Blurty – which I am currently proofreading – was never intended to be part of a series. Now it is!
Or I should say, it’s on the way to being so, as I’m currently working away on a sequel. It’s probably more fun than it should be getting back into the world of Blurty and I gotta say, I’m enjoying it immensely.
After picking at a start, on and off for quite a while, the past month has seen work commence properly and we’re now at 10K. Writing daemon is feeling very pleased with himself.
It’s also the first time I’ve truly multi-project-ed for a while. Blurty’s Sister (as I’m going to refer to it) is running in parallel to continued work on Indestructible (as this year’s other new novel is called). I’m flipping between them effortlessly, which is nice.
Just to mix it up, I also re-read PAR again! Mind you that’s so a friend and I can project swap for some unusually early draft feedback. I do need to take out some notes-to-self from the text before I inflict it on someone else…
I have had a productive winter.
For a while now, I’ve been puzzled by why my brain – so very well attuned to novels as a form – just doesn’t feel comfy with screen writing. I mean I love movies and I love narrative and I’m not big on writing setting, so shouldn’t it be a natural fit?
I’ve realised recently though that the reason might be very simple. My writing daemon often stops me doing things when he knows we aren’t ready to, and I suspect he’s been doing that here. I think he recognised something about screen writing that I didn’t. It requires planning. That thing which is anathema to me and my daemon.
This revelation led to an interesting question: Can a pure pantser like myself ever come at creating a screenplay? Maybe. Jury is still out on that. I do have some sneaky pantser ideas on how to tackle it, so we’ll see.
To inspire daemon and I to finally have a go, I’m doing a screen writing short course at a local university. I figure that I might as well hang out with a bunch of movie lovers and creative sorts while discussing movies a lot, even if I never write a screenplay. It cannot possibly be a bad way to spend a Thursday night.
I’m not a good proofreader. This I fully own to, but I did develop a method for tackling the task some years back and it serves me well. It is just laborious and time consuming, and therefor not much fun.
There is one thing about it that keeps me going… how satisfying it is when I find an error. I think I’m experiencing even more pleasure from it currently, because what I’m proofing now is quite clean. When a draft is clean the laboriousness makes me go “Should I even be bothering?” and then I find a missing word or dodgy tense and go “Oh yeah I should!”.
I do live in terror though of the day I have to proofread PAR. That book is a beast word-count-wise. Thankfully Blurty is my current job and its much shorter!
I’ve been lucky enough to have a few extra weeks off since my Wales trip and normally I buckle-down to the current WIP in these non-day-job periods. Not so much this time. Instead, my writing daemon has been doing disconnected scenes that belong to a bunch of different narratives… all in my head.
What I like about running scenes in my head in this way, is that it has a satisfying energy to it. Daemon flits between between genres and ideas that interest him, without the burden of having to write what comes before or after.
Yes I’m feeling guilty that the WIP isn’t getting much love, but I’ve learnt over the years that the daemon needs to stretch his wings and get a little crazy sometimes. Refresh and recharge moments!
And the WIP hasn’t been benched. It’s gotten a little bit of love. It also got given a name, finally! Its nickname, anyway, is “Indestructible”. Which makes perfect sense if you read the book, but I acknowledge probably seems a bit weird otherwise.
I think Indestructable is going to be hell to edit, but I’m enjoying the writing quite a lot.
I’m really enjoying my nameless novel. It’s a lot of fun to write. Though, because I stopped to do a bit of back-filling /editing I am, amusingly, only 10k further on than I was in Feb!
And there will probably be a pause now, while I take a little holiday (I don’t tend to write when I travel).
The book continues to unfold delightfully.
Though, it felt like it was going to be about an 80k project. Then I changed direction and it began to feel like only 60k. We’ll see. I’m about to start killing characters, so the aftermath will determine the length I think. Me and my pantser ways!
Who knows, maybe while I’m away I’ll be struck with inspiration for a title…
I still can’t find a working title for new novel… it’s bugging me. Maybe I’ll just call it “nameless”?
Anyway, it is marching along at a good pace, though my word total has actually gone backwards! Funny how that happens.
You see there’s a point, somewhere between 25 and 40 thousand words where my brain goes “Hang on, why is that happening? Should that be the way these characters are talking to each other right now?”. Usually, this is the point at which I stop working on a draft, put it in the drawer for a bit and then – often – throw the whole lot out when I come back to work on it. It’s a system.
With this novel, I got to 28K and ground to a halt, but then a weird thing happened… instead of putting it away, I started trying to problem solve. This is never good. So, after a few days of drawing bubble diagrams and fearing I was turning into a planner (aagh!), I realised that I needed to do a different version of chucking it all out and starting again.
Which actually meant, shoving all the chapters into a holding spot and starting from the start again, but re-introducing existing chapters if useable. Like I say, it’s a system.
The very weird thing, is that I’m using essentially the same system, but in a different timeframe. This has me wondering if I’ll stop drawer-ing drafts part way through in future. I think that would make daemon happy, as he gets twitchy to go back to unfinished things. We’ll see. With next new novel!
I only realised today that I didn’t actually post about the most exciting writing thing for the start of the year… A new novel! Yes, I saw in the new year with a new novel sized idea.
It isn’t gushing like Blurty or PAR, but I’m doing that deliberately so I don’t aggravate my shoulder, which was bugging me at the end of 2018 a bit. Slowing myself doesn’t seem to be hurting the process – I’m nearly 27K in already!
Another sci-fi, but lower on the sci this time, it’s essentially a futuristic gangster story. Writing daemon is very pleased, and I’m having a lot of fun in my usual “pantser” fashion.
The other writing-y thing of recent weeks (in fact, in time to welcome the Year of the Pig) was that I re-read PAR after, what, 10 months maybe of drawer time? That was interesting. The early chapters are a bit sucky – “was I drunk when I wrote these sentences?”- but the rest was a blast to read! Given it’s due another two drafts before it’s done, I’m not at all unhappy with that.
Not that I’ll head back to PAR until the new project is well underway – maybe even at 1st draft – but it’s nice to think on it while I wait. Speaking of the new project… it needs a moniker. Can’t call it “new project” forever… hmm… the “not very sci-fi”… the “ganster-sci”… still working on it.