Tag Archives: critiquing

Writing Up a Storm

Yesterday, the weather was terrible. Not hurricane-terrible, or tsunami-terrible (I’m often thankful for Ireland’s reasonably clement climate!), but dark, cold, with really heavy rain and hail storms. So, I kept myself pretty much housebound.

Sort of like this, except worse.Image: disastersafety.typepad.com

Sort of like this, except worse.
Image: disastersafety.typepad.com

That’s not to say I didn’t do anything useful, though.

I set myself up on http://www.authonomy.com a few days ago, and one of the things I did manage to do yesterday was upload just over 10,000 words of a Work in Progress to the site. Its working title is ‘Eldritch’, and as I said yesterday, I envisage it as being the first book in a trilogy (currently titled ‘The Astolat Conspiracy’), aimed at readers between the ages of maybe 8 to 12. Of course, I’d hope older readers would enjoy it too! If you’d like to check out what I’ve done, please feel free to visit the website – you can search for my book using the word ‘Eldritch’. You can read it without logging in, or giving details, or any of that craziness, and best of all – it’s entirely free. So far, I’ve been made very welcome and I’ve (at time of writing) managed to gather four kind reviews, complete with some useful critical comments. Even though it’s early days yet, my impression of the site is very positive. I’ve also read some wonderful work by other users, both people who’ve reviewed my work and people whose work I just liked the sound of, and it’s been an education to say the least. There are a lot of very talented people writing in the world today; I’m trying to take that as a good thing – in other words, the genre I love, and the stories that I love, are alive and kicking – instead of ‘oh my goodness, look at all the competition!’

It’s not as easy as it looks, you know, this positive thinking malarkey. But I’m doing my best.

Following a dream is a bit like feeling your way around an unfamiliar room in the dark sometimes. As well as the inherent insecurity of chasing something intangible, though, I also know I only have a limited time in which I can indulge myself, so I really hope I can make the most of the time I’ve got. I suppose, then, what I’m doing at the moment is more like feeling my way around that unfamiliar room in the dark, all the time knowing there’s a really wonderful treasure to be found somewhere in the unknown – and, like the hailstones that fell yesterday, the treasure won’t last forever. Eventually, it will melt away and be gone, leaving no trace that it was ever there at all. However, I am determined to do the best I can, and write as much as I’m able, and do the best work of which I’m capable. If other people read and enjoy it at the same time, then it’s a bonus.

In other news, work on ‘Eldritch’ is going well. I also spent some time on an even older WiP yesterday, one I started so long ago that I’d forgotten the story of it. I’m not sure it’s salvageable, but I know that I loved it dearly once upon a time, so perhaps I’ll find a useful nugget in there. And, of course, ‘Tider’ is bubbling away in my subconscious all the time! I feel like a circus plate-juggler, sometimes. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Since the competition ended, I’ve felt a little bit unfocused – the central point of my writing life has gone, you might say. But I’m making new goals for myself, and new milestones and deadlines. I want to have ‘Eldritch’ out on submission by the end of March, for instance. That’s a goal I can meet, I think. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to work on ‘Tider’ during that time, too – the two books are very different, so working on them simultaneously should not only be possible, but maybe even beneficial.

(Sometimes I read back over things I write on this blog and say to myself: ‘you crazy fool!’ I just had one of those moments. However, I suppose those moments keep life interesting.)

So, today I’ll be embarking upon a marathon ‘Eldritch’ writing session. I’ll let you know how it goes. Stay warm, stay dry, and remember to keep searching for that treasure!