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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Blog - 15/01/13

Happy New Year then people!

This month I’ve been looking back at the first novel I started, code named WTR. I’d written ten of projected thirtyish chapters that had been redrafted a few times. I have to say, the sheer size of it was enough to inspire me – I’ve been flitting between so many different smaller projects recently that it was nice to handle something with a bit of weight to it! The first time I sat down to read it I was feeling pretty tentative, just how far had I come in my progress as a writer?

I remember the very birth of this story, sat on the floor in the hallway outside my room, blinded from a setting sun shining through my window as I squinted vacantly at an empty pad of paper and twiddled a pen in my hand, challenging myself to just write something, anything down. A lot of people will tell you the hardest part of writing is in the starting. This was a perfect example of that. I’d decided I wanted to be a writer having just dropped out of university and not really knowing where my future lay. I knew I didn’t want to do something conventionally nine-to-five for the same reason I dropped out, so something alternative was needed. It happened to coincide with a time I’d fallen back into love with reading after a lengthy absence, so I guess it just seemed to fit. I’ve always considered myself a story teller more than a writer, knowing how I want the journey to go in my head but worrying about how competently I could paint the picture, and this read through was a chance to see it firsthand.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with it! Obviously there was some uncomfortable, cringe inducing moments that left me squirming through sections at a time, but you’d expect that. At the same time I actually caught myself laughing aloud at moments of humour (I’d describe it as a light hearted crime thriller) which can only be a good thing right? My descriptive work was the biggest surprise to me though, I definitely think it’s something I’ve lost in later projects. This throws up two damning questions.

1.       Has my writing style changed so much that it’d be noticeable and therefore unworkable in completing the story?

I sure hope not, though there’s going to have to be a fair amount of tailoring to ensure it reads fluently as one entire project and not some bit part session piecing. Some of the notes were dated at September 2009. Gulp.

2.       Have I gotten worse?!

Practice is supposed to make perfect, but I found this story far superior to anything I’ve produced recently. I have to factor in the affinity for a first love / first car effect, but some of the technique and layering I’ve used just makes me wish I still naturally wrote like that. I started writing short stories as a way to improve and gain some basic level of following for my writing but I’m starting to fear it may all have turned out to be detrimental. Not so much room for layering, description and retrospective clues when you have a (for me) miniscule word limit, I hope I haven’t lost them as a natural element in my writing. Some reassurance that my writing hasn’t gone to pot in the comments would be welcome here guys ;) haha.

I can see why I took a break from writing this story though. I stopped drafting because the plot ahead got really tangled and confusing, with missing elements and things that weren’t quite working. A fresh perspective has been good though, just as I had planned, and I’ve figured quite a lot out now behind the scenes. Starting actual drafting again is not too far over the horizon. As always my attentions will be split between this and something else though. I’ll be releasing a short story I entered into competition a while ago and will be developing the full version of it for actual purchase! The short version will be available on here for free some time before the next blog post! New content! Can you believe it?! I hope you’re all hitting 2013 as fast as I am! Haha. Until next time, buh-bye!


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