Monday, 17 December 2012

My White Whale and I....

Hey, how's it going?

Well as my two daughters and my wife keep telling me.  A week to go before Christmas is here.  So I have a week to read through my nemesis - Chapter 8.  Dun, dun, dahhhhhh!!

This is the largest chapter I have written in my story/book, it's 65 pages long which equals 27,528 words.  I think that eventually I will end up splitting this in to at least two, maybe even three chapters as the average pages in all my other chapters is 13 - 15.  So to have 65 pages suddenly appear just doesn't feel right.  But that isn't why it bothers me that I have to work through the 65 pages for revision and refining.  No, the reason I have been dreading this chapter is because I have written and re-written this 3 times now and each time it ends up being different.

The problem I'm having with this 'royal pain in the arse' is that it's predominantly one huge flash back scene and whilst it doesn't give much away regarding the plot of the whole piece, some of the parts within are extremely relevant, leading to clue's and clips of later events (That's my hope for this chapter anyway, whether it comes across like that to the reader has yet to be established).  And as much as I would like too, I don't really think I can edit it down.  I suspect a more experienced writer would have no problems cutting away the fat and stream lining it to a more acceptable page and word count and if the day comes where someone with experience can help I will listen and learn, but for the time being I will continue to work through this brick wall, with only my head as a sledgehammer.

Thanks to this chapter I have added a new insult to my already well established list of profanities.  So if you hear me calling someone or something a 'Chapter 8', it means that  they have annoyed me greatly and that I am slightly flustered.

So today's blog is going to be thankfully short as the more time I spend here, is less time spent there.

I just want to wish anyone who may read this a 'Very Merry Xmas' and all the best for the New Year.

Look after yourselves people, but above all, stay cool.

Pip  x

Monday, 3 December 2012

A thousand reasons to stop, but I only need one to continue...



Morning

Well it's been a while since I have written anything here, which means I have broken my promise that I will write in here at least once a week.  I wish I could say it's because I have been busy, I wish I could say that with Christmas coming I have been distracted, I wish I could, but that would be lying.  The truth is I've hit a bit of a 'Awww Mum, I don't wanna go to school today' slump.  Everything seems to be just a little bit to difficult, a tad to arduous.

I think what I need is a coach.  Someone who will spot me.  So today I am sending out a call to anyone who is prepared to be what I shall call 'The Reader' (Now that's a cool job title).  Please see the advertisement below.

WANTED
 
Someone who will read my book and tell me what they think.
 
The successful candidate will need to be able to read through hundreds of pages (approximately 400-ish) with a firm and critical eye and then tell me in a constructive and sincere way what it is I need to do to improve it.
 
I'm afraid there is no salary as, well, I can't afford to pay anyone at the moment.  However I will be happy to compensate you for your time by offering to shampoo your carpets, bathe your dog, paint your house and countless other things you may need doing.  All you need do is ask and short of  knocking off a bank I will do ALMOST anything to compensate you for your time and critique.
 
This exciting opportunity gives the right candidate the chance to work with the next big thing to enter the literary world by storm.  'JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer eat your heart out babies.  There's a new kid on the block' is what people will be saying according to the daydreams I often have.  (We can all dream can't we?)
 
So, if you are interested in the position and have a desire to break new ground in the literary world then contact me on '0800 NO FRICKING WAY' and we can discuss the terms and conditions in which I will become your bitch.  I am desperate for someone who has an idea about writing to advise if what I have written is any good and who is prepared to push me hard enough so that I can finish what it is I have started and hopefully give me some kind of direction and purpose with what I am trying to achieve. 
 
Back to reality...
 
I don't expect anyone will get back to me regarding this, it's just me being a twat if I was to be honest, but at some point I know I need to find someone who does actually have a clue about this new world that I am trying to enter.  But I will not be disheartened.  I will continue to strive forward, forever in to the face of adversity, kicking the shit out of any and all who may try to thwart me on my quest for world domination in the literary world.  MWhahahahahaha!
 
Mark my words PIP CONNOR will be known, his voice shall be heard, his words shall be read and I solemnly vow that should anything I write ever get published, which in turn will hopefully allow me to write more, I will pay it forward.  We live in a cynical and cruel world at the moment.  People find it difficult to trust others and who can blame them for feeling like that and whilst I am not even the slightest bit religious, I have hope.  Hope that one day, we as a race will eventually get our heads out of our own arses and simply sort it out.
 
This weekend I stopped two idiots from breaking in to my neighbours house.  Without thinking I shouted at them to stop, they were startled and ran, which should have been enough.  But for reasons I can't explain I then proceeded to chase after them. 
 
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for me) they got away.  As I returned to my own home, out of breath and sweating, I started to ask myself why I had chased after these scrotes.  What would I have done if I'd caught them?  What would they have done if I'd caught them?  I can't explain why I gave chase, just instinct I guess.  But it did get me thinking about how we are governed by others.  I don't mean by government, the police, etc.  I mean by other people who to me just seem to be ballsy enough to do what they want when they want and have little or no concern of the consequences of their actions.  I like to think that I am a 'live and let live' kind of guy, but I am getting increasingly more concerned about the way things seem to be going.  Especially when it comes to my two beautiful girls.  We live in a world where people take what they want and care little, if at all, for those that they take from.  We are either becoming desensitised by the things that are occurring on our very doorstep or we simply don't care.  Ask yourself this...
 
When was the last time you did something for someone else and didn't want anything in return?
 
What I did yesterday wasn't brave or clever, in fact it was probably stupid.  In the last two years, in the area where I live, several people have been murdered, arm robbery has gone up, burglary is rampant and there is a van going around that is apparently trying to steal kids?  To quote the youth of today 'WTF!!'  I live in an old mining village in South Yorkshire, how is this happening?  Why is this happening? 
 
I know we live in a cruel world, my childhood would probably give Stephen King nightmares.  As a child I remember lying in my bed, too frightened to sleep, praying to a God that I stopped believing in long before I should have, that the following day would be a good one and that whatever it was I did that made the man that I used to call Dad so angry, I would stop doing it and hopefully he would stop hurting me. 
 
I tell you this, not because I want sympathy, but to illustrate that I know exactly what people are capable of.  I have experienced and seen things that I wouldn't wish on anyone.  And whilst I took everything he had, telling no one what was happening to me, I would console myself by repeatedly saying that if what I was going through was happening to me, then it meant that it wasn't happening to someone else and that I was saving someone from the humiliation and degradation that I had to endure on an almost daily basis.  The things kids say huh?
 
Anyway, back to my point, I promise I do have one.  I believe in my writing.  The story/book I am trying to write is fictional, I suppose you would put it in the 'supernatural' section.  But ultimately it's about us as a race and how I believe that in the end we're all going to be okay.  I have to believe this because if I didn't, then what is the point of anything.  I would love it if people read my stuff and realised that whilst the world can be a harsh and cruel place, if they just believed in themselves, everything will work out in the end and that there are people out there who feel the same way.  To know that you are not alone even when it feels like you are is the one feeling I can't shake.  At times I am terrified that I am losing my mind and who knows, maybe I am, but that's my problem.  I just hope that in the end it will all be worth it if I can just feel like I am here for a reason and that I'm not worthless.  That's why I have to write my story/book.  I sound quite arrogant and self-righteous don't I?  Perhaps I'm just being naive or maybe it's wishful thinking, is there a difference? 
 
I'm not sure how I'm coming across when I write this stuff.  I suspect I probably sound like a whiny, whinging, pitiful fuckwit.  But I promised myself that I wouldn't lie when I write on my blog.  I'm not trying to reach out to others, shit, you guys have your own problems, (but if you want to talk about them, the least I can do is offer a friendly ear, I promise I will listen).  I just think I am trying to let go of some very heavy luggage that I have been carrying for most of my life, (as we all do), and by writing about it, whether it be here or in my story/book is me proving to myself that it's okay to say (or type) stuff out loud for other to hear (or read).  So if you have got this far, thank you for your patience and taking the time to read this.  Who knows, maybe we can help each other?
 
That's it for today.  I've noticed that no one has submitted anything to the 'Social writing experiment #1'.  That's okay, I'll keep adding to it, you never know...
 
Stay cool people and above all stay cool.
 
Pip  x
 
Writers are people that tell hard, exact truths in a form that is a beautiful lie...