Summer Is Coming

This has been the first rainy afternoon in a long while. Whilst our part of Scotland may not have been bathed in the heat of summer just yet it has at least been dry. Walking around the village during the one walk outside the house each day whilst lockdown is in effect has been a rather pleasant distraction. Today however both the dog and I were very wet when we made it home this afternoon.

It has meant a little bit more writing. There’s a chapter at the end that I’m having to rework completely as changes in the previous few chapters have rendered the older version obsolete. Some of the dialogue can be transferred over but not a lot. The rather good new is that this is the penultimate chapter of the entire book so with a little bit of an extra push over the next few days we should be done with this rewrite. I have a feeling that this will be a massive weight off my shoulders as one of the main things I wanted to get done during all of this pandemic was to finish this.

After that it’s a case of going through each chapter and seeing if it just needs polished or needs a further rewrite again. For the most part though this is slowly becoming something readable to the outside world and for that I’m very glad. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been writing this for the last three years and it started as one sentence in a notebook.

Storm Chasing

Whilst going through the last stages of this rewrite I’ve noticed a shift in a particular character has appeared almost out of nowhere. The decision will certainly have to be made soon as to if I carry on with this and be forced to alter everything that change affects or try and force it back to the original plan and limit the damage.

I’d image this is something all writers come across, let me explain the exact details.

In the very first plans of the book my alien being had landed on Earth after being separated from his cohorts in the skies above. He was part of a squadron who had been bombing other planets, rendering once glorious landscapes into flames and dust. When he hit Earth he found himself alone and without a clue of what to do. He was supposed to be a warrior without a war to fight and a large part of his story was him learning about this whilst trying to get back home. He was an aggressor but it was done only because that was his usual mode of operation and not because Earth had any particular plus points for his race. As a result of this his character was eerie, unpredictable and certainly not to be trusted.

The chapters I’ve written about planets burning are never really pinned as to who is on what side. As I’ve carried on I’ve noticed that I made this alien being really confused about life on Earth and how he goes about not being identified. It’s then led to another ‘what if’ idea.

What if, rather than him being part of this all dominating army, he was a victim of them instead? He’s not a warrior, he’s a refugee. This change has occurred somewhat naturally and has made him more interesting to write and far more three dimensional. He’s little bit more sympathetic as well.

The second option would involve a lot more work as it means rewiring the end few chapters a fair bit and possibly adding a few more section so his background is made a lot clearer but it’s probably going to be better in the long run.

Dear Railway Neighbour

It was experiment time.

My wife is a nurse so she’s been going to work during all of the Coronavirus pandemic happenings. This means that I’m at home as much as possible with our son, the dog and the cat. Without any kind of routine in place it can mean that both the humans in the house end up watching Youtube all day. In order to combat this we ended up doing a lot of work for our joint video games blog site. It’s been a lot of fun so far with us reviewing games and talking about what we’re playing during the lockdown. It has taken away from the book writing time though and I thought I’d try to get that sorted tonight.

After dinner I thought I’d sit and blast through for just one hour between 8 and 9.I didn’t set a word count or say I was going to do ‘X chapter’. I just started editing and rewriting.

I got a fair piece of it done this way and it might be good to do this going forwards if I don’t get a chance to sit and write all day.

Is this something anybody else has tried?

Cats and I.T

Ticking over again with the rewrite tonight but progress was slightly curtailed by my cat leaping up on my laptop keyboard and somehow managed to knock out my touch pad. No amount of pressing buttons could bring the thing back. As the furry idiot walked away I found myself frantically searching via my mobile as to how to get it back running again.

This berk…

I’m writing the lead up to my ending now and I’m still unsure about it. There’s a thin dividing line at the moment between just wanting to get this finished and opening up parts of it for another serious going over. I can see me certainly doing large sections of dialogue again but I currently have three characters looking out to see for strange light and a fourth who is looking around his kitchen for a weapon to use against an alien life form.

But I’m still not sure this works.

But it might be too late now.

Phantom Footsteps

Since I moved house I’m no longer within walking distance from my parent’s house. My Dad and I used to meet each other for a morning coffee once a week but recently we haven’t had the chance until today. As my Dad’s car pulls up into the car park of the local Distillery cafe he waves a magazine in the front window. I can just about see that it’s Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine, a local publication covering events in the near vicinity. I have no clue as to why he’s brought it along though.

Turns out it was this…

Turns out it’s a story about ghost sightings in Gretna written by my good friends Mostly Ghostly. I had no clue they were going to mention me and seeing the word ‘writer’ before my name in a magazine is certainly a buzz.

Probably time to live up to that.

Hip Hop Development

I haven’t really found somewhere to write in the new house yet. At the moment I’m sat at the kitchen table which is very much a similar idea to the breakfast bar in the old place. There’s a sunroom next door but, being January and about 3c outside, that’s not the most comfortable place to sit right now.

I opened up the file for the book today for the first time in what seemed like weeks. Word tells me that the last time I did anything with it was October 20th last year. Even the small bubble on the sidebar that usually takes me straight to the point when I had stopped before had given up. I was back at page one, chapter one having to scroll down to find it. November was taking up with house moving, December was Christmas and some vague sense of normality has returned in time for mid January. My writing momentum has been shot though and trying to get started today proved something of a nightmare.

There isn’t that much further to go though and this version of the book will be done.

Emotionally Drained

Anybody else find that time seems to shift much faster when they’re trying to write?

After going to the supermarket this morning to get some food shopping I’ve been sat in my kitchen since around 11am trying to get some more of the book rewrite done. It’s 4pm now and I cannot really fathom where that time has gone. I’m consoling myself with the fact that the small progress bar down the side of the screen is firmly at the 75-80% mark. It’s getting done, just not maybe that fast.

I think one of the main methods I’m using right now is to keep another tab open alongside the text file of the book so I can flit to that and write something else if I feel progress is grinding. Today the reserve writing project was a game review so I’ve been darting back and forth between ‘aliens in Scotland’ and ‘The Legend Of Zelda’. Oddly it works okay.