Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Stalker's Guide To - rewrite stations - alert alert!

ha ha ha ha ha,
I knew it wouldn't be THAT EASY.
I knew it wouldn't ALLOW ME just to come up with some guiding, over-riding narrative elements and let me string them together into a story. It's like my story-writing mind stepped in and said, "No, no, no, we can't be having that." I knew it would. And this has proven true.
Chapter Two.
But before getting there, this dilemma started last night. I had Chapter One 'in the can' as we all know. It was the kind of chapter write-up I'd had in my head for this project for the last few years - a man has to save eight people's lives. This is how the book would start, it was pre-visioned; anticipated for years that this would be the mission. I'd set this up as the basis for the book. I'd (probably) betray it later on with a TWIST or three. It's how I work, self-delusional narrator/narrative. Revelation fiction, in its purest sense. Mind games, on myself and the reader. Bless him.
But it started right away. I sat there, last night, appraising that first chapter, and realised (for the story to begin) that first chapter would have to go. This book had to start in a different place than the one I had prepared for, even with the filth overlay information I'd already added to the basic Stalker concept. The one based on a computer game idea that never was.
I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying the NOVEL COMING ALIVE again like this feeling. This always happens, it's happened with all the books that I've written. I give myself over to 'the world of the book' and eventually it's auto-piloting itself to its own narrative conclusions. Its own story. Don't ask me how this works. I have no idea. I suspect 'osmosis' but NOT channeling. My writing mind starts to 'live within the limited framework of the invented world', and that's all it needs. To start creating. To start defying me, its father. To start 'growing up', developing on its own.
And that first chapter. It was (literally) empty. Empty of all the good stuff a novel needs. I totally rewrote it. 2,500 words later, I'm happier. And chapter two, started this morning, is racing by. And yes, I kept my bargain with myself to co-write REAPER at the same time. That's on chapter two also, though my first chapter there is 'sketchier' than I'd like, it's an opening chapter of a three-book series so it's a little summarisy. And more than a little down-beat. Remember, we're in Return of the Jedi territory where 'all seems lost'.
But it's not. It's found. And that's what happened with STALKER last night, "It found its voice." 
MARCH 1st UPDATE: (not counting notes, structure and 'inspirational texts'): I kinda cheated a bit in that I've just finished the fourth chapter, and I've written 'the final scene'. 13,500 words written already. It seems like I may have to physically force myself to get back onto the Reaper novel, currently languishing on chapter three of twenty. But fear not, the biggest development on Reader is the planned inclusion of my Water Planet, Memory Planet, Dream Planet material. Both novels are going quite smoothly, in fact.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Stalker's Guide To - a G3 whistleblower novel - new cover concept, narrative

I did it, I bit the fucking bullet, again, and it was so obvious.
Started to write STALKER'S GUIDE TO and realised (almost instantly, having partially written up chapter one) that this novel was going to be 'really fucking weird' and 'really fucking different' from the one I started to write. And it tied in wonderfully with where my writing mind has been alighting for the last few months, namely the G3 or Global Gambling Game operatives and their cellular ilk.
I found 7,000 words of inspirational text that I wanted to flavour the novel with, work that I'd done 'some years ago' and then the secondary motivational narrative thread just kinda suggested itself without my help. Layers...
I mean, I've had the idea for this 3d-game-becomes-novel for so long I was missing the obvious. Narrative twist, or as I like to think of it 'page-turnery flagellating'. I kinda caught myself by surprise. Pondering it now, this new INTENSE-EMOTIONAL narrative direction and having to integrate such an Apocalyptic Agency into my Good Samaritan story...
Genius, I tells ya, "Pure genius."
DAY LATER UPDATE: well, you guessed it, "First chapter completely rewritten to accommodate this new 'layer'."

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

STALKER'S GUIDE TO relaunch - new writing month, new writing regime - distraction rules

of course there was a false start.
There always is, even with the 'best laid plans' and all that. Things never go the way we plan them, or 'dream them'.
Last month's nightmarish setback notwithstanding, I decided to 'leave it alone' for a few weeks, get over my failure at remember the full dream transcript of a novel I'd yet to write, achieve some sort of zenlike distance from my dreamy over-closeness to the material. That wasn't even how the book would have gone, it's never the way my writing process works. I just wanted it done, is all, and my dreaming mind delivered a product that had no soul, yet.
Reassess. Re-distract. Re-focus on the important things in life, well, in writing, namely - getting busy. When I get busy, I want to be doing something else.
So, I decided to start the REAPER novel, free planet #3, the third part of the trilogy. Decided all the action must take place on one day, eight months after the events of book #2, Liberator. Now that Reaper's in the writing stage, I want to start writing this book, this STALKER'S GUIDE TO... and it'll work, I tell you. With this new direction and these new ideas, I'm likely to bang right into it all fingers blazing like little Victorian pistons.
Damn, this is gonna rock!