Sunday, 28 February 2010

on a grey , wet Sunday morning....

this weather is misery inducing. I need the sun! Its damp and cold and dark. Anyway, slept a decent nights sleep for the first time since Tuesady so thats good. It must have been the stupifying after effect of the dull film we saw in town last night - "The Headless Woman" - truly aweful! H left his wooley hat in the cinema and whnt back in to fetch it . I had a mutually flirtatious chat with the very boyish cinema usher - a unexpected hightlight of my week which led no where but taken as it was, was rather magical for an old dog like myself! We went on( - just H and me!) to Yalla Ylla not expecting to get a table as it was well after 7pm but miracualously did and so ate my usual delicious combination of falafeal, humous and chicken shish follwed by fresh mint tea and baklava. As there so much work going on on the tube network we took a very crowed central line train to Liverpool steet then the overland to Walthamstow.

My work shopping of Chapter Two(which I now feel might become Chapter one - its an obvious plot choice) went well and was very useful in trying out thrid person POV present tense with some omniscience - people liked this stance , though text books tel me not to use it! Ive asked Uni Tutors for their opinion - also asked felllow writers on the course for their vote for which of the three Chapters Ive workshopped so far they think should be my chapter one.

I'm sitting typing this surrounded by piles of paers so I HAVE to make atleast an effort today towards clearing up my office - theres something that rings true for me about "creative chaos" - but I'm fast descending into a state of being buried in paper, which would kind of be counter productive, wouldnt it!


Wednesday, 24 February 2010


...STILL NOT USED TO THESE BOGS, PRESSED THE wrong button and before I could stop it it posted the new post before I could write anything - cant find the edit button so here we go again...

have completed draft of Chapter Four now...its the forth visit Julie makes to Almir - she cooks him a meal, they talk about what it means to be lonely and form a kind of bond with one another.

Also, last night and this morning re edited my Chapter Two - the one I'lll be reading from at the City workshop session this Saturday. Feel its not bad, inspite of being in present tense - but lets see what the rest think!

The maxim - draft, rewrite, edit, re write, put away then re read fresh eyed then repeat the process is so valid. There's always something one is able to cut or re phrase or add to - edit to enhance the original text. Its basically getting it down without being too pernikerty - which I tend to be, especially if I'm writing a completely new scene - then refining whats on the page using the aforementioned process.

This personal "realization" is helpful because it tells me to just keep going and not get too hung up with the first draft(well, atleast beyond the synopsis and the first Four Chapters)...and thats just what I am going to do now - I need to complete the story, put it away then return with fresh eyes and completely re edit it from start to finish so that I can see what works/what doesn't/ what needs moving around or cutting or embelishing.


More Done!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A lesson learned

At the weekend I studied this POV thing!!! Over and over - I considered last weeks class discussion, feedback from my work shopping to date inc that received from Alison, and read the material Mike C sent me and also the chapter from How to Write A Million Rick has leant me.

I realize what I want to do is write from third person, close - multiple viewpoint. I think I understand now about switching mid paragraph – not allowed – generally not too much within a scene or chapter unless its warranted and not confusing. The stuff I’ve read on POV states clearly that in 3RD person POV I can sprinkle omniscience now and then if the story/plot warrants this.
I was experimenting with tense – and having redrafted the entire 4200 words of my Third chapter(to be work shopped this Saturday)from past tense (was/had) to present tense (is/has) I now realise that this is best avoided (according to How to write a million any way!)..but I’ll be intrigued to see how it comes across this Saturday. Experiment experiment! As I said…

I’m almost through “Alone in Berlin” a current best seller and I notice in that he primarily remains in 3rd person POV multiple view point BUT often switches POV within a scene between different characters and – cor blimey, 3 hail mary’s! – he also switches from past to present tense AND chucks in a bit of omniscience.

MY lesson from all this – and Ill make this the focus of my next tute with you if I may Emily – is its ok to do all the later , provided I know what Im doing and am in control, it doesn’t jar or throw my reader.( its just like leading the tango really and judging when to change the weight of the follower)


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sunday Morning

Succesful and very helpful and encouraging worksopping at City of my Chapter Thre yesterday BUT I have a problem with getting the omniscient narrator POV still and have asked to see Alison or Emily about his. Rick - also on the course - suggested I read something from a boook called "How to Write a Million" and says he'll bring it into Uni next week for me to look at(hopefully copy that section out of). Its intriqing to hear work from the others on the course and how everyone's getting on with their stories.

Gary from forest Writers had a party last night but because of two nights without sleeping it was a DVD at home, then two more chapters of "Alone in Berlin" BEFORE AN EARLY NIGHT!


Thursday, 11 February 2010

H kept me awake - snoring last night!

I feel I've hardly slept. This week had a bit of a crisi in confidence - read and read over my Chapter Three, which I'll be workshopping tomorrow at City and thought it was crap; then read it again and thought it was really not bad at all - writers bipolar disorder again! Watched Atonement on DVD - thought what a brillaint novel that is - again - and film too; felt slightly inadequate. H assured me my novel is trying to be something entirely different to that - i supose he is right in that its contemporary and urban - but when your exposed to someone like mcKewan you tend to think - how the hell can I rise to that bench mark - its so good, so accomplished,


Monday, 8 February 2010

Been in Paris BUT...

..continued to write in our hotel room each day for a couple of hours whilst we were there. Result is have written first draft of another chapter - not sure where it'll go yet but its the one where Almir first gets noticed/cruised by Roland. All had written so not sure how many words it is til its typed up but its a cramed 6 pages of A4 so i guess thats around 1500 - 2000 words. But they were all hard earned I'll tell you!!

Also, from the last homework Excersize I did for City(Emily) I am sure I can work that up into another chapter for the existing 600 words I have. It went down well in class - Its a scene where Almir and Roland have gone away to the country follwing the murder of Trudie Hasford becuase Almir is again depressed. They've rented a holiday cottage in the Cheviot hills. Roland comes back from a morning run to find Almir collapsed on the floor. He thinks he's seen a gun man but in reality this is a flash back from the war. This triggers Almirs breakdown and confession to Roland about his secret past and double Identitiy.

To Bed !!!