Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Books Read During Soci of Metro's Third Draft

When I finished the second second draft of my novel, Soci of Metro, I posted a list of all the books I'd read during that time. I'd also marked which I'd found useful, and which I did not find useful. Here's a list of the books I read, or started to read, or am still reading, or gave up on, while working on Soci of Metro's third draft.

Maybe you want to read some of these books. Maybe you don't. Maybe you already have. Maybe you don't read at all. I don't blame you. I won't judge. Most books are rubbish, and that's the damn truth.

Philip K. Dick - A Scanner Darkly
Philip K. Dick - The Man in the High Castle
Jeanne DuPrau - The City of Ember
Alastair Reynolds - Galactic North *
Joe Haldeman - The Forever War
Richard A. Knaak - Warcraft: Day of the Dragon *
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Stephen King - Rose Madder *
Stephen King - Different Seasons
Dawn of the Dumb - Charlie Brooker
The Rock - The Rock Says...
Mick Foley - Foley is Good
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Total Recall

Again, books in blue are ones I haven't finished. Those with asterisks I found unhelpful to read while working on Soci of Metro's third draft. And those in bold are books I found most helpful. A new category--the ones in red--are books I've given up on completely.

Also, here's the books that I was in the process of reading when I posted my previous list. I've finished none of them.

Iain Banks - The Steep Approach To Garbadale
Mark Salisbury - Artists on Comics Art
Scarlett Thomas - The End of Mr Y *
John Bonner - Why Size Matters: From Bacteria to Blue Whales
Neil Gaiman - American Gods *

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Soci of Metro: Third Draft: 100%

It's done. I've done it. My novel, Soci of Metro is complete. I've finished the third draft. I've fixed all the typos. I've righted all remaining continuity wrongs. I've filled in the last few niggling plot holes. And best of all I've managed to cut a few thousands words and reduce my page count by over 20.

Man, I'm tired.

The third draft of Soci of Metro took my much longer than I'd expected. I always set ridiculous expectations on how quickly I should be able to finish any draft of any story, even though I've no experience on which to base those expectations before setting them. I thought the third draft would be done in six weeks. It took over six months.

And it's not even truly done.

The first 8% of the novel—the first three chapters, and the first 38 pages—need work. That's not to say I haven't already worked on them. I have. I did. In the weeks leading up to Christmas when we had painters repainting the spare room listening to "classic" 90s rock. Then we had biblical levels of rain and the fresh paint oozed from the walls and on to the carpet, and the flat roof needed repairing and the painters came in again and it was cold and nearly Christmas. And, well, that first 8% of wasn't my best work.

So the new goal is 108%. Then I'm done. Novel complete. Time to test it on real human beings while I pour over lists of agents, and write a synopsis, and a cover letter, and a writer's CV…

It sounds rough. Brutal, even. But I can't say I'm not excited.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

MegaWestgarth Update 16/4/2016

It's been 5 months since my last blog post, but that's not because I've died, or lost my hands in an accident, or moved to China where my blog is (probably not) blocked. It's because I haven't had anything important to say. I've been working on my novel, "Soci of Metro".

It's taking a long time to work all the kinks from the book--longer than I thought. And it's a process that requires, at least at this point, no contact with other human beings. So why waste time reaching out into the cyber-world when I could, you know, work on the novel. In my mind, every single thing I do falls under one of two categories: working on the novel, and you should be working on the novel.

So why put out a blog post now? I dunno. As far as I'm concerned this blog will only really become useful again once the novel is done, not before. Sorry. I suppose I feel bad for my dusty old blogspot blog though, and the small, small handful of people that might still be checking it. Hello mum.

Anyway, some news:

Monday, 23 November 2015

Muddled Tenses Thanks to My Evil Sponge-Brain

I have this problem where I subconsciously mimic the tense of whatever book I'm reading when writing.

I first remember this happening when working on a very early rewrite of Soci of Metro. At the time I was battling my way through Scarlett Thomas's The End of Mr. Y, which is written in the first person, and in the present tense. While my writing remained in the third person, Emma would often point out parts of rewritten chapters that were in the present tense, and not the past tense as intended. It was weird, because it would only be half a sentence here, or a verb there, and I'd never lift the style or use of words directly from The End of Mr. Y. Which is good, because I didn't enjoy the style or the use of words of The End of Mr. Y.

I stopped reading The End of Mr. Y soon after.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Thinking About Kindle Singles

I've been thinking about the "Kindle Singles" subsection of Amazon's Kindle shop, and whether it's a reputable platform through which to publish short stories and novellas. I happen to have a 10,000 word short story that needs a home, and I'm seriously considering whether Kindle Singles might be it.

I'm trying to let Second Second Draft of my novel, "Soci of Metro", drain from my brain so I can read over said draft, as well as reader feedback, with a fresher pair of eyes. I'd originally hoped for a couple of months free from the 130,000 monster I'd created, except one of my readers finished the thing in two weeks. What can I say, my mum's a quick reader. Yet in those two weeks I managed to go over one of my fondest short stories, a tale I call "Red Therapy".