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Sunday, 11 May 2008

Speedy Update...

Chances are you won't be hearing from me for a while, since I've got a job!

Because of the shift pattern, I have to move nearby, which means finance is going to be an issue until my first pay goes in. So I won't be able to afford internet access or even a telephone line for sometime yet.

Nothing's ever easy, is it?

I'm officially starting on Wednesday, and I've signed a contract for a room within easy walking distance from work. Unfortunately, having bugger-all in funds available to me for the moment, means I'm going to have to scrounge (from my bank and government) for all I'm worth just so I can stay close enough to keep my job.

So, in a couple of months, I'll may have internet access again, and by then I might have enough material to be posting daily for a while... that should make up for it.

I definitely expect to be back online well before NaNoWriMo.

Cheers, and see you all soon,
Mike

P.S. This is where a lottery win would come in handy...
P.P.S. This is where a lottery ticket would come in handy... I'll grab one tomorrow.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The current stage of progress...

As I promised, here it is. Every complete chapter of Pulling the Strings.

11 individual chapters, plus the full thing so far in PDF format for download.

Obligatory disclaimer for those that don't know- the following chapters contain language and a few even contain violence. The theme is horror, so I suppose you'd have guessed, but just in case.

Chapter 1- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 2- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 3- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 4- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 5- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 6- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 7- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 8- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 9- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 10- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf
Chapter 11- Google / Doc / Rtf / Txt / Pdf

And all chapters in a single PDF file- Pulling the Strings

And there it is. That took some doing... 56 links takes a while.

But anyway, if you want to comment, or criticise, please do. If you want to just read, feel free. If you want to show someone else, I won't complain.

These files are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales license, please see the information and links in each chapter (they're all under the same license, so you don't need to check them all) for further info.

I'll post new chapters as I finish them, but as I said in the previous post, more chapters may be a while.

Cheers,
Mike

Thursday, 1 May 2008

And I'm back...

Apologies to all, I know it's been over a month, but I simply haven't been feeling up to it. I haven't even been casual browsing on the internet for a long time.

Here's a quick update.

Truth be told, the unemployment is getting to me. Not so much the boredom, or the lack of funds, since I can just about cope with that (I'm good when it comes to a good siege mentality. I can hole up for days on nothing). But being virtually ignored by 98% of potential employers really gets my goat. Would it kill them just to send a stock letter/email telling me that I haven't been selected for an interview?

Personally, I find that incredulously rude. (Isn't incredulous a comical word? It sounds like something a cad would say...)

Besides, what is wrong with me? I have a good degree in a good subject. I understand I lack experience, but how will I get that experience if every employer is looking for experience?

I've had a total of 7 interviews to date, with big companies, and plenty of interest from recruitment agencies, which would suggest my applications and CV are not the problem.

Ah anyway. The good news is that there is a light on the horizon. After a decent interview, I'm actually being considered for a position (I've got a few days to impress them at the job itself). In a few days I may actually be employed. Wish me luck.

However, my computer is struggling for dear life. My disc drive has just given up the ghost (unless Windows is playing up again...), and I'm getting fault after fault. And I can't afford a new one.

But, in the words of Anne Davis- "If you can ride out the storm the sun will come again."

Now that my rant is over (I feel better already), onto writing.

I have attempted to continue Pulling the Strings, but I've walk into a precipice... I've no idea how to write what comes next. There's a patch of story that I've come to that unlike the rest of it, is only stored in my head as emotion. That is to say, I can feel it, but I can't understand it.
The rest of the story has always been pretty clear to me, I just had the problem of conveying it in writing. This patch, a crucial part of the plot also, is nothing but an odd blur.

And I've no idea why. Perhaps this is genuine writers block, but it doesn't feel like it. It's just... not there.

So, with a heavy heart I have to say Pulling the Strings is going to take a while (What's that? Vague understatement of the year award? I'm honoured). I'm going to keep coming back to it, but it may have to take the back burner in preparation for this year's NaNoWriMo.

I'm actually rather proud with what I've done so far. I've never written so much (and taken so long...). I have 11 complete chapters. But looking at this story arc, I'm not sure I can stretch it beyond 50,000 words (better late than never). So it may end up, when finished, a short story.

Now on to the slightly better news.

I think I was right when I said horror was not my genre. I had a look of what I had already written in SciFi (specifically the sequels to this years planned NaNovel), and I noticed that many of the chapters would have to be split in two due to their (unintentional) length. For instance, one unfinished chapter already lies at 6,000 words, and I did that in one sitting. The others are all over 3,000 words.

Understanding quantity isn't everything, it's quite clear that Science Fiction flows more easily for me than other genres. So I think I'll stick to that from now on.

Not to mention I've been having fun working out the setting for this years NaNovel. By November I'll be thoroughly ready to dig my teeth in.

It's still early days. I'm still learning what's good for me. But it seems the quiz was right... I'm a SciFi writer!

Anyway, I'll post everything I've got so far with Pulling the Strings tomorrow. Perhaps sometime in the future the precipice will fill in (maybe global warming will flood it so I can swim across), and I'll finish it.

But as I'm sure you'll agree, trying to force it will achieve nothing.

More characters for this November-

A stellar cartographer who's bound to a chair which suppresses a nanomachine infestation which is slowly and painfully turning his body into unidentified electronic devices.

A religious icon on the run from her own order who want to use her death as an excuse to start a war.

A human military general recently awakened from a thousand year cryogenic sleep, who has to adjust to a new life.

An overworked, underpaid life-support technician on a rusting vessel who is too busy to realise one of her coworkers is in need of serious help.

I'm in the process of fleshing out the species before I flesh out the characters, but I'm liking where I'm going.

Oh, and I've noticed a theme with this- I have a comatose girl with a pyrokinetic parasite in control, a non-human ambassador who's had surgery to make himself appear human, a general waking up from a long sleep, a navigator who's slowly being 'reborn' as small devices of unknown function, and a religious icon who's forced to accept she had been manipulated, all on a ship called the Rising Phoenix.

I see a pattern of death and rebirth. For this reason I've already come up with a name- From The Ashes.

This may change as I flesh out the plot.

A big thanks to Karen, by the way, for giving me a nudge. I didn't realise it had been so long.

Until tomorrow.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. It's my birthday! And a cup of tea is waiting downstairs.