Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned

Yes, it's true.

I finished my short story and after a quick edit of the first draft I sent it out to a few people for comment.

The resounding feedback from Jen I got was not enough detail in the ever so bad things that happened to the three guys in the story. In fact, the only blood in it was from one of them who got punched in the nose. Now for a short story with a mysterious beast that basically rips them to shreds (although is never explicitly stated) well this is something worth pondering. Thanks, Jen. Your feedback AGAIN is invaluable.

Today over lunch I was also talking to my friend Cravon and he commented to me, the same as Jen did, that he felt there should have been more description for the bad things: blood, gore, general painfulness, that kind of stuff.

From both Jen and Cravon it's a valid comment seeing as there really is no description of those things at all.

So I said to Cravon, I said, "I think I was avoiding it being too chunky because I might want to submit it to a writing competition one day..." *WHAM* There it was. Instead of writing the story I think I wanted to write, I pulled my punches being all concerned about whether a magazine might look at it or not based on the bloodiness.

Naughty naughty naughty!

It is supposed to be a horror short story for crying out loud. Horror. Does horror worry about namby pamby magazines? No! Does horror worry if someone might think something is too gory? NO! Does horror worry about the body count? NO! I say NO!

One of the number one killers of an interesting story is writing to a perceived audience. Or writing in caution because your thinking about who might read your book one day, such as your mother. Barroom brawls are less violent, cussin' and a fussin' is not as effective, and raunchy sex scenes basically stop before anyone can get started.

So I'll be going back and doing a third draft of this work - to be honest I actually hesitate to call what I sent a second draft - and I'll be pulling out the stops, as I should have done from the very beginning.

So forgive me, I will try harder next time. Honest I will.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

An Update

Just in case there are people following my blog, other than the fantastic Fly Girls, I thought I would do a quick update.

So far I have resisted pulling out my manuscript and starting any work on it, but it's been tough. It calls to me, it calls to me with the siren song of the cooling fan on my laptop.


To make sure I don't pull it out before I'm ready I've started a short story. Very short, target word count about 2,000. I'm going to use the process to try and hone my scene setting and description skills. You have to be tight in a short story, extremely tight, so it will be an interesting process.

Even though I can write 2,000 words in a couple of hours, even an hour if I'm on a roll, this is more about delicate and deliberate writing than a purge of my brain onto the computer screen. This means my 300 words a day still stands but I won't be looking to do much more than that each night in an attempt to make each 300 of those words actual "good" words. If that makes any sense...

Once I've finished doing the short story, probably a week or two, I'll start the revision of my WIP.

So that's me.

Friday, 9 February 2007

So I've Been Tagged

On Jen T's blog she has tagged me. What the hell is that? Do I need antibiotics? No, I'm now in a game where I get the three books that are closest to me, go to page 123, go in 5 sentences then write the next 3 in my blog along with the book and author's name.

Ok, so my computer is in the lounge room, no books in here. The next closet room is has one of my book shelves, that is about six meters long and floor to ceiling. Oh and full of books. Crap.

Fine, so I grabbed three books which are up there with my favorites. I've read these three numerous times already and I'm sure I'll read them a lot of times again in the future.

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GHOST BEYOND EARTH - by G.M. Hague (Graeme Hague)

Normally the outer door was opened by pushing a single large button - large enough to accommodate the bulky gloves of the spacesuits. However, this would also start a chain of reactions, including bleeding the atmosphere from the airlock chamber. This was to prevent the astronaut from being spat out into space with the escaping air as the door opened.

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THE REALITY DYSFUNCTION - by Peter F. Hamilton

Thetis retreated, his subconscious grousing away. But he knew better than try and argue with his sister when she was in that mood.
We're going after it? Oenone demanded.

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MAGICIAN - Raymond E. Feist

Her body trembled as she said, "I don't have words, Pug. You're the only one who tried to ... understand me. You see more than anyone else."

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Oh and why not what I have been writing....

UN-NAMED WORK IN PROGRESS - Glenn

I blanched, “What?! You can’t give me a bath, you’re both old enough to be my mother!” Straight away I wished I could take back my outburst. Azaya’s eyes narrowed and Julie hissed at me to shut up.

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So who am I going to tag...? No freakin idea as I am sure all the Fly Girls have been taken and I don't seem to have any other fans ;-) Tell you what, give it a crack and let me know in the comments so I can link to your blog

Thursday, 8 February 2007

I'm Finished. Or am I? 127,000 Words

It's weird. I've written The End, but I'm not that excited... Where are the singing angels, the sounding of the trumpets? The golden light to bathe me from above?

Man, I don't know. I've reached the end, but I don't know if I have done it cleanly. Have I wrapped it up properly? Or have I finished it in the spirit of a "first draft"? Have I just wrapped it up for the sake of a finish and will revisit the finish in the second draft? I don't know.

I was working on it for a while last night and the events progressed to the finish, using the same ending I wrote a month or two ago, but ultimately I was just pushing words around on the page.

I could have fiddled and tweaked and massaged it all to hell, but in the end I thought screw it, this book is ending.

So is it finished? It feels finished. So I guess it must be.

Now it goes into a drawer for a few weeks before I do the first major revision.

I wonder what I'll do in the meantime?

Are you disappointed with my post? Thought I would be more thrilled? Yeah, me too.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

The End is in Sight - 122,500 Words

Oh it's getting close now, I can almost taste it. After a 5,000 word weekend I'm definitely in the final straight and this first draft is very close to being finished. My protagonist is in his final challenge and I have thrown a couple of curly issues his way. With a bit of luck there is less than 10,000 words to the end. I have nothing more I want to do, I don't want to send them anywhere else. Closure time isn't far away. I wonder if he'll survive?

Man, it feels like it has taken a long time to get to this point, but fact is it has been not much more than three months since I started. So what will I do when I finish the first draft? Shelve it. Shelve it for a minimum two weeks, maybe four - if I can resist that long. I'm just going to print it out and stick it in a drawer and attempt to forget about it.

Already I know there is some major work to be done in the second draft. I've had some mythology that has been evolving while I've been writing, and attitudes at the start of the book seem to have matured somewhat by the middle which will necessitate changes to the early part.

Not long now, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting pretty bright.