Yes, I know…
Been a little less forthcoming with blogs the last couple of weeks than I intended. I could apologise – or I could just be honest and say; “you know, life.”
That being said, I haven’t been out of the loop completely – I do happen to have some plans, which include the promised teaser from my current story as well as a sort of guest blog and an interview (actually, those two ideas may well be merged). But more on that later.
I think Dominic and I are at a stage with it where we are beginning to see the big picture with how this whole shebang is going to fit together to be one book when it’s all done. It’s turned into a much bigger project than either of us imagined – or for that matter intended. That’s not to say we aren’t enjoying it. But…
We do need to be careful that we don’t swamp ourselves with the big idea. We need to keep focus where we currently are and keep momentum up on this. So I need to keep my focus on Sam and finish that story. Dom needs to stick with Matt and finish his story before we move on to the other two characters. We also have this week’s challenge to deal with as well (which I shall post later). I need to stop distracting myself (and Dom for that matter) with artwork ideas, or ideas about what to call the whole thing. Those things CAN wait until the end.
But still, this is as far as I got with an artwork idea for the whole thing;
It is of course another form of distraction, and I one I need to be careful of, lol. Creating artwork is a secondary pastime for me (along with creating 3D models… Gaming mods… Tutoring). When I used to do NaNoWriMo, I used to churn the stuff out for myself and friends like there was no tomorrow. In fact, I kind of got caught up on focusing on the artwork a little too much… Which is why I stopped taking part in NaNo. Well, one of the reasons 😉
Humm, that has the potential as another blog idea; artwork. Will have a ponder on that.
More soon folks!
As promised, here’s the follow up to my last bog. Rather than cover old ground, I’d suggest that you read The “Assignment” Challenge – Update before cracking on with this one 😉
Hopefully now that you have read that and are caught up, I can explain a little further what’s going on with this “monster project,” and why it’s actually four stories, but one book.
If the idea of telling both sides of our individual stories, via first person perspective wasn’t complicated enough – the fifth challenge that was set way back on 16 March – The Evil(ish) One – has ended up complicating things for both Dom and myself. If you haven’t clicked on the link and taken a look at the page about that challenge, then in a nutshell we both had to make use of one character from each other’s story for a short part of the narrative, not in a forced contrived way, but in a natural flows with the story way. It was up to us to decide which character we were each going to borrow from each other for this – either our main protagonists, or there love interests. We both opted (without discussing it with the other) to make use of each other’s love interest characters for our story cross overs.
No problem, because it worked rather well for us both.
And this is where it gets complicated…
Having now made the decision to write the other side of our individual stories using these “love interest” characters, we both find that we are locked in to writing the other side of scenes that each of us has created for that challenge. Our stories are now locked together, tied together. They occupy the same universe, are set at the same time. Hell, three of the characters work for the same company (and that too was an accident).
It only seems logical to move forward in a way that treats both stories Here Comes the Rain Again and Magic Carpet as being two halves of one larger story.
We’ve already discussed a possible ending scene that has all four characters in the same place – and even interacting in various ways. Which is why the current part of this challenge (More Plotting) includes a “Create and combine timelines” part.
So much for just being a kick up the bum to get us both back into writing, we had to go and complicate it.
I’m enjoying the process, it is a lot of fun. I think at some stage we’ll have to sit down and come up with some sort of uber title for the whole thing. But that’s something for the future, it’s not important now.
I think I also promised another taste of Sam’s part of the story from Magic Carpet – you’ll have that a little later in the week (promise!).
Until then, go and give my co-conspirator on this project, Dominic Murray, some love.
More very soon!
I’m no stranger to writing challenges/word prompt/set scene’s etc… I’ve done a few in my time, and as a general rule of thumb enjoyed them all.
Back in February when I picked up the phone and called my writing buddy Dom and suggested we do some sort of challenge to get us both out the word funk we were both in, I had no idea – no idea – what it was actually going to turn into. You see, I thought I was going to be writing a short story.
Well… Sort of.
You see, it turns out I’m not writing one story – I’m writing two.
My other half made a suggest a few weeks ago, one that Dom and I have been mulling over, and one I ultimately think we’re actually going to do (hummm, well, ok we ARE doing): write both sides of the stories we’re working on.
Still doesn’t make sense?
Ok, let me explain…
Magic Carpet – my submission to this challenge is a first person perspective story about a guy called Sam and his romance with Cal. But Cal turned out to be a really interesting character in his own right – so why not write Cal’s story too? Yes, they are going to share some major plot points as well as scenes, but, they are going differ as well. And the idea of seeing the story from both sides? Intrigues the hell out of me.
I really like the idea.
So that’s what we’re both going to end up doing, which feeds into to the new challenge that started today: More Plotting. By all means have a look at the linked page, and maybe the others as well to see what we’ve been doing.
And next blog? I’m going to try and explain how both stories (Magic Carpet and Here Comes the Rain Again) are actually going to end up being one bigger novel about four people…
I may even be tempted to post another taster as well…
Long-time no blog for me (a week). I had planned to blog at least every other day, but you know; life.
That, and possibly the hardest writing assignment I’ve had to date: The Scene Unseen.
Trying to get into the head of another character, when your entire story is first person perspective from another characters POV, shouldn’t be that hard. But the truth is, I made Calhoun (the subject I’ve my “scene unseen” assignment) far more interested and complex than I’d initially realised. In some respects I wish “Magic Carpet” had actually been his story – which it’s not sadly. He’s a major player within it, but not the focus – “Magic Carpet” is Sam’s story. It should really be Sam and Cal’s story – but that’s not how it’s working out. Sam has turned out to be rather more selfish than I first thought and is hogging the narrative. He’s also become an asshat as well, *sigh* – it’s not something that I’m surprised about, but I am surprised with how it’s playing out.
If I’m honest… As much as Cal fascinates me, as much as devoting a whole narrative to him would be fun – I’m not actually sure I could do his story justice. You see Calhoun Smith was born Abigale (“Abby”) Smith. And whilst he has been though everything he needed to go through to become “Calhoun” he’s not easy to write, because…
Transgender/sexulisim isn’t a subject I’ve really ever thought that much about in the past.
Hell, it’s not something I’ve ever encountered (as far as I know). The closest I’ve come I guess is the fact that one of my friends was born intersex – his (the decision he made) trials, struggle – and all the surgery he went through… Yeah, it wasn’t easy for him.
When it came to this writing challenge I wanted to do something very different, something that would push me and test my own boundaries; hence Calhoun. Research, fact finding, talking to people… It has been fascinating finding out the practicalities of the physical change – amazing to actually talk to people who have been through (and who are going through) this process. And humbling to find out just how misunderstood they are.
I’m not sure I can do Cal justice even within the context of “Magic Carpet” – but I’m sure going to try.
A small snippet from Magic Carpet, my current project (and my submission/addition?) to The “Assignment” Challenge;
It would be nice to know what it’s short for – Calum I assume, or maybe Caleb or Calvin. Maybe I’ll find out, unless it’s one of those no go areas of conversation, which I guess I’ll find out – if he actually arrives.
Ok, ok, he’s not late – I’m just early. But that means nothing, I have no guarantees that he’s actually going to show… Just one of the many problems with blind dates, and one of the many reasons I hate going on them.
The idea of meeting a complete stranger in a public place? With the whole intention of trying to figure out if a: you actually like them, b: they actually like you and c: if you really have anything in common to talk about – all based on the fact one common person in your lives think you would be ‘great together’ and ‘have lots in common’…
Trust me; it’s always a bad idea.
But, Ste has been real insistent about me meeting this guy – even though I’d made it more than clear that I’m not interested in the whole dating things any more. Why is it so important to everyone else that I’m not with someone? Is society that rigid that everyone has to be part of a couple? Does everyone have to be attached at the hip to someone else?
It’s not like I don’t lack for company, and it’s not like I can’t pull… Sex is easy to get these days, thanks to the internet and all the smart phones apps. ‘Sometimes an interesting guy is just a few feet away ready and waiting for fun…’ The ads are not wrong on that point. Sex isn’t that hard to find if that’s all your after.
Emotional connection? Well… Yes, have been there, done that, got the T-shirt. It didn’t work. Tried it again with someone different, and low and behold it didn’t work again. And it didn’t work a third time either. Infidelity wasn’t an issue; actually, there were no issues… It just… Fizzled out. After the honeymoon period and joy of being together, it just… Faded I guess. The feelings, the emotional connection… I just didn’t feel it any more. They did, oddly enough, but not me.
Maybe I’m not wired that way.
Maybe I’m not a relationship sort of person, I have tried.
Friends, Family – the occasional guy to have some fun with – it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. I’m very happy with the state of my life. This is more about Ste and the fact he’s found ‘Mister Right’ – so naturally all his single friends need to have that happiness too. Of course, by single friends, I mean me – because as far as I know I’m the only one of his friends who isn’t doing the couples thing.
So he keeps setting me up on blind dates.
Last time? I was set up with a straight guy. You’d think, given how much he cares that I’m still single, that he would at least bother to find out something as basic as what side a guy bats for before inflicting him on me.
I don’t know which one of us was more embarrassed… I could understand his confusion; all he’d been told was my name was ‘Sam.’ He thought he was being set up to meet a Samantha not a Samuel – although anyone calling me Samuel, Sammy, or Samantha for that matter, will find themselves on my shit list.
I’m not exactly sure how Ste managed to do it. I mean, how do describe someone without mentioning they’re a he or she? I tried… baffles me. You know? I think he’s doing it deliberately.
Ok, of course he is.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t have set me up with a woman that one time.
Yes, a woman.
Because clearly I must be a closet hetro if I’m not going after any of the guys he’s trying to set me up with, and it nothing to do with his bad choices.
And that brings me back to my current question; what is Cal short for? Cally? Calpurnia? I wouldn’t put it past Ste to set me up with a woman again, given the fact he’s set me up with random guys he’s bumped into in the street (I kid you not), and the plumber who fixed his sink… What was his name again? Mike? I didn’t mind meeting him. That had ended up being a fun night.
Like I say, sex isn’t hard to get if that’s all you’re after.
Currently I’m involved in a writing challenge (details of which can be found -> here). It’s not the first time I’ve done a written challenge and I hope it won’t be my last either. It may well be the longest one I’ve ever done though – but I can live with that. I’d go as far as to say; I like the idea as well.
But all that’s by-the-by – bumph, filler, etc…
What exactly am I writing about?
It’s my old stand by; romance – male-male romance, sort of. As I said in another blog I thought it was time to explore another part of the vast territory that is the romance genre (as well avoid some of the more obvious tropes which the genre is land-mined with).
The why’s, how’s, spark that kicked the current challenge have fallen into mystery for me. It may well have started out as a random discussion over the phone… It may well have grown out of frustration over the fact I haven’t been able to spend as much time writing as I used to… It may well have been a way to kick someone up the backside and get them back into writing again…
Regardless, challenge given and accepted.
Plot and idea?
“Magic Carpet” started out as a dream – don’t laugh. I get some of my best ideas from my dreams. I have very vivid dreams, and have kept a dream diary for years. One of my dreams featured a plane falling into weird dimension and the passengers and crew trying to survive in a hostile alien place. Dunno if they ever got away… My alarm woke me. In another there’s a man chasing a shadow down an alley way and beating it up with an iron bar… That one was published last year.
So, I don’t discount ideas from dreams, not story ideas any way.
“Magic Carpet” (the plot from the dream) was a date story, a date that ended up with both participants having “coffee” (yes I’m using a euphemism) on what turns out to be an actual magic carpet. Surreal as hell, but it inspired an idea. So I let it grow in the back of my mind in my plot garden, and started tending it quite recently to see what comes of it.
The written story is a little different; it’s still a date story – but it’s more the journey of one person who’s already decided that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, and what happens when life conspires against that idea. I know this story personally, I kind of lived it, lol.
But my main character, Sam, is not me. My reasons for wanting to stay single were due to heartbreak. Sam’s reasons are more complex and perhaps more selfish; being in a relationship with someone is about opening yourself up to that other person, trusting and being trusted, it’s about being raw before them, exposed emotionally… And there are people out in the world who can’t handle it. Sam is a thirty-something year old man who is too selfish in many respects to be with someone. But his friends recognise that he wants to change that, so keep setting him up on blind dates in the hope something will happen.
And the foil for Sam is going to make him think.
The setting is an old world sort of bookshop called the Magic Carpet – hence the name. Maybe there is a real magic carpet in the place. I don’t know yet – things are still cooking with the plot.
But Sam isn’t going to get an easy ride, and I plan to challenge him in some very interesting way – in fact I already have.
And most importantly have fun doing something a little different and outside my personal comfort zone as well.
I had two weeks – two weeks to get my last written assignment done. It wasn’t rocket science, it wasn’t impossible, it wasn’t even supposed to be long… I should know, I set the assignment.
But here I am, with less than six hours left of the day – and I’m still procrastinating and not getting it done!
Today’s excuses? The weather was nice, we got a new printer (and so I therefore had to play with it), PC games, play with the cat, TV, blogging…
I’ve written seven of the ten pages I need to – what’s the beef brain? “We” know the scene, “we” know the story, “we” (in theory) know what we’re writing about.
So what gives?
I’ve spent most of the afternoon in front of the PC doing… everything else but write. In fact, this bit of blogging? It’s my first bit of writing today.
I will get it done – I owe it to myself to finish what I’ve started. And if that isn’t enough? The other person in this challenge is counting on me as well.
So come on brain, no more excuses; write or I’m poking you with a q-tip again!
He’s bugged me about this for a while, so here I am – it’s his fault. I shall have to think of a suitable reward/punishment, lol.
Anyway, as this a writers blog (of sorts, some other artistic things might pop up, because I am a man of many talents), let’s talk about the current project;
“Magic Carpet” & “Here Comes The Rain Again” – aka Writing Challenge 2014.
As per our usual skulduggery, Master Murray (you can find his blog here) and I have been setting each other challenges on a weekly/two weekly bases. The point? To get back into writing longer pieces of prose, because both of us have been suffering from writers funk.
This challenge started back on the 9th Feb with the very simple instruction from myself; “Start a new story and write at least 2 pages of it. 1 week allowed.”
May not seem much, as we are both NaNoWriMo alumni and well used to hitting the 50,000 word mark on projects. But the idea was to enjoy this process and have lots of fun with it. Produce quality over quantity, which is far more important. I can easily hammer out a dozen pages a day… But sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the process, take your time, and smell the flowers along the way.
In keeping with the current theme, this has been going on for over a month now, with other assignments being set as and when.
How’s it going?
Am I going to share beyond that?
Yes – at some (near) point in the future when there’s more to actually share 😉