Saturday, 4 July 2015

Writing, children and a dictaphone with raspberry noises on it..

I'm always humbled by all the avenues writing has opened up for me.

I was privileged to be able to present the certificates at the 6 Book Challenge a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic evening, lots of people wanted to take my photo ( felt like a rock star but I think someone was stood behind me!) I attended Crossing the Tees and had the chance to give an author talk and promote Hellbound, there a few other bits and pieces coming up...all very exciting.

Yet, you have to keep on writing. In Extremis is in first draft form and out with my 'Tallies' for proof reading, error spotting, potential 'it's a load of crap' reporting...the usual. And then onto my next, as yet untitled, follow up to Hellbound.

I tend to write on an evening, during the night if I can't sleep (which i often) or when the littlest, Liam is asleep. This provides its own challenges, plenty of Red Bull, coffee, nervous ticks, upset bowel habits due to overabundance of Red Bull and coffee, pulled muscles due to nervous ticks caused by over indulgence of Red Bull and coffee, leaving me looking like a demented monkey.

Yet my best ideas (my best ideas, not necessarily ideas anyone else thinks are good) often come at night, hence the Dictaphone. Kelly bought me it for a Christmas present and it is one of the most valuable objects I have for story ideas. Except when I turn it on and it is filled with raspberry noises and someone saying poo a lot...which means I either had a stroke last time I used it or Jakey has secretly been recording his own story ideas...or someone who hated Hellbound and that was their review. There are many possibilities.

Writing at night does have advantages for me though. Someone recently told me they couldn't finish Hellbound. When I asked why, was it too graphic for them, too complicated, he said "no, I just didn't understand a lot of the words."

It is true, I am slightly verbose when it comes to words. I get carried away, though should never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. I am guilt of literary elephantitis when I should be redundant and not use more words than necessary as it's highly superfluous.  I should certainly employ the vernacular and eschew ampersands and abbreviations, etc (I'm doing a special offer and including free copies of the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus with every copy of Hellbound).

Basically, I use big words and can't help it. I tried to tone it down with In Extremis, but they called to me, begging me to set them free, loose them upon the page. And I did, a little. I am guilty of not going around the barn to avoid colloquialisms. And I'm guilty of using classic jokes to illustrate my attempts to write proper.

So, for my next one, I am going to try and tone it down a little. Forgive me if I get carried away again. Feel free to rant on my website, Facebook page, Twitter and all others social media outlets if it gets too much.

To finish off, I remember when Jakey drew on some of my draft chapters and, unbeknownst to me, took them to school. They rang his Mum asking to speak to her saying they had concerns about his welfare. When she turn up, they were wanting to get a social worker involved as they were 'concerned about the types of stories he was being exposed to'. She explained I was a writer (or at that time trying to be) and they were drafts of my story he had drawn on the back of. All was well and they seemed satisfied.

It wasn't as though I read IT to him later that night...

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