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haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?

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LiGHT ENTERTAiNMENT

le freak – chic

Up at 05:00 and into the idiots’ graveyard. I only wrote 450 words or so, but they were good words. One or two of them even groovy.
This is like march all over again. It’s the 13th today and I’ve yet to have even three or four days’ clear run at the fucker.
March was when I wrote light entertainment – while fighting off triage, the DSS and attending dozens of interviews – for jobs I didn’t get a sniff at.
The novel took me about 37, 38 days and weighed in at almost 70,000 words.
So I suppose, the familiarity of the territory’s why I’m not freaking, more approaching it calmly. Doing what I can every day and watching my word count mount up – albeit slowly.
I’m writing this on the bus to the induction to my training block. Two weeks of intensive theory – while having to work as well.
I’ll complete this novel though. In fact, my only sacrifices will be food, rest and personal hygiene.

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anytime, anyplace, anywhere – the who

I’ve just been reading the smashwords’ style guide and it really does lay everything out flat.

I’m roughly one third of the way through it and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty damn confident about my ability to fix my document for publication.

I wasn’t planning on writing anything else tonight, however my e-reader was almost out of juice, so I elected to stop and do this instead.

I have three days off work, starting in about twelve hours and tomorrow afternoon will be devoted to shopping; a gentle transition from the storm-und-drang of trying to balance the job with the real work, into the maximum RnR of my days off.

And, just this once, I’m actually taking the time out to chill. I’ve waited this long for that massive heart attack I’m due, a couple of days with my nose disengaged from the grindstone shouldn’t add too much more to my already wretched life-expectancy.

‘Light entertainment’ is really dragging just now. I wonder if I’m just burned out? In which case, this wee break will be just what the death-camp doctor ordered.

goin’ through the motions – bonnie tyler

I’m still revising ‘Light entertainment’, I’m maybe forty pages into it now. halfway through chapter two.

It’s coming painfully slowly like watching a slug moving through broken glass. I’m not a bit happy with the plot, but I can’t see what I should be slotting into it to kiss it all better. So I’m tidying up spelling and sentences, going through the motions until the answer is revealed.

I wrote the draft in march this year, while being hassled by both the DSS and poverty pimps triage, being sent to interview after interview. There wasn’t once I could get a week’s clear run at the writing. I just had to fit it in around all these nonsensical wastes of my time.

It’s fucking hard work being ‘too lazy to work’ as Iain Duncan Smith would have it.

The plot of ‘Light entertainment’ is filled with the rage I felt at that time. Revising it, some six months later, it’s hard to get my skull around all that anger.

It was after completing ‘Light entertainment’, that I decided to cut my losses and become self employed (or, ‘too lazy to work for myself’, Mr Cameron).

I accepted a cut in income of almost thirty pounds a week (not bad when the original figure was seventy pounds per week) and I lived on that until this job happened.

This government sell off school playing fields and then claim they’re responsible for the british athletes doing so well in the Olympics.

My advice to them would be to try to avoid ever claiming responsibility for any upsurge in british writing. We might well be too lazy to work, but we have wonderful imaginations when it comes to dreaming up painful and degrading ways for you to die.

 

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slow motion – ultravox!

At last I’ve slowed down from last month’s blur of frenetic activity. I’m revising ‘Light entertainment’ and cobbling together the ideas for November’s ‘Hassle-home’ novel.

Both of which are nice gentle plodders. I can pick them up when I want and put them down when I don’t want.

I think I enjoy every phase of the writing process. The slow and delicate fitting together of disparate ideas into an outline, the sheer hi-octane craziness of crushing that outline into the first draft – and the deliberate polishing of that draft into something readable.

It’s amazing to think that July’s twenty-page outline took less than a month to wrestle into fifty thousand words. And that the draft will, sometime next year, be a finished novel with a cover and everything.

shadow – tindersticks

I’m maybe halfway through chapter two of ‘Light entertainment’. I’m starting to like the prose a bit better. The characters are starting to come to life a bit more, too. Starting to feel a bit more like people and less like pegs I hammered in to hang bits of plot on.

This’ll probably never see the light of day, but the process of polishing it is an education in itself.

One of the main things I keep catching on is how connected the characters are to each other, which is a million miles from my own experience.

There are family-links, friendships, all these webs of affection and respect, which is like science fiction to me.

Okay, if I wasn’t isolated and insular, I probably wouldn’t be writing. Ach, who am I kidding? If I still had access to sex, drugs and popular culture, I wouldn’t be writing any more than I did back in the day.

It’s only now that I’ve shut myself off from not only polite society, but also kicking and punching society, too, that I’m getting this much work done.

And yet, coincidentally enough, I find I’m writing more now about interpersonal issues.

A friend mentioned the other day that they’d found themselves becoming aroused, reading ‘Dreich noir’. And this is somebody old enough to know better.

school’s out – alice cooper

A well-deserved day off. Everything’s running smoothly in my writing and I’m six days into an eleven day stretch at work, so I took twenty-four hours out and watched ‘Battle in heaven’ again.

I probably watch it once a year or so and each time, I’m re-amazed by the sheer scope of the thing. From the non-professional cast to the explicit sex – and plot-wise, it’s a stunning juxtaposition of desperation and weakness, macho culture and love.

I’ve gone through the whole of chapter one of ‘Light entertainment’ and started on the second chapter.

I still don’t think this is good enough to set free, but it’s cracking practice in revising.

There’s a not bad plot in there – and a few pretty good characters, but it needs more work. Mibby in a few years.

And, in other news, I finally saw the cover for ‘1919 (inside)’ this morning. And it looks amazing! Everything I’d wanted and more. it’s not finished yet, but what there is of it looks pretty damn snazzy.

So, if I promised you a review copy, have no fear, you’ll be holding it in one hand while touching yourself inappropriately within a week!

new thing in cartons – fire engines

I got up around eight and ripped into ‘Light entertainment’, completing around two thousand words, which is the majority of the first chapter.

Perhaps more importantly, I used scrivener for the first time.

Obviously, on my first outing, I’m only using a fraction of its capabilities (and, although dragging ‘n’ dropping files from open office is a walk in the park, it doesn’t recognise either apostrophes or inverted commas).

However, as I mentioned the other day, it was high time I started using something new for the writing process.

I’ve been looking at tablets for the last couple of days, not seeing anything particularly special. Maplin are doing a reasonable one for under a ton and orange had an offer on (which ended on Saturday) that looked pretty groovy – but were out of stock by the time I got there.

The bleakberry’s still on its last legs, so I’ll need something – I’m just trying to work out whether I need some sort of payment plan or if I could get away with a wifi-only model.

And on a cheery (and cheesy) note, I was introduced yesterday to Donovan’s ‘Cosmic wheels’ LP.

Imagine, if you will, that Marc Bolan led Tyrannosarus Rex down the electric path, but instead of discovering cocaine, he’d taken up LSD instead; that.

A bizarre mix of glam and folk, a number of the rhythms positively reek of T.rex, as do the strings.

1973 was the year I first got into Ziggy Stardust – and subsequently Bowie himself. the year I moved from singles to albums. in fact, I bought my first single, Bowie’s ‘Jean genie’ that year.

Which of course, led me to the stooges (and that old guy who advertises car insurance these days) and Jean Genet.

down down – status quo

Finally made a start on revising ‘Light entertainment’ last night. I’ve been staring at it for the last few days, willing it to rework itself – nothing.

The last year’s taught me that squeezing out a first draft in a month is possible. Hopefully I can now pick up editing in a similar amount of time.

I’m not feeling wildly confident about ‘Light entertainment’ right now. Probably because it was the most difficult one to write.

I’m also looking for a new way to approach the revision process. Starting at once upon a time, I haven’t yet stumbled across any really brilliant sequences – in the first couple of pages.

This feeling of flatness is probably the tail end of my dip after finishing ‘Dystopian’. It’s not been a week yet, so I’m no doubt still experiencing post-novel-disturbance.

The process of telling lies from the inside of an imaginary stranger is so all-encompassing, it takes a few days to come back down from these unnatural heights.

Which reminds me, ‘Dystopian’ was written in the first person, while ‘Light entertainment’ has a lot more characters – and was written in the the third.

I find first person narrative much easier to write in, so there’s a bit of a leap there, too.

Still, I’ve started on the horrible, ungainly bastard now, I might as well finish. and who knows – there may even be some brilliant prose tucked away in there somewhere.

nothing – fluffy

Just couldn’t get going this morning. I woke up around seven and reached for the draft of ‘Light entertainment’ that I started going through last night. nothing. It just wouldn’t come.

So, I changed tack. Had a look on twitter, read through a bit more of the scrivener manual.

It’s only four days since I finished that draft of ‘dystopian’, so it’s only natural I should be having a wee dip just now.

I spent a month inside the skull of my mmc, so it will take at least a week to shake the bastard loose and revert to my own personality.

I have half an idea for another novel, but nothing that really grabs me by the scruff of the face and forces me to write. My UberMuse, exhausted by the process of forcing me to write ‘Dystopian’ all this month, is taking a well-deserved breather.

The plan is, I work on revising ‘The last film’ and ‘Light entertainment’ for the rest of the year while pulling ‘Hassle-home’ together in October before my Mistress UberMuse takes over and forces me to write it in November.

That’s the plan, anyway.

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