It’s been a fairly intense couple of months what with writing a book (currently sitting on 90,000+ words) and essays for school. This being the case, there’s been very little happening on the blog of late (save for the Spiderman 2 review I wrote a couple of weeks ago).
I’m hoping to write more as the days pass by, perhaps on the return of Orphan Black, the farewell to season 3 of Person of Interest and anything else that comes along. But for now, I’m pegged with a school essay that I really should have started sooner.
But as the great person says, c’est la vie.
The book, though, has been the most fun I’ve had on my own for ages, which may mark me down as an extremely unadventurous soul of course… The book has been sitting on my computer in one form or another for about 4 years and I had never been able to finish it. 50,000 words sat there waiting until I finally had a brainwave, contacted a good friend in England and asked what she was up to with her book.
The answer: nothing. In fact, she’d given up. Same as me really. All the "stuff" I’d been doing, volunteer work, work work, study, relentlessly tidying my DVD collection, had gotten in the way of the creative spark that I needed to express.
In the old days, when we were both in the same hemisphere, and indeed, the same city, we would hide-out in various cafes and locales around town and write at each other. This seemed a way forward for us both and we began way back in January with a a tag team effort; she wrote a chapter and so did I. We sent something at the end of each week and kept each other motivated.
That’s the thing that’s the hardest when you’re slaving over a hot microprocessor: the motivation. What does it actually matter that I keep writing my masterwork? Well, there are people out there who would laugh at this suggestion, but for me and my friend, it was a real hindrance. So by writing for each other, we found the motivation to keep going and work on our books.
I finished my second draft last week, but my friend is in her umpteenth edit, and finding it hard to motivate herself, what with running a small business and other valuable non-writing distractions. Her book is really cool, and a total departure from the now stereotypical Vampire/Wizard stuff that’s been floating around since Harry Potter zapped into existence. It’s a young adult Science Fiction book, featuring a strong female protagonist as main character, a very cool AI (Artificial Intelligence), and space mystery a-go-go.
So, send her some love and give her some encouragement, because we need more female lead characters in sci-fi!
Me on the other hand, well, originally the story was a brain dump, with characters turning up at random to make things happen. There was a great confrontation at the end and then the story collapsed on itself. Upon re-reading, this made no sense and indeed, the Spiderman 2 script resembled this situation: characters acting in unrealistic and uncharacteristic ways. I put on my +2 boots-of-kicking as a result of this situation and expressed my displeasure with this state of affairs.
Basically if you make your characters one thing, and they change for the sake of a quick laugh or to make something happen in the story, you’re being lazy. You might have been able to get away with that crap in the 90’s, but it’s a brand new decade and people notice when your character does something idiotic. Intelligent people doing really dumb things in relation to their stated area of expertise is not good writing.
So with the recent draft, I’ve justified every single character interaction. If they’re somewhere, they have to be there for a reason. Why are they doing this? I needed the characters to behave like real people.
So onward and upward for the third draft. If you’d like a read, let me know.