Still Working on it.

So, the ending has sill not materialised, but I’m getting a few thoughts about it. I have several other projects that are waiting in the wings, for either completion or commencement and I really need to finish off the Book Without a Story.

Today might be a bit busy, but while I might not get much writing done, at least I can think about what I need to do.

This morning I had an idea on how to move the next project forward. A while ago I heard a song that described a character who, while dark and mysterious, seemed to have all of the elements needed to make a great antagonist.  But I couldn’t put a storyline with him, so I put him away for a while. Just lately I have been thinking about a new story but couldn’t get an antagonist to fit.  I now see that the two ideas can fit together perfectly. I have a protagonist and an antagonist. A clash, a conflict and at least a partial resolution.

All I need to do now is finish the current work and move on.

NaNoWriMo – Update

Completed the necessary50k words by 22nd November, so the pressure is off in that respect. The total word count for Book Without a Story is now around 72k, which is pretty good for a first draft and done in a very short time, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The big problem at the moment is the ending, what I currently have feels a bit weak, almost just allowing the story to drift off into the sunset, so I’m casting about for a new, more dynamic conclusion,

Not to worry, something will come to me or at least I hope it will. Once it does I’ll start thinking about editing and re-writing, some of the sections will benefit greatly from more work, I’m sure.

Book Without a Plot – 02

The working title for the NaNoWriMo project says all you really need to know about this piece. (for the moment, at least).

It’s progressing well. I’m aiming to complete the first draft by the end of November. I’ve set my usual overall target for the novel of 80k words and I currently need to complete rather less than 1700 words a day to achieve that figure.

As I’m also using this work as a project in this years NaNoWriMo, I need to manage a total of 50k words during the month. At the current rate of around 2200 a day, I’m on target to manage the 50k by about the 21st of the month. Which is achievable and pretty gratifying if I can manage it.

The only issue currently is that the Main Character is now waiting on a contract being delivered. nothing much can happen until that arrives, so I’m sort of marking time until then. I guess I shouldn’t give in and introduce too many new characters at this stage. So I’ll see if i can just jump the clock forward a few days and keep the momentum going.

NaNoWriMo

Okay, so it’s now the 6th of November and I’m six days into the NaNo thing. Currently standing at just over 13k words, which is ahead of schedule for the month. Apparently we need 1667 words a day average to hit the target.

I’ve also set myself n 80k word target for the whole book, and an intention to finish that by 30th November. I actually started the writing before 1st Nov so I’m approaching 40k in that target as well.

Feeling pretty confident with both targets at the moment, just waiting to see what real life will put in the way.

The basic story is going well. It’s split itself quite neatly into three parts, the introduction where Simon, the main character decides to make his mark on the literary world. The second part, curently in progress) where his mark is found and acted on by others, and the third part where the consequences are worked out.

Insecure Writers Support Group

The question for this month is:

”It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?”

Not sure I would agree with that. No matter if you read something or experience it directly you are always an amalgam of others. Their thoughts and experiences bleed into your consciousness by talking to you or merely interacting with you in everyday life.

So, to that extent nothing you write about is entirely original.  Merely seeing someone walk down the street and describing it is affected by their life story, are they ill or fit, young or old, determined or cautious? And the reason they are like that is a direct result of their life experiences.

if you see them or read about them, your writing will be affected by their life.

Early Mornings

I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’ve been waking rather early lately, and rather than waste the mornings, getting stuck into the novel.  I can manage about 1200 words between 5 and 7 am. it’s nice to get the daily figure out of the way before the day really starts.

I currently try and do a quick(ish) edit of the previous day’s output before starting on new writing, so those two hours before 7 am feel pretty productive.

Currently, our hero lies buried in a snowdrift, awaiting rescue. I hope somebody finds him before he suffers any irreparable harm, somehow I suspect they will.

In the meantime, back at the ranch, the anti-hero has just made a complete ass of himself during an interview with a reporter and compounded his error by holding the interview in front of a dozen local residents who are now going to spread the word PANIC in large letters all over town.

Getting Colder and Colder

Unwelcome Visitors is coming along nicely now. I currently need to get through about 1100 words a day to reach the end before 31st October, which should firstly clear the decks for NaNoWriMo beginning on 1st November and secondly should act as a period of practice for November itself.

Our hero Inspector Carter seems to have got himself in a spot of bother. He’s alone out on the moors in one of the coldest winters in memory and has to reach shelter before nightfall if he is to have any chance of surviving.

His boss has suspended him from duty but he’s taken a rifle from the armoury and is determined to get to the bottom of the missing people. the same boss has obtained an arrest warrant for Carter and set his men in pursuit.

We’re over half way through and the number of missing people has now reached over fifty. How many more? When will the panic set in? and how will Carter resolve the situation?

Recommended Read

Just finishing Save the Cat Writes a Novel ‘ The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need.

I don’t normally do reviews, but this book is certainly worthy of some attention.  A couple of years ago I signed up for and started attending a writing course at a local college. What I had hoped to get was some specific instruction on structure, pacing, characterisation and the like.  But while the course was pleasant enough, I couldn’t see any of what I really needed and dropped out.

I feel that I should have read this book three years ago. It explains exactly what I, and possibly most other wannabe writers should know and do. 

There is a detailed breakdown into fifteen milestones, (she calls them ‘Beats’, I think in reference to the beat in music), each is explained,  with reference to well-known books and one is further sub-divided into five mini-beats.

She also lists ten genres which are not the traditional type of genre such as mystery, romance, sci-fi, etc. but which are much more wide-ranging and which make a lot of sense, such as Whydunit, Rites of Passage, Dude with a Problem, etc. Three points are required in each of these genres and each genre is then explored with a specific novel that is exploded using the beats. A ‘Beat-Sheet’ is given so that you can see how other authors, from JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to  Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner, have created their masterpieces and match her template.

Jessica Brody, the author, writes in terms that I can understand, with multiple relevant examples, and walks the reader through the whole process of planning and creating a novel. 

Highly recommended. 

NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I’m going to make an attempt at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). this involves an attempt to write a new novel, or at least the start of a new novel, involving fifty thousand words, in the month of November.

To make any sort of realistic attempt on this target I need to clear the decks by finishing the first draft of the Winter story before the end of October.

It’s nice to have targets, even if they are somewhat difficult to achieve. But at least I can give it a shot. I actually have an idea in mind, based around an earlier (very) short story. It’s based on a sort of horror/gothic idea involving the supernatural and the modern world.

Stay tuned for more information.

Flipping and Flopping

Had a re-think, maybe I need to do more research on the crime writing front. I’ve made a start on the story, but I keep getting bogged down in what I suspect are unnecessary details and I’m not yet clear what to do about that.

In the meantime, I’ll return to the second in the Leprechaun series and move that along a bit. It’s already got a few thousand words written and I have an idea where the story is going to go.

Interesting differences in approach to writing received at last week’s Harrogate International (Theakston’s Old Peculiar) Crime Writing Festival: John Grisham said that he plots his whole story out, chapter by chapter in advance of the actual writing. Lee Child, on the other hand, says he has no real idea of what’s going to happen, he just follows the story through, “I’d be bored with it if I knew the ending in advance.”

In a way I’d like to be able to do things the Grisham way, but other than a vague general idea, I don’t usually know what’s happening in the next chapter. So it looks like I’m following in Lee Child’s footsteps – all I need now are the book-sales to go along with it.