Writing Stuff

I have been writing or should I say rewriting my novel, this is to send to someone who is going to give me some feedback. on things like Story, plot, characters and so on.

This being my first novel length story, I have learnt quite a bit about how I write and have seen many problems while also seeing many good points. A bad point for example is the show don’t tell rule. I seem to be breaking this over and over again, this will lead to many rewrites, not of the whole book just the relevant bits. I am also noticing that I break into the ‘he thought’ and ‘she thought’ quite a bit at times. This again make for the show don’t tell rule. when I’m in there head and conveying there thoughts then I’m telling and not showing. this is ok if say I want to get the characters from one part of town to the other with no relevant story needed to be told about that journey.

Example : He thought, it best to lead his team straight to the station, when reaching the tall door, he thought. God I’m pleased to have got them here safely.

This although a bad sentence gets rid of many pages of description that would have been written if I showed then getting to the police station. The story should dictate whether it is needed or not. The problem is when I’m writing and its 11:30pm my eyes are falling closed on every breath. then it seems easy to replace five pages with one sentence.

But now that I work through the manuscript my tardiness is obvious. It makes me question the rule (there are many rules about this writing lark) just write no matter how bad you can sort it out in the second draft. now I’m in second draft it seam I should have been more decisive.

I think you learn as you write.

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To Lie?

I was going to call this post emotions number four but lies are not really an emotion, although they do evoke an array of emotion.

First  I should define between a damaging lie and a white lie. I believe a white lie is when your partner says they had one biscuit when they really had two. A damaging lie is self explaining, they cause damage. The worst kind of lie is when the lie its self prevents you from fulfilling a promise or stops you from supporting the victim of the lie.

If you lie to someone close to you, the kind of person you would not normally betray. The disappointment you will cause that person will do a number of things to you (the lie giver). Firstly the guilt will make you angry at yourself which you will pass on. Also you would begin to avoid the victim of your lie (the one lied to), this in its self could cause more damage.

Then there is the trust lost, all lies do make themselves known eventually.

Someone once said if you cut your arm you will heal. If you keep cutting the arm eventually it will fall off. A lie is like a cut you only get to do it a few times. Then it will end.

As for the victim lies only hurt. There will never be a good one.

If I sound like a preacher I apologise, I don’t lie.

DO NOT LIE. EVER. EVER. 🙂

Emotions part 3

I try to regret as little as possible.

I believe regret leads to only dark and hurtful thoughts. I suppose that if you look at any disision (it’s disision that make regrets) it’s to not make it a flippant one. Take time and make sure you have covered all aspects.

Looked at all the relevant paths and discarding the weak ones. What you are left with is the few true remaining paths. This for me limits the potential for regret.
It’s not foolproof, I have some regret to disision I have made but I am happy that at the time they seemed right. Hindsight is a wonderful tool only for a time traveler. Us simple folk will just have to make the best we can with what we have.

The Day After The Day Before.

Hi to everyone. After the last two posts I have decided to change my site a bit, make it lighter and more colourful. This is in the hope of raising the mood a bit. Suggestions are always welcome,  if you think its to light or to dark what ever you think I will listen. Comment at the bottom of the page or send me an Email.

Hi to my loyal follower, yes I have one Follower, it takes one more to make two then three and so on, you know how it works with counting. On my blogspot site I had a few followers but since moving they all went. When I received the email on my iphone today I was a very happy boy indeed. Also thanks to the recent comments there very welcomed. British Telecom say “it’s good to talk” I say “Its good to write” and I intend to do just that.

For obvious reasons I have found it difficult to work on the second draft of my book this week. It seemed that each time  pick up the macbook I start to digress into some other subject anything but my manuscript. (I can feel it happening now) So back on track, while doing my first edit I have found that I keep finding a lack of for-shadowing. There are a number of events that seem to just happen with no warning what so ever. My question is do I leave it for now and continue with the first edit like punctuation and grammar, or address there plot issues first. my instinct is to start rewriting from chapter one. Could it be that when I started this nearly two years ago I was a different writer. I have the kindle app on my Iphone and converted my book so I could refer to it while out and about. Because the screen is so small on the Iphone the book has over two thousand pages. I skipped to page eight hundred or so and began to read. To my surprise I found it a remarkably gripping read and realised that I written this part almost nine months ago. The difference between the beginning and the middle of the book is vast as to quality of writing. But the story is very strong. It’s questions like these that make me wonder if I should join a writing group of some kind. If anyone has any Comments or suggestions for me them please leave it below or email me.

Emotions

Recent events in my life have left me thinking a lot about emotion. On the 10th of may 2011 my father passed away and like every one who has ever lost a parent, it kind of hits you hard, or maybe I should say harder than you think it will.

He had been ill for many years, I thought I had prepared myself for the eventual outcome. The one thing I could not prepare for is how my emotions were going to act.

Because I write it seemed only right that I write something. The first night after his death I found myself writing about me and my father, mainly about him and the kind of man he was, the thing is that its all very personal and not suitable for a blog post. This left me with a dilemma. Do I follow the rule of;

“you must always write the truth no mater how painful”

or do I hold on to the personal info and find the middle ground. I just kept on writing what came, after two days I stopped to check what I had written, I noticed a pattern. That is I had been moving from who my dad had been to how I felt about him. His Stories and Poem’s have always effected me, eventually making me write stories for myself. As you can see its happening now I’m beginning to get personal. If unchecked I will probably pour out all over this macbook air.

I am a father, I have two boys. I also had a father of my own as you will have and every person who has ever lived will have.
My roll as the father of my children is quite traditional. I believe I should be a provider and protector to my family. Of course this also includes my wife, (she if really wonderful) as a father I’m to sacrifice my wants for the good of the family. This was my interpretation of the things passed down to me from my father.

My father passing away has lead to me reflecting back on my life. Being that I have known him all my life It stands that eventually I would reach my childhood. This was in the seventies as I was born in 1972. Things were different then. For example no Internet, no video films, never mind cable tv. There were only three tv channels and definitely no xbox or play station three, Just mum and dad and marbles.

I salute parents everywhere we are a result of them and our children will be a result of us.

Rest In Peace DAD, Love you always.

Photo of Keith glenn

Emotions part two

I thought, so I write.

Today while having a break at work I looked on what I had posted last night. People say I think to much, I might agree and promise what I have written below will be the last on my emotional state. (for a while anyway)

Grief Can be the most destructive of the emotions; it’s more like a lucky dip, depending on what part of your life your in. when you are in your younger years it’s all about working out how to deal with such loss.
As children we all look at our parents and regard them as invincible. Mum and dad will be there for ever. Then we have our first pet or relative pass away and the wall of safety is shook.
Like all things experience makes for control and composure. The more that pass away the better we deal with it.
Personally for me I sometimes feel I’m a bit to composed.

On the other end of the scale people who don’t except loss tend to have a hard time coming to terms with the person that has pass away. This can lead to all the bad emotions like anger and regret.

In the end it all comes to control, no one wants to have control took away from them. When we lose loved ones in my experience it’s when I felt at my most helpless.

There is nothing we can do to change this. No amount of wealth or power will bring that person back. In the end we all have to give in to the overwhelming power of death.
When we say that someone needs time to except the death, what we are really saying is we have to except that there is no mistake and no second chance and we are never going to see this person alive again.

How to deal with grief for me (and we all deal differently) it’s all about memory’s. We have this wonderful brain that holds everything we have ever seen, smelt, heard and touched. So take advantage and make what I call a memory box of the loved one who has pass away. Take any personal items you might have, place them in the box. Then in the years to come when you feel you might be losing there face or voice in your mind, take out the box and like a miracle it all comes flooding back. Sometimes with overwhelming results. But usually welcomed.
I have done this now more than once, each time I learn a bit more on how I deal with loss. The overwhelming lesson is that we should never be scared of our own memory’s. It’s this ability that sets us apart from all other life. We play things out in our minds so that we can learn and love from people who came before. To me this is a wonderful gift that we give when we die. My father was a great story teller and when he died I just searched in my mind to find all that he had told me. I now have enough material to last two life times. Thats mine and his, thanks dad.
This would not be if I shut of the memory’s.

To end this I will try and some it all up in one sentence. It is simply to remember and grief will become joy.

Blurb revision

Well here we go, I have played with the blurb I written for my book. trying to inject some excitement. hopefully enticing you to want to read more. Here we go blurb draft two.

John Vally is at Work finishing his first successful contract in his new career as a contractor. His joy is shattered by the invasion of a ruthless alien race,  

An event which causes the population of the united kingdom to drop by eighty percent. 

He witnesses the death of a friend through the eyes of his brother.

People who are lucky enough to be in a rural location are the last to be hunted. 

The Chule began attacking and killing anyone in their way.  

In the panic to get out and find his way home and find out about his wife and son, last seen in London. 

John joined by mike, a young man he meets in the local hardware store immediately following The attack and a young girl, Sarah, who he rescue’s from being killed by one of the Chule. 

The story follows their terrifying journey avoiding capture and worse by the Chule. Who are beginning to hunt down John and his friends. The Chule are led by one they call The Controller and another who is yet to make himself known. As John attempts to reach His family and find a place which they hope will be their salvation.

 If there is such a thing as salvation left.

Let me know what you think, check out the original blurb from my blog dated 24th April.

Blurb

Blurb

A Blurb a short description of a book, movie, or other product written for promotional purposes and appearing on the cover of a book or in an advertisement.
In my last post I promised that I would have the first draft of my blurb and an update on my novel Purple. As I seem to be falling into a two part blog, I will do as the last blog and break it into two.

Part one.

The blurb to my novel, I have found this hard to complete. The main reason for this is how do you pass the story on in about 200 words. Simply put you cannot, if you could then it should be a 200 word essay or flash fiction. I found that if i concentrated on the beginning say the first three or four chapters then it became less of an up hill climb. I made sure I included the main protagonist and the main antagonist. Also a sample of the conflict. Finishing with the ever so important goal. Its not finished but i do like it for a first draft.
Below is the first draft of my Blurb see what you think.

       John Vally had been at Work finishing his first successful contract in his new career as a self employed contractor.  His joy at finally being able to show his wife that he can be responsible is shattered by the invasion of a ruthless alian race, who leave there young to do all the killing. 

The event which causes the population of the united kingdom to drop by eighty percent within a few hours is the most devastating that has happened since records began.

Those who are lucky enough to be in a rural location at the time of the event are the last to be hunted.

       The Chule began attacking and killing anyone in their way.  Fortunately for John, he does live in such a rural area. In the panic to get out and find his way home and find out about his wife and son in London he is joined by mike, a man he meets in the local hardware store immediately following The attack and a young girl, Sarah, who he rescue’s from being killed by one of the “Chule.”  The story follows their terrifying journey, avoiding capture and worse by the Chule, who are beginning to hunt John and his friends down, the Chule are led by one they call The Controlor and another who is yet to make himself known. As John attempts to reach His family and find a place which they hope will be their salvation.

Any comments on the Blurb would be much appreciated I promise you will not hurt my feelings.

Part two.

You will be please to know that I have finished my first draft of the book. My finishing word count is 105,117.00 words.
I know you are supposed to leave it alone for two or three month before starting the second draft. Unfortunately I have found myself going to the beginning and working over the first chapter.
To take my mind of Purple I have started my next book called The Sole Man. I’m pleased to say i’m about three chapters in. The characters are starting to take over from John Valley and his friends from Purple. This has to be a good thing. All this in just over a week, it must be the blog motivating me to write, write and write some more.
Next time I will write about the software I use to write and will have more on my books, The Sole Man and Purple.
Please comment or keep sending your questions via e-mail.

Novel Ideas

SUNDAY, 10 APRIL 2011

Novel Ideas

To write a novel or a story is enormous undertaking for the professional or amateur writer. I am an amateur writer and this blog is me putting some sort of record to the journey. Admittedly I am starting this part the way in, I have almost finished the first draft of my novel. My current word count is 97,365.43, with about 10 to 20 thousand to the finish line. You could ask ‘how could this be a true account when I have missed the first leg of the race?

Well from what I have learnt over the past 18 months (and yes its been 18 months since i started this novel) there are few problems at this point apart from finding time to sit and write. I have never suffered from writers block if anything its more info overload. My head just overloads with story ideas, every one I meet has become a possible character in a story. I have many short and unfinished stories with no time to do anything with them until I have finished this one, I also have notes on my computer of possible story ideas, they are a plenty. So if you have trouble with these things then reading this would be of little help. But if you are all ready in the journey and fancy reading about someone in a similar position then here I am.

At this moment in time (meaning today) my main objectives are number one a blurb, because I have such difficulty telling someone about this story. When ever someone ask ‘wow a novel, whats it about?’ I start to fumble and flounder about the story as if I’m making it up on the spot, my face grows red and then I find myself trying my best to just get away from the subject as quickly as possible. Just to hand over my phone with say 200 words describing a brief synopsis could work and not make me feel like a hack.

Number two in the list of objectives is finishing the first draft. It seams I just cannot finish or find the time to finish. My weekly word count has dropped significantly since passing the 80,000 word mark. Not through lack of inspiration but through every conceivable problem with home or work, just slowing me down and the thought of going through this 100,000 word project to find all the spelling mistakes is mind bending to me.(any suggestions would be very much appreciated)

To finish this post I should tell you that my goal is to post on here as often as I can, I have been told that to tell others, motivates you into action. I would also like to say because I write does not mean I can spell. So spell checker is my best friend and I apologise for any misspellings that might happen. I will talk about my software that I write with (scrivener) and by the next post I should have a first draft of my blurb which I will post for comments. Help and advice is always welcomed.

Please comment or send me an email, just to say hi if you wish.

Lets try again

MONDAY, 4 APRIL 2011

Lets try again

Well hi, I know its been a while since i gave you the pleasure of my words.
The total number of days between my last blog on January 20th and today is 74 days.
This is exactly 2 months and 15 days.

Makes me wonder why, you know why have I not found time to write a few words.

Excusers: I have plenty of them. busy at work, computer hogged up by children or family ties or taxi service as i call it. Writers block an invasion of hairy monkeys intent on using me as a pawn in there rise to superiority. (wouldn’t that be more fun than real life).

I will be honest now, in my Blog How do my characters right my book? I told you about my current novel. Well I have finished the first draft. and now have set it aside for a while before beginning the first edit.

Also I have been very busy at work. (thats the day job) I do also have problems getting to my desktop computer because the kids are loving the Imac right now. Solution was to get myself a new more portable computer, such a machine as to let me travel round doing my writing as and when the urge took me. I am a very happy chappy I say one word AIR.
not sure what I mean think slim, think aluminium, think apple yep you’ve got it a Macbook Air; and its all mine, passworded with only one login name. Just me, my stories and not forgetting ACDC.

I will be telling more on the Macbook Air the more I use it, also i will be placing a post on at least one a week from now on. As for topic something I came across on a web site ‘Under construction’ this will be the title of the next post.

thank you for reading this far i have been told that the attention span of a blog surfer is limited to three chapters. I don’t believe this myself i think if you can read and write then you can manage more than three.

Please leave a comment its nice to know someone is reading