Sunday, 29 January 2012

And I thought last week was bad...

... In terms of writing, that is.  The week in general hasn't been too bad.  There was naturally some stressing over the new job (because I'm me and that's what I do) but on the whole I think it's been okay.

My writing, on the other hand, has just been... ugh.  There aren't even proper words to describe it.  Just sounds.  Ugh.  Ick.  Blurgh.

After my poor attempt at the Chapter 1 re-write for Hide and See last week, I started on Chapter 2.  Then I realised how shite both this and Chapter 1 were and ground to a halt.  During my Thursday lunch break I came to the conclusion that it really is too crap to salvage and resolved to start again.

And that's as far as I got.

I could now go off on a whinge about how it's all my new job's fault, changed routine, needing to get used to it, blah blah blah, but frankly that sounds dull even to me so anyone else unfortunate enough to be reading this would surely fall asleep and head-butt their keyboard.  And that would probably hurt.

So instead, I'm probably going to leave off here because everything I write just sounds like utter bollocks.  Seriously.  I write a couple of paragraphs, realise how much of an idiot I sound, then delete it.  And repeat.  I'm going to be here forever if I keep doing that.

One point I will keep from previously-deleted ramblings though is to say that I might start writing book reviews.  Methinks 'twould be a useful skill.  So read/avoid like the plague as you like, should I ever get round to doing anything other than playing too many 'Words with Friends' games on facebook.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

New job, but bad writing

My writing hasn't gone well this week.  What a depressing sentence to begin with.  Alas, it is true.

I fully intended to make a good start with the Hide and See re-write.  The first fourteen chapters really need work and I stand by my decision of last week to more or less completely re-do them.  At the time, this seemed like quite an exciting prospect.  After almost a month of doing barely any extensive writing during my Fall editing, I thought it would be great to finally get my teeth into producing something new.

What I found, however, was that the part of my brain which produces sentences I'm happy with, has gone walkies.  It has up and disappeared, and didn't even have the courtesy to write me a note to let me know when it would be back.  And that's just plain rude.

This week I managed to construct a plan for these new fourteen chapters but the actual writing came at a much slower pace.  It took three days, and much growling at my computer, for me to do the first chapter, and a page of that I lifted straight from the previous draft.  And bearing in mind how short my chapters are (around 2k) I think it's pretty poor.

Add to all this the fact that I don't even like what I did manage to write, and you have a very frustrated dinosaur.  I feel betrayed by my own brain.  I also don't know how much time/energy/inclination/etc I'm going to have to write as of next week because (good news!) I've finally managed to get a job!  Yay!

This is the reason, I'm assuming, for my pathetic lack of writing-progress this week because much of my time has been sorting things out for said new job (interview, filling out forms, being absolutely terrified and so on).  I'm also still volunteering at a museum library in Lyndhurst and hope to start volunteering for the National Trust within the next couple of weeks too.

All of this makes me worry that I won't have much time to write - which then leads to me being too stressed to write when I actually have the time to.  Yep, welcome to my brain, Ladies and Gentlemen.  I never said it made any sense.

I just have to keep reminding myself that I managed to write the first draft of Fall while I had my full-time job at Cengage.  If I could do it then, I'm sure I can do it now.  In fact I have to, or else I'll turn into a grumpy bugger.  Or more of one than I already am.

But right now I'm going to finish off watching last week's episode of Antiques Roadshow, because that is how cool I am.  Oh yeah.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Brain Mush

I have completed the latest draft of Fall.  Unfortunately, my brain has collapsed into such a state of barely-mush at the moment that I can't figure out whether or not I'm actually happy with it.  I'd like to say that am I, but my main lasting impression of the thing was my fairly frequent desire to throw my computer out the window when the too-long chapters wouldn't split up nicely into more manageable chunks.

Obviously that's my fault, not the computer's (yes, I did just defend a piece of technology) but when you need to cut down a chapter and you're smack bang in the middle of a never-ending conversation, you're likely to blame the nearest inanimate object to hurl abuse at.  Or at least, that's what I do.

So instead of contemplating Fall, I have decided to turn my frazzled brain to Hide and See, all of twelve minutes after sending Fall off to one of my very kind volunteer readers.  This seems like a very bad move but I never was a big fan of logic.  If I was, I'd have chosen a more sensible aspiration in life - like becoming an accountant.  Or an engineer.  Or a thousand other things which actually generate an income.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that I need to re-write the first fourteen chapters of Hide and See.  Or rather I re-affirmed my decision to do this.  The idea has been floating around in the murky recesses of my mind for a few weeks now so can't be blamed entirely on post-Fall brain mush.

As much as I'm able to read through these first fourteen chapters and think 'yeah, they're okay', I don't want them to be 'okay'.  I want them to be good.  Well, really, I want them to be great but I think that's being a tad unrealistic.  And as I'm generally pretty shite at editing, I don't think there's any way that I can edit the existing chapters into better shape.

I don't want to disregard the chapters completed, though.  There will probably be a few bits that I'll want to keep.  My mission, therefore, should I chose to accept it, will be to find that all-illusive happy medium of keeping some stuff and chucking other bits away.  A lofty ambition indeed.

But I definitely need to do something.  I'm still haunted by a lecturer's comment that it felt like Bridget Jones.  Not that there's anything especially wrong with Miss Jones, but it really wasn't what I was going for.  In fact, I have no idea how I managed to do it.  Accidental chick lit.

Okay, time to stop waffling.  We're off out for a family meal in less than an hour and I'm still sat here in my over-big hoody and falling-apart slippers.  Stylish.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Why hello there 2012!

So apparently, the world's going to end this year.  But it probably (according to the people who go by the Mayan calendars) won't be until December so we've still got a few months before the world goes kaput.  And the new Batman film comes out in July so at least I'll be able to see that before we all die in a horrific fiery inferno, or however else we're supposed to go.

As you can probably tell, I don't believe in all this end-of-the-world stuff.  Fortunately, if I'm wrong there won't be anyone around to say 'I told you so'.  Win win.

This year I am therefore dedicating not to the apocalypse, but to my ambition of finally getting something done.  This 'something' being aimed specifically at writing - or rather the publishing end of things.

Obviously, I can't dictate whether or not anyone wants to publish my drivel but I am at least going to do my utmost to get people to at least consider it.  So I will be annoying the book industry this year by sending out my nonsense to various literary agencies and/or publishers, ready to weep hysterically when they reject me.

This, I feel, is a good ambition/New Year's Resolution and much more likely to happen than my half-arsed resolution of getting more of a social life.  I am, as discussed previously, a hermit.  Besides, being social is expensive and for the literary-agent-begging-thing, I would probably only be paying for stamps.  And maybe some more envelopes because I think I've used all mine up from all the please-give-me-a-job-I'm-begging-you letters.

So, with this ambition/resolution in mind, I have been working away on Fall, with the aim to making it readable.  I'm over half-way through now - and in saying it like that, it makes me worried that I'm rushing it.  Or, as mentioned in my last ramble, that I'm too attached to it to see the problems.

But help has appeared in the form of several lovely people offering to read it through once I'm done with this edit.  Hopefully they'll be able to spot the glaring errors and plot holes where I can't.  Because I really really want to write something that's good.