Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A reader reaction to aspire to

The latter part of my half-term break did end up being rather productive.  Yes, I know, I'm surprised too.

I wrote Chapter 43 on Wednesday, 44 on Thursday and Friday, and 45 on Saturday and Sunday.  And just as I finally, gloriously, got into the swing of writing for the bulk of the day again, work reappears, rudely waking me from my creative bliss to remind me that, alas, real life does still exist.

Not that I'll stop writing now that the holiday is over obviously.  I'm still committed to my Don't-Break-the-Chain method and will continue to write every day, providing no great calamity occurs or that I just don't bother waking up and getting out of bed one day.  Believe me, it's a very tempting thought sometimes, especially when winter just WON'T BUGGER THE FECK OFF!!

Yeah, I'm needing me some sunshine.

During the break I also finished The Novice by Trudi Canavan.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - my goodness it is an amazing book.  The standard of the writing, the characterisation, the intricacy of the world, the imagination behind it all... I just can't help but gush.

When I finished it, I literally hugged it.  Yeah, we're all perfectly aware that I'm a nerd etc etc, but if someone, somewhere, ever loves something I've written enough to hug it, I will be a very happy author indeed.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I don't think I've even visited my Blogger homepage since before the weekend, meaning that I am behind on reading other blog posts as well as updating my own.  Shame on me etc etc.

Half term is finally here!  Yipee!!  We are, however, already halfway through which isn't rather dampens the enthusiasm a little, especially considering I haven't got quite as much done as I'd hoped.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised - I'd needed a bit of a rest but now really do need to kick my arse into gear.

Chapter 42 is done and 43 in underway.  I'm aiming to get 43 done this afternoon/evening.  I think it would be good to write a larger chunk in one day because I sometimes worry that the bits I do during breaks at work sometimes lack consistency.  I'm usually writing them out of order and in a couple of different notebooks and I think the narrative often suffers for it.

But that's what rewriting is for - and I'm sure I'm going to have one hell of a job when it comes to editing this draft.

I'm also a good way through The Novice by Trudi Canavan.  Bloody hell but she's a good writer.  Of all the books I could have picked to break my embarrassing-lack-of-reading streak, I'm glad it was this one.  The copy I had, however, did have about ten pages around the middle of the book which had the first line chopped off of each page due to some rather creative binding by the printers.  A quick stop at my local library had me grabbing another copy.  Thank goodness for public libraries.

Right, back to task.  My main characters are in a race against their enemies and I need to use google earth to decide their route.  Writing is a strange business.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Ten chapters to go

Today I started on Chapter 42, which means I am ten chapters away from finishing the first draft of book 2.  Put like that, it feels like I'm on the home stretch - then I remember that that's still around twenty thousand words.

In terms of story rather than word- or chapter-count, it certainly has the air of approaching the final climax of the narrative.  I'm about to write the last chase, leading to the last fight.  It's all very exciting - or at least I hope that's how it's going to read.

It's half-term next week and I aim to get three chapters done within that time.  By the time I go back for the second half of the term (ugh, why am I thinking about that already) I should really be on my way towards the end.

What I haven't done a lot of lately is new reading.  While I'm always reading (and re-reading) bits and pieces here and there, I've not read an entire new book this year and that's just ridiculous.  It's February for heaven's sake!  So another one of my half-term tasks is to pick up one of the many books waiting patiently on my shelves.

I'm thinking Trudi Canavan's The Novice, the second book in her Black Magician Trilogy.  Her writing's always just fantastic in such an effortless, easy way.  I bought the book months ago and really should have read it by now.  Shame on me.

That's the problem with travelling to work by car - it's not really all that appropriate to read at the same time.

Fortunately, I'm going up to Bristol this coming weekend (woohoo!!) so I'll have time to do some reading on the way.  It really seems as if being on a train is the only way I can guarantee some quality book time.

Monday, 4 February 2013

A Fantastic Weekend

My trip to London this past weekend was amazing.  As someone who is not a fan of London to the point of actively avoiding going there, I am pleased to have had such a lovely time.  A big chunk of that is down to the company of my younger brother, but also to the 'show' (for want of a better word) which I talked about in last week's blog post.

I have tried to describe to people just what I was going to see/had seen but 'show' isn't specific enough.  However, I don't know a word for an event in which there are book readings, songs on topics like science, Harry Potter and fish, questions answered on a timer in which the loser gets slapped in the face, and, among many other things, a heck of a lot of cheering.

It all sounds bizarre when summarised like that - and yet it was incredible.  In fact, it was better than I'd hoped even though I broke my rule and went in with high expectations.  It was like two hours crammed full of in-jokes, but ones you share with several hundred people rather than just a couple of friends.

The show was so diverse, crossing from hilarious one minute to deeply thought-provoking the next.  There was a good chunk of literary discussion to delight my bookish soul, with John Green talking about his novel in a wonderfully mature and confident manner to a crowd who were mostly in their teens, proving that he truly believes what he preaches in refusing to talk down to young people as if they lacked intelligence.

But now it's back to my own novel.  The trip meant a good deal less writing this weekend, though I did manage to do some both days (don't-break-the-chain is still intact!) - now I just need to type it up.  It all got a little confusing last week.  I thought I was writing Chapter 40 during my lunch breaks when, in actual fact, that scene goes in Chapter 41.  So both are - at this point - about equally incomplete.

Two weeks until half-term.  It'll be great to have several days in a row to really knuckle down and do little else but write!