First Draft Entertainment

Hello there, trust me when I mentioned in my previous blog that after completing my first draft of the sequel to The Break I was going to have a break from writing before going back to it, I didn’t actually mean I would also be having another long break from blogging also!! Seriously I don’t know how some of these guys who I follow do it. Some post everyday, some can post twice a day, I know I blogged about time management but considering the crazy distractions over the last couple of months I have to admit no amount of time management can help you plan for spanners in the works. So from illness & home improvements to a fourth birthday celebration and a new born niece things have been a little mental.

However, I won’t lie mental has been a wicked distraction as it has only been in the last few days I have managed to break out that first draft. I love reading my first drafts I find it incredibly entertaining, so far I’m only a third of the way through and I’ve already decided to ditch the entire first chapter and decide to not kill off the person I’d killed off and kill someone else instead!!!

One of my favorite things to do when I’m ripping apart a first draft is invent a sound track, certain songs just put me in a certain mood for writing specific scenes. In fact I thought it would be an awesome idea to add to the Book’s with extra’s plan, for those of you who haven’t been around, many moons ago I asked why don’t books have have extra’s like DVD’s & Blu Rays So why not a sound track aswell, it would be so cool to realese the sequal of The Break with a sound track of music which lent to the inspiration of certain scences…. How Cool???? Maybe it’s just me!! Besides that just opens up a whole load of copyright issues which I could tell you right now I couldn’t aford to licence!!!

So we have a few new characters floating around in the Sequel, six in total to be precise, obviously characters that play a key role in the narrative not your average coffee shop owner!!!!!! As you know I was rather concerned previously about enjoying writing the new characters too much that I would gradually focus more on them than the ones that the story is actually about. I no longer have this worry, after now completing the first draft I found that the balance just comes naturally. I think it comes from knowing your material, especially since the sequel visits a completely fictional environment, as the place is unfamiliar and the reader can’t relate to it you find yourself using your characters more effectively than just telling the story so the challenge was never introducing new characters the challenge became introducing the new environment but by using the charcaters I was able to interpret that world from my own head through them to you!! I’m sure when you read it you’ll no what I mean!!! But don’t get your hopes up we’re a long way away from publishing still.

I’ve been thinking about the cover and as you know I keep going on about wanting to learn to draw and keep saying I was going to post something to show you. This is so not going to happen people!!! My drawing skills are reminisent of something I did in Primary school age 6!!!! So naturally I will be hiring a professional!!!
So on that note I’m off to do some more re-writes providing the sun doesn’t come out and I get distracted by the garden again!!! Just wanted to let you guys know I’m still alive!! and the sequel is still in the works!!!

Happy Father’s Day…. Fix My Roof Please!!!

I know I’ve been AWOL for a while… Again! even my Mother said to me today “You haven’t blogged for ages Kerry” in that disapproving “Mum Tone”, I mean she even put my name at the end of the sentence, I hate it when people use your name at the end of a sentence it always makes the tone seem much more serious and believe me I don’t often do serious!!! So as I’ve been told off by my mother here I am!!!!

I would firstly like to point out even though I’ve been some what quiet on the blogging front I have not been completely lazy! Shortly after my last post/Rant! We finally had notice on a completion date for the house. So in a few short days we move in to our new home, oh my gosh we’re going to be home owners, how grown up! I can definitely say goodbye to my crazy, spontaneous days now!!! Anyway we have been frantically packing up the last of our belongs which always sounds easier to do than actually doing it, the reason being I found all my original drafts for The Break, I’m talking even before I decided to write a complete first draft or write detailed character bios, I’m talking random pieces of paper from about three years ago when I would jot down three or four paragraphs and say to myself “That would make a good plot twist, I’ll keep that to one side so i can use it one day” and then I would obviously lose it down the side of the couch or in a book my mad scientist better half was reading because it was suddenly a great idea to use it as a book mark!!! Anyway I would then have to stop packing to make sure this time I did put it somewhere safe as it is so becoming part of my novel with extras idea. Then knowing we now have little time before we move out, I wanted to get to a pretty safe place in my current project, the sequel to The Break, so when I went back to it I wouldn’t be completely lost. So trust me I have been working!!

So today is obviously Father’s Day and as I blogged about Mother’s Day it seems appropriate to only do the same about dear old Dad. So it was round to my parents house for Sunday lunch. Now, let me tell you Sunday lunches at my parents house are Amazing my mother cooks the most amazingly huge roast dinner, trust me, you have one of my Mother’s Sunday Lunches you don’t need to eat again until the following Sunday. So off we trot (actually I drove) to Ma & Pa’s. Now my dad is pretty chilled out so there we find him chilling on the decking when we arrive wearing a new top my sister had brought him, now being Father’s Day it should be a about Dad right? Wrong, it’s all about getting Dad to fix your flat roof on the utility of you new house, so out come the pictures, dimensions, material recommendations, what we need to get, when he can come over and fix it, what other cool things can he do in the new house, so naturally the least I could offer to do was take little sis to work so he could have a couple of beers with dinner!!!!

So as you can see amongst all the excitement of packing & writing and begging my dad to sort out our DIY issues I haven’t had the time to blog which seems a little crazy when I recently blogged about figuring out how to manage my time!!! But I should warn you I have no choice but to go radio silent for a while after today as we have yet to activate any sort of broadband at the new house so we will be without the internet for a couple of weeks, unless you count my phone but I don’t know about you guys but I find blogging on a mobile device just isn’t the same. Although no internet is probably going to send me insane, oh well it gives me and the better half a chance to continue our on going Scrabble championship, I believe it current score is Author 16 – Mad Scientist 19 so I am trailing at the minute maybe I can change that over two weeks!!!

To Kill Off Or Not To Kill Off????????

I know, I didn’t Blog at the weekend, I apologise but if it helps I had a really constructive weekend, personally and writing wise!!! We’ve now pretty much got everything we need for the house apart from a completion date, why do these things take forever when you’re desperate to move in WHY???

So I managed to get six chapters written of my current project which is pretty amazing for me in a short space of time clearly this time management malarkey is paying off! My issue now is, I know there’s always something!!! Anyway I’m toying with the idea of killing off a major character. In the “pro” corner I have Justified this by telling myself that it suits the narrative, it works well and seems to be a natural progression of the story, I mean really how many times can somebody survive these random near death experiences??? However in the “Con” corner I have, I would be heart broken to see this character leave (Completely selfish reasons!!!). Anyway it got me thinking about other books I’ve read where the author killed of a key character and although very sad it still worked out fine, let’s take The Harry Potter series JK Rowling killed off loads (Still think the most devastating was Dobby)and it worked well as part of the story, Suzanne Collins did it in the Hunger Games, actually I guess if you made it in too the Games you were always pretty much doomed but I’m talking about the significant one in book three (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it and are waiting for the movies!!), Tolkien killed off Boromir, I guess you’re getting the general picture now, my point was it works, when you kill off a significant person my question is, actually I have two, one is how can you justify it to yourself and two how can you justify it to your readers? I guess if I really wanted to I could find a way to save this character but what if that’s the wrong move?

Maybe I should do both and the reader can decide like a choose your own adventure book, do you remember those? Turn to page 156 if ?????? Dies to continue the story or turn  to page 256 if ????? lives to continue the story!!! Books should be like DVD’s we should figure our a way for them to come with special features. You could market it as a box set it could include a copy of the original story, a copy of the story with an alternative ending, extra pages that were cut, character bios, concept art, hey I’m really getting in to this idea, I’d buy something like that!!!

I don’t know, maybe the sun has gone to my head today, what do you guys think???

Time Management… Don’t be Silly

Time Management, it’s one of those phrases that fill you full of frustration. You’re either amazing at managing your time, amazing at giving the impression you can manage your time or you’re amazingly hopeless at managing your time. I think I actually fall into two of these categories!!

I guess this is a term you only really hear about at work in your day job, you have a thousand and one things to do by a deadline, the papers are piling up, you have no idea where to start and your desk looks like ground zero of a nuclear explosion. So where do you start? like I said you can fit in to three clear categories, you are AMAZING and multitasking/prioritising/managing your time and drowning in paper work is your thing because you are SUPERWOMAN and know EXACTLY what is going on (this is not me) or you’re good at creating the impression you’re time management skills are the best and somehow, mainly with no sleep and an intravenous drip of caffeine hooked to both arms you manage to meet all your deadlines literally on the last second (I quite comfortably fit into this!) Or your working day is complete chaos and you’ve given up all hope of continuing to be employed let alone know where to start to manage your time (This is me at least once every other month!!). Now I’ve recently been introduced to a little exercise of figuring out where your time goes (You know who you are!!). I started it today and I have to say I was surprised. All you need to do is literally list everything you do through out your day and how long it took, include crazy things like toilet breaks, lunch, fags and more importantly how many times you’ve put the kettle on for tea!!! I was surprised because I’ve never before looked at how I spend my time and how long these tasks actually take me to complete, how many times a day I digress to complete other things that are nothing to do with what I do. Now I’ve been doing this job for four years and so long as I did everything I was supposed to in the time frame given I’ve never really given much thought to how I get from A-B.

I only mention this little exercise now because I think I would find it interesting to take it out of work, specifically in regards to my writing projects. Right now I only write when I can, I have no designated time to work on a particular project or do research and I normally find the one thing I can’t wait to do (Write!) is crammed in right at the end of the day, when I know in about an hour I’m going to have fallen asleep cuddled up to my laptop holding rough copies of pages smeared in bright pink highlighter pen!! There has to be a better way to identify a more appropriate time to do these things? A lot of people talk about the type of environment they work well in, this isn’t an issue for me, so long as I have the time I can write anywhere, admittedly I like to create my own atmosphere depending on the type of scene I’m writing, normally helped by Music (the key to all of life’s issues!) but it’s having the time to do these things. So my mission for the next 7 days is to determine where my time goes and more importantly why???

Feel free to share any tips and pointers you may have acquired along the way, as the header says I am somewhat an Amateur!!!