Sunday, 13 July 2014

The (very) Frustrated Writer

You can call this my Book Report for the 13th of July if you like, because I haven’t done anything much since last week. At one point not so long ago, and yet it feels as if aeons have passed, I could sit down at my keyboard, or my writing pad with pencil in hand, and just write. Then I lost that ability. It took almost a year, maybe a little more, before I recovered my ‘gift’ and I could write again. A gift from the cosmos of greater value than any other I’ve ever lucked into. However, this time is not like the last time; there have been changes.

I am less driven and more considered.

The thing that frustrated me in the past was that I would get two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through a story and then all that story’s internal inconsistencies and plot/structure problems would overwhelm me. Then I would be left with the tedious task of trying to right a myriad of different wrongs. Invariably, I would fail. In coming back to writing, I vowed to change my method, eschewing the seat of the pants approach and setting myself the goal of sticking to the seven P’s:

Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

You know what, it works for me.

But, and it’s a pretty big but, there is an unforseen downside to being ‘in control’ of my story telling—I want to write; I need to write, damn it! But I find I don’t have the time.

Right at this instant I have six novels I’m trying to re-envision, research, deepen, restructure and rebuild the characters of in the light of my new ‘understandings’ of their motivations and goals that I’ve developed during this whole process. And that’s before I even start the actual essential re-plotting of the stories, let alone writing them. On top of all that, work is killing me. I took my current job because it gave me the time to write. It didn’t pay much but at least I could come home of an afternoon, sit down and start writing. Not any more, well, not at the moment. I’ve gone from an average 5 hours a day to 8 – 9, and it’s both physically and mentally demanding. Yes, it’s more money, but I don’t want money, I want to write! So, why don’t I? Because I’ll just end up back where I was, creating plot, character and motivation on the fly with no real map of the route I need to follow in order to get to my destination. That sort of frustration is something I can do something about. But, right at the moment I guess I’ll just have to keep on plugging away at my tasks every chance I get until I can finally sit down and just write.

I’m a frustrated writer looking for an outlet.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Book Report

6 July 2014

Well, I managed to get some of the things I wanted to do done. I still haven’t converted my doodles to text but that’s not an urgent issue, just something I have to set some time aside to do in the near future. Work, as usual, intervened. I’m not saying I’m indispensable, but it sure feels like it.

Essentially, last week I realised that I have to do some technical research for Jack Rayne and Daisyworld and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take me. However, while I’m doing that I can continue developing the gods in Æsir Dawn and dust off The Gryphon Throne. Additionally, I have ‘volunteered’ to take a look at two novels, one about half finished (I assume) and one about 100k words. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about doing it. I think those of us who feel we can assist other writers in their endeavours should do so at every opportunity. More next week.

Æsir Dawn

Last week, in exploring the powers of the gods I decided to ‘limit’ them rather severely. Their basic powers are all those extra sensory powers we are all familiar with: telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation etc. Oh, and immortality of course, and the fact they cannot be killed by mortals. The rest of their apparent powers are mere flim-flam and hokum.

I then started thinking about what each of the gods wanted. Well, what the father of the gods wants is the reason for these stories. What his two sons want is pretty basic, they’re essentially adolescents who’ve never grown up (why should they) and their basic wants are fighting, feasting and wenching, which produces quite a few demi-gods who litter the landscape and add to the general mischief. His daughter is a different matter. She wants the one thing she can never have, the love of a good man (I know, sounds corny, but if I can pull it off it won’t be), which is going to have complications for my male ‘hero’ and my female protagonist.

This coming week I want to develop the ‘environment’ the gods exist in. In doing all the stuff I mentioned above I split the ‘universe’ into the realm of the gods and the mortal realm with a, wait for it . . . a bridge between them. And it will NOT be called Bifrost.


Last week I thought about what my heroine, Kara, was experiencing and how it might manifest itself. I decided that, because her subconscious is working overtime, this is reflected in her dreams. Which has led me to conclude that I need to research dream symbolism. Not the new-age type of understanding and interpretation but the psychological one. So, for the next week or so that’s what I’ll be doing in this story.

Jack Rayne
I was just about to begin writing the narrative of the back-story last week when I realised two things: First, I need more sleep and second, I need to research all of the various space agency programmes that keep a watch on the space in and around our solar system. Then I had another thought and realised I need to research how the exit point of an artificial wormhole would manifest itself and if could we detect it? Any help on the two research projects would be greatly appreciated. So, for the next week or so that’s what I’ll be doing in this story.

The Gryphon Throne

This week I want to go through all my scratch notes on the milieu for this story and try and get it to the point where I can decide what elements I need to tie down.