Why this Blog?

I hope that this blog will become a place to look after my writing ideas and that, over time, I can use it to archive all my favourite creative sites on the web. Maybe others will enjoy it too.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Agh

So, it's the next installment and I'm getting bored of my own voice here. I think it's because I'm writing chronologically rather than plot-lines. Equally, I'm being stupid and staying up late as well as working and so I'm tired. Knowing that I want to get through the back-story quickly and cover a few introductions at the same time means that I think I'm trying to do too much. Mind you, this is what first drafts are for, right? Right.

Right.

So not my best work. :)


Analysis is provided courtesy of 750words.com as always. They are good, but I am beginning to wonder about their filter for violence because I am certain that there is none in this section!


Rating: PG-13 (Violence)

Feeling mostly Affectionate, and concerned mostly about Eating and Drinking, followed by Leisure

Mindset: Extrovert - Negative - Certain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Sight (wee-oo, wee-oo); Us and Them: Them

33 minutes at 29 words per minute.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Geeks and Nerds O My!

So, it's still going and I'm moving slowly still. Today I introduce another friend, a love of coffee and reinforce the fact that she's a University student.

Also, today I discovered that Anastasia Steele is the name of the protagonist of Fifty Shades of Grey. This upsets me. I don't really want my rewrite of a shitty novel to call to mind a shitty novel as well. By this point any relation to the source material is more coincidental than deliberate and I'm not out of the first chapter yet so I don't feel so bad about the rewrite. However, a name as unusual as Anastasia is a pretty big punt and people will automatically make that connection, surely.

Having said all of that, I know that this is pretty unpolished. Any suggestions on improvements are gratefully received.


Rating: PG-13 (Swearing [Nope, no clue], and violence [a playful punch?])

Feeling mostly Self-Expressive (with a side order of happy), and concerned mostly about Money - or work

Mindset: Introvert - Negative - Uncertain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Sight (again); Us and Them: You

37 minutes at 23 words per minute.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Student-ville

Right, a two-night hiatus means that I find it hard to get back in the saddle. I cheated over at 750words by just analysing sections of the novel from 2012, illuminating but hardly writing.

Now I'm almost finished with the horror of the novel I'm reading it's actually getting harder to read - something about this section just rankles with me. I think it was one of the first bits that were written and it hasn't seen much revision at all. There's a paragraph that actually says that a car was "grey and the sort that you wouldn't look at twice". I mean, apart from the poor use of second person in a limited-third narration style, there's the fact that we are out-and-out told a car is nondescript after being told about all the distinguishing features (plastic sheeting over the upholstery, colour of the car, the fact that four people are in it, one with a freaking staff in the passenger seat!). Gah.

Anyway, today was the attempt to establish that Anastasia has a boyfriend (not anything lasting) and has many, many nicknames. This latter point is my subtle set-up (ha, subtle!) for the fact that she will later be choosing a name for herself but won't stick with it for very long. There are a couple of other things I want to set up here too, but this is just a first draft so I suspect that they're all a tad obvious at present.

Analysis is provided courtesy of 750words.com who remain brilliant.


Rating: PG-13 (Swearing [damn?], Sexual content[?] and violence [no clue])

Feeling mostly Self-Expressive, and concerned mostly about Money - Anastasia buys aspirin?

Mindset: Extrovert - Positive - Certain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Sight (unusually); Us and Them: You

24 minutes at 36 words per minute.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Chapter One?

I'd like to start by talking about first drafts. They're never that easy and, when trying to rewrite poor novels, they're actually harder than when I'm free writing.

When free-writing on an idea that I have, even if I have no plot, I can generally get by enough that I can write large amounts. I am nothing if not verbose. I can write fifteen words where a normal person will only manage three. It means I can rack up enormous word counts and feel productive. But I'm trying a new tack with this experiment. I'm trying to get as much done in as few words as possible. This makes characterisation a little more challenging. Trying to communicate setting, atmosphere and character interaction all at once is harder than it looks. Especially when my characters unexpectedly hi-jack conversation.

Take tonight as an example. I wanted to have a conversation to show Anastasia's relationship with her parents (not good) and with her flatmate (cardboard cut-out character necessary to prove that Anastasia is at University). That was it. Then I would skip to a night out where romantic male lead would be introduced and we could focus on that for a while (maintaining a stalker sub-plot for a bit). This would be short.

Then Suzy, she got a name, decided that she and Anastasia would get along rather too well. And that she would be a Christian. And that this would be a thing.

In short, I have characters. But I hate them. I feel like a proper writer and everything.

As usual, I plugged the whole thing into the wonderful 750words.com because they are awesome and why aren't you doing the same?


Rating: PG-13 (Sexual content[?] and violence [no clue])

Feeling mostly Upset, and concerned mostly about Religion[?].

Mindset: Introvert - Negative - Uncertain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Hearing; Us and Them: You

46 minutes at 31 words per minute.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Prologuing part the second

So, it's been unforgivably long since I posted here. I'm still trying to survive the awfulness by re-writing. I can't say it's any good, but even in the first draft state that I'm posting here I think I can argue that it's better than what I'm reading. Don't get me wrong, that's not me blowing my own trumpet (what I have is very unpolished and verbose), it's just a reflection.

In this entry we meet, and I use the term loosely, our protagonist for the tale: Anastasia Cable (or, in Finnish, Kaisla Kuura apparently) and, hopefully, get some tension. However, it's too damn' long and the sentences are a bit rambley. It's a first draft, yes, but that's no real excuse.

On to the stats! Good old 750words.com!


Rating: PG-13 (Swearing [bloody], sexual content[?] and violence [possibly due to a cornish pasty])

Feeling mostly Upset, and concerned mostly about Religion[?].

Mindset: Extrovert - Negative - Uncertain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Touch; Us and Them: You

50 minutes at 36 words per minute.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Shadows of Evil: Prologue

As promised, I'm back. Here's my rewrite of the book I'm being subjected to. I started at a different place, I suspect my journey will be in a completely different direction, but the idea of writing against something like this is good motivation.

It's a short extract (it's all I've written) and it may be too portentous and a bit pants. Still, it's the first I've written properly in aaaaages!


Analysis is intriguing and is from 750words.com as ever.


Rating: PG-13 (sexual content[?] and violence)

Feeling mostly Self-expressive, and concerned mostly about Death.

Mindset: Extrovert - Positive - Uncertain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Touch; Us and Them: Them

27 minutes at 30 words per minute


Schadenfreude

I've been almost invisible on here recently. Crunch time marking combined with a lack of inspiration and the fact that my partner is writing their own novel that takes up evenings and so I don't write mine? Oh, they're all excuses. I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.

In the meantime a friend of my partner has written and self-published her novel. Naturally we bought a copy. It is not very good at all. The sort of book that gives self-publishing a bad name. But we can't tell this person what we really think because a. they wouldn't listen and my partner would lose a friend and b. it's too late, they've already published. How awful? In the first fifty pages there isn't a single active sentence (six fight scenes though) and 80% of sentences begin with a person's name, 'he' or 'she'. In one scene, the first stirrings of love between the protagonist and the supposed romantic lead, we are treated to a geography lesson about the city. These are the only details given about the date. They even talk about the city instead of, well, anything else.

In an effort to keep myself sane whilst reading it and alleviate the pain, I have decided that I shall rewrite it. In setting up my first draft (long hand so not on here yet) I realised that it already looks sufficiently different that I could turn it into my own story relatively easily. I may do that. Of course, as it's already a book, my rewrite will be also.

I am such a bitch sometimes, sorry!