Monday, 22 December 2008

The return of the never ending story

Finally, I picked up the never ending story (my fantasy novel Earthwitch, which I have been writing sporadically for the last two years). It's been almost-complete, in first draft form, for some time. One of the things I thought I'd have time to do when I started my MA was go through the story so far and edit it. As usual, things didn't turn out quite the way I'd planned.

So yesterday I started reading, editing pen in hand. It hit me then. All the things we've been looking at this term fell into place; I could see exactly what needed cutting or improving, where I'd repeated myself or had slipped into cliches.

I'm still working on it. Perhaps the distance also helped; I was able to look at it objectively. All of chapter 2 has gone, and elsewhere whole scenes have been deleted. It's a liberating feeling. I have to strip it back before I can build it up again. Just because I like a particular scene is not a good enough reason to keep it in.

The good thing is that the structure seems to be pretty much there. I compared it to The Hero's Journey, and it it's not too far off.

Looking at Earthwitch again has also helped me decide that I'm probably not going to use it for my MA. I'm going to try and get a second draft up together over Christmas, but I want to start something fresh for next term. Now I've just got to decide what.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

News from the mothership

I'm regressing into my teenage self, as I usually do when I'm back home chez famille. I haven't resorted to fighting with my brother yet, but that's only because he's got his own place now and has been busy doing whatever mysterious things it is that he does.

Meanwhile, I have been talking some well-earned time out, while also stressing about not having started on my novel for next term yet. My subconscious is still working hard, and that's got to count for something, right?

Visiting my old workplace yesterday was a slightly surreal experience. On one hand, it felt as though very little had changed, almost as though everything that has happened to me since has just been a dream; sooner or later I will wake up and have to go back to work. Yet at the same time, I'm aware of how much is different. I'm totally committed to doing something that I love, whatever may come of it. It feels good.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

The end is nigh

The end of term, that is.

I still can't believe it. I've just posted my last assignment for this term online. Only a couple of small things left to do - like creating an entire website and collating my portfolio.

It really feels like the end of term now. The Christmas lights are on now, everyone is talking about Christmas/New Year plans and various friends have been in touch trying to find out where I'm going to be over the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to some home cooked meals, catching up with everyone and working on some potential novel ideas.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Untitled 3/12

I'm feeling a distinct lack of creative energy today. Or any energy at all, for that matter.

I have finally succumbed to the lurgy that is going around, right at the moment when I really don't have time to be ill. So much for making it through till the end of term without getting sick.

Consequently I don't have a lot to say, other than arrgghh! With deadlines looming, I'm getting increasingly stressed and frustrated. Particularly with the whole website thing. I'm enjoying learning Dreamweaver, but after three sessions, I'm just not there yet. So it's back to the drawing board, or rather, free websites for this one. Not what I wanted, but I guess my 'vision' will just have to wait.

C'est la vie.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Tests, allies, enemies

I can't believe how quickly these past few weeks have gone. As the end of term draws near, I've started reflecting on everything I've seen, learnt and written, as well as the friendships I've developed along the way.

Sometimes, I feel as though I'd incredibly lucky to be here, doing exactly what I want to be doing right now. Looking back on the past few weeks, I'm starting to see the changes, in my work, mentally and emotionally.

I suppose it's a combination of factors. I've been pushed outside my comfort zone; it's scary and exciting at the same time. I feel as though I've discovered new emotional depths to draw on when I write. I'm no longer worried what people think, or what my work may reveal about me.

It stands to reason that the more you write, the more you will improve. Having the time just to write has been fantastic. I've started preparing my portfolios for the end of term, and I'm amazed at how much work we've actually done.

Having the support of everyone else on the course, as well as from the lecturers has also been really helpful. Once January comes around and we start our specialist courses we're not really going to be together as a whole group again. It's a shame - this is the best group I've found.

In terms of the journey, I feel as though I've reached Stage 6 - Tests, Allies & Enemies. Now firmly in the special world, I'm totally committed to my quest. I've found my friends. Enemies reveal themselves in terms of negative comments, distractions and doubt, but pen in hand, I'm ready to take them on.