Protected: Wrimo Challenge 1: Mills & Boon

Wednesday, 18 February, 2009

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New New Year

Thursday, 8 January, 2009

Posting about: Current writing habits / 101 Things writing goals / Writing database

Writing has been sporadic to say the least. The usual journal-ish bits, spurts here and there, odd lines I come up with or ideas for ideas, but nothing structured, and no structured working pattern. I’m not sure any of that is necessarily bad, though. I seem to need to not do things properly for a little while to remind myself how much I want to do them. Similar to my mentality re. fitness and nutrition: if I miss something, I scramble to get it back. Absence/heart proverb etc.

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101 THINGS

I signed up to 101 Things in 1001 Days and these are the goals I have down under ‘writing’:
007) Write a complete first draft for Script Frenzy 2009
008) Write a complete first draft for Nanowrimo 2009
009) Write 101 pieces of short fiction and/or vignettes (000/101)
010) Do Poster Poems every week for a month (0/4)
011) Turn a bit of family history/memory into fiction
012) Journal every day for a month
013) Take part in a writing festival
014) Submit a piece of writing for publication/production
015) Leave a couple of lines of poetry lying around in public every day for a week (0/7)
016) Put together my writing database

+ 007 is exciting and do-able. Thinking I might do a stage play, completely free myself from all the distractions, (i.e. desire to direct the thing Right Now,) that come with writing for screen-type things. Read the rest of this entry »

Reporting Live

Monday, 22 December, 2008

Posting about: Current reading and writing / Blog idea / Randomness

Reading Negotiating With the Dead, finally. Working in a library is dangerous. My bedside table ‘To Read’ book pile is already twice the height it was before I started work.

Knocked out a bit of a short story while sat in Morrison’s cafe the other day, got me thinking about all kinds of other things I could write in similar style and on similar themes. Added ‘write 101 pieces of short fiction’ to my list soon afterwards because really, why wasn’t it already on there?

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Went to see Twilight the other day for some reason and spent the trailers bullet-pointing notes for a blog post on the theme of watching the film in a sea of oestrogen-happy teenagers and Miscellaneous Other People, sitting between a girl with restless leg syndrome and a woman in her forties who “just loves it so much, so much, it’s amazing, oh god, I love it”.

Then I remembered I haven’t got a blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Redrafting Hell

Monday, 8 December, 2008

SCREENWIPE
I loved this week’s episode of Screenwipe (disappears Tuesday 9th) in which Charlie spoke to TV writers. Wish I could download it, would love to watch it again before Screnzy, or just for fun every now and then. *cuddles it*
Bloody BBC blocking Macs out of their download service, grumble, grumble.
Posted some bits to the Nano forums, including these:

Paul Abbott (Shameless, State of Play etc.): “I think the first draft is always a drudge, and I wish there were elves [who could] lay down the canvas and stuff like that. Well, they can’t. You have to do it, and you have to bleed.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nanowrimo Retrospective

Monday, 8 December, 2008

So I ‘won’. 50,542 words of codename/working title ‘Playtime’ written by the deadline of 23:59 on the 30th of November. I actually finished at about quarter past four on Friday morning, the 28th, egged on by various people in the chatroom, and I felt great, but yet again I don’t have a complete draft. That’s got to be my target for next year, to get a complete draft in the month, not just 50,000 ambling words. And fuck, do they amble. We’ve got a past that shouldn’t be dull given what it consists of but it is, a present that I quite like but am not sure where it’s going, a bunch of inserts from a conversation between two of the characters and a couple of ‘out there’ fantasy/dream-ish scenes that aren’t particularly relevant yet, but they will be.

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I posted haphazardly to Viddler during Nano.

I also made a few journal-type notes in separate – uncounted! – sections of my Scrivener file as I went through the month. Most of my scribblings were to do with the mechanics of the thing itself or random personal musings but here’s some of the stuff I wrote about the ‘process’. (Ha.) Just a mini insight into the weirdness of Nano.

FRI 14 NOV 02:16 Read the rest of this entry »

How to Write

Saturday, 20 September, 2008

New series in The Guardian, starting today, entitled ‘How to Write’, including a nice piece by Robert Harris on producing a novel.

Just in time for NaNoWriMo, which I wasn’t 100% sure I’d be taking part in this year, but I think I need to, just for an excuse to blitz some ideas that keep niggling at me and infecting all my other ideas.

On the couch in the front room

Wednesday, 20 August, 2008

THE BLOCK [novel]
This started as my attempt at NaNoWriMo 2007, and I got the 50,000 words done, but didn’t finish the story. Ultimately it’s a big mess of multiple plots and cringe-makingly clumsy prose that has no real focus and a trillion loose ends. It also has some sections and characters and ideas that I love. Reading it over I’ve discovered a few things:
a) I was trying to do too much at once. Thriller meets Lit Fic meets Coming-of-Age Cheese meets Rom Com meets A Great Big Mess. First step is to decide which stories work best together and put everything else on the proverbial clipboard because otherwise I won’t do anything justice.
b) I can come up with some nice little phrases when I want to, engaging characters, decent twists. This is both satisfying and reassuring. I reckon it’s generally a good idea to be not completely talentless. In fact I think that’ll be my mantra. “I’m not completely talentless.”
c) I reap the rewards of hard work, but also, just maybe, hard work on this whole thing is its own reward.

SECTIONS [prose poems]
The first things to get cut from ‘The Block’, which frees both projects up to be what they need to be.

OH, AND…
I love movies. I love them. I love cinema. I love film. I love movies.

Musings

Monday, 18 August, 2008

I talked to my brother tonight when I got home and suddenly I was a person again.

Typing is not natural to me – in writing, that is – but it’s faster, so less is lost, but there’s a barrier. And the backspace key. (Soon to be the ‘delete’ key, once I have my Mac.)

EMBASSY [screenplay]
Haven’t mentioned this yet, huh? Started life as my attempt at Script Frenzy 2007 and was then lost in the great computer crash of that same year. I still like the basic set-up, the protagonist, the themes etc., but the intricacies of the plot are nowhere. I know what I want to see but it doesn’t make sense yet. It’s high concept and dystopian future. In fact who am I kidding, I’m basically writing Children of Men, only not that subject matter. Hmm.

THE CENTRE [screen drama] Read the rest of this entry »

Summer of Action

Saturday, 2 August, 2008

ESTHER & JANE [novel]
Came back to an idea I’d had earlier in the year while musing on an unrelated character profile. It’ll be a tough one to get right but I’m finding the prospect of managing it really exciting.

FAM BIO [stories]
Lots of events and scenes from family history that lend themselves to fun short stories.

ASYLUM [screenplay]
Came up with some vague opening scene plans and started thinking about interconnecting plots etc.

NOTE TO SELF
Probably a good idea to concentrate on one idea at a time. Or two at the most. Damn my brain

Arthouse, Asylum and Everyword

Sunday, 27 July, 2008

Today my mum told me she would not be at all surprised if I ended up making my living from writing, that she kind of expected it to happen. I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d wanted to hear something like that from her until she said it.

ARTHOUSE [screenplay]
Started to rework one of the earlier scenes and panicked about characterisation, heightened dialogue etc. I’d been watching far too much ‘Gilmore Girls‘ and became too enamoured with my snappy, made-for-TV exchanges, instead of allowing my people to breathe and be true and serve The Story.

ASYLUM [poss. screenplay/TV drama]
An idea I’ve had since reading an article in G2 finally birthed onto the page Celtx and in thinking about it more I’ve realised I can merge it with some scenes and characters from some planning I did for something else earlier in the year. Especially excited about this one, though the idea itself… I’m sure someone else must be doing it.

Everyword New Writing at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool
A quick word about the festival – although it’s technically not a writing progress report, which is what this blog is about – because I really enjoyed it and wish I’d taken part in more of it. Found the UK Film Council workshop especially useful, despite the professional Wannabe on the front row who couldn’t keep his condescension to himself, and there were some great performances. Fresh appreciation for theatre and ideas aplenty.