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My current writing projects...

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Quatermass View Drop Down
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: My current writing projects...
    Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 11:22am
So, it's well past due that I talk about my current and past writing projects. While I don't like to give details because I'm a major paranoiac, I also like to talk about how my writing is going, so I can rant and rave on this site like a *expletive* lunatic.
 
Anyway, I have one, and precisely one, work done more or less to my complete satisfaction. It is a science fiction epic that is in the mould of Blake's 7, with hints of the Doctor Who spinoff Faction Paradox.
 
My other writing projects are as follows, in order of priority:
 
1. A homage to The Quatermass Experiment and A for Andromeda, with a touch of Solaris, originally intended for the Terry Pratchett Prize, but now being retooled for a different book prize. Science fiction horror.
 
2. An alien occupation story in the mould of the Tripod stories, now being done as a possible entrant for the Terry Pratchett Prize. I've decided on several key aspects, but am still undecided on the setting and tone (either a historical story, or else a futuristic satire of B-movies).
 
3. A fantasy horror book that delves into Irish mythology.
 
4. A cyberpunk story about artificial intelligences. Beyond this, I'm not willing to say.
 
5. Sequels and a prequel to my only satisfactorily completed story.
 
 
So, there you go. Any comments?
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 2:24pm
Laffing you soooooooooo belong on here Q
 
Aside from the obvious observation that there's very little wriggle room for stunning originality in post-modernist SF&F, the genius element lies in the blending and spin and you have some excellently intriguing ideas there. Knowing how you can get blocked with all the frustration that comes with it, I think having a variety of projects on the go is a good tactic for you as it 'lessens the pain' when you do get stuck in one hole you then you can drill down into a totally different strand.
 
Time and inspiration are tricky things to juggle no matter what your circs and the latter's anyway unpredictable no matter how super-creative you are. On here, we all of us have different ways to manage the trauma of blank (screen) pages whether we're going to write, draw or hit it with something sharp - this is a great place to come and b*tch about that or just get some empathy. Solutions are a different matter but we at least appreciate what it's like to get well and truly stuck Wink
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one
will do ~ Thomas Jefferson
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 9:13pm
Thanks.
 
I have no problem with story ideas. It's just story structure that I have trouble with.
 
Now I know how George RR Martin feels. Apparently one of the reasons why the A Song of Ice and Fire series takes so long is that he works on multiple projects simultaneously.
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2012 at 9:03am
Well, it seems like now is one of those times where I am stuck, as I realised some implications of part of the plot weren't thought out as well as they should have been. This is for the first book project listed. I'm still thinking (but lack the motivation or story structure to work on) about the other books.Unhappy
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 1:28am
I'm currently working on project number 3, and not doing too badly!
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 3:35pm

Nuffink like a bit of Irish myff/horror! LOL

Not quite getting what you mean by story structure Q? Is it a question of styling narrative or the tone more (uncompromising satire, gentle quirkiness etc) or the 'voice'?
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one
will do ~ Thomas Jefferson
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  Quote Saranna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 3:51pm
Maybe it's similar to my problem, getting it all to hold together?  I mean metaphorically it's like a building, all the bits have to fit properly or it falls down.  I get lost sometimes in my own subcreated world wondering if a character could really have walked that far in a week, or heck, she's been pregnant for 18 months! 
Story-arc or narrative arc is an intriguing notion, and can demand a lot from both writer and reader - Dr. Who sometimes requires one to remember quite small details from a long way back in order to make sense of what you are watching.  Now as an author, I constantly fear losing my hold on the small details that make sense of what I'm writing.  (I call it the tortoise factor - to see why, read Edmund Crispin's Glimpses of the moon.)
Paranoia is bad for you Quatermass, is it plagiarism that worries you?
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 11:44pm
Paranoia is bad for you? Rincewind would disagree.
 
But it is partly fear of plagiarism, and partly fear of criticism. Although to be fair, I have allowed trusted friends to read and critique my work. One, in particular, is my trusted audience sample, as she enjoys science fiction (she got me onto the Vorkosigan Saga) and her criticisms are ones I take on board.
 
It's also a privacy thing, too.
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 11:51pm
Originally posted by Jano

Nuffink like a bit of Irish myff/horror! LOL

Not quite getting what you mean by story structure Q? Is it a question of styling narrative or the tone more (uncompromising satire, gentle quirkiness etc) or the 'voice'?
 
By structure, I mean putting it all together. Beginnings and endings are fine, it's just that bit in the middle that's the problem.LOL
 
But tone, or at least the themes of the story and how the characters fit in is a major concern when I am dealing with structure. Project 1 has been a major bugbear in that regard.
 
Project 3 is going fairly well.
 
And I shouldn't have said that, because that guarantees something will go wrong.
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  Quote Saranna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 11:27am
Originally posted by Saranna

Jano and a select few other folk have practically free access to a lot of my stuff, and without their input I don't know what I would do, to be honest.  Maybe I've mellowed with Old Age! 
Well you do the same tenfold for me with my grisly little opus. Smile 
 
I've more or less got over the hiatus guilt trip with these last bits now and have some ideas as to how to deal with the bare bones I was going to chuck at it more fulsomely in a 'glorious' winding up end. However what's helped most with getting over the prevaricating scattiness blues is turning to something else that's nice and involved instead - thank the gods for the Tarot project! Ways and means folks and sometimes leaving well enough alone is the best course until you're in a better place to engage properly again. LOL
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  Quote Dagrun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 1:47pm
I have decided to leave the wolf story where it is and start afresh.
Probably a viking story, they make me feel safe.
Failing that a story about a woman with depression, rather like a diary. Has that been done before, does any one know? I want to do it without being influenced by another book.
 
 
Blod skal være min endelige prisen!
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 2:22pm
Sylvia Plath? Wacko 
 
Seriously - something that's so personal and intense is in essence bound to be original but very very difficult to 'sell' outside the realms of true life self-help territory. I've had a kind of a crack at that in short story format for our Dreamless Roads project but while I was in a detached frame of mind? ATM I'd say you'd be better off with your vikings and some security and familiarity with the edge you need to feel strong and leave the angst exploration until you're not so enfurled in it all? Confused Hard to call really because sometimes you can use the big heavy gun emotions quite powerfully, but I'd be wary of it getting too close to home so to speak, lest the demons grab you good and hard...
 
As a plug for our anthology project maybe you could try some 'day in the life' snapshots of your heroes you talked about a while back?
 
Q - Embarrassed sorry we tend to get a bit tangential and personalised in these sorts of threads but it's also a sharing of personal experience and anecdote that can help with new approaches or distractive/holistic exercise along the lines of if you can't write then read something that interests you avenue and let your mind drift for a bit variety...? Paranoia about your writing is one thing but when you start to get obsessive about it then you're in deep doodoo so sidetracking can be a safety valve or at least a shoddy excuse to goof off! Wink
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  Quote Dagrun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 2:33pm
I'll do small extracts relating to the live's of my Heros from my Viking books. There's seven of them so I should be in with a good bash at them!
Anders (Tale-teller) is a little despressive too (after all, he's had an unfortunate life) so perhaps explaining him will help me. 
B*gger it, I won't go to deep into my own problems, I'll never climb out!LOL I refuse to lose my sense of humour!
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  Quote Saranna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2012 at 11:39am
Confused Jano, how comes you turned into me up above when quoting me????
 
Dagrun medear, I do exactly that when stuck with fiction - when I was studying CWriting (after teaching it, guess that was backwards)  I found several quite mundane suggestions really helpful.  The 'life-story' of the various charcters is good, and you can even build up a database of those, saves getting confused as to who you named what, and how they fit in!  (That sort of work is useful but also fairly routine hence good for one in the less creative phases.)  A really good one is to take the questions from one of those Q&A things, e.g. in the Guardian Weekend, and ask your characters those questions! (Save the docs for reference) You'll be amazed what they answer, honestly - and all this routine housekeeping stuff helps clear the way for the next creative burst, builds foundations for it.  Give it a go. 
 
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But great achievements raise a monument
Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
- George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'
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  Quote Dagrun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2012 at 11:52am
I have a card system relating to characters and events in my novel. I find that easier.
 
Saranna,
I am constantly suprised by what my lads get up to. I had several stories all planned out  nicely and they went and did thier own thing. Sometimes I think it is not me writing it at all. Have you ever had that sensation?
 
Should I put a small paragraph at the heading giving a brief resume as to what the story is about and who the characters are?
 
Daft questions but I just need a bit of support as I am not up to my normal brain speed. Hope you don't mind? 
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2012 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by Saranna

Confused Jano, how comes you turned into me up above when quoting me???? 
 
Hell! No! I thought I was quoting and I must have been editing... Embarrassed V.v. sorry for that missus Cry
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 12:11am
...
 
Ahem.
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by Jano

Q - Embarrassed sorry we tend to get a bit tangential and personalised in these sorts of threads but it's also a sharing of personal experience and anecdote that can help with new approaches or distractive/holistic exercise along the lines of if you can't write then read something that interests you avenue and let your mind drift for a bit variety...? Paranoia about your writing is one thing but when you start to get obsessive about it then you're in deep doodoo so sidetracking can be a safety valve or at least a shoddy excuse to goof off! Wink
Well I did say... Embarrassed
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  Quote Quatermass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 12:53pm
I know what you said. But I have some self-righteous indignation to work off.Wobble
 
Anyway, project 3 is currently doing...okay. I have some misgivings about one of the characters, but I think I can fudge it. This work will be about celebrity and fandom, to a certain degree.
 
BTW, as for distracting activities for variety, I am finding Angry Birds to be somewhat stimulating...
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