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

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Scat’s Excretainment!

evangelist – ut

One of the most terrifying things about writing any novel is the pre-match nerves. It doesn’t matter how many times I put myself through this, every time, it feels like the first time. The demonic voices of common sense and reasonableness rise up inside me, shrieking “you canny do this”, “you’ll never write fifty thousand words in a month” and more disturbingly, “she was only eleven, you twisted old bastard”.

And then, once I force myself through the fire, once I’ve wrung out the first ten thousand or so, ‘my’ characters start taking the law into their own hands. They start spouting words I never thought of putting in their mouths. They display attitudes I hadn’t thought of.

Just this morning, one character launched into a diatribe against nineteen-eighties’ political correctness. I didn’t see that coming. I wanted a group of missionaries to be a bit dodgy and I wanted my MFC to explain this to my MMC. She came up with an amazing story (using bits of a story a mate told me about travelling in Brazil) then shot off into the stratosphere with an incredible tale of missionaries. Christ alone knows where it came from. I don’t even feel I can take the credit for it.

The other week, I mentioned Mike Leigh. His method is to work out the characters with each individual actor bringing in aspects of ten different people as each builds their character up out of parts of these people. When rehearsals start, each of these multi-faceted characters is turned loose on set with the others and the story writes itself.

This is kind of what I’m experiencing just now. All I’ve done is write dossiers for each character – throwing them all in on top of each other is bringing the whole thing to the boil.

Meanwhile, back in the other reality, ‘Scottish’ Labour is still in freefall and in a poll last week, were there a general election tomorrow, fifty-two percent would vote SNP. If you’re reading this anywhere except Scotland, this might not mean much, but I have never in my life voted for anyone except Labour. It’ll take a pretty good sex scandal to talk me out of voting SNP next year and the year after. And there’s plenty of us.

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degenerated man – pink military stand alone

So Jim Murphy’s celebrating his win as most despised politician in Scotland by throwing his hat in the ring, hoping to be elected to the country’s finest poisoned chalice – the ‘leader’ of the ‘Scottish’ labour party. And he really is the best choice for the job. If any one politician can unite the whole of Scotland (the country, not just labour’s north British branch office) in returning the SNP next year and the year after, it’s this hambone. The latest polls show the SNP taking the whole of Scotland (were there a general election tomorrow) and, after Project Fear’s excesses, there can’t be much more black propaganda left in the world still left to use.
Oh happy days! The Daily Record (which used to be a newspaper, apparently) is backing Murphy right up to the balls. I got paid this morning, so we better stock up on popcorn.
In other good news, I finished my final character dossier yesterday and loaded the whole lot into Scrivener. So today’s officially designated a day of rest before I return to the coalface tomorrow – and the sky explodes on Saturday. So I’m devoting today to a little shopping, a couple of episodes of ‘Torchwood’ and possibly a spot of sexual activity before the long romantic drought that is NaNoWriMo.
I attended the Fife area meetup the other night. It’s a pretty good feeling of personal reinforcement, meeting some of the other crazed and friendless keyboard-loners. And I didny expect a game of ‘pimp my plot’. Everyone wrote a synopsis of their work, then in turn, each of us scanned each and made suggestions. No idea how much use my probing and personal questions were, let a lone my demand that everybody else ends their opus with a big mushroom cloud too, but at least two of the suggestions I got back will be folded into ‘Regular Guy’ somewhere next month.
It’s odd, trying to come up with a synopsis on the spot like that. All I really have is a few characters and a sort-of setting. A bit like how Mike Leigh approaches his work. Except with more jobbies.

the lap-dance is always better (when the stripper is crying) – bloodhound gang

With the referendum and all, I’ve been writing a lot about politics for what seems like most of the last six months, so as a wee palate cleanser, here’s where the writing’s been going.
This week, I’m working my way through the final polish of the Roger McRoger autobiography I’m working on. This should be out by the end of the year. It’s the first time I’ve ghostwritten anything for anyone, but he seems pleased with what he’s seen so far, so I must be doing something right. Or, he’s too polite to have me whacked or something.
He’s also tasked me with the job of sorting out the cover, since he was so impressed by the ‘1919’ covers. This was during a marathon drinking session (or ‘editorial meeting’) in a strip bar owned by some friends of his a couple of weeks back. Considering I’m the sort of person who goes to fetish clubs and doesn’t look at people, you can no doubt imagine how comfortable I was with that. For the first half dozen pints, anyway. They seemed like really nice people and I hope they were only joking about barring me for life. I didn’t even want a lap-dance and how was I supposed to know she was pregnant, anyway?
I’m also planning next month’s NaNo, a novel about digestion, excrement and plumbing. I’m kreibebe on there. Approach at your own risk.
I had some ideas and assembled them into some sort of an order, then went back and pulled, stretched and crushed it into an outline that made some sort of sense. This is a whole new ballgame for me – a novel with a beginning, a middle and an end. God knows where that’ll end.

there isn’t anything else – wreckless eric

The situation whilst I’m on holiday with my Partner: generally, I’m exhausted when I arrive. Too knackered for anything more than Radio Six and unconsciousness. We blobbed about half-nine, caught some of the Wreckless Eric session on Gideon Coe before everything went black. She goes out to work, leaving me a list of jobs to do before she gets back. I come round sometime after nine, intersperse the work with the writing, before taking a drift into town for some shopping. I’m writing this in a noisy boozer, surrounded by shouting occasional singing and horse-racing. Lots of horse-racing.
I’ve gone through the whole of Scat’s Excretainment this morning. Two solid hours of decaffeinated coffee and mind-mapping, a whole year of fiction-blogging, ground down into half a dozen or so sheets of gaily coloured paper. I have to say, I’m feeling pretty damn positive about it right now. Knitting together all the characters and disparate sub-plots can do that to a guy!
It’s been a pretty productive day. I’m on top of what I set out to do (both on a mundane level and a creative one) and tonight Mistress has said she wants to be fed, bathed and pampered. The beer’s almost finished and Farmfoods beckons.

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