least I can say I’ve written one.

This in turn got me thinking about all the small, one time projects I could do and then never make another one of that particular type again. Then I got down to writing a list.

1X Short Film.

When I was in college one of my tutors encouraged us to write a list at the start of each week with what you hoped to achieve. He added that he always put something at the top that either you’d already done or were close to doing so you could cross it off straight away and have a psychological boost right off the bat. This would be mine. Already done, made and screened. One day I’ll stop banging on about it.

1X Feature Film

Still working on this one, script have been done but nothing picked up yet.

1X Book

Currently in progress.

1X Comic Book.

I’ve always had a few ideas kicking about for a comic book actually but I cannot draw to save my life so I’d need somebody who could.

1X Album

Once again I cannot play any musical instruments at all but about a year ago I went round to a friend’s house who certainly can. We had a system running where I hummed stuff and he translated it into guitar and drums. It was a really fun day and we had something akin to a song by the time we were done. The idea of just making one album or strange bleeps and bloops, never playing it life in any way and only producing about three physical copies of it just appeals to me.

1X Radio Play.

Something creepy with sound. Quite doable on a really low budget, at home with decent microphones too.

1X Published Short Story.

In a magazine or something along those lines.

1X Video game.

Probably something with a bit of story to it especially as I’m really only able to make text adventures right now.

1X Any of the above but under the banner of Doctor Who

Because the day I get to write ‘TARDIS lands’ I will truly have to stop myself from flipping out.

Working through this list I feel I could die a happy man. Probably quite poor but still happy.

Good People Making Cool Things

The more I’ve got into writing this book the more I’ve began to appreciate and be inspired by others online who are trying to get their dreams and ideas into reality. I’ve usually never met these people (but would certainly try and say hello if I ever did) but their individual stories do remind me that, when ploughing through another thousand words or so, there might just be something really special at the end of all of this. For the last few weeks I’ve been thoroughly addicted to watching Games As Lit 101 on YouTube in which Samuel Gronseth casts a critical eye over interactive media. I’d been watching a lot of his videos (drawn in mostly be his remarkable analysis of Bioshock) when his latest video describing his personal circumstances landed.

Rather than waffle on about it myself I’ll just put the video right here.

Once again I’ve never met Samuel nor ever spoken to him but I wanted to go right ahead and sign up to his Patreon because I really enjoy what he’s doing and want to help him advance it to the stage that he obviously reckons he can. There have been so many times whilst watching his videos that he’s introduced completely new ideas regarding games I long since thought I knew everything about.

I’ve signed up to $4 a month which isn’t a huge amount (does four bucks buy you a coffee and doughnut over that side of the Atlantic these days?) but I hope it goes some way to getting to his target. If you like video games and don’t just regard them as junk, throw away entertainment then I’d certainly recommend chucking Samuel some money so he can expand his show and bring his ideas to life.

Also, he likes cats so that’s an automatic thumbs up from me.

Now I need to go and write more words.