Sunday, 27 July 2008

First you get the credit

For those of you that kept up with the Waterstone's What's Your Story competition, it was a surprise to no one that I didn't win. I did quite like the winners, especially The Day a Robot Appeared in the Vegetable Patch.

But, I did promise to post up my entry on the blog if I didn't win, so you'll be able to find it at the bottom.

The novel is still going. Really tired of it at the moment. "What? It needs even more work?" I cry. I really, really, really want to work on something else but I really, really, really shouldn't. Yes, there's still a lot of work to be done, yes, I could never get a penny from it in the end. But it needs to be done. I just need to man up and slog on.

Of The Father is now going to Revolution SF. I went through a long list of mags suggested by the Horror Writers Association, starting with the pro mags, then the pro zines, then the semi-pro mags, then the semi-pro zines. I judged all the ones I thought might like Of The Father on the following criteria a) who else have they published? b) How much do they pay? c) does the mag look good?

Revolution SF pays nothing and looks, well it's just text on a screen pretty much, but they have published Gene Wolfe in the past and it's kudos like that I'm looking for. Cash is nice but it's credit I need, I just hope cash will one day follow.

Anyway, here is the story. I hope you enjoy.



By Grey Freeman

I was waiting for you to leave, a small smile touching my lips as I watch the last of you switch off the lights, slipping the bookshop back into dark velvet.

The books began to talk; the sports biographies catcalling from their shelves, wolf whistling to the blushing romance novels.

My friends, the children’s books, whisper “DON’T!” as I sneak out from between my pages and the shop falls into horrified silence as my pen begins to murmur across the card left behind on the dark shop counter.

It is not our place, we books, to create. Ours is to perform, to re-enact our stories for you again and again. But tonight, I am free to read and to imagine. While you are gone, I am free to write.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Stone in my Hand

A late post. I was in Barcelona, dancing it up.

I've just finished a rather bad book. It's not out yet but it will be (in the US at least). I won't name names, I'm not that mean, the author spent time making something and I'm sure they loved doing it. But I hated it.

I thought the idea was mediocre and the characters under developed. I didn't care about them and never actually understood their motivations or anything about the world they inhabited. It was lazy and ill-conceived with characters doing odd things and making odd decisions just so they could progress the plot along, their choices leading to capture or stumbling across important plot points they wouldn't have found otherwise. Anyway, it was very bad and it annoyed me that it actually has been picked up by a large US publishers.

What's worse is that after I finished it I picked up my own manuscript to work on it. I'm currently rereading chapters 21-25 to give them a polish. But when I looked at it it was like 'The dirt's still on me! The dirt's still on me!' I became terrified that I might be making all the same mistakes. I don't think I am. I hope I'm not. I try hard to get across my characters points of view, I rewrite whole chunks according to how I think my characters would react, letting them drive the plot, not the other way around.

I suppose there's a thin line between good writing and bad writing. Maybe, what I didn't like about the book was the author's flimsy grasp of story structure and not their actual writing. In short, I'm not sure if I can throw stones, I'm checking my walls to make sure they're not made of glass.

I'll just have to have confidence that what I'm doing is better.

Anyway, the novel is progressing, heard nothing from TT so I assume that's progressing nicely and I haven't heard from Waterstones. I'm beginning to think I haven't won. Oh, well, I'll post my entry on the blog as soon as its confirmed I didn't.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Joy of Admin

Hello again.

Another short post.

Things are ticking along nicely, writing (a bit too slowly for my liking) some new scenes for Act Two at the mo with an eye for cutting out a whole bunch later on when I reach them. After watching Hancock, which I thought could have been amazing but it didn't develop its ideas, I decided to lose an entire character from the story so I have to go back and rewrite bits of Act One to omit them.

Now I have to go write a short bio for Twisted Tongue.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Middle of the Road

Hello all.

As of this morning, I semi-officially reached the halfway mark of the novel. I still need to look back over my last stint of work and much will still need to be changed but I'm happy with what I've done (I said that about it in the first draft, but still).

Looking into the second half of Act Two now. Much needs to be done, things set up for part three and generally cutting out bits that have been altered by new events in the first half. It's all very daunting, but hey, I'll worry about that in the morning.

Nice to reach a landmark.

Other than that, I've not heard any more from Twisted Tongue. I'm assuming that means that everything is fine and Waterstones have yet to get in touch but haven't declared the winners yet so I'm also thinking of that as a good sign.

I'm all about the optimism.

Also, friend Rob has another poem in the TLS this coming Thursday. Bravo to him. I may poison him at the barbeque next weekend. Someone has to stop that poetry-writing juggernaut.