Long time no post – Part three: “Shit son, seven months…”

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The book is dragging on by knuckle skin and tendon splinters.  63,000 words or something; it’s not about the words anymore (it was never about the words). I have three important topics to cover. The editing, the contest and the future. Let us start with the start.

The Editing

I’ve never edited anything for this long (and I trained as a video editor). The book has lost all meaning and I have been bored of several chapters several times over. I’ve taken the obligatory ‘month off’ to recoup and re-evaluate. It did help but only felt like a temporary fix.

My outlook has changed now Another friend has offered to help and they happen to be someone who is critical. It feels a good time to seek advice and my writing is benefiting from this approach. My first ten chapters have never been better. Some chapters have been moved and the whole text flows a lot more than it has ever done. It’s starting to make sense and it doesn’t need me constantly chiming in with exposition–because it’s all in the blood text! To create a science fiction world isn’t just about ideas, you need to really sell it as a genuine situation.

And then bam, I realised that I’m enjoying working on my book again.

So that ends this post, I’ll post about the contest tomorrow (If I remember).

Laters,

Kyle Carter

 

I’m not sure if I’m writing Science Fiction

FutureGrimInfo Pinning down genre is a tricky thing. I always assumed what I was writing was a Science Fiction novel. It’s set in space, there are ships that travel faster than light and new planets have been colonized. However I’m not writing another Star Trek/Wars/Gate. I enjoy that genre but I’ve always found it to be riddled with accepted cliches. Some good and some bad, never the less baggage of the genre.

My story focuses on corporations, the fight between exploitation and utilising the population. In many ways it’s a warped reflection on the current state of the world (especially the UK). The fact it’s set on different worlds and in space isn’t the main focus of the plot. The characters in my book find being in space a bit mundane. Of course there is a risk of alienating the reader, however I have certain elements to keep the characters relatable.

Then the dark comedy rears it’s head, making deciding the genre even harder. I begin to wonder if I need a genre, which I always answer in my head with ‘of course you do’. So I dip back to the drawing board and begin to look at Spy-Fi (awful name), Thriller, Mystery and Action. I always end up feeling that my book has these, or elements of them. Surely my book can’t be everything? So I’m back to Science Fiction. I’m not sure if there is a relevant genre, I guess I will have to wait for a few friends to read it to see what they think fits.

Book wise I’ve just hit 60k words, which isn’t bad. I’m just focusing on getting words down (I’ve already got a plan and know what I want to happen). I’m struggling getting the enthusiasm to write the last few pieces. I’m pretty sure it’s a mix of feeling my work is inadequate and the limited joy of writing the end of a story.

Till next time,

Kyle

Break your ‘Writers Dam’

FutureGrimInfo

I’m very much in the mindset of ‘if you can control your negative thoughts then you can control your actions’.

A great example of this is previously I always struggled with writing in afternoons. I’d tell myself that I could only write in the morning or evenings; the afternoon was a strange time usually filled with game of thrones or chores (the former is more prevalent).

Then I looked at how I worked in a different mindset. That everything I did was self created. I wasn’t coming up against a writer’s block, but a writer’s dam. A self created construct that I can destroy whenever I feel like it.

This has empowered me to the point that I can write in a spare half an hour or even the afternoon. What was once a flaw became something I could defeat, and it made me excited to write.

I suggest next time you are faced with writer’s block is to understand that it is only a mental construct. You have the power to knock down the dam at any time if you bring enough imaginary gunpowder! (or, for the more peaceful folks, maybe have a protest to get the dam closed down? I’m sure someone could come up with a creative way to render a dam unusable).

On the topic of my book, I hit 50,000 words today! Chapter 11 is coming along nicely and I’m deciding how many more I’m looking to write.

Till next time,

Kyle

My motivation to write a book

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Like some people in their early twenties, I was suffering from a lack of motivation. I’d get up in the morning and have no enthusiasm to get on with writing. Maybe I’d make a logo, or figure out the backstory of an obscure character. It was all jobs relating to my book, but none of it was important. My 12,000 words sat still with no additions.

For a while I blamed it on the lack of ideas for the middle of the story. I had the beginning written and it felt good, it flowed and introduced the world.  My end stood far away in the distance, but was clear in my mind. The middle however was a jumble of scraps, nothing really interesting was happening. It was just a journey to the end. What I needed to do was buckle down and plan, figure out all the nuances that would propel my story from being a boring trog into an interesting read.

I’m not trained in creative writing, but I have a lot of experience in generating ideas and I feel I know some of what it means to create a good story. Of course these are all skills that can’t be taught, things you learn over a long period of time after trial and error. One of the lessons I learnt was from my time at college. My tutor always told me to never stick with your first idea. I’ve written a few episodes of two different sitcoms and a comedy series for radio. I couldn’t hold onto the world, I had no feeling and no connection to my stories. Everything centred around comedy and a big problem I found was creating meaning in comedy. It’s only recently that doing something a bit more serious came to mind. Opening up my horizons to the idea of a world not hemmed in by jokes. I set out to create something a bit more grim.

Early last year a friend of mine (Sam Bowhay) told me he was writing a book. Not only that, it was serious and contained characters rather than just jokes. Before that point in time writing a book had seemed like an alien concept to me, but suddenly something clicked. It was weird, we had worked on comedy scripts together in the past and I have ended up spending a huge chunk of my time writing dialog and coming up with comedic concepts. However it was only when he mentioned writing that it suddenly felt like something I could do.

Writing a book was now a plausible idea and an outlet for my mind. Videos are an amazing experience, but they are limited by budget. Radio drama can be very engaging but that all depends on the cast.

I approached Sam Bowhay with the prospect of me writing a book for his world. Which in hindsight seems like a silly idea. He was writing a historical epic set in an alternative world, not my cup of tea at all. The plan was for me to write characters that would then appear in both of our books. It was an interesting idea but it wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped. The world was limited by someone else, my ideas already trifled before they had begun. I found myself in the same situation I had tried to escape while making videos (I even dabbled at doing a stand up show, which was a moderate success). In reality I think Sam got me so excited that I forgot to write about something I liked.

It all lead to me to build up concepts for a sci-fi book, which was something I really wanted to do. I was working on both the Sci-fi and the historical book. Building on concepts and writing ideas. I ended up feeling bogged down. Sam was not as motivated as me and he had his own writing troubles (making it too complicated) and I felt like the historical novel should be put on hold. Tips I had read online confirmed it, ‘only work on one project at a time’ and ‘focus your ideas’.

I’ve ended up reaching 35000 words as of 4th Jan 2014 and I’m about to start chapter eight tonight. If anyone is writing all I can say is to keep your focus on the idea you care about and concepts that you are actually interested in. For too long I worked on projects to create a cheap laugh when really all I wanted to do was tell a story of anger and hidden oppression. Sure it’s a big leap, but it’s defiantly one I’d do again.

I hope to write more on here, I just need to make some time to do it.

Kyle.