I must admit to feeling a bit of Superhero exhaustion of late, I didn’t bother seeing Apocalypse and only went to see Logan because I accidentally agreed and a friend had already bought the ticket. I knew almost next to nothing about this movie going in, I hadn’t seen the trailers nor read the comic based off of it. I knew two facts:
I'd fallen in love with Amanda Palmer from her appearances on the Australian TV show, Good News Week, where she was an occasional guess. Although this turned out to only be a crush as I didn't really know anything about her beyond that.
After reading the Art of Asking I feel that that brief glimpse of her was an accurate one, she is an increadibly active person, bursting with ideas and passion if occasionally lacking in direction.
With each December I'm greeted by the familiar feeling of having failed NanoWrimo.
For those who don't know, NanoWrimo is National Novel Writing Month, a challenge were writers strive to complete a 50 k novel over the course of November. There is struggle, celebration and tears, and that’s for those who are successful.
For the rest of us we are left with an interesting problem, this new manuscript, which we got however far into... why has it failed? Did we simply run out of time during the month, life does have a nasty habit of getting in the way? Or did the lustre of a brand new story simply fade away once we looked too closely at the tangled web of plot threads we were trying to weave together?
Simply put, do we try and push on with this new project, or leave it on the shelf to try again fresh?
This isn’t an easy question to answer, after all even a good manuscript that will one day be polished and published might simply be the wrong one for this time. You aren’t the author you need to be to tell this story, and having it sit on the bench while you polish your skills on another can end up being for the best.
During November I began an idea that had been rattling around in my head for a while. A collection of three short stories, all taking place over the same year in an isolated all-girls school; as the paranormal turns it into a horror story. It was not only a new genre for me, but a brand new format, tense and perspective.
Third person past tense omniscient has always been my go to, with my genre being Sci-fi or Fantasy.
This project was first person, present tense, each from a single POV… and it was Horror.
I was sailing in unfamiliar waters.
However now I’ve got 26 thousand words written and am lacking any desire to keep pushing forward with it right now. I haven’t given up on the story, characters or setting. There’s still enough there that I want to polish up but I think I need a bit of a pallet cleanser.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from a project, throwing things up against the wall and seeing what sticks while you take the time to think through the projects you really think are worth it.
For any writers out there suffering this same dilemma, take a break and step back. If a story refuses to leave your head than that’s one that needs to be finished, even if it’s started to feel like a bit of a slog to get through. And if you can step away easily, and you don’t return to it? Than perhaps that is an idea better left forgotten, No shame in trying an idea out to see.
After the busy writing month that is November, it's time to get down with some reading for December, and there are two brilliant ways to do so this month. Both with a strong commitment to reading diversely.
First there is the Dumbeldors Army ReadAThon.
Created by Antee of ReadatMidnight Dumbeldors Army is designed to try and combat the intolrence of the world through reading, different spells have different criteria for the books to match, and each one gives points to your house. Let me just tell you, Slytherin will not be robbed this time round. Check out the link to see the list of spells if you are interested in joining along, my TBR is at the bottom.
Then we have the Diversity December Bingo
Iron Cast Review
There something about reading a book that isn’t just good, but is exactly what you are in the mood for, the fantastic feeling of knowing you have another new favourite book. A feeling that you just need to share around by telling everyone they need to read it…
Anyone who steps into my apartment will know that I am a dedicated book buyer, I recently welcomed my fifth bookcase into my house and am making plans for the sixth. However my latest purchases were a little different.
Taking a recommendation from Youtube, as I often do, I’ve bought a number of books about the craft of writing and spent last night making my way through the first with a highlighter.
This isn’t something that should have come as a surprise, I am after all a writer and professional novelist is the career I am working towards, however for the longest time I’ve avoided studying the art of writing.
During a quick flashback, you can see me at high school, struggling with spelling and grammar but an avid reader and writer with dreams of being a novelist. From age fourteen to sixteen I wrote my first book; book might be an overly generous term for the rough first draft but I was unreservedly proud of it. I was convinced that I had what it took to be a writer and that since editors existed it wasn’t necessary for me to try and hone my technical skills; this evolved into dismissing creative writing classes and English classes as something that could teach me nothing,
This is not the only time I’ve wanted to smack my past self across the mouth.
Through practice and a fascination with analysis videos on Youtube my understanding of narrative, character, plot and setting has developed (including brushing my technical skills up to a point where I’m no longer confused for someone who doesn’t actually speak English). However I still have a long way to go.
2014 marked a change in my outlook, I realised that becoming a professional writer wasn’t something that was just going to happen by wishing it (yes, present me can occasionally be just as deserving as a smack) but it was something I really needed to work towards.
I grew serious about self-publishing my first manuscript, which came with the horrible realisation that writing a first draft is in fact the bare minimum to being a writer. Re-writing is the key to being a real author. Sticking with a novel, cutting it and shaping it and occasionally grinding the work completely into dust and then letting it form again will turn it into the novel it could be.
As I’ve approached this process I’ve found myself constantly second guessing if the changes I’m making are for the better; is this making the story stronger or am I trying to ape what other authors have done without care for my own writing style?
So it’s time to put myself back into school, so to speak.
First off I’m reading the material and setting myself some homework, a blog post a week and 500 words creative each night. It’s a small amount but manageable with everything else I have going on. I’ll also get extra credit for reading analysis, thinking more in depth about the fiction I’m reading for pleasure.
Should I have any revelations about the editing or re-writing process I’ll be sure to share them with you, if nothing else, this should help keep me on track as I prepare for my final exam.
Turning my draft into a novel.
So Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice…. Wait wait, I promise I’m not just going to spend the next 1700 words ripping on it…. Much.
Truth be told I was expecting to hate this; my passionate hate for Man of Steel can best be represented by two star’s hate fucking each other till their solar systems are burnt to a crisp. However I simply couldn’t work out the hatred for this one, in fact my expectations were so low that I even enjoyed the occasional moment.
I do agree with most of the cristism I’ve heard of this film, but I don’t find its flaws the death sentence that other critics do. So let’s try and dig into this film and perhaps you can try and work out if this is one you’ll hate, or simply be slightly bored by.
When I first started to get into comics, Deadpool was always high on my list. Although in hindsight I can realise what a basdardised version Wolverine Origins provided. But at the time it was my first introduction to the character and I feel in love.
When I then turned to the comics, Deadpool and Cable became my favourite team up of all time, I loved Wade Wilson. My favourite writers managing the balance the comedy and the tragedy of the character whilst giving him room to grow. When I heard Ryan Reynolds had been pursuing the movie, I was hopeful but dubious. I never thought they would actually manage to make it. When it became clear they were going to be releasing a Deadpool movie I felt more then a little trepidations.
So I am currently doing the Biannual Bibliothon Challenge, one of the challenges was to read the group book Soundless by Richelle Mead. Getting through it certainly turned out to be a challenge...
There is always an amount of fear when picking up something that is so popular, has mob mentality caused everyone to overlook some flaws? Am I going to be disappointed because how can anything live up to the hype? With thoughts like this swirling around my mind, I picked up Throne of Glass. The first book in one of the most popular YA series out at the moment.
I'm delighted to say those fears were vanquished by some excellent story telling and compelling characters.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.