On Real Life, How it can Through You for a Loop, and the Inspiration that Sometimes Comes from That

I know. It’s been a while. I think that, perhaps, this blog may end up being just one post a month because I feel that lately, I never really have anything good to write to for it. This blogs is meant to be about words, my words, and my words seem to be going no where at the moment, and all I want is to share my words with the world and for hopefully, maybe some one, somewhere else, reading my words and liking them.

In my dreams, those dreams that every aspiring writer has, I manage to be like Sir Terry Pratchett. I am witty, and my words flow from my mind because Narrativa has blessed me to tell the stories who these characters who want to be known. My fandom is intelligent, wide, and made up of the most generous and loving people that I could hope for a fandom to be. They speak discuss the issues that are weaved into my stories, and they help to make change on the world in a peaceful way.

Maybe I have that type of character in me. Maybe I have those stories in me. I’ll never know until I actually start writing them, and begin to start them with the world, with you! To anyone who reads this blog, I do thank you, boring as it must be for you to read. I will get somewhere with genuine content, I promise. Until then…

We are the poets, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

Maybe I should be a Willy Wonka in my attitude to writing…

New Year, New Ideas

And yet none of them seem to result in any actual writing. Well, I tell a lie. I have written a little, it’s just never as much as I would like to do. Mostly, I have been considering stories that are in the public domain. I’m not entirely sure as to why I have been considering these stories, apart from the idea of writing with these characters interests me. Yes, it may just be glorified fan-fiction, but on the other hand, if it’s well written is there really anything to complain about there? Fan-fiction is, after all, undertaken due to love of a media product and people put the effort in for no reward other than perhaps others saying that they like the work.

I’ve also found myself considering the works of Shakespeare. Here’s a thing; I really enjoy Shakespeare’s work, even if there’s only a small handful that I actively watch or read again and again. I am well aware that the language, however, can be a major disadvantage when trying to appeal to a modern audience. Which is a pity really because if there is one thing that Shakespeare really understood, it was how to tell a good story. He knew his characters as more than just characters written down on a page, they were people fully realised, and audiences delighted in seeing what would happen to them.

There’s a correlation between these two wonderings of mine, and it’s something I’ve been thinking on for a while. My all time favourite Shakespeare play is Much Ado About Nothing, and what is that but the layout of a modern day rom-com? Could I do a modern version of it? The characters can stand on their own; they’re not so encrusted in their setting that removing them from it would remove all that we love. But would aspects of the story work now, in our modern thinking society? Maybe. Probably. I couldn’t really say for certain – though some web series adaptations of classic literature show that yes, yes these stories do work well in contemporary times.

Would it work for me though? … Guess I’ll just need to find out.

NaNoWriMo 2014

Otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. This is an event that takes places in November, yearly, and can be easily signed up for on their website. I’ve entered the past few years, but due to obligations with other work, I’ve never been able to finish a piece. This year, so far, there is nothing impeding my NaNo month.

There’s always a lot of advice going round for this month, and most of it seems to take the form of: “don’t edit, just write.” There is a lot of good sense in that piece of advice. If the aim is to write a whole novel within the space of a month, there isn’t really a lot of time to be fussing around with the editing of the piece. The idea behind NaNo, as far as I understand it, is to let people get their creativity on without feeling the need to be precise first time around; that’s what the other eleven months are for.

So, what’s my plan for this year’s novel? Mostly working on a story idea I’ve had for a while and have made vague attempts at writing down. Mainly, I plan to attempt to see the whole month through; I’ve never done it before and I’d really like to be able to say I’ve completed it at least once in my years of taking part.

That being said, you might not hear much from me during the NaNo month, but I’ll do my best to pop in and give an update once every so often. To everyone taking part: good luck, and happy writing!

On Superheroes

I’ll admit, I’m a fan of the superhero genre. You might have even guessed that I do have a novel idea based around superheroes and it’s not anything special. It’s just basically me playing with a genre that I enjoy reading about and seeing what I can do with the typical tropes and cliches that abound in it. Which brings me to the point of this entry:

Is there anything left that can be done with superheroes?

I’ve read deconstructions, reconstructions, parodies, homages, and anything else you can think of. I’ve watched similar, and I have paused while writing my own story to wonder: well what’s left? It’s actually a question that has to be asked about every type of story that any writer chose to set their mind to now. There is a saying that there are no original stories left, but rather new iterations on old themes. Okay, say that’s true, what would make my iteration so much different from any other other there?

And that’s the question that comes for everything I write. It’s not something that makes me want to stop writing. Far from it, it seems to spur me on. The basic idea may have been seen before, but if I can make my version seem interesting to someone other than myself, then surely I’ve done something right in my writing? Who knows, really? It’s just something that I can’t help but wonder while I write.

Speaking of which, I really need to get into a better writing process than writing so many words then deleting them out of frustration.

Considering Characters

When I’m writing prose, I always seem to end up with the same thought in my head: how do people come up with their characters? Personally, I find that sometimes they just seem to appear fully formed in my head and that as I write I discover more and more about them. There’s a saying that the story writes itself, the writer just helps it along, and I think that’s very true. I think it would be more correct to say characters write themselves, and just let the writer know what’s happening once in the while.

I know, I know, it sounds a little odd, but it’s something that has been on my mind while I’ve been working on a piece for a charity anthology and my own personal work. I keep re-writing the opening of my own personal work, actually, because I never seem to be all that happy with it. Most of which comes down to the characters.

I worry that they won’t come across as well to others as they’re coming across to me. Am I describing them too much or not enough? Is this quirk of personality okay, or does it seem a bit too much considering everything else about the character? There’s so many questions and thoughts regarding them going on in my mind that it’s little wonder I actually find the time to write anything about them.

But, considering it all, I don’t think I would have it any other way. I like knowing that my characters cause me to think so much. It’s their way of letting me know that I need to work on them more, that I’m making sure they’re coming across as people and not just cardboard cut-outs. I can only hope that others will like them, but I do, and I think right now, that that’s enough.

Because if you can’t like your characters, who can?

Facing the Block

This is something that is happening far more often than I would like, as of late. I’m going through another bout of writer’s block. Many people will ell you the best way to get through the block is to force yourself to write through it; I’m going to have to be contrary here. On those occasions I force myself to write through the block, I often end up hating everything I’ve written, and delete it the next time I look at it. In the end, no progress is made, and I just end up angry at my work, which isn’t fair to it.

It’s not that I stop writing completely. I write, it just happens that it’s never more than a sentence or two at a time during a period of writer’s block. What I do find myself doing is reading a lot more, and watching things for inspiration. Anything to try to light that spark again and get my back to my writing. At this current writing? It hasn’t happened yet, though I’ve been idly playing with the idea of a modernisation of Robin Hood. As in, Robin Hood set in contemporary times, not trying to take the original setting and make it more ‘cool’, for wanting of a better phrase. I mean, the BBC did that and while it was harmless fun… well, the last season wasn’t so much on the side of fun.

And that’s another contributing factor to my writer’s block, I would think. Ideas spinning round my head and refusing to settle into something that I can actually use and work with. That being said though… I think just worked out the next little bit of the current in-progress story. There’s another thing that helps: discussing the block.

Now, just to get over it.

An Introduction

Introductions can be among the hardest things in the world to write. The idea of them is to sum up whatever it is your describing and to – in most cases – give it the most positive outlook you can in as few words as possible. Trying to turn this on yourself can be something entirely different and difficult to produce in what you hope is an accurate manner. The best to place to start, I think, would be with a simple ‘hello’.

This is my author blog. Though technically speaking, I prefer the term writer to author. I write every day, I do not authorise things. But such is the nature of words, which is what the writing thing i all about. The right combination of words to make the right story that we – the writer – wants to tell you – the reader. Looking over at my bookshelves from where I’m sitting, I can see that there is predictable taste sitting there, and I wonder sometimes if that’s to my determent. But then I move on because that type of thinking does not get the words written.

With this blog, my main hope is to somehow track my writing progress, and hopefully finish a novel or at least a novella. I aim to hopefully have an update at least once a week, and I may even try to post excerpts from works on here. Granted, these excerpts will probably be deleted scenes from the finished product. Sometimes they may not be, however, but we will see.

We will see. That sums up my attitude, I think, I don’t know what the future holds, but I can guess that I’ll probably still be writing, even if only for my own enjoyment. But if I can make one other person out there interested in the stories I have to tell, I think I’ll be doing pretty well.

Z.