Monday, April 21, 2008

500 bastard words...

... into my new work and I'm struck by the thought that it's a lot easier to read a book than write one.

You can see by looking at the post below that it was - let's see, when was it? - exactly a week ago that I was boasting about starting the bloody thing. 500 words in one week. Works out at about seventy words a day. Not a great rate. I will certainly have to pick up the pace if I hope to finish it anywhere near the agreed deadline (June 1st 2009).

To tell the truth, I have made progress, even if it hasn't resulted in a great flood of words. I realised that I didn't have the opening right. Or to put it another way, I'd got it wrong. But at least I could see it. And now I think I've sorted it. I have a crucial aspect of the opening pinned. I know where my character is, and what he can see, and how he feels. I also know, more or less, what's going to happen to him. And I think I know why. Hey, all I have to do is write the thing.

I was gently chastised by a fellow writer at the weekend for my lack of focus. He asked the question, "Don't you worry about focus?" Yes, I do, actually. Very much.

Aside from writing the novel, I'm also working on the libretto for an opera. That is the project I mentioned in a mysterious way some weeks ago. Things have been notched up a serious level or two in that, and now it seems that I may be called upon to provide some words for the thing. I think I may have until the end of May to do that. Can't quite remember exactly what I agreed to. Thing is, people seem to be acting as though it has some chance of being produced.

Then every day my kids remind me that I started writing a story for them. And demand another chapter.

Oh, and I also agreed to contribute something to The Abstracta Project. What is The Abstracta Project, I hear you ask? Well, it's going to be a novel, or a something, constructed out of "found texts", the contributions of a number of writers working independently, which the entity that is "The Abstracta Project" will stitch together into whatever it ends up being. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Which is precisely why I wanted to take part.

So far, to my knowledge, the following writers have agreed to contribute:

Steven Hall
Carlton Mellick III
Ray Robinson
D. Harlan Wilson
Ben Myers

And me, of course. I sent my fragment in today. The Abstracta Project (the name of the person, or persons, behind it is unknown to me) seemed very pleased with it. It will be interesting to see how this shapes up.

Now then, where was I on the novel? Focus. Must focus.


Anne Brooke said...

There's no shame in being a Vermeer (one brushstroke a month) rather than a Pollock (two paintings before breakfast and there's still time for whiskey), you know!



Nik's Blog said...

This is my favourite post title. Ever.

Abstracta (sp?) thing sounds interesting. Keep us posted.


crimeficreader said...

When not focusing, perhaps you'd like to take up a meme on "six random facts" about you, for which I've just tagged you according to the rules:

Just a thought...

Roger Morris said...

Thanks Anne Nik and Cfr - I'm a bit late getting round to commenting on your comments - sorry! I've been neglecting my blog recently, mainly because I've been trying to push on beyond the 500 bastard words. I have got a little further. I think it now stands at around 2,600 bastard words. But I am regrouping - trying to flesh out the storyline, work out all the plot glitches, answer all the unanswered questions, before going on.

The coloured pens are coming in handy. CFR, I am giving some thought to the random facts!