Another Update

I finally finished the second (might technically be third) draft of last years NaNoWriMo novella. I’m pretty much going to dive straight into the next draft as I want to try and have it done in decent time.

There’s three main points that I’ve got to work on. Adding a new character to the mix; continuing a storyline that kinda of got forgotten about; and adding some more depth to my protagonist. There’s a couple of seeds I want to plant in the story for storylines down the line, and a couple of other tweaks that need to be added. I’m sure I’ll find more to work on while I’m working my way through.

I got some Beta notes back in the week on a story that Owen and I have put together, and finally had a look at them today. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them in the next week or so.

Reading wise I’m about halfway through Wool by Hugh Howey. I’m enjoying this novel, and have been surprised by some of the twists and turns in the story. Sometimes I’ll think I’ve got it sussed out, and then Howey takes it in a direction that I didn’t see coming.

The comic I’m reading is volume one of Wilds End by Dan Abnett (writer) and I.N.J. Culbard (illustration). This is a comic with anthropomorphic animals in the countryside of 1930’s Britain. So far the story is pretty captivating, and growing at a nice and steady pace. The artwork has got a beautiful look to it. At my first glance I found it beautiful for its simplicity but as I’ve looked more at it I’m really admiring how well Culbard has managed to put so much heart and character into these characters.

I’ve just started listening to No Worse Enemy by Christopher G. Nuttall. This is the second book in Nuttall’s The Empire’s Corps series. I’m about ninety minutes into it so I’m not fully engaged into it yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and I’ve got high expectations for No Worse Enemy.

 

State Of Play

This last week has been a washout when it comes to writing. A combination of the heatwave we’re in the middle of here in the UK and being a man down at work has meant that I’ve been wiped out when I’ve finished work.

I’ve knocked out a few words on a short story but nothing to write home about. This kind of sums up my summer; not a lot written. I’ve progressed well with the editing of last years NaNoWriMo novel, and I’ve done a moderate amount of outlining and brainstorming but I’ve not done anywhere near as much as I could have done. I’m really dreading adding in my word counts for the last few months because they’re next to nothing. I keep telling myself that I am editing, I am planning and preparing for future pieces but there is no reason why I can’t be still writing a few words each day. What I’ve written recently is a short story that isn’t outlined at all but has been thought out quite well. Even if I just write during my lunch breaks at work, I can still be knocking out a couple of hundred words a day as I’m editing and outlining of an evening.

The urge to do that hasn’t really been in me for a while now, but that urge is returning. I’m having ideas and getting notes down, I am working on a new short story. I’ve also had some fantastic feedback on a couple of short stories from Beta readers. The two stories are in the universe that Owen and I have been working on for many years, and the part of the feedback that has really excited Owen and myself is that the Beta readers found the stories ‘intriguing’ and ‘would like to see more’. Now this is huge for Owen and I as we’ve spent a lot of time working and developing this universe and for that reaction from the first people outside of Owen and me to respond like that, really has meant the world to us and has fired us up somewhat to get moving forward with these stories.

Today I’m not expecting to get a huge amount down, I’ve got some things going on today but tomorrow I’m planning to smash through the last third or so of these edit notes and I’d really like to get stuck into a bit more outlining for a project I’m planning on starting next year. Owen and I are at a very advanced stage of the planning for the rewrite of The Space Watch (Project Delphi). We were planning to start rewriting this one early next year, but I’m thinking it might be sooner than that. Owen is looking over the outline and we’ve got a meeting next week to work on it (and other pieces in this universe), so hopefully we’re getting close to having this one underway as well.

I’m truly not sure what I’m going to do for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m not to keen on doing first drafts straight onto computer anymore. I like writing a first drat by hand and I think this is the way for me to go. I do have a fan fiction piece I’ve got that needs typing up that I may do. I know that’s cheating but for me it’s still NaNoWriMo as words will be put down and I won’t be going back to edit anything until the draft is done.

Right, thats enough of me rambling. I’m off to make a start on my day, I hope everyone here in the UK has a great Bank Holiday weekend. For the rest of the world, have a good Sunday.

Changing Mindset

Yesterday I didn’t get anything done. By the time I got home and sorted a few pieces out it was well gone eight and I was just wiped out. So I didn’t do anything aside from making a few notes on a couple of projects.

I had a decent day with mindset though; I’ve been re-listening to The Nerdist Way by the awesome Chris Hardwick. I’ve  had this on audiobook for a couple of year but have only listened to it once, so I decided to listen to it again and where I’m a little more mature a lot more of the content of Hardwick’s book makes sense to me. Hardwick isn’t some self-proclaimed life coach, if you don’t know the name he’s a stand up comedian, TV Presenter, Podcaster, gave birth to Nerdist, and a shed tonne of other things. What I like about this book it Hardwick is talking about the things that he has done to make his life better, and although it doesn’t necessarily match what I’d like to do, or am even in a position to do it’s been a great eye opener and I’m going to listen to it a few more times in the next few months and try to strengthen this pro-active mindset it’s fueling.

This coincides with a general desire to live a little better then I have been having. I’d like to live a little healthier, live with a little more focus as well and make better use of my time. 

When I am being productive I feel so much happier in myself, and it’s a feeling I’d like to get more used to. With all the story ideas bouncing around my head there’s no reason why I can’t achieve more than I am now.

Good Morning, Sunday

The last week started off well, after smashing out fifty plus pages of edits last Sunday I managed to get another forty plus done on Monday and Tuesday nights. Then overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday I had an epically bad nights sleep and that knocked me off my pace for the rest of the week. I have written some words on a new short story, but I haven’t really gotten any traction on it yet. I’m not really sure which direction I want the story to take as there is a lot I’d like to say with this particular character. But I also don’t want to overload it with information at the cost of story and character development. I’ve got no written outline or anything for this story. As it’s a short one I’m just going to feel my way through it and see what I get at the end of it.

As for what I’m planning today; I’ve got a little tidying to do and then I’m going to get stuck into these edits again. I’m going for simple plans and not setting myself targets at the moment as when I’ve set daily targets in the past I’ve more often than not, not met them.

Right, I’m off to make a start. Have a good day all.

Being Me

I’ve spent the last seven years or so thinking I need to be wearing clothes with a designer logo on them. I got it in my head that wearing brands would help me be the person who I thought I wanted to be, but it wasn’t who I wanted to be. It was who I thought society wanted me to be.
Recently though, I’ve realised just how much crap that all is. I still like wearing the branded pieces I’ve got, and there is a certain quality to them as well which isn’t always found in clothes without a designer brand on them. That said though, I’ve brought a few pieces recently and the quality is there, I think the trick is buying the right clothing. I’m not looking at the cheapest, or the expensive; I’m looking at what I like and if it feels like cheap crap, I won’t buy it.

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Recently I’ve brought a few new items of clothing: Three pairs of cargo trousers, two Gears of War T-Shirts (and a badass Gears of War hat), A Captain America T-Shirt and a Doom hoodie. I’ve also got a Punisher T-Shirt and my brother brought me a hoodie with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Logo proudly on the chest. (Yes, I know technically these are all brands).
These, I feel comfy in. I feel like myself when I’m wearing them. When I wear something with a designer brand emblazoned across the front I don’t feel anything, but if I’m wearing a Punisher T-Shirt, or a Captain America one, then I feel at home and I feel it says something about me. Yes, I’m geek, but also that I have a respect for what these characters stand for. It also can give the impression of what I’ve been through with these characters. I’m a comic book convert and will never be able to catch up with the decades of content there is, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful of my journey over these last few years.

The same can be said with video games. If someone asks me about Doom, because I’m wearing that hoodie, I can tell them about playing the original and how I just kind of randomly wondered around. I can tell them how hard I found Doom 3, and how much I’m looking forward to really getting stuck into the latest game in the series. I can also go into my experiences with Gears of War, more so as Gears of War is one of my staple games. Aside from the one which didn’t focus on Marcus Fenix I’ve got them all and am itching to get the next game that is out soon.

I’ll probably get some T-Shirts and so on that represent the bands I like as well.

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I’m buying the things I like. Whether that be something really geeky, or a designer piece that has taken my eye, but I’m not going to buy anything that I think others will like anymore. It’s got to be for me.

I’ve been denying who I am since my teens; now I’m seeing who I am again, I’m enjoying discovering myself. I’ve felt this for some time now.

I’m not going to hide it, I’m not going to change to please others or society overall.

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Writing Angst: Editing After A Long Break

When I wrote my last post on Sunday I mentioned that I was a little nervous about getting stuck into editing, but I dove in Sunday all the same and knocked out fifty pages of 1.5 spaced A4. On Monday night I steamed through another twenty-two pages, and last night I got through another twenty-five pages.

Getting on with this editing has been just like getting back on a bike and has been a damn sight easier than I was expecting it to be. It’s not been a walk in the park but is has been quite straight forward.

It’s a lesson that I need to let take hold in my head. Stop worrying over something that I know I can do, just because I haven’t done something for a while doesn’t mean I’ve lost all ability in the field. I’m almost at a hundred pages of making these edits to my novella, in three days. It’s not a nightmare, it’s not (for me) the dreaded act of fixing the novella. At over the halfway point it’s straightforward and moving at a good pace.

So the angst is redundant here, I can do this. Like most of writing, it’s just a case of sitting down and getting it done! 

Good Morning, Sunday

So, it’s been another slow week with writing. I have felt a little like I’m finding my feet again. I’ve made progress on a couple of pieces and this next week I’ll be looking at getting last years NaNoWriMo piece edited, well started on it. I’m hoping once I get stuck into it my enthusiasm for it back.

I’m not sure why I’m so reluctant to get going with it again, the only thing I can think is that it’s been so long since I’ve done a heavy edit like this that I’m a little nervous as I’m going to have to learn how to do it again to a certain extent. I’ve got extensive changes to make that I’ve red-penned but I’ve also go an entire character to add to the story that I think will help add something that I feel is lacking to the piece at the moment. I’m not sure whether I want to do the red-pen changes first, and then go back and add in this new character afterwards or do it all at once. I’m tempted to do the red-pen edits first and then add in the new character because I think I’ll get stuck into the edits and forget to add in the new content if I try to do both at the same time.

With the new content, I know what I want to add in as a rule. I’ve got a decent idea of what I want the character to be and represent in the story. I feel like I know him pretty well so far as I’ve been thinking about him for a few weeks now, and haven’t really written anything down about him. I feel I’ve got his tone down pretty well and I think he’ll be a fun character to write.

Adding this character is going to give me a lot of work, but I think it’s going to add an element to the story that is missing at the moment and will hopefully make it a much more complete story.