Igniting Old Ideas

I’ve watched a couple of alien invasion movies recently, Skyline and Battle:Los Angeles. I was planning to watch this movie again soon but a post on I Am Ipodman’s blog pushed the viewing forward (http://iamipodman.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/have-you-watched-battle-los-angeles/)

Alien Invasion is something that I love but I’ve not found many examples recently that have really impressed me, Aside from Scott Sigler’s Infected and Contagion, and the movie District 9, but those are not what I think of as alien invasion, not in the Independence Day, War Of The Worlds sense. I would love an epic alien invasion story to come out (if anyone knows of one please feel free to share 😀 )

Me and Owen (writing partner) have an alien invasion story that we’ve played with but we never took it anywhere. I think it is far too complicated for our current level of writing ability but one day this could be a story that we go back to one day because like our Project Delphi and Project Apollo universe it is a world that we have batted about for many years and just because we have not been able to get a story up and running in the past doesn’t mean we wont be able to get it going in the future. If a story needs to be told, it’ll be told.

 

This week’s episode of The Dead Robots Society was really good. It was about description but slipped into Pacing too. I found this episode really helpful and it got me thinking about how I describe scenes and characters as well as how I’m pacing my work.

 

Here’s the link: http://deadrobotssociety.com/2013/01/29/episode-257-setting-the-scene/

Please go over and check it out. It’s an impression show and this episode in particular was very good.

The Fear

One of the things that held me back from getting rolling with one of the many items in my editing pile was the fear that I did not know what I was doing, but I’ve done it before.  Technically I’ve editing a novel, Project Phoenix. I’ve also edited a few of the short stories I’ve written and there is The Space Watch which is still halfway through edits (That one is in limbo till we have other aspects of the wider universe thought through). So I’m not sure why this fear crept back into me? The more and more I think about it the moe I am convinced that it is a little bit of a lack of confidence on my part and a lack of experience. The thought of formatting for ebooks scares the life out of me and I think a lot of it is because I don’t know how to do it. I know I have some great people who will be more than happy to help out when the time comes but it is something that I will want to learn how to do myself.

On editing I think that I have a good eye for picking out mistakes and continuity issues so I am pretty confident that I find most of the mistakes before I send them out to Beta readers (Let’s see how many comments from my (Fabulous) Beta readers appear on this post lol) So I have no reason to worry about editing.  I know what I am doing with it.  I have a history of being slow on the uptake. It can take me a while to realise something and I think this is what has happened here.

Good this was a whiney post lol

Looking Back At My 2012

The last twelve years have probably been the most defining of my life.  Last year (2011) ended with the nasty ending of a relationship which left me asking a lot of questions of myself and what I wanted out of life.  Those questions found answers over a couple of months and the answers were that I did not need to change anything about who I am.  Those first two months of the year were tough for me, but thankfully I have some very good friends who kept me going.  Stefan, Gwen, Laura and Louise.  Aharon, Owen, Leah, Mike, Cinta and Chrystalyn were all there for me in one way or another when I needed them.  Especially Stefan, Gwen, Laura and Louise.  These four friends gave me more support then I knew that I needed at the time. It was not until I was beginning to feel like myself that I realised just how much they helped me through.  My Mum, Dad and Brother were also great during this time of the year, and the rest of the year. I just want to give my brother Ian a special shout out because he has been the best brother anyone could ever ask for.

In March my life had the biggest change when Tracie came into it. I am struggling to put into words just how happy she is making me.  This time last year I dreaded waking up, now, I can’t wait.  As of the 1st of January we have been together for nine months and those nine months have flown by so fast its almost hard to believe. Never has anyone made me smile and feel as alive as Tracie does.  She has an amazing spirit and a heart of gold. Tracie’s family has welcomed me and it feels like I’ve been part of it for my whole life.

Like anyone else who breaths I’ve had a few ups and downs and other changes.  One of the biggest changes was where I worked.  At the end of june I was asked to come and work for a former employer who I consider a good friend.  When my car was off the road last year he sorted out a car for me to use in the time that my car was not usable. He asked me to come back to work for him and I jumped at the chance.  I’m still a car valeter at a car sales, which I’ve been for twelve years now, but I’m working a few less hours a week and much happier in myself.

A highlight of the year was meeting Cinta Garcia de la Rosa in Oxford. It was great to meet someone that I have met through blogging and became friends with.  We spent the day walking around Oxford, we had a great lunch and it was great to talk to another writer.

As for writing, well, that’s not been quite as successful.  I’ve spent the bulk of the year working on The Space Watch (Project Delphi) which is all but complete, but the release date has now been pushed back due to other stories in this universe.  I’ll try to write a post giving a little more detail about that in the next few days.  Project Apollo is finally off the ground thanks to NaNoWriMo but is a fair way off completion.  Me and Owen need to sit down and plot out the story from the middle to the end.  I seemed to lose my way with it a fair bit so I’m eager to see what Owen has to say on it.

I feel like I’ve failed with writing this year as I have not hit any of my goals that I set out at the start of the year. Saying that though I have learnt a lot about the art of writing.  About the depth that good world building requires.  What makes a good character. I am still a long way off from where I want to be.  One major decision that I made was that I will publish my own work myself.  I’m not going to try to go for the traditional route to being published.

Looking back at the year I think its been one of discovery and settlement.  I’ve found who I am, I’ve found a lady who truly makes me happy.  I’ve come to appreciate just how important my family are to me and I have discovered who my true friends are.  There are things th at I never imagined myself doing, hell one night I went out wearing a bra and french knickers! and yes there are photos……… I’ve met great people and dropped the dead weight from my life.

In the years to come I am going to look back at 2012 and think of it as the year that I began to move forward.

Me and Tracie

The Christmas Period 2012

I hope that you have all had an amazing Christmas? I know that I have had my best Christmas since childhood, by a long way if I’m honest.   It was pretty relaxed and there was a lot of fun had 🙂 I managed to knock out about sixty pages of The Hunger Games Christmas Day. It was nice to be able to just sit down and read without thinking about having one of a dozen other things to do. I did get Stephen King’s The Dark Tower books for Christmas as well so I want to get started on them as soon as I can.

I’ve watched a few good movies (Ted, The Avengers (Avengers Assemble here in the UK) The Dark Knight Rises and The Rocky Horror Picture Show), had a Nerf gun fight, ate some really good food.  Spent time with my nearest and dearest and all in all it was a really good couple of days 🙂

There’s little time to rest though as I’ve been back at work today and for just a few days things will be back to normal, till New Years Eve at least. This is always an odd time of the year. Unless you’re lucky enough to have the entire Christmas and New Year period off then the days feel odd.  Like today for example it has felt like monday all day.  Weird.  I do love this time of year but I hate how it knocks me off my mental calendar.

Before New Year I’ve got a few days of work and I’m hoping to get down to Owen’s because he has a few notes for Project Apollo which in turn are a few notes for The Space Watch (Project Apollo). I’ll let you all know how that goes.

A Look Ahead

This week is going to be a bad one for writing.  Christmas is now only a week away and I have presents to wrap, cards to write out and general bits and pieces to do, don’t we all?  So this week I am aiming to get my read through of Avoiding The Game done and get some bullet points written up of what I need to do.  At the moment it is very much the bare bones of the story and there is a lot I want to add which will build the story.  It started off as a story where we followed one person as he made a home for himself thinking he was the only man alive.  It’s altered a lot and the more that I have thought about it the more I want to add.  The most annoying thing as well is I am having a lot of good ideas on another story.  We still have Project Apollo and The Space Watch (Project Delphi) to wrap up.  Apollo is further off at the moment, and my Vampire series………damn a lot of things to get done.  This is why I do not plan on getting much fresh fiction started in the next few months, okay year.

I’ll admit not much writing related work is getting done at the moment.  I have real world things that have come up which kind of knocked me off my pace for longer then I realised.  The gears are turning in my head though, just need to get that discipline back.

A Few Twists And Turns

The Space Watch (Project Delphi) will, unfortunately, not be hitting Kindle on the 31st of the month 😦  I’ve had one of those real world things hit and it’s kind of side swiped me, more than I had realised if I’m honest.  I’ve dropped most of my writing balls and need to pick them up again and get juggling once more.  The Space Watch will be released but me and Owen have not set a date at the moment.  We need to have a sit down and get that set and get a list of what we still need to do to wrap it up sorted out.  We’re meeting up tomorrow to discuss this as well as other projects we have which are set in the same universe as The Space Watch and to have a general catch up.  Due to work schedules we have not been able to hang out for a while which sucks big time.

That’s about it for now.  Hopefully I’ll soon be back on the horse getting these stories in my head out and ready for the world to see.

I Was Wondering…

I was wondering about different stories in the same universe and their timelines.  As we stand at the moment me and Owen will have The Space Watch (Project Delphi) out soon and at some stage Project Apollo will be ready for release in the near future.  Here’s whats on my mind though; does it matter if The Space Watch is released first, but in the timeline of the universe we are building the events in The Space Watch take place after that of Project Apollo.  Is this an issue?  Will it confuse the reader?  I don’t think it will.  People are smart and there are little ways that we can let the reader know that Project Apollo comes before The Space Watch, like this “Before the events in The Space Watch, came…. you get the picture.

This is a little bit of bad planning on mine and Owen’s part but hey, we’re still learning this stuff 😛

 

Writing With A Plan

I am not a planner with my writing.  I proudly think of myself as an organic writer and I write wherever the story goes, and the thought of trying to note down the key points of a story before I write seems terrifying.  That’s because I have never done it, until NaNo this year.  Before NaNo started I actually plotted out the first four chapters, well not in that sense.  I knew what I wanted to say in the beginning of the novel and figured that would be enough to spark my creativity to complete the story, it wasnt enough.  The beginning flowed really well and I think I did some of my best writing in those early chapters.  But not having it planned out enough meant that not only did I fail NaNo (again) but the story fizzled out.  I know roughly how I want it to end and in the last couple of days I have found a very good way to plug a plot hole.

As I said I had sat down before NaNo and plotted out how the early stages of the novel would go and I also scribbled down a load of bullet points and some other random notes and ideas that I wanted to include in the story.  This did work really well as I started really well.  Looking back at it I think if I had given myself a little more time during the planning stage then I would have worked through some of the plot a little better.  I was working on Project Apollo for NaNo and this is one of mine and Owen’s joint projects in the same universe as The Space Watch (Project Delphi) and he gave me some real good little notes as I was sending him my progress.

Now we will sit down and go through what I have done and Owen will sprinkle his magic over it. I don’t think the first 10,000 words or so will need too much work but from there we will need to tighten up the plot and plug the hole I mentioned.  We will need to feed in the little sub-plots that I seem to forget about when I am writing and some of these need attention.

Just a little update on The Space Watch, it is coming along but due to some real life things it’s been sidetracked a little. Hopefully once I’ve had a decent nights sleep I’ll be cracking on with the last of Owen’s edits.  I should not have taken part in NaNo if I’m completely honest but I had to give it a crack, it is NaNo after all 🙂

Today’s Update

I felt like I was firing nicely yesterday, I managed to edit about twenty pages of The Space Watch (project Delphi) and after I finished that I got about three hundred words written of an as yet unnamed project. This one truly is in the early stages and is just an idea at the moment.

I also got some bullet points down on friday for another project that me and Owen have been working on for a long long time. I say working on its never truly gotten off of the ground but I wrote a few thousand, okay almost ten thousand, words of it earlier this year and although I’m not going to do what I normally do and re-write it all again. I am going to alter a character and add a lot to the start of the story and change a few things which do not quite work.

Editing tonight was rolling until I hit a speed bump. It’s one of those things that I can’t sort out without Owens input so I’m just waiting for him to get back to me. When I hit the speed bump I moved over to my NaNoWriMo project, project Apollo. This did not go so well. The bit I’m writing is not going to well. It’s leading up to a bit I’ve already written and I’m trying to map my way to it. I’ll give it another bash tomorrow.

Too Many Ideas!

Today I have had four different stories fighting around my head, all trying to win my attention.  Needless to say I have a little head ache now.  This is one of the things that annoy me the most because I can never seem to focus on one project for long before another one pops into my head and that’s it I’m off playing with that one and the project that I should be focusing on is out of the window.  I think this is one of the reasons why I’m struggling to get some of my things finished.

Plus there is also the fact that I am distracted at the moment.  I have things going on outside of writing that are things that I cannot ignore, but hey ho.  Back to the writing conversation.  As I was saying I’ve had four different projects on my mind today.  The Space Watch (Project Delphi) This one is all but done, I just have to finish off the final edit that I am doing.  I should have been done by now but I don’t know.  As I said, a few things on my mind.  Next week it should be done and back off to Owen to make sure that I have not missed anything.  Then, finally, off to Beta readers.

The Next year is going to be a bit of a struggle I think.  Me and Owen have got to learn how to streamline how we write.  We have started, I received a Synopsis from Owen for a story today which I need to read.  I have a lot I would like to do in the next twelve months.  Of all the things I have planned I am determined to have half of them completed in that time period.  Theres a lot to learn, the biggest of which is discipline.  I remember someone once telling me that their friend was a really good football player (Football, Not American Football) but every time that they had a trial somewhere they would go out the night before and get hammered (drunk) and go hung over or not bother showing up at all.  This used to wind me up because it made me think of all the kids in the world that dream of having the talent to be given a trial at a top football club.  How does this affect me? Well people whose opinion I truly value have told me that I am a good writer, no one of these people was not my Mum.  So does my lack of discipline match that of the fella who could not be bothered to take advantage of that talent? Yes, it does.  So I really need to get cracking and get my fiction out there and let the readers make their own minds up.