Friday, November 28, 2008

Ever so 'umble

This year the first draft for NaNo came easily, but I intend to give it a bit more time, and really look at re-writing it, editing, etc.

I can already tell (without looking at, or remembering, what I wrote) that this would be a large effort, and I know one has to be able 'to kill one's darlings' (i.e. be ruthless with those favourite phrases that don't fit, or those characters who never went anywhere, and maybe wandered in from a different book, etc) and I still have relatively little grasp of 'page-turning' qualities.

Pulp Fiction in the UK in the 40s would have 12 chapters of about 3000 words, each ending in a climax, apparently. They were short (40,000 words) and aimed at a non-intellectual crowd (cowboys, sci-fi, detective fiction, romance, etc) and hardly feature in reviews of 'literature' at all. That structure (or formula) has worked fine for Dan Brown, for instance, and he's laughing all the way to the bank, about people like me who thought the books a bit thin.

Anyway, I need the practice. I am still working my way towards something between a memo, essay, autobiography, half-conceived at the back of my brain, and fermenting even as I type. After the fermenting comes the distilling, I guess.

I don't kid myself one life is that important. In fact, I first found my feet when looking at the vertiginous nadir picture by Escher (somewhere in Mexico) when I realised that trying to make myself large enough for the world to notice was ludicrous (Pop Idol, and all those other desperate attempts at 'celebrity') as we all remain ants. That picture didn't make me religious, but I saw the market place from above, in just the same way, and realised I needed a little circle of people around me, each willing to help me eat and survive. That's all I needed, not a stadium full of fans, a world-wide audience, etc. And I went out to become a street performer in the markets of Mexico, and never looked back.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I made it, already!

I have no idea quite how (or why) I have managed to write 50,000 words in two and a bit weeks, but I have.

Unlike last year, when I battled along, squeezing out the minimum necessary to make it to the end, this year I always knew roughly what I would have to write the next day.

No doubt the thing is still full of loose ends, ideas started and not completed, characters who either need filling in, or removing, more plot tension (people like tension apparently), and all that.

But that's for the editing and re-writing stage.

Last year I didn't even bother with that, as I knew it was merely a personal challenge, and not necessarily for others to read, or care about. It might have proved an interesting insight into what I can do in a panic, but it didn't seem worth the effort to re-package it.

This year I not only set myself a fictional goal, but feel willing to go back and rework it a bit. Not right now, but later on! Maybe I'll make another silly video!

I have to write an article for Kaskade now, and catch up on my Net Trainers' homework, and look after the doggie on my own (with Julie away for a few days) so I'll probably take a rest from the book for a moment.

But I finished it already! Yahoo and Yippee and all that jazz :-)

Someone immediately asked me what it was about.

What are your songs about?’ Bob Dylan was once asked.

‘Oh,’ he said, ‘some of them are about three minutes, some of them are about five minutes, and some of them, believe it or not, are about eleven minutes’.

My book is about 50,000 words...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bogus takes a break from writing

I have amazed myself by getting in front on the writing numbers. This has even left me time to actually explore a little what other people are doing.

Normally, I think of wandering around forums as the almost perfect procrastination tool! It amused me to get a sound bite into the WriMo radio podcast, so I decided to dig out an old webcam, crash my machine with out of day software, Restore (sigh) download something a little newer, and then rattle off a video for the NaNoWriMo video blog corner.
Why not? I learn by doing...never did seem very good at theory.

How good the first attempts come out doesn't bother me much. Well, I died the death when things didn't work in my show, so did lots of rehearsal and practice, but in workshop situations (which I consider trying to write a book in a month as) anything goes. That's the general principle behind it - Go for it, shut down the Inner Critic, just try stuff out.

So I know how bad this appears. Julie told me the lighting makes me look 100, but I was attempting the Magus in the den look. Perhaps I should have adopted an eldritch voice, to, to make it clear. Sorry Julie, I know I don't really look like this, except maybe first thing in the morning with a hangover, feeling my age! With the Keith Richard craggy lines, and all.

Oh, and the howling fan on my elderly PC just swamped the mic, so Brian Eno's Discrete Music is rather too loud. Hey ho, I'd do Take Two if I could be bothered, but this is a month of not looking back, not editing, just do it and move on.

I'll try to improve on it with the next one, maybe take a little time!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monkey Notes

NaNoWriMo profile
Ah, me, what a hectic day!

Julie and Dandy the dog just went back to the cottage to work on it, so I am a DIY Widower again. :-)

I started my new novel-in-a-month "Infinite Monkeys", so perhaps not having to walk doggie for a bit fits quite well with hammering away at the keyboard.
Not just yer ordinary monkeys
So far I am ahead of schedule, and still bubbling with ideas, but (like any marathon) I don't kid myself that I won't 'hit the wall' at some point.

Last year something like 100,000 people set out, and at least 15,000 completed their 50,000+ word books in the month. I am using the Bogus persona for this...

I gather even more people have started this year! As well as adults, a lot of young people also go in for this...

I love it, it's a project dear to my heart that people should write and have fun!

Today, I noticed they wanted 'people over 50' to talk on the WriMo radio, so I volunteered, and may get transmitted on Wednesday.

Of course, Universe having a sense of humour, just as I psyched myself up for a Skype interview, the door went, and Calum turned up (bless 'im! - I miss hearing someone singing their heart out in the loft) so I ran up and down the stairs, and then hastily babbled down the phone, to Santa Barbara, for 15 minutes. I have no idea how that will sound...

Rather like writing a hasty novel, with no going back to edit, or doing a re-take...
Related Posts with Thumbnails