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Project Wilt Update & Game of Thrones re-read

It’s been another promising weekend on the Project Wilt front! Which came as a huge surprise to me as the rest of this week was something of a disaster. I had four chapters to revise, and was trying to chip away at them slowly over my lunch hours at work, but by the time Friday rolled around I hadn’t even got as far as finishing the first one.

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What I had this weekend was another mad Saturday night triumph. That’s obviously ‘The Zone’ for me when it comes to writing. And it’s taken me this long to find out! My son goes to bed around 8pm, and if I lock myself in the office, crank up the iTunes and keep the tea coming I can write through ’til 2am and get infinitely more done than I can in a week of scrappy 30 minutes runs here and there. This is probably completely obvious, and I’ve no idea why it’s taken me so long to settle into a routine. I got there in the end though. Next working week I’m going to spend any spare time I can find just planning and outlining, and I’ll save Saturday night for the real grind. I’m very fortunate not to have any sort of life, so keeping to this schedule isn’t going to be a problem. If I’m not at work, playing with my son, or asleep, I’m writing. Plus it helps that Sunday is the only day of the week I don’t need to be up at 6am. Win!

Reading-wise, I think I’ve gorged enough on YA fiction for now. It was a good thing to do, I’ve learnt a lot about all the traits I want to avoid, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some series, and unpleasantly narked by others, and while I’m still a bit concerned about being pigeon-holed, I think I genuinely do have enough up my sleeve to pull this one off the beaten track. My concern though is that people are going to hear a keyword and automatically assume they know exactly where I’m going, so I’m working hard at keeping that word as low key as possible initially.

So, with YA off the menu for me for now, and with my excitement factor ramping off the scale as the new Game of Thrones season approaches, I’ve decided to dive into a re-read of ASOIAF. A massive undertaking I know! But I want to distance myself from the style of novel I’m writing as much as I can, and immerse myself in some of the most incredible plotting, world building and characterisation I can find. As well as indulge my massive adoration for the series. So it’s pretty much a case of 3 birds,1 stone. Hurrah!

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I’d even go almost as far as 4 birds, when taking into consideration the frustration I’ve been feeling this week in terms of advance reviews on certain sites, as a re-read of a series of this vintage and magnitude will keep me off the radar for awhile, and out of an area where I’ve begun to feel uncomfortable. The only downside of course is that the books take a good while to get through, and reviews will be sparse for a bit. But then it’s a case of quality, not quantity of course 😉 I’m picking up a few Independent requests in the meantime, so there will still be the odd bit of new stuff dotted in here and there, just not from the Big Boys.

And so, I’m away to my bed with A Game of Thrones, and I’ll be fighting off the fast approaching arrival of Monday for as long as I can keep my eyes open.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Writing

 

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Project Wilt; Unexpected Progress

It’s been a great weekend on the writing front. I think that’s a first! Everything may be crumbling around my ears in the workplace, but at least this week hasn’t been a total loss. Far from it in fact. I’ve made a pretty massive decision around structure and narrative, but fortunately I was only four chapters in at that point so the re-shuffle and re-writes aren’t too painful. And it’s made things much, much better.

I was going for multiple first person POVs and was already starting to feel schizophrenic. I was also trying to avoid being too linear and really, if I’m honest, had bitten off more than I could chew in terms of keeping the momentum going.

Things are massively simplified now, and although I’ve lost the element of surprise that I was aiming for, I think the pacing and interest will be much better maintained this way. Or at least, I hope so!

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Does this mean I’m Fully Awesome and my novel is going to be Fecking Amazeballs? Of course not. But it does mean I’m feeling Much Better about it now than I was this time last week. And right now, I need that! It was definitely a giant leap in the right direction.

Tomorrow will see a return to the office, and the reality of the day job. Which, let’s face it, is why I write. Because I have to believe there’s a chance, however slim, at something better. So I keep on keeping on, working hard to 9-5 to provide for my little lad, and writing hard 9pm-midnight to keep the dream alive.

 

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Oh, and I almost forgot (structure, momentum, fail, etc). Scrivener! Scrivener has been a massive part of my success this weekend. I’ve had it for months, but have only just sat down and actually read the instructions! I’m an idiot, I know, it’s part of the magic that is me. Scrivener is absolute genius, it really is, and if you’re writing too, and you’re not familiar with this lifesaving little piece of magnificence, you have to give it a go! It’s worth every penny, I promise you.

 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Writing

 

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Project Codename ‘Wilt’

It’s time for a confession. Most of you know I try to write after-hours. I’ve been working on an Epic Fantasy novel for a long time, six years or so now, on and off. And still I’m nowhere near close to finishing it. It’s turned into a bit of a love/hate situation.

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I got all wrapped in NaNoWriMo last year for the first time ever, and I flung out 50,000 words in a sleep-deprived, frenzied month of madness. And what with how that worked out, and how I ended up chatting to all sorts of interesting and experienced writerly souls on Twitter, I’ve had a bit of a change of plan. A big change really, but I’ve taken some advice from a couple of folk with a mass of experience of the publishing industry, and while my Epic is still alive and well, it’s on hold for now while I work on a much smaller, faster, and madder project.

I’m trying my hand at a YA Fantasy novel.

I have left a space for your hollow laughter.

I know, I know, I’ve HATED so many of them, but, that’s the thing, I can write the one I’d like to see more of, the kind of novel I’d like to see my lad reading one of these days, instead of yet another one for the swoony girly teens.

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Essentially there are lots of reasons behind it, I won’t bore you with them, and I wouldn’t even have mentioned it if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s taking up a big chunk of my already tiny free time, which means I’m getting less books read and reviewed, and at least this way you’ll know the reasons for any unusual absences. I spend as many evenings now tearing my hair out at the keyboard after a tough day in the office as I do sprawled out on the sofa lost in a book. But this project, which I don’t have a concrete idea of a title for yet but shall henceforth refer to to as ‘Project Wilt‘, is one I hope will at least take me through the process of actually FINISHING a novel, and it also lets me battle a few other demons in the process. And, to be honest, I’m bloody having Fun with it 🙂

So, really, I could’ve just said “I won’t be posting as many reviews”, but…c’mon…I don’t have many people to talk to at the best of times!  For the curious, I’ve been working on this idea gently for about 3 weeks now, and tonight sees me halfway through the third chapter, and just having crossed the 9,000 word mark. Sanity levels are good, and life has a teeny hint of promise and possibility once more.

Oh, and nothing…absolutely nothing….sparkles.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Writing

 

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BRB, Writing Book!

I wanted to drop in with a quick explanation for the lack of fresh reviews just now. They’re piling up, and will be released into the wild next week sometime 🙂 Right now I’m having a concentrated attack on that ever tricky beast, “My novel”. It’s been a work in progress for…Oooo…about seven or eight years now, on and off. And I’ve had enough. I can’t deal with office life for very much longer and I need to get this done. Less faffing and dreaming, more writing.

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I know how boring it is to hear about other people’s writing, honestly I do, and I wouldn’t inflict that on you. But just so’s you know where I am, I’m up to my ears in edits right now and am not allowing myself near books or reviews until Chapters 1-3 are polished and ready. Small goals, small steps!

I’ll be back somewhere around the middle of next week with reviews of The Old Man And The Wasteland, Throne Of The Crescent Moon and The Eye Of The World for you. See you then!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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