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12 Books in 12 Months

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WIP

#WIP: Book Five Excerpt

He hated the cousins.  They weren’t even first cousins, he muttered to himself indignantly, they were his mum’s cousin’s daughters.  Hardly even relations at all, really.

They were two sets of identical twins.  The oldest pair were Violet and Daisy, who were 9 and a half and enjoyed ballet, horse riding, and ‘accidentally’ setting things on fire.  The younger two were Jasmine and Lily, who were aged 7 and three quarters and mainly liked digging holes.  They looked exactly the same as their older sisters but for being a tiny bit shorter, and all four of them were the spitting image of their father – mum’s cousin Simon.  What this meant in practice was that they were broad shouldered, ginger haired, and decidedly abrasive.  They also liked to dress in various shades of shocking pink, which meant you could always see them coming.

Eric thought this was probably because they liked to give you a bit of time to start properly dreading their arrival.  When you saw the wall of pink tulle ahead in the distance, your stomach turned to lead and you wanted to run as fast as you could in the opposite direction.

“No wonder their mum works abroad,” he thought gloomily, lowering his head into his hands as they took it in turns to hurl insults through the door, “I’d leave the country too if they were my kids.”

Helpful Resources

Further to my Procrastination? post, I thought it only fair to put up some more links to interesting sites you can read on the internet instead of writing 12 books in 12 months.  I like to think that reading people’s websites is a bit like people watching, ergo totally like researching characterisation.

Well, I didn’t think of it like that til about ten seconds ago, but it sort of makes sense actually.  Anyway, get your eyeholes around the following:

Billygean – a very funny and open blog about living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  The writing in this is excellent – there’s no sort of ‘oh, poor me’ stuff to make you feel uncomfortable, rather it’s warm and engaging and often very funny.

Pictures for Sad Children – webcomics.  Funny webcomics.

Dystopian Fuschia – a bit like my Daddy Long Legs site, this has all kinds of bits and pieces on it.  The focus is humorous comment on telly.  Not for those who like Russell Howard, though.

Hope you like these, and have a nice Easter weekend.  I will be writing a bit (1,747 words done so far today), but I’m not sure how much.  This is at least in part because I have Stuff To Do.

To elaborate, for no very good reason, tonight I’m heading out to the Cameo Cinema’s second night of horror (which will run from 11pm till around 7am tomorrow); then getting the train over to Fife tomorrow to have a picnic in the rain with my family.   Sleep is for the weak, after all.

Oh, and I’ll have to watch the first episode of Doctor Who anywhere between one and several times.  Well, those sci fi and fantasy novels are due any day now…

The Ugly Man

The concluding part of my introduction to The Ugly Man.

http://audioboo.fm/boos/338175-ugly-man-excerpt-3

If you listen carefully, you can also hear my mega-creaky chair complaining in the background every time I move.

A Reading

Here, for your delight and delectation, is a second reading continuing your introduction to The Ugly Man. He does have a name, but you don’t get to know what it is yet.

http://audioboo.fm/boos/338172-ugly-man-excerpt-2

In other news, I wrote another guest post for Mslexia, if you would like to have a read.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

A couple of people have suggested lately that one way to get more words done is to record myself telling the story rather than taking ages typing it all up.

Whilst doing the whole thing that way would undoubtedly end up as a rather mad sounding stream of consciousness for about 90% of the time, I think there’s a lot to be said for doing some audio excerpts. It means that interested parties can have a listen, and it’s helpful to me to read out what I’ve written because hearing it back will help me decide what works and what doesn’t. I also recently read an article by A L Kennedy pointing out that if you want to find your writing voice, you should probably try speaking in it.

So, here is a wee excerpt about Ingmar, a troll who looks out for our vampire heroine from afar. I think the introduction to his character works quite well in the third person, although at some point his internal thoughts are going to be put out there. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it in a Swedish accent without sounding like an awful caricature. At the moment I am leaning to having a different character’s voice or perspective in every chapter, to make it easier for the reader to engage with individual characters.

Incidentally I did four takes of that, so the notion that it’s quicker than typing is somewhat misleading!

Research

I’ve done bugger all research for this book, and as yet I haven’t had time to come up with any sort of outline, let alone a chapter plan. Nevertheless I’ve steamed on and written around 10k so far, most of which is actual fiction as opposed to stream of consciousness padding.  I’m not sure whether my voice comes through in the same way as it has done with the last couple of books, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In the last issue of Mslexia, Susan Hill gave an interview in which she suggested that ‘write what you know’ is a load of old cobblers.  Who would want to read about the minutiae of your daily life, she asks. Surely the point of fiction is to take you away from such mundanity?  Writers ought to use their imagination.

A somewhat cynical look at the already fading Paranormal Romance genre may not be entirely what she was getting at, but a certain amount of imagination is required to write about a teenage vampire.  I’m not immortal, or overly sensitive to UV, and I didn’t spend those formative teen years sucking blood.  Well, not any more than is normal for young persons of that age range.  So most of this is going to have to be made up.

Still, I’m a bit worried about running into clichés.  The imagination is influenced by what you’ve seen and read, which means that the more research I’ve carried out the better because I can avoid doing things that have already been done.  Unfortunately I’m limited to ironic viewings of the Twilight movies, 3 episodes of Being Human, and half a short story.  I am, therefore, a mite concerned that my imagination will tread paths already trod.  Frinstance I have been leaning towards sticking a werewolf in there – like that hasn’t been done to death.

Unless I think of an original twist.  Maybe it could be a werewolf FROM SPACE.  M. Night Shyamalan eat your heart out…

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