Mid month and planning, it’s that time of year again….

Internet issue is “fixed” so I can now access the blog from my own network, this means I can post just in time to start talking about NaNo. If you were to look back over my posts at this time there will be a lot of sweeping statements about getting it planned out and ready and smashing it. If you have read any of them you will also know I am a master procrastinator and have only finished NaNo once in 9 years, since I managed to get it completed I have been consistently disappointed in not being able to get it done on the subsequent years. But…. this time it will be different… blah blah….

NaNoWriMoOn a serious note, I hope I can kick myself up the butt and manage to get something done this time. It would be really nice at the end of November to hold up another short novel in the shattered worlds universe. We shall see. For the last few months, I had been doing lots of notes in a new notepad on a fantasy world I have created and was really getting into it, but when I started thinking about NaNo again I invariably returned to my favorite genre, Sci-Fi. I have read through 13th Earth – Before the Dawn and familiarised myself with a few points and for the last week or so I have been planning another story in this universe. the provisional title is From the Darkness – A novel in the Shattered Worlds universe. This will be set in what I would consider the present day and at this time Humans are a major player in our sector of the galaxy and have formed the Interstellar Alliance (IA) which consists of many races. They are in a fragile peace with the Gikari who’s territory neighbors Alliance space. Without giving away plot points the story follows a man who is living a life he doesn’t like and is trying to find a way out when he is dragged into something bigger. War threatens from the Gikari and from the Humans old enemy the Auroch who are now active again.

Well, that’s a rough idea of what I am going to start outlining over the next couple of weeks so hopefully, I can commit and get it done this time.

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Internet problems……

I know this will sound like an excuse but I have tried to get onto the blog about 3 times since the last post to get something up and my internet seems to have started that thing where I can’t access my own sites from the home network. I have logged this with my service provider and am waiting for them to come back with something….. In the meantime I am in Waterstones cafe at the moment and although I should be doing some actual writing I am starting with this.

Today’s agenda is planning, I have got myself a paper diary and the plan is to start setting myself writing and exercise goals and then stick to them. Using this diary to track daily wordcount and goals.

Something that was suggested a long time ago was to put in a big goal and then work backwards with milestones that need to be achieved, this way a large goal is split into smaller tasks that seem easier to achieve but all contribute to the overall goal.

I am going to do this both for NaNo and also for my writing in general. I also have the competition handout for the writing magazine and I am going to put the competitions in there and plan in time to get them done.

As normal I am good at making plans it just whether I stick to them.

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Reading and living the story

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, I was always in the school library when I was younger and all throughout school. When I grew up my love for reading just got better as I now had the money to buy more books.

When I had kids I think I should have done more to get them into reading, I took them to the library and tried to encourage them but none of them had the same level of interest that I have always had. My youngest daughter reads some, but nothing like what I do. When I am trying to “sell” reading to friends or when I am trying to get my older kids to read something I often use the reason on the image in this post (which I found on the Bookstr facebook group) So I thought it would be a mention. I am not sure how most people read but to me, the words on the image are just what happens. I become engrossed and instead of just reading the words I am living the story, playing it in my head like a film.

This is one of the main things that makes reading such an amazing thing, the ability to transport myself away to other worlds, to live other lives and get to experience wonders I will not live to see in my lifetime.

I watched a film last year at the cinema (Goosebumps) where the original books are not to be opened as they contain the monsters. I would love to pick one of the books off my shelf and be able to enter the world of that book. Walking the midlands from the Sword of Truth or Exploring Mikidemia from the Riftwar series. Stepping onto the Rocinante with Jim Holden.

Ah well I can dream…..

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Starting to think of NaNo and writing….

NaNoWriMo

It’s getting close again although it shocking to say that. Can’t believe how fast the year is going, nearly September and I am signing up for some free workshops and taster courses to do in September. One of them is meant to help with preparing for Nano. I always seem to struggle for some reason with nano and only one year have I managed to finish. I really would like to complete it again and add another novel (that needs major rewrite and editing) to the shelf. Would be nice to get some feedback as well as that is one of my major anxieties with writing, I read my staff and think it’s rubbish. A normal writer problem but something that I feel feedback would help with. This is one of the reasons I considered a Creative Writing degree as I would get that mentoring and feedback and hopefully bu the end of something like this I would be relatively comfortable with my writing. But costs and circumstances have meant I can’t do this just now.

So instead I need to look at other options to do something to get me more comfortable with my writing and something to help me work more on structure and dialogue. Making sure that instead of making plans and saying what I am going to do, do it! then update on what I have been up to and what I have done to further my writing career.

In the meantime, I will be getting ready for Nano and try to ensure I have a proper fleshed out plan and characters this time so I don’t stall at any point. I love weaving the stories and worldbuilding but this can also be a major source of procrastination for me and I need to balance this with actually producing something as well.

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What are you doing?

I was visiting family the last weekend I had to laugh when my auntie called by and while catching up she asked what I was doing in the all the pictures my wife invariably takes of me when we are out and about.

I am sure my wife is a robot, she never seems to get tired so when we are out walking I only last so long before I need to sit down, so I take along my writing stuff and then use the time to do some work. So when we go out for the day we usually end up with a picture of me sat reading or writing. We both get what we want, some fresh air and walking and I get to do some distraction-free writing/reading.

 

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Aviel

So I have fully moved onto world building for the new Fantasy novel, NaNo is out of the window. I did do some writing at the writing group meetups for NaNo but by then I had started looking at a new book. It’s strange as I have been concentrating on Sci-fi for a long time but Fantasy is another of my loves.

It’s strange that something as simple as getting a new notebook started this off. Now It’s going everywhere with me and I am really enjoying setting up this new world (Aviel.)  The new races that are living within it and mapping out the continents. I have a seed of a story and I am planning it out and having fun.

Anything that keeps me writing I suppose, as long as it’s not just more procrastination!

 

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Writer’s meetup and Camp NaNo

It’s that time again and although I had said I was going to plan for this I did my usual and didn’t plan the time to plan (see what I did there) and so when the 1st came around I was already deciding not to do it. I made up excuses to myself about looking for a job and Gymming and the world cup, but let’s face it, they’re all excuses and another form of the procrastination I am so fond of….

So instead a friend talked me into making a goal that was achievable as Camp Nano is about setting your own goals and working towards them. So I did this:

My goal is 15k worlds, which is very achievable in a month, even with all the other things I am on with. I have decided to start a new novel in the Shattered Worlds series and I am 2.5k into it so far and enjoying it.

I did buy a new notepad the other day and have started using this one for a new Fantasy idea, so it’s another form of procrastination but a more productive one 🙂

Anyway, at a meet now so need to get on writing.

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Over a month…

I can’t sleep, been to bed for a while and couldn’t drift off so I opened the iPad.

I have done it again, over a month between posts. I read somewhere that keeping a blog can be harmful to your writing career as instead of writing you are spending valuable creative time writing on a blog. for me this was a way to get something down, even if it is just my ranting and the odd interesting post. But keeping a regular schedule with this seems to be hard enough.

It July now and I wanted to do something with Camp NaNo but again I haven’t planned, but then the idea of the camp one is to set your own goals. I may have to look at a goal for the month, something I want to achieve and work towards that. It doesn’t even have to be big, just something so that I’m actually taking my writing in a direction.

I may have to go through. my writing magazines in the morning and from that make a promise to myself to do one writing competition from each of them, that at least would be something.

We’ll see!

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Writing

I was at a loss today as Tracy is working so I posted in the writing group to let people know that I would be in William Steads doing some writing today. Not bad for me being proactive, but now Iv’e had my breakfast and it’s time to think about what I am wanting to do for the day. Which of the writing goals do I want to be working on:

  1. New Story – Legion – A Shattered Worlds Novel
  2. Short Story – Need to start getting these done as they are good at honing the craft.
  3. July’s camp NaNo – I want to ensure I do something during this NaNo as its a good way to get myself motivated and talking to like minded people while writing. I missed the April one and I haven’t really participated at all with these which is weird as I love the November one but this one can be just as good but less pressure as I can set my own targets.

Anyway, writing this post is a form of procrastination and I need to get some stuff out and decide which I am going to do before other people turn up and I spend some time catching up 🙂

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Solo – A Star Wars Story

So last night me and a friend went to see the new Star Wars Anthology film from Director Ron Howard and with main cast actors Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Paul Bettany. This new Science Fiction (or Fantasy if you lean that way) film is the latest in Disney’s plethora of Star Wars films they are churning out since buying Lucasfilm. Like Rogue One (R1)this one was given a 12A rating although seemed less gritty than R1.

Warning, potential spoilers ahead…… This film is based on the young life of Han Solo and how he became the rebel we know and love, how he met some of the iconic figures of the original trilogy, Including the blossoming bromance between Han and Chewy. You also get to see an amazing looking newer Millennium Falcon and how Han comes to love the infamous ship.

Alden Ehrenreich does a brilliant job of portraying the cheeky, lovable rogue Han Solo. showing his origins as a slum rat and how he planned to get out with his love Qi’ra, of course nothing goes to plan and he vows to go back for her. A few years later he’s been kicked out of the imperial fleet for now following orders and is well on his way to becoming the Han we know. He hooks up with another thief (Harrelson) who works for a notorious crime boss Dryden (Bettany) and adventure ensures. Crossing paths with Lando (Glover) and showing how that relationships started. When he comes across Qi’ra again she isn’t the downtrodden anymore and is the right hand of Dryden and although there is still something between them she is still not free.

Obviously the main part of the movie was to show the intro of Han and Chewy and how they came to get the Falcon, it is a predictable Star Wars film but for me that didn’t pose a problem. It was a great adventure in an established universe with characters we already know and love.  It is always going to be compared with R1 and to be fair the former is a better film but I think that is more due to the gritty/dark story that particular film told. Solo holds its own as a brilliant origin story to one of the most famous Star Wars characters.

I also thought it was good that they showed the most famous boast of the Falcon, the Kessel run which was made in in 12 Parsecs. This was always a bug bear for me as when it’s said in the film you assume they are talking about speed and at the same time you know Parsecs is a distance measurement, so it never made sense. Maybe it was explained elsewhere in comics or animated series but I have’t seen them. So it was nice in this film to see how this came about. It makes more sense to me now.

Ron Howard did a great job with this film and I would definitely recommend seeing it. I saw it last night (Thursday) and will be back on Sunday to watch it with some other friends, this time in 4DX for the forst time, so I will see how that goes 🙂

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