Two views

'Stone faces' in one of the temples of Angkor by eschu1952

There are a few scenes in my current work-in-progress Soft Collisions which appear twice, each time viewed from the perspective of a different character. The aim of this technique is obvious - to be able to show the misunderstandings that take place, and how an action may be perceived very differently from how it was intended. However, some early readers reports said that they felt this effect held the novel up so I've been tackling that issue today, on the two chapters (5 and 6) where this occurs.



As well as the writing that goes into major, 'proper' projects (novels, short stories, articles), writers tend to store many fragmentary word scraps. The thought hastily scribbled while on the bus; the overheard scrap of conversation; the dream written out in the morning once the darkness has faded and we can face our subconscious fears; the funny place name seen on holiday; the magazine article that caught our imagination etc. I refer to these fragments as snippets.


"We meet again, Mr Bond"

At the local writing group last night we discussed dialogue and characterisation. As part of the discussion we tried some interesting exercises in writing dialogue with a partner, responding to what they write - akin the game 'Consequences'. In some ways it then resembles a real conversation in that you are not sure what the response might be; just as in real life you might try and lead things one way, but be stumped by the unexpected reactions of the person you are speaking to. It reminds me that I would like to co-write something with another person one day, based around a structure that could work well for two authors (e.g. each writes the scenes for one major character, or for one location or time period).


Blog developments 2

Some of my posts can be loooooooooooong. It is one of the perils of being a writer - words spew forth from us like fountains of liquid light; or turgid streams of carroty chunks, depending on the genre/writer. Therefore, in the interests of compassion, I have started to make use of jump breaks, so that when browsing the blog you just see the first paragraph or so of longer posts, and a 'Read more >>' link to the rest of the text if it tickles your fancy, as in the image above. It makes it far easier to browse and see what I have been talking about recently. See, I do care.

Feline help with the creative process

Dolly the cat has appeared in a previous post. Her help when I am writing often resembles the video below. (You can see the others in the series here).



“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
— opening sentence of Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984)

Do you wonder what the future might hold? Where technology in all its forms is taking us - genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, surgery - and how it will affect what it means to be human? What might it be like when mega-corporations have more power than governments; when the natural environment has been destroyed by greed and the only place to escape from the densely-populated planet is through drugs or virtual reality?

Welcome to cyberpunk.


Writing groups

Image by hotblack

Not long ago I talked about writing courses, and how beneficial they can be. I only briefly mentioned writing groups, but here I would like to emphasise what a boon a supportive and constructively critical writing group can be. Back in March I joined one which disappeared shortly afterwards, but I have had more luck recently in going to one organised by Ali Cocks at The Treehouse in Aberystwyth. It is on Mondays, 6.30-8pm and I recommend coming along to join a select group (give Ali a ring on 01970 611133 if you want to know more).


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