Sunday, April 19, 2015

The future

Do you ever get the feeling that the future is about to happen? Do you know what I mean? We all spend so much time planning for the future that we often miss the now but that's not my point today. Are you prepared for when the future you planned for arrives? Maybe you have a dream job you want to get, or there's a special holiday that you've planned for the last two years. Maybe you are focused on finishing a degree or a course you started just because you are interested in the subject matter.

You plan and prepare and imagine and then one day that future is no longer a small spot on the distant horizon but it's right here and now. This is not to say that my future that I planned for is here - it's not, sigh. But today I felt as though it's almost here. I'm not sure if it's the future I'm planning for even, I just felt that a momentous event is coming, and it's all to do with this book.

This book that I wrote in just under four weeks - 80 000 words in less than four weeks, how driven is that? Is it utter drivel, to be written so quickly? I don't think so. In fact I think it's good, the best thing I've written so far. This book has been coming together in my head since Christmas, and while certainly the threat of complete penury has increased my productivity considerably, I believe I would have written it just as quickly without that threat.

The fact is that I have been writing every day for over a year now and the practice is starting to show. I can write for longer periods, I have a better understanding of how to make every word count and to maintain the story arc and I am a better writer. I think that in future all of my books will be written in this way - circumstances allowing for seven to nine hours of writing time a day of course.

So have I sent it off to agents? No of course not, now it's time to edit and write the synopsis, that dreaded thing that I hate so much. I've just finished my third re-write of the synopsis, and of course there are more to go. I'm excited about this book, I hope I like it just as much when I re-read it in a week or so. I like it so much that I want to send it off to agents right now, even though that would be a very dumb thing to do. I need to polish both the synopsis and the book, but I'm impatient to get it sent off.

I have the tag line, and I have the title. The title is Letters to Myself, and the tag line I'll keep for now in case I change it as the synopsis progresses. This is not paranormal, this book is women's fiction (not a sexist thing to say, it's a genre). It's a kind of anti Fifty Shades of Grey, without giving away too much of the plot. And I'm not saying too much about the plot just in case I read it in a weeks time and decide to have a huge re-write. Once I'm happy with it and it's off to agents I'll let you know more about it.

Once it's sent off I'll be back to writing the prequel for Zora's Dawn. I should have written that first since I have that book finished. If I self published Zora's Dawn before starting on Letters I could be making some of that money that I so desperately need to survive. So why didn't I do it that way?

I don't know if it's just me or if it's all authors, but the writing process for me is a mystery - to me. Letters has been cogitating away in the recesses of my mind for over three months, and Zora's Dawn and the prequel have been in the forefront of my mind. And yet I woke up one day with Letters fully formed in my head and a driving need to get it written down. I started that day and kept on writing until it was finished.

I don't know where any sort of ability comes from - whether it be writing, drawing or designing a house. For me, it just comes. I know I need to write and I sit down and words flow from my fingers. Where do they come from? They stream out of that swirling multicoloured bundle of words in my head. Where does that swirling bundle come from? I have no idea. It's just there, always has been. It drains away when I write, and is back again in the morning. It's so dense that I can't see any but the occasional individual word but they flow from my fingers in rational order onto the screen. When I write with pen and paper it's the same only frustratingly slower.

So here I am, still poorer than a church mouse, as my granny used to say. But today I have the feeling that things are about to change and I don't know how or why. Just that the future, that nebulous thing that we all look towards, has taken a big step closer.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Just a little vent

Guys, I usually steer clear of all things controversial, mainly because I have long held the belief that you can't change another persons mind unless they wish it to happen. Therefore postulating on a subject is either boring or inflammatory and ultimately a waste of time.

However I feel very strongly about this particular theme, so please indulge me while I have a small vent. It's nothing specific, it's a general trend that I find disturbing and annoying. It's the habit people - and I'm not pointing the finger at anyone here, I'm just speaking in a world wide kind of way (that's a play on words by the way, you'll get it in a minute) -... I digress. It's the habit people have formed of sharing information that is usually inflammatory in nature without lifting a finger (quite literally) to check on their sources and on the veracity of the information they have just shared.

It doesn't matter what it is; whether it's religious, political, human interest, animal care, whatever - if you don't make sure your sources are sound you could well be spreading a load of codswallop. There are trolls on the internet folks (get it? internet, world wide web, world wide way, ok well it was kind of weak), and they spread misinformation for a number of reasons. Sometimes it's political, sometimes it's personal, sometimes it's nothing more than mischief making.

It can be very plausible, the best kind of fiction is extremely plausible which is fine in a book, but not when it is aimed at a gullible, lazy or restless public. People don't check their facts and/or sources for a variety of reasons too. Maybe they are completely gullible and believe everything they read, maybe they have their own agenda and want to believe it so badly that they choose not to check their facts, maybe they too are mischief makers and love to spread misinformation just because they can.

With the internet comes ease of sharing. With ease of sharing comes responsibility. It is YOUR responsibility, dear reader, to disbelieve everything you read unless it comes from a reputable source and even then check the facts. It's not hard to do. If you read something that you think needs to be shared with the rest of the world, before you hit that 'share' button go onto Google and check your facts. Don't just go to the website that purported to disperse this information, go to a number of different websites. It's all too easy to make a website and to design it to look legitimate and trustworthy. Go to as many websites as you can find, and try to find reputable websites. If they all say the same thing then by all means hit that 'share' button. But if you find discrepancies then it is your responsibility to chase that information, to persist until you are certain you have found the truth. If the truth matches your information, go ahead and hit the 'share' button. But if you can't be sure, if you can't find anything definite one way or the other - don't do it.

Cyber bullying is on the rise, mass bullying of businesses and individuals for no other reason than a campaign to discredit them. The campaign may be accurate, it also may be a complete fallacy. You, the public, have a responsibility to NOT be part of a cyber bullying campaign. Yes, report and share injustice, cruelty, and any other form of bad behaviour. But be sure first that you are not being used by an individual or a group for their own agenda, which has very little to do with the thing you believe you are showing to the world.

Think, dear readers, be responsible, be cautious, be careful. The world is full of people trying to change the world for the better and it is also full of people with the opposite aim. The latter will use and abuse the former whenever and however they can. So, before you hit the 'share' button - research research research. Use you head, not your emotions.

Rant over *hops off soapbox*

Any other news? I'm writing, the new book that will not let me rest. I'm writing an average of 5000 words a day. I'm halfway through it already and it has such a strong hold on me that I'm doing very little else. I'm not even drawing. This book is taking up all of my time and most of my head. Even the words that swirl around in my brain seem to be flowing into the book. At the end of the day I don't even have a script running in the forefront of my mind, nor do I have any words swirling in circles. The colours in my mind that blend in with the circling words are gone too. At the end of a writing day my head is empty. It's the strangest feeling, and I feel a bit like a zombie without the script and the colours and the words. I sleep much better though, and when I wake the words and colours and script are back.

Basically, I was born to be a writer and now that I'm living what I was destined to do I'm so much more at peace with myself. Whatever you were born to do, find it and live it - it will change your life, I promise.

Yes, Mark Twain did really say this - I checked